The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 195

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 195: “Well, In addition to sitting behind a desk all day,” he amended.

“Well, In addition to sitting behind a desk all day,” he amended. The day job continued and James, for the most part, decided he didn’t mind it.  The work was easy and it had definite parameters.  He arrived at the same time each morning and clocked out at the same time each day.  He took no files home with him and in fact taking files home was discouraged.  This meant no working after hours. 

There was small talk around the office and a lunchtime discussion.  Mostly it revolved around common shows watched.  Occasionally information about soccer games and school plays were added by those who had children.  James wondered if he would be asked to buy Girl Scout Cookies when the time of year for sales rolled around.  In his old office, he instructed his assistant to buy loads and left them in the break room for the staff to enjoy.  He had never personally been asked to buy a box. He found himself oddly looking forward to it.

His life fell into a not unpleasant pattern.  In the back of his mind though, he kept expecting Tucker to show up.  But time slipped past.  He almost felt as though he was forgotten.  It was almost a relief when one Friday he followed Tucker’s car following him home from the soup and sandwich shop.  Tucker’s car pulled into the drive behind his car and he waved as he got out.

“Long time no see,” Tucker called in a friendly way as he walked towards him.  James suspected it was for his neighbor’s sake more than his own.  James walked to the door with Tucker and let them both inside.

Once inside, both of them dropped their friendly expressions. “Something come up?” James asked.  His eyes darted around the living room as though expecting someone to be lurking in the shadows.  Nothing looked out of place.  Everything seemed to be where he left it.

“It is just a routine check in,” Tucker said. 

James moved to his kitchen and set the bag of food down onto the kitchen table.  Tonight was roast beef with horseradish sauce and a tomato basil soup.  He left the bag sitting there and turned his attention back to Tucker.

“So nothing is actually wrong?” James asked.

“No,” Tucker replied.  “I am just seeing how you are settling in.  Your entry into the program wasn’t as typical as usual.  Normally there is a schedule of check ins during your first six months and then we taper off contact as you start your new life.”

“So we are back to normal then?” James asked.

“Yup, just back to routine.”

“And the memorial post that seemed odd?”

“We are checking into it.  You need to let it go.  Don’t go on any memorial posts, even if you don’t comment.”  There was something serious in Tucker’s face.

“Something happened?” James asked. 

“There is a plan in motion.  You being considered dead and out of it is part of the plan so leave it alone.” Tucker looked at him.  “You have to let it go.”

James nodded.  “As part of the program, o because I would mess it up if I got involved?”

“Both,” Tucker said.  “Plus as long as everyone believes you are dead, no one else will be sent to kill you. Right now, everyone believes you are dead.”

“So no one will try to kill me.” James nodded.  “It makes sense.  Why try and kill someone already dead?”

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