The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 183

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 183: James shrugged it off and began compiling a mental list of things he’d need to pick up after work as he climbed into the Studebaker.

James shrugged it off and began compiling a mental list of things he’d need to pick up after work as he climbed into the Studebaker. James drove through town feeling as though he was sneaking off somewhere illicit.  The hour was early, the light soft and new.  Most of the world was still asleep.  In fact the city looked half abandoned.  He reached the parking lot in less time than he expected due to the almost non-existent traffic. 

In truth he only saw three other cars moving about and even those at a distance.  He tried not to think about how conspicuous that made him look.

“At least I’d know if someone was following me.” James told himself.  He parked, picked up his bag from the passenger’s seat and  slipped his identification card out of his wallet.  He got out of the car and after locking the car doors, he dropped his keys into the depth of his canvas shopping bag. 

There were a few other cars scattered though out the space so James knew he wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the early morning hours.  At the front door, he flashed his card at the electronic reader and the door clicked and buzzed, unlocking for him. He pulled it open and walked in. 

James was certain the man behind the counter was a different one from the one he saw the day before, but it was really only the details that changed.  The clothing was the same, just in different colors.  The hair had an almost identical cut, but was a lighter color.  This one had a slightly more aquiline nose.  Thin and pointed, what his mother used to call a roman nose.

As he drew closer James saw the still sleepy eyes and realized that given the morning opening hours this particular clerk’s shift must have just started. James signed in for the pool area receiving little more than a nod from the clerk. 

‘Apparently perky workout mode starts later in the day,’ James thought as he turned down the corridor and began walking the path to the pool.  The corridor actually took him past the gym machines and James counted people as he passed.  He was fairly certain that all of the cars outside matched those in the gym.  James continued on and found the pool he wanted.  At this time of morning the lights were bright and the only sounds were from the ventilation system.  The surface of the water rippled gentley in the manufactured breeze, but the air circulation wasn’t enough to cause it real movement and it looked as placid as a lake. 

James smiled at the sight.  He hurried his steps to the locker room and quickly changed clothes, sliding his things into one of the empty lockers.  He would need to pick up a lock when he went shopping later, but for now, he suspected his things would be safe.  Dressed for swimming, James went back out to the pool. 

‘Need flip flops,’ he reminded himself adding to his shopping list.  Now his feet were dry on the surface of the pool surround.  He knew once his feet were wet he would want shoes to walk back to the locker room. 

He dropped his towel by the edge of the pool and glanced at the clock.  He had plenty of time.  James walked to the metal ladder and let himself into the water.  The soft sound of his splashing was loud in the empty room.

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