A Short Story

15 Minutes. That’s All You Get to Write.

I love writing challenges. But this one was intense.

Alex Bentley
3 min readMay 6, 2022


Photo via Unsplash.
Photo via Unsplash.

I have no idea how I got myself into the situation, but there I was. In a back alley, my legs were strapped to a metal chair.

In front of me was a small wood table, a typewriter, and a fresh ribbon of ink in the spool.

Oh, did I mention there was a man too?

I had no idea who he was. He just showed up one night and gave his name as Rick. Rick Lewis, that is.

So, good ol’ Rick was pointing a loaded gun at the back of my head. And he dug the pistol’s cool metal deep into my throbbing temple, twisting it every time my typing speed slowed to a crawl.

“Seriously, what do you want from me? Money? You name it, I’ll get it for you.” I tried to reason with him.

“No,” he said angrily. “I don’t need your stinking money.”

“Then what is it?” I asked.

“All I want are your unadulterated words. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Calm down, man.” Wrong thing to say.

That’s when he grabbed the back of my neck. Hard. Then pressed his strong fingers into my skin, drawing small red specks of blood.

I flinched under his pressure, thinking I’d die. In a dark alley with dim light.

“I want you to be free,” he finally said. “And you can’t write freely when your brain is stuck on stats, pleasing readers or chasing niches.”

“Dude, I’m trying. The words just aren’t flowing for me right now.”

“Shut up and write,” he said. “You’ll see the freedom you gain if you can just write for 15 minutes straight.”

“Okay, okay. I’ll do,” I said. “Can you please put the gun away?”

He lowered his pistol. His weight lifting from my neck.

Then, out of nowhere, a surge of inspiration hit me. It was like a thousand suns had shined their brilliant light on that dark alley.

The words started to flow. One after the other. Spontaneously.



Alex Bentley

I write about crypto, personal finance, business & tech. Also, I publish a bit of humor to make you laugh.