15 Minute Prompt


Wrote this (beginning of a) story in 15 minutes for an okc girl whose profile dared me to. It required very little post-15-minute editing. This is proof that I am (a) awesome and (b) wasting my writing time on “projects” such as this.


So once there was a man named Rita. He’d been named Rita by a big fan of that A Boy Named Sue song that Johnny Cash sings. (Did you know that Shel Silverstein wrote that song? Neither did I!) Only, Rita wasn’t affected by it none. It didn’t toughen him up on account of he was kind of oblivious to the taunts that came his way. He achieved this sort of blindness to the opinions of others through a combination of meditation and having a very distracting doorway to another world in the back of his closet.

Rita found the doorway when he was 7. Actually, he was never sure if he’d seen it even younger, in the way that you’re never quite sure if the monsters you saw when you were 5 were real or not. But by the time he was 7, he was old enough to be pretty objectively sure that what occasionally appeared in his closet was a real honest to godliness interdimensional portal. He first tested it in an objectively sure way by flinging his least favorite textbook through. And then jumping under the covers of his bed. Just to be on the safe side.

He stayed under there with a lighter ready to be lit for long seconds before peeking out again. In later years, he wondered what he’d hoped to do with the lighter if, say, alien robot monkey warriors had emerged from the wormhole. It was his dad’s lighter, and he supposed that must have been calming to him. Even though his dad was sometimes not so nice to him.

Regardless of the lighter’s potential efficacy as a ward against metal-plated insurrectionist simians from other worlds, it was unneeded in this case. As soon as Rita peeked out again, about 35 seconds after he’d thrown the textbook through, something emerged from the portal. It slid across the floor, spinning, and thumped into his bed. It wasn’t until after he put out the fire on his blanket (thanks in no small part to some flat Pepsi in a cup near his bookshelf) that he had time to look and see that the something was, in fact, the textbook again. With, he soon found, all of the reading comprehension questions answered. In essay form.

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