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 144: James continued putting items in the cupboard, hoping inspiration would strike.
James continued putting items in the cupboard, hoping inspiration would strike. Slowly he emptied boxes, his mind thinking more of activities he could engage in that would form the basis of an excuse not to be social. He suspected he just needed to come up with something recurring that lasted a few weeks in order to skip several happy hours in a row.
“Then if I consistently have something scheduled, then sooner or later they will stop asking.”
At least he suspected they would. The trick would be to find something that lasted long enough for them to stop asking him. James felt a little twinge. He liked the thought of socializing, even though he wasn’t entirely certain the Friday night at the Sports bar counted. He still wasn’t entirely certain of the names of the people he was talking with and really only assumed that what they were discussing involved sport. Given that he could only pick a few words out of the conversations due to the volume of the music and the ambient noise of everyone else attempting to hold conversations, he was more or less guessing about the sport as it seemed reasonable.
James finished unpacking the kitchen and took his stack of deflated boxes out to the garage. Once he placed them there, he realized that the things he brought over from the apartment were still in the Studebaker. As evening was making the shadows grow, James decided to go ahead and unpack the car before moving upstairs to start settling the upper bedroom.
“I have to at least get it ready for sleep,” he told himself.
As he rolled up the garage door, James tried not to feel paranoid. His heart was beating a little fast as he looked around and tried to stroll casually to his car. His eyes kept scanning the surrounding area as he unlocked the doors and began ferrying things into the house. He actually moved everything into the garage, emptying out the front and back seats before moving to the trunk. When everything he planned to take outside was piled in the center of the garage, he locked the car, retreated to the garage and once again lowered the garage door. He locked it down for the night and felt a little bit of tension ease out of his shoulders. He rolled them a bit to further loosen them up.
“Spending time with people around me might not make me feel singled out and exposed,” he said to himself as he gathered the first of his things from the car and began taking them into the house. The kitchen items were quickly stowed and James found everything going upstairs fit into his laundry basket. James piled the basket high. He took it into the kitchen and set it on the table next to the left over pizza. James then doubled back and locked the door between the house and the garage.
He stowed the few slices of left over pizza into the fridge, figuring they would be good for breakfast, since they were the only food in the house at the moment, and then picked up his laundry basket. He checked the front door and made certain it was still locked. He did the same with the back door and then he and his basket moved to the stairs. James turned out the lights for the lower level as he moved and climbed up the stairs in the dark.
There was still enough light coming in the windows that it wasn’t truly dark and he had no fear of tripping over anything. James left the hall lights off and moved into what was to be his bedroom. While the bed was set up and ready to be made, boxes of all sorts towered around it. It made the room look much smaller. James placed his laundry basket on the bare mattress and looked around. Many of the boxes were marked ‘Misc.’ and he had no desire to open them and be faced with whatever their contents held. He continued looking at the boxes and finally came up with one labelled bedding.
James pulled the box away from the surrounding ones and moved to the bed. He opened the box and peered inside.