The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 151

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 151: As they were the only two in the aisle, James decided to ask a question that had been bothering him.

As they were the only two in the aisle, James decided to ask a question that had been bothering him. “So,” James began as he looked over the jars and tried to decide if roasted garlic alone beat mushroom and garlic as added flavor elements to a pasta sauce.  “Will Morris be returning to work soon?”

Tucker’s eyes darted to the edges of the aisle and then back to James.

“Tired of me so soon?” he asked.

“Morris knows my file,” James said. 

“And because I don’t I’m not good enough for you?” Tucker asked.  James glanced over and saw that while Tucker was smiling, his eyes were hard.  James turned back to the shelf and took down the mushroom and garlic version of the sauce.  He put it in his cart.

“When I took over an account I did my background work so I could see problems that might arise. It makes me…nervous to know you haven’t.” James told Tucker.  He wheeled the cart to the pasta and picked up several boxes of spaghetti.  Having never actually made pasta before he wasn’t certain if one box and one jar constituted a single meal or not.  He suspected there was more than enough sauce in the jar for more than one serving, but he didn’t know about the paste.  After putting two boxes in the cart, he added a third to be on the safe side.

Tucker looked at him, studying him as they walked.  It was a bit disconcerting.  James could see the thoughts turning, wheels spinning, but his face retained the pleasant, easy going smile.  The mismatched look set him on edge.

“You think I won’t see something coming,” Tucker finally said.  They turned into the canned goods aisle and James added canned chicken and deviled ham to his cart. Vaguely he wondered what they did to it to make it deviled.  He had never had it before but thought the ham might be better than the tuna fish.  ‘Plus I like spicy things.’ He thought.  ‘Maybe spice is what makes it deviled.’

Since he knew canned tuna fish needed to be mixed with mayonnaise, he added a jar of it to his cart thinking it would go with the chicken and possibly the ham.

James decided that this week groceries would be a bit of an experiment.  He would still get the sandwich meats and cheeses from the deli for work, but attempt to get through the week with no frozen meals.  He also wanted a few extra things so that if next weekend saw another attack, shopping would be less of an emergency.

“I think it’s a possibility,” he told Tucker.  There were more people moving around as they changed aisles.  “I always read files to see if I could find where problems might arise before they actually arose.”

“And how did that work out for you?” Tucker asked.

“Well,” James replied, despite the sneer in Tucker’s voice.  “At least I thought so.”

“Uh huh,” Tucker replied.  “Which is why you are here. Because things were going so well.”

“The issues with my work came later,” James told him.

Tucker shrugged and James let it go.  “So Morris,” he asked returning to his original question.

“Will be back once he is off medical leave.” Tucker said. “I’ll be seeing him later today.”

“Will you? I suppose Sunday isn’t your day off then.” 

“It varies.  Any message you want me to convey?” Tucker asked.

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