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 69: James pulled into the parking lot.
James pulled into the parking lot. The drive through had an out of order sign on it so he parked and went into the restaurant. While there was a small section containing a few two seat tables it was clear they were mostly used by patrons waiting for their takeout orders rather than those dining in.
The seats were well worn, the plastic rubbed smooth from many years of use. The Formica topped tables had bare spots where many elbows rested and hands tapped out time. Every seat was taken, but none was occupied for long as names were called with regularity from the pick-up counter. James decided the worn look of the place could either be an encouragement or spell gastronomic disaster. He crossed his fingers and hoped for the former.
There was a long line at the counter which he found encouraging. There were smiles and jokes between patrons and the workers behind the counter and James suspected he might have stumbled on a local favorite. As his steps inched him towards the counter, he perused the menu. The restaurant did soups and sandwiches. That was it. The sides that one could get with the sandwiches ranged from house made pickles, to house made potato chips. The chips came in three flavors; sour cream and onion, barbeque and salt and Vinegar. James decided on barbeque and then moved into his sandwich selection. He decided something that started out cold would travel well. Soup he figured could easily be reheated when he got home if necessary. He chose his sandwich and then soup.
By the time he reached his decision, his shuffling steps carried the line through the row of clerks and he found himself standing in front of an older woman. She smiled at him.
“We’ll now,” she said. “Haven’t see you before. You must be new in town.”
“Just moved here actually,” James replied.
“That explains it,” she said. “And no doubt you got here as soon as you could. So What can I get you tonight?”
James smiled as he placed his order. He liked the way she talked to him, as though she already expected him to be a regular. He paid and tucked his wallet back into his pocket.
“And what name can I put on the ticket?” She asked.
“James,” he replied.
She nodded. “James.” She repeated. She tapped the side of her forehead. “Got it now. They’ll call you when it’s ready.”
James nodded and shuffled away. Another person took his place in front of the register.
“Well look at you George, did you get a new hair cut?” he heard the cashier ask.
James moved towards the tables as a name was called and one of the tables emptied. He took his seat and waited for his food. As he waited James found himself hoping that he liked it. He suspected that the cashier would in fact remember him. Part of him hoped to return just to find out.