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 87: Carson was dead.
Carson was dead. I stared at the body as Morris moved about the room. What he was looking for, I couldn’t guess. I could only stare at Carson. I hadn’t liked him very much, but seeing him ,like this was shocking. It wasn’t the same as the old man. There was blood of course, but given the wound, it flowed out under him and onto the floor. It was as though he was resting on it. The scent was too thick in the air to pretend it was anything but blood. But it didn’t cover him as it did the old man. It left him clean. He also no longer looked like Carson. Whatever there was inside the body that made it Carson was gone and only the shell remained. James wasn’t certain how long he stared at the body, but Morris finished what he was doing and tugged James towards the door by the sleeve.
“You still with me?” Morris asked. James blinked, looked away from the shell that once held Carson and nodded. The scent of the blood was thick in his throat and he wasn’t certain he could speak.
“Good, “ Morris said. “I need to make certain there is no one else on this floor. “
James’ eye darted towards the open door and into the corridor behind them. The light outside was fading and the shadows were thickening. He looked at them, gaze darting from one shadow to the next as though each concealed an assassin.
“I don’t think there is anyone here, but I have to check,” Morris said. James again nodded and as Morris stepped into the hall, James followed. He stayed a pace back as directed, able to help if Morris had difficulties, but staying out of the way. Inside he felt numb and somewhat detached. The fear faded and there was just a vacuum and emptiness. No thoughts intruded on the blankness, he merely followed Morris like an automaton.
It didn’t take long to search the offices, and at the end they circled back to the conference room. James blinked as Morris moved inside. Something was different here. It took him a second to see it, as Morris looked in the hidden spots of the room. Finding no one, Morris relaxed and leaned on the table. They were the only ones in offices.
“Papers,” James said.
Morris looked at him.
“The papers are gone,” James said. He gestured to the end of the table. When he went to the bathroom he left a series of neat stacks behind. One stack was the files sent over by the company. Another stack was the file containing the questions that needed answering and the third held his notebook. His pen was placed diagonally over the top ot the notes to keep the top page from moving too much in the breeze coming from the ari conditioning vents.
“I need to call this in,” Morris said. “Stay here.”
“And stay away from the windows, just in case.” James looked at the windows and took a step back towards the wall. Morris stepped into the hall and pulled out his cell phone.
‘I guess he feels save enough to get medical attention now,’ James thought. It was his first real thought in what seemed like hours. He looked at the blank spot on the table where the files and his notes had been. ‘Who would break in to steal my notes?’