The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 90

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 90: “Let’s start with the good news,” James said.  “Just for a change of pace.”

“Let’s start with the good news,” James said.  “Just for a change of pace.”

Morris smiled. “The good news is that Carson’s files were undisturbed.” Morris opened his eyes.  “They didn’t go looking for your new identity so it is doubtful that we will need to keep you too long in the safe house.  You will more than likely soon be able to go back to the life you are building. We’ll check things out and you will have extra security for a while, but I believe your new identity is safe.”

“Is the extra security good or bad news,” James asked.  Inside a tight coil of tension loosened.  He would not have to spend months in a safe house; he would not have to attempt to build another life. ‘Not that I’m doing more than baby steps with this one,’ he added.  New or not it was still a relief.

“No,” Morris said.  He shifted slightly in the seat and winced, drawing in his breath with pain. “Take the third left,” He directed. “No,” he repeated, the agents securing your building aren’t the bad news.  They are just a current part of your reality.  The bad news is that while they didn’t touch the files on your new life, they did take all of the files and notes from the conference room and they killed Carson.”

James frowned.  They came to the third left and he turned.  Here there was more traffic and James could see they were entering a strip of chain restaurants and fast food places.  Mixed in were a few bars and night clubs.  At this time of the evening the restaurants were busy and the bars were getting ready for the after dinner Saturday night crowds.

While he didn’t see Carson dying as a positive, he wasn’t certain how it was bad news for him specifically.  He felt a flash of guilt for asking the relevance of another human’s death, but couldn’t prevent himself from asking. “Exactly how is Carson’s death related?” James asked.  “Not that I’m happy about it, but I just don’t see …”

“How that is bad news for you?” Morris finished.

“Yeah,” James said.  “Not to be callous or anything.”

“No, I understand. At the moment I just have a hunch.” He looked at James and let his eyes scan the clothing.  “How close is this to what you would usually wear?”

James glanced down and then looked back at the road.  “Not very.  The jeans are mine but I couldn’t remember the last time I wore them, before…and the rest Carson picked up.”

“Take the next right,” Morris said.  “So usually you would be in a suit and tie?”

“Most of the time,” James said.  “My ex-wife joked that I might as well sleep in them since I never actually left work even if I left the office.”

“Carson was in a suit and tie,” Morris said.

“He was, but he usually was when I saw him.”

“If someone were to describe you from before then there is the possibility they would describe you as wearing a suit,” Morris said.  “While you and Carson don’t look much alike you both are about the same height, have the same color hair and eyes, similar builds.”

James felt a flash of cold snake through him. “So,” he said.  His mouth felt suddenly dry and he licked his lips.  “I’m a pretty average looking guy.”

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