The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 208

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 208: They were out of breath but seemed to be doing a bit better than both he and Terry.

They were out of breath but seemed to be doing a bit better than both he and Terry. “Not them,” Terry corrected.  He tilted his head in the other direction.  James looked over while still maintaining his cool down walk.  The high-tech couple didn’t look so great.  They were still plastered in logos and their gear was still top notch but they hadn’t listened to Gary when he said to start easy.  The woman of the pair had someone looking at her leg while the man was busy throwing up in a bucket.

“That makes me feel a little bit better about my pace,” James said.  He saw the shoulders of the woman in front of him shake with laughter and she turned to look at him over her shoulder. 

“Me too,” she said.

The four of them kept up their pace until Gary blew his whistle to signal that they stop.  He led the four of them away from the track to a side area and led them through the same stretches that he used to warm them up.  As they stretched he checked in with each of them in turn to make sure that all was well.

“Same time tomorrow in the lobby,” Gary told them as they were released from their first training session. All four of them trundled off to the shower.  There was no sign of the high-tech couple.  Their group of four split into two as the ladies went off to the ladies locker room and he and Terry went off to the gents.  James had only packed his running gear, not clothes other than his work ones and certainly not shower gear.  As Terry headed off to the showers, James gathered his things and left.

His stomach rumbled a little louder than usual due to both the later time and the extra exercise.  James decided this was reason enough to let himself out of cooking duty and went through a fast food drive through on the way home.

The next morning he went to the gym for his swim and found Gary sitting at the desk, once again in his half asleep mode.  He woke up slightly when James arrived.

“Morning Mr. Ferris,” he said.


“I just wanted to let you know, we have two new openings in our training group if you know anyone who wants to sign up.”

James smiled.  “I guess the high tech couple aren’t coming back?”

Gary chuckled.  “High tech couple.  No they aren’t, although I wouldn’t call them a couple.  I mean they technically are but they think no one knows it.”  Gary shook his head.  “No they won’t be back to the group. So we have the openings if you know anyone.”

“I’ll ask at work,” James said. 

“Cool,” Gary replied.  James signed in and went off for his morning laps.  As he swam he wondered if the couple was having some sort of illicit affair.  ‘Can’t be that steamy an affair if they joined us for marathon training.’

James could see claiming to go for marathon training when sneaking out, but not actually attending the training sessions as part of an affair. It seemed a little strange. James completed his laps, dried off and changed back into his street clothes before leaving.  He signed out again and went off to start his day. 

As promised, when lunch time rolled around he mentioned the open slots in the training group.  He also relayed the story of why there were now two open spots.

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