The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 192

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 192: He remembered being mystified by the gift, but liking the way the leather bound volumes looked on his shelf.

He remembered being mystified by the gift, but liking the way the leather bound volumes looked on his shelf. Thinking about small things he might like to do was easier than sitting down and figuring out a life plan for this new world of his. 

As James added things to his list he realized that it also felt safer to add to this list.  The job he was placed in because it was safe.  The house he was sent to was likewise because it was safe.  If something happened, he could be relocated to a new job, a new town a new house.

‘And then I’d have to settle in there until people stopped looking,’ James thought.  Right now this job was part of his safety cover.  It helped protect him.  When he no longer needed the protective cover he could work on being something or someone else within the confines of James Ferris. More than drawing attention to himself, James didn’t want to build a new life only to have to leave it behind to start a third one somewhere else. 

‘For now I’ll do the job as assigned and enjoy myself with things I always wanted to do. I can worry about what I want to do long term after it is decided that I can stay here long term.’  As this was his first real weekend without incident, James decided this was the smartest course of action. It also absolved him of the need to find something to do with himself. 

“and who knows, maybe one of these things will spark something.” James doubted learning to play chess or re-reading Shakespeare would lead to any sort of enlightenment but it would keep him occupied without having time hang too heavily on him when he wasn’t in the office.

Throughout the day, James added to his list, finding that as he didn’t need to focus on important things, the smaller things he always wanted to try but put off grew quite rapidly. By dinner time he was feeling pleased enough with himself that he ordered Chinese takeout instead of actually bothering to cook something.

After dinner, James went in search of his leather bound volumes and found them stashed on one of the book shelves.  It was a two volume set and he took them back to the couch with him.  The television continued to play and James settled himself and began to flip through the index looking at the titles.  There was poetry along with the plays and a few of them he vaguely remembered from high school English class.  He remembered one particular teacher breaking down one of the poems to prove it was much racier than the bored teenagers in the class thought the old fashioned words were.  This ended up leading to a spate of Shakespearean -esqe insults becoming popular for a short time.

‘Although I think the insults came from the plays and the bawdy terms form the poems,’ James recalled.  He decided to skip the poetry for the moment and concentrating on reading through one of the plays.  Because he thought he remembered it the most, James chose Macbeth as his first study.

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