The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 105

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 105: “And reading it feels like doing something.”

“And reading it feels like doing something.”

James finished putting his apartment to rights.  As he spent the weekend away, there was little clutter.  He restacked the magazines that were scattered about from his week of reading and made certain his trash was bagged up.  In the morning, when he left for work he would take it to the dumpster. 

He didn’t know if visiting the dumpster counted as phone call to Tucker worthy and at the moment was feeling a little too worn out to deal with it.

James opted for an early night instead.  He took his phone into the bedroom and after dressing for bed, he propped himself on some pillows and watched a couple of videos on line. He sat through a couple of gadget reviews for items he didn’t really want to own and a few movie trailers rather than tune into anything he had to pay strict attention to.  He felt his brain quiet and his eyes grow heavy.  When he thought sleep was a possibility, he set his phone to charge, turned out the bedside lamp and rolled over into a comfortable position.

He slipped into sleep fairly easily, but woke with every noise.  The air vents clicking on to circulate air.  The sound of a car passing.  Each woke him as though it was someone sneaking into his apartment to kill him.  He had no time to dream and when his alarm went off, James wasn’t entirely certain he even reached a state where dreams were possible.  He felt groggy and out of step. 

Cold water splashed on his face helped some, and the coffee he pounded back while showering and dressing helped further.  By the time he was ready to leave the office, he was fairly away, even though he could feel the tiredness lurking behind his eyes.  He filled his travel mug with the remaining coffee, made certain the coffee pot was off and added his sack lunch to his work bag.  On impulse he retrieved the notebook and Cassie’s book from the linen closet and slipped it into his bag a well. 

James slung his bag over his shoulder, picked up his coffee with one hand and the bagged trash with the other.  At the door, he set the garbage bag down while he unbolted the deadbolt.  When the door was open, James shifted the trash bag to the hallway while he stepped outside and relocked the door.  He twisted the knob to make certain everything was locked tight, put his keys into his pocket and picked up the trash again. 

As he headed downstairs he heard a door open behind him and he glanced over his shoulder. Behind him, dressed nearly identically to him was Tucker.  Tucker had added a pair of wire rimmed spectacles to his look and as he walked, James realized he no longer looked like an agent.

Remembering he was supposed to ignore Tucker, James turned away and continued down the stairs.  James walked the trash to the dumpster and returned to his car.  It was more than the change of clothes that altered Tucker.  His walk was different and how he held himself when he stood changed as well. 

‘Tucker is clearly a superb actor,’ James thought. 

Tucker was standing by his car, parked next to James, and fiddling with his keys as though unlocking the door.  James saw that it was for show and suspected he wanted to remain out of the vehicle while he waited for James.  James quickened his steps as he moved to the driver’s side door.

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