The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 188

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 188: Despite the increased activity at the club, the streets were still mostly quiet as he drove home.

Despite the increased activity at the club, the streets were still mostly quiet as he drove home. Most of his neighborhood appeared to still be asleep as he pulled back into his driveway.  As it was Saturday, he supposed that was to be expected, however he realized as he parked and got out of the car, that he was still expecting Tucker to make an appearance. 

He hadn’t seen the agent all week and it seemed strange not to see him now. “Although they did tell me they would only check on me periodically after I was settled.’ James reminded himself.  It was part of his initial meeting.  That seemed like a life time ago. 

‘But I suppose this is the world returning to normal,’ James thought.  He went into the house, locking the door behind himself automatically. There may have been no recent break ins, but he suspected it would be a long time before he felt comfortable leaving a door unlocked.

As was usual, he went upstairs and took out his damp towel and still wet swim trunks.  He went to the secondary bathroom upstairs and stretched the shorts over the shorts over the shower rod.  As it was an extra bathroom that he didn’t really use, he hadn’t bothered to pick up a shower curtain for it.  James took down the shorts he wore the day before, as they were now dry and stretched his towel over the bar next to the wet shorts.  The towel rack held his towel from the day before and as it too was dry, James took it.  He folded both the dry towel and shorts and placed them on the counter by the sink.  He then took the few remaining items out of the back and lined them up on the counter as well.  He then turned his small duffle bag inside out so it could dry completely before it was put back into use the following morning.

He hated the damp smell that could invade the bag. It would invade anything he put in the bag if he let it and as a child, avoiding that damp scent was more of an incentive to clean up after himself than any admonitions to keep tidy.

Damp smell avoided,  James went down back downstairs to the kitchen.  Today, he had all the time in the world and had decided to treat himself to pancakes.  He picked up a boxed mix that had simple instructions.  It required the addition of only a few simple things and he felt relatively confident he could follow the directions.  The fact that there were little pictures to illustrate the words made him feel as though it was set up to be simple enough for a child to use it.

James took out a bowl and mixed all of the ingredients together.  Getting out the lumps of dried mix so that the mixture was a smooth batter took more time and effort than he thought it would.  Every so often he would see a lump after he thought he got it smooth. He always poked the lump to see if it was a bubble and the wet layer would peel back to reveal a puff of unincorporated powder. 

James stirred until finally there were no more lumps.  He felt somewhat victorious at the sight of the smooth batter. As per the instructions, he moved a frying pan onto the burner and added a bit of butter.  It melted and he took a small ladle and poured some batter into the center of the pan.  He picked up the spatula and waited for the bubbles to appear around the edges.

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