Welcome to the Fifteen Minute Novel. Each morning I spend fifteen minutes writing on a singular story line. Each morning starts with the last line of the previous day. The goal is to get a (very) rough draft out of the simple story idea and to avoid letting the story idea languish in limbo forever, actually writing it out. This is the third year I have done this writing experiment and each year I learn just a little bit about myself and the way I write as well as creating a framework for the story. But without further ado…
Day 100: Margaret went to check on the laundry.
Margaret went to check on the laundry. While she was doing that, Gwen tried to compact the garbage from the packaging. “There was a trash chute in the hallway, right?” Gwen said.
“There is,” Margaret replied. “I think that should fit.”
Gwen nodded and took the back out into the hallway. The chute wasn’t too far from the door and she walked over. The compressed packaging fit easily into the chute and Gwen dropped the bag down. She closed the door to the chute with a click and headed back to the apartment.
While they waited for dinner to arrive and George to come home, Gwen and Margaret found places for all of the items Margaret picked up to live. She suspected that when her grandfather made breakfast in the morning he would find several of them. She wondered what he would make of them
‘Maybe that the kitchen gadget fairy came in the night,’ she decided. They finished their tidying efforts just as the dinner arrived from the restaurant. Gwen took it to the table and began taking the containers out of the bag while Margaret retrieved plates and utensils. Soon after George arrived and they all settled down to eat.
As they ate, they exchanged stories of their day and how it progressed. As she talked and ate, Gwen realized it was far more of a companionable meal than she usually had at home. Most nights she ended up eating alone at the table or at her desk in her room. Often it was a simple meal she made rather than take out, but it felt less homey than this take out meal. More often than not recently her father was working late and skipping dinner and Sharron begged off eating with her as she had a headache.
Gwen shrugged it off. Even if she went home now it wouldn’t be the same. Sharron was gone and her father would probably still be working late. ‘So I guess in that sense it would still be the same,’ Gwen decided.
After dinner, Gwen helped clean up and then retreated to her own space, leaving her grandparents to settle for the evening. She got out the clothes she would wear running in the morning and made sure the water bottle was refilled and waiting. She settled herself on the bed with her lap top and decided that she would take her grandmother’s advice and put the upcoming classes into a schedule on her e-mail calendar. As she pulled it up, she noticed that there was an e-mail from Michael in her in box. She opened it and saw it had his phone number and a note to call her when her schedule was sorted.
Deciding her schedule was as sorted as it was going to be for the moment, she reached for her phone. She saw the three missed messages and decided to check them after she called Michael. She dialed his number and let it ring. He picked up on the second ring.
“Hello?” he said. He sounded hesitant and Gwen guessed he hadn’t put the number in his phone yet.
“Hey, Michael, it’s Gwen,” she said.
“Hey,” Michael said, sounding happier. “I didn’t think you’d get back to me so soon.”
“Well I think I have the big things on the schedule sorted. I still have some things my grandmother wants me to do to put on the calendar though.” Gwen smiled into the phone. It was nice to hear a friendly and familiar voice.