The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 250

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 250: James thought that if the agent was going to call him back, he would do so on the other phone while James was at work.

James thought that if the agent was going to call him back, he would do so on the other phone while James was at work. “But maybe that just means there is no reason to use the clandestine phone,” he told himself as he pressed the button to answer. 

“Hello?” James said.

“James,” Morris said.  “This is Agent Morris.  I’m going to need you to come into the office as soon as possible.”

“Okay,” James replied.  “The actual office.  The one where you were shot?” he clarified.

“Yes,” Morris replied.  “Although I don’t intend to be shot again today.”  His voice was dry and James wondered if getting shot while in the office instead of on some high stakes mission was considered a faux pas by federal agents or if he just didn’t like being reminded of the injury.

“Okay, I am just leaving the Old Town District, I can come right in.”

“That will be fine.  “I will see you here shortly.” Morris hung up the phone and James pulled the phone away from his ear.  He stared at the screen as it flashed the call ended notice and went dark. Every suspicious bone in his body flared with the conversation, but James didn’t know what else to do other than to go into the office.

James put his key in the ignition and fastened his seatbelt.  While he told Morris about the behavior of Tucker and his paranoid fears, he never mentioned that Tucker was right and that he was sort of still in contact with Cassie and that he did know where she was.  The fact that Tucker was right was something he left out.  As James drove to the main office, he wondered if Morris found out he lied and if he was about to be asked to leave the program. 

He replayed Morris words in his head and with each pass through his brain they sounded more off balance and stilted.  Was Morris angry with him for holding back?  Was he angry about the James Monroe account?  Cassie?  Or was something else going on.

James parked in the parking garage and walked to the elevators. He decided that unless Morris proved directly that he knew James lied, then he would pretend ignorance.  He would claim to know nothing.   James took the elevator up to the appropriate floor and got out.  As he stepped into the outer office, James found himself more nervous than he expected.  To his surprise it wasn’t nerves about being caught out that were the cause of his anxiety, it was being back in the office where Carson died.  Where Morris was shot and where people came to kill him.

James always thought he’d be good around violence.  While he could admit that he did what needed doing when it needed to be done, he found it tainted this place.  When it was happening he was too focused on getting through to worry.  Now he saw evil lurking in all of the shadows.  For an instant he though he saw eyes flash out of the darkness, but they disappeared.  James blinked and looked away.

‘It’s just the afterhours fright,’ he told himself.  ‘All offices look spooky when they’ve been abandoned for the weekend.’


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