Chapter 1: I sit in a small, cold cell, facing the door. I feel paralyzed and alone. I do not know where I am or why I am here so I am afraid. I don’t know what is on the other side of the door so I fear it too.

Chapter 2: I sit in a small, cold cell facing the door. I want to get out but I don’t know how. I ask God for help and suddenly a large metal key appears in front of me.

Chapter 3: I sit in a small, cold cell facing the door. I see the key but fear that it will not work. Instead of trying it, I search all around to my left and my right for another key but I do not find one.

Chapter 4: I sit in a small, cold cell facing the door. I finally decide to try the key in front of me in the lock. When I get up and insert the key in the keyhole, the door swings easily open before I turn it—I realize the door was never locked.

Chapter 5: I step out of the small, cold cell and turn around to close the door behind me. As I do, I see that the cell only has three sides rather than four—I realize there was never a wall behind me.

Chapter 6: As I walk away from the cell, I turn around to look at it one last time. But, it has disappeared—I realize it never actually existed in the first place.


Credit to Portia Nelson for this format. In 1993, she wrote her “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters”, which you can read here.

I needed six chapters to complete mine—I’m more verbose.