The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 224

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 224: He prayed that he wouldn’t dream.

He prayed that he wouldn’t dream. Oddly, his dreams were mostly organizational ones.  In his mind he kept hearing his secretary’s voice reminding him that he needed to give the meeting dates to her so she could be certain of check in and check out times at the hotel. For some reason she kept asking if he packed his SCUBA gear.

“I don’t swim,” he told her shortly before waking up.

As he woke up the dream faded.  “And I do swim,” he reminded himself.  “I just didn’t then, and I’ve never gone Scuba diving.”  It was always something he wanted to do, but any tropical vacations tended to be planned by others and the few vacations he joined in he merely followed the set itinerary.

“Maybe I could learn to scuba dive.”

It was a pleasant thought as he slid out of bed and padded to the bathroom.  The pleasantness of it was interrupted by the reminder of checkout times.

‘I gave the rental company some really loose information,’ James thought.  He washed his hands and went back to the bedroom.  ‘But I don’t know if she is even going to go.’

Since he got up early, James reached for his laptop before getting dressed.  He logged in and navigated to the James Monroe e-mail.  ‘I’ll just tell them that it’s open ended and that they should let me know when the first scheduled renter for the upcoming season is supposed to book in so I can make sure she is gone by then.’

As he started to formulate the e-mail in his head, he noticed that there was a new e-mail waiting. It was from the manager of the rental company.  With some trepidation, he clicked on it.  The e-mail was short, but heavy with things unsaid.  Cassie arrived and the agent, along with pretty much everyone at the company seemed to pick up on the fact that she wasn’t exactly there for a routine vacation.

James thought about the dramatics of the past.  ‘She might have toned them down but they are clearly not completely gone.’  He read through the comments.  They were very carefully constructed sentences that basically amounted to a polite way of asking if trouble was about to descend on the town.

James sighed.  This was more than a checkout time request.  He took a deep breath and began to type.  His fingers were halting and he had to back track a few times to change his wording, but in the end he came up with an e-mail that he thought would put everyone at ease and not contradict anything that Cassie might have said.

‘I am sorry for the abruptness and the lack of information.  Cassie is an old friend of the family. As I was not the one closest to her, I was asked to find a place where she could go to think in solitude.  I believe there were issues with an ex-husband, but I do not know the details. If you think there are any issues please let me know immediately.  If trouble arises, do not hesitate to call the police.  I do not think her ex-husband will follow her, but it would be better to lean into caution. Please let me know if this becomes too problematic and I will help her find someplace else to stay.’

James sat back and read over his e-mail.

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