Example of a Novella: Two Lists

Every day starts the same way: he looks in the mirror and sees the reflection of his wrinkled face. His name is Sam. He is 65 years old. His smile has lost sincerity and always seems forced. His life has become so stable that it even isn’t worth living. After a painful divorce, his company totally consumed his mind and heart. Twenty years have passed unnoticed, filled with endless paperwork and business meetings. However, his efforts were awarded. He has given way to his young and ambitious assistant and doesn’t even need to show up for work more than once a week. Still, he has enough money to forget worries about expenses.

Despite his wealth, he would be happy to give all his money for at least ten percent of the enthusiasm that he once had. Now, he should decide what to do today. Play chess with his boring neighbor? Read a dense book about one hundred great philosophers? These pitiful options make him feel even older than usual.

He desperately needs something new. Perhaps he should make a bucket list, like in the movie starring Morgan Freeman. Anyway, it’s much better than self-pity.

It was time to think. He always wanted to have a dog. A big black Labrador named Hector. They could play with a ball and enjoy the hatred of cats together. He would feed him with the best dog food and let him sleep on his bed. Anyway, that’s stupid. The dog will outlive him, and who would take care of his poor Hector then?

What’s next? He has always wanted to teach his grandchild Alex to ride a bike. But there is one big problem: he hasn’t seen his daughter and all her family for five years now. They just don’t have enough time for a boring, bumbling old man.

Maybe, he should at least write a book about his successful business. How much time will it take? Two, three years? What if he doesn’t finish his memoir? He hates incomplete business.

These plans are impossible for such an old man! He glanced at his reflection again. He doesn’t seem as old as before. Now, he knows what he is going to do. He should make another list: something like “Things to Do Before I Kick the Bucket.” And he will do everything, because he hates leaving business incomplete.