The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 189

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 189: He picked up the spatula and waited for the bubbles to appear around the edges.

He picked up the spatula and waited for the bubbles to appear around the edges. He watched and saw a slight ring of bubbles around the edges.  He used the spatula to flip the pancake.  It wasn’t as golden brown as he liked so he figured he didn’t wait long enough.  The next pancake he waited until the bubbles were tiny craters and ended up with a burned center on the other side. 

The first few pancakes he made were hit and miss, but by the time he was midway through the bowl of batter, he found his rhythm and managed to create enough pancakes of passable quality to consist of a good breakfast.

He piled the passable pancakes high on his plate and slathered butter between the layers.  He topped the stack off with maple syrup and settled himself with fork and plate at the table.  He had to admit after his first bite that they were not the best pancakes he had ever eaten in his life.  They weren’t all that fluffy and they were a bit on the dry side.  The butter and syrup helped counteract the dryness.

Even so, they were certainly better pancakes than he thought himself capable of making.  “Not that I ever thought I would be making pancakes.” He told himself between bites.  In his world pancakes were something someone else supplied to him, mostly at restaurants.  As James ate he wondered if his ex-wife even knew how to make pancakes. He somehow doubted it.  She was more of a call the caterer kind of cook herself.

As James ate he wondered if he could get better at making pancakes.  ‘If I have them once a week then I would at least have practice making them.’

He suspected he would either need a better pancake mix if he wanted to improve.  James finished off his pancake stack and decided it might be fun to perfect the art of pancake making.  It would be good to be able to make one thing, just one thing really well.  “And I do like pancakes.”

Deciding it was something he would investigate later, James cleaned up from his meal.  When everything was tidy, he took stock of his remaining boxes and decided to finish settling the upstairs before tackling the garage. 

While he was certain what tools he kept were in the garage, he knew that once he started unpacking them he would see the gaps, and see how he needed to adjust the garage to suit him as a work space.  He would then want to get a project car to work on while he drove the Studebaker, or he’d want to get an around town car to drive while he fixed up the Studebaker.  Either way, he would continue to put off unpacking the upstairs.  

“Better to get it out of the way first, then get distracted with thoughts of the future.”

As James climbed the stairs he had to smile to himself.  The future.  And he was thinking about it.  It was still a gray, mostly vague space, but he was thinking.  He knew a life time at the office wasn’t for him, but he was planning things outside the office. 

“Pancakes and unpacking,” he reminded himself.  “Hardly life goals.”

Still it made him feel less like drifting.  Moving from safe house to safe house, crisis to crisis, gave him a disconnected feeling, like a cloud being pushed across an endless expanse of sky.  Now he felt as though the cloud he was riding was really a balloon and strings were starting to lower towards the ground.  He wasn’t quite tethered, but strings existed where there were none. 

He reached the upper floor and opened the first of the remaining boxes.

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