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 84: He had a bad feeling about them.
He had a bad feeling about them. Given their importance to the project, James doubted they were left behind by accident.
‘Not really my problem,’ he tried telling himself. The twitch of guilt remained. James buried it and continued his plan for unsnarling the mess that the project became in his absence.
It was nearly four in the afternoon by the time he reached a place where he could go no further with the information he had at his disposal. He leaned back, and stared at the pages before him. The files were closed and the note pad he was given now contained a careful plan for getting things back on course. All of it was contingent on the missing files from the central department, but it was all he could do with what he had. Looking at the pages, James felt a certain satisfaction. He was handed chaos and managed to create order. More than anything, that was the part of the job he liked.
He didn’t, as he was often accused of, enjoy the stumbling of others or relish in the failure that created the chaos. He did not revel in other’s misfortunes. He had to admit, if only to himself setting things to rights had a great deal of appeal to him.
Job complete, James stood, stretched and turned towards the conference room door. Morris, for the most part left him in peace. If Carson was still around, James hadn’t seen him. James walked towards the door. While there had been occasional bathroom breaks throughout the day, the last had been a while earlier and James felt the call of nature once again.
The office bathroom was located not too far from the conference room. James took a moment to order his papers, close the files and leave everything in orderly stacks. He suspected he would need to go through the pages with Morris, but wasn’t certain if that would need to be done before the new files arrived or after. Deciding it would probably wait, James picked up his bag. He figured he could visit the restroom and then look for Morris in his office to tell him he was done for the day. He knew Morris’ office was located not too far down the hall as he had to ask where the restroom was earlier.
James picked up his work bag and made certain nothing was left behind. He then walked to the door, opened it and stepped into the hall. He reached behind him to turn the lights off in the conference room and then stepped across the hall to the short corridor leading to the bathrooms.
The short corridor seemed to go nowhere except the restrooms and James guessed it was designed solely for the purpose of distancing the lavatories from the conference room and offices. He stepped into the men’s room. There were eight stalls and a row of four sinks. There were no urinals. James set his bag down next to the sinks. He then went into one of the stalls, emptied his bladder, flushed and went to the sink to wash his hands. As he turned off the tap and reached for the paper towels, James thought he heard something in the hallway.