The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 80

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 80: Carson seemed to have no need of small talk.

Carson seemed to have no need of small talk. The drive was silent as they made their way through the easily morning quiet of the city streets.  There was still activity as not everyone worked a Monday through Friday Schedule, but it was quieter than his normal mornings.

‘Earlier too,’ James thought.  He was leaving his apartment an hour earlier than he did on work days.  He suspected it was due to the avoidance of prying eyes. James figured that was more Carson’s wheelhouse than his own and he let his mind blank on the short drive. 

Once at the building they pulled into the parking garage as usual and took the elevator to the correct floor.  There was no receptionist waiting but Morris was there.  Like James he opted for a more casual mix of clothing, adding jeans to his mix instead of pants but keeping the sport coat over his untucked shirt.  It was only Carson who remained work day standard.

‘Maybe they do keep him in a box,’ James thought.

Handshakes were exchanged and they went into the conference room.  The scent of freshly brewed coffee filled the space and James could see that on the side of the room a small table was set up with a coffee bot a bag of grounds, several mugs. A small carton of milk and a collection of sugar and sugar substitute packets. On the conference table was a sizable file stack.

Morris gestured to the coffee pot.  “Might as well caffeine up while it’s fresh,” he said.

“Appreciate it,” James said.  He fixed himself a cup quickly and turned back to the files. 

“This is what was sent over,” Morris explained.  “It is the current situation.  I have the list of issues but kept it separate.  Would you like to get a feel for the files before seeing the problems or look at the problems first and then look through the files?”

James stared at the stack and thought through his plan of attack. “Let me read through the files to see which program they relate to and see where things might have gone wrong and then look through the stated problems.  I think that might be best.”

Morris nodded.  “Then I’ll leave you to it and return in a moment with the problems list.”

James nodded but was already moving towards the chair nearest the files stack.  He settled himself as Carson and Morris left him.  He reached for the first of the files.

James opened it and nodded as he recognized the program.  It was one he had in fact set up.  He saw his own notes, most typed but a few scrawled in his own handwriting.  There were scattered through his own words notes from another hand. 

‘Two actually,’ he thought recognizing both Mark and Eric’s hand.  It was clear the files passed between them as they worked to sort things out.  Their notes were all written on post it notes and James was relieved to see that each not for the most part contained a date so he could follow the timeline of disaster relatively easily.

He read the page following along with both his work and the adjustments.  Morris returned with the file and James asked for a note pad and pen.  Both were brought and he was once again left to work in peace.

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