The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 75

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 75: “Then we can get started first thing and see what needs to be done. I’ve only been gone a few months.  How bad a muddle could it have gotten into in that time?”

“Then we can get started first thing and see what needs to be done. I’ve only been gone a few months.  How bad a muddle could it have gotten into in that time?”

There was no comment about the muddle and he left the office with Carson, the agent looking relieved and Carson looking thoughtful.  The drive back to his apartment was just as quiet but this time James wasn’t worried.  He was mentally rifling through files.  As he mentioned they had several government contracts.  It was quite lucrative and tended to be relatively stable most of the times.  Budget cuts always sent a wave of anxiety through the staff, but they weren’t controversial and rarely faced the chopping block.  The loss of even one of those accounts would be a hard blow for the company. 

James suspected that even if he did bail the family company out again, the weaknesses would be remembered and when the next contract signing came up, renewal wouldn’t be guaranteed. 

‘I would certainly start looking for anew vendor,’ James thought.  He could hardly blame anyone else for doing the same.  He shook his head. ‘Not my problem any more.’

He put aside the older agent’s comments about the possibility of him returning to his normal life once Frank testified.  While there was the possibility, he didn’t think they would lie to him directly about that, it was a lure to get him to help. 

As Carson pulled into the lot, James had to admit there was a petty side to him enjoyed the feeling of being indispensable, at least momentarily.  Outside of his role as the Witness he felt rather superfluous for the past few months.  He was a package with a voice shipped from place to place and then given a job that would attract no notice.  It was nice to feel important, even if for only a little while. It was nice to feel somewhat validated in himself.  While this wasn’t the first time he bailed his step brothers and the company out of a dilemma, it was the first time that they might have to acknowledge that fact. 

It felt good.  ‘Especially after the book,’ he added as Carson parked in a spot bside the stairwell.  Many of his neighbors were still out enjoying their Friday nights so the choice spot was easy to claim. Carson didn’t bother turning off the ignition.

“I’ll be here at six in the morning sharp,” Carson said.  “Morris doesn’t like delays.”

James nodded.  While he wasn’t thrilled to be ferried to and fro like a child he suspected it would be the case, if only to keep his car from being seen going to the office building. ‘And it is nice to have a name for the older agent.’

As the older agent wasn’t that much older than himself it was more or less just a comparison with Carson and a need to categorize him that caused James to think of him as such.  He was pleased to mentally assign a name.

As he wished Carson a good night and slipped out of the car, he wondered if he was allowed to use the name out loud or if he needed to wait until Morris actually granted it to him personally.

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