The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 66

The Fifteen Minute Novel is a novel written fifteen minutes at a time with each week day’s section starting with the sentence from the previous day. At least it is attempting to be a novel. For now I am just aiming at one continuous story, worked on for fifteen minutes each day. Started Friday January 1st, 2021 (in case you want to search for the beginning. I can’t wait to see where it ends up. It could be good, or it could be a mess. We’ll have to see. For now, here is today’s fifteen minutes.

Day 66: James knew it was a sports bar immediately.

James knew it was a sport’s bar immediately. For one thing the name of it was in fact, The Sport’s Bar.  They were the only words on the front of the building.  The sport’s bar had a tan stucco façade with two large windows to either side of the glass door.  They looked as though they were designed to display dresses or shoes or some other merchandise.  Now they had black out film over them, as did the glass door standing between them. 

The Sign advertising that this was in fact The Sport’s Bar was done in plain block letters that glowed a sickly green.  It was not an auspicious looking building, but Mike had already parked and was waiting for him by the door. James parked and reminded himself that he shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

‘Or a sports bar by its façade.’ 

James parked and got out of his car, making sure to lock it behind himself.  He couldn’t imagine who would try to break into the Studebaker, but by now the locking was habitual.  He patted the car’s hood and thought almost longingly of the frozen horror that waited in his freezer waiting to be called dinner.

James wound his way through the parked cars and up to the side walk that ran in front of the building. 

“It’s better inside,” Mike said as though guessing James’ thoughts.  James nodded, not thinking any of his thoughts on the generic nature of the façade worth mentioning.  Mike moved to the door and tugged it open.  The sound of voices and music drifted out.  James couldn’t place the tune, but as he couldn’t even remember the last time he listened to the radio for anything but weather, news and traffic, he wasn’t terribly surprised. 

The smell hit him as he entered.  It was the smell of soured beer and a bar only a shaky step up from a dive. James suspected calling this place a Sport’s bar might actually be giving it pretensions. He followed Mike inside.  The decor was as non-descript as the exterior.  The floor was white tile with sections of carpet in places.  It was clear that the carpet had been intentionally placed down but he suspected that it was put down by the previous owners as it seemed to reflect a traffic pattern more in keeping with retail than a bar.  If he squinted he could almost see the racks of clothing placed on the carpeted sections and the tile paths winding between them. 

‘The ghosts of retail past,’ he thought as he followed mike to a table.  The table was resting on one of the carpeted spots and James could tell it was the source of the stale beer scent. He was fairly certain the carpet could use a deep clean.  The table however was spotless and clearly wiped down regularly if any of the worn spots were indications.  Unlike the carpet it gave off the scent of lemon scented bleach.  There were several people who managed to beat them to the bar and as their trip took only a bare five minutes, James guessed they got off work earlier than he and Mike did. 

‘Although ti couldn’t be that much earlier,’ James thought as the waitress brought a tray of drinks over.  All of the drinks were beer so when the waitress asked what he wanted, he asked if there was a local beer.  Finding there were several locally produced beers, he chose a pale ale from the lot and tried to remember the introductions Mike was giving. 

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