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Short Story Writing Example - excerpts

The Autobiography of a Hood Ornament - Part Two



Where’s the fringe? 


I’m dying and I gotta know where the fringe is. 

It’s critical I exit the machine before I die.                                                            

So I can live.


You see,


“I’ve gone to look for myself.                                                                                         

Should I return before I get back,                                                                                     keep me here!”


Pretend you’re Joe Montana. And some reporter is asking you,


“Joe, you just won the SUPER BOWL. Whatcha gonna do now?


“I‘m goin’ to Disneyworld!” Joe replies.


So, I’m Joe.

I’ve won the Super Bowl,

AND, I’ve been to Disneyland.


I’ve also been with the most beautiful woman on the planet.

Every day for 30 years!


Now what am I gonna do?


I leave the ANT HILL.







just what is a hood ornament, other than the obvious?

And, how, or why, would it have an ‘Autobiography’?


Well, it's decoration, definitely superfluous,                                                                  

and not necessary for the running of the machine.


The hood ornament can be sleek and shiny. Symbolic.

Or simply a little nubbin. Maybe a little knob.


It can also be nonexistent.


The same as a human beings’ life – from the rich and famous.                                  

To the ‘average Joe’ the world is oblivious to.


The main thing to remember is –

NO hood ornament is essential to the running of the machine.                                 


That's my opinion. One can disagree. One may not like it. And I suppose one can even ignore it. That's all right. It's your prerogative, 'cause it's just my opinion.

Humble and worthless.


You see, it's my philosophy, my opinion, that MOST opinions are pretty much worthless.     

They have no value.


If they have substance, e.g.,

if the opinion gave me the means to pay my bills,


the opinion had the power to get me laid,

then, that opinion would have value to me, it would be worth something.


Otherwise, opinions are like a tree falling in the forest and no one's around to hear it. Not only, “does it make a sound or not?”, but, “Is it really of any consequence to anybody whether or not it makes a sound?”


Not to me it's not.


It's also my opinion that too many hood ornaments have too many opinions.


Can't you just see one hood ornament telling the wheels of another machine,

“You should turn sharper.

You should break quicker, better.”


How ‘bout a hood ornament telling another machine,

“I don't like your body style.

Your muffler’s too loud.

You're hogging the road.”


And so on and so on.


That's why all the horns start honkin’. And everybody’s honking.

And life becomes loud and raucous. It can even get ugly. All the way to war.

(But that’s an opinion discussion for another time.)


That’s the “what?”.


The “why” is,

every Hood Ornament has a road it’s traveled.

Long, short, hard, easy, exciting, boring, etc. .


The various ‘Roads’ a Hood Ornament travel run the gamut.


And they have a story to tell.




The Very, Very Beginning


“So, what happened?”


“Well son, I’ll tell ya” …

but Dad paused just then. His eyes drifted off somewhere.

Inside his memory bank. I think.




“Dad! What happened to Grandma and Grandpa?” Sean asked.


Dad’s eyes snapped back.


“Well” …

a deep breath and another small pause,


“… let’s make a sandwich first. I’m hungry. You?”

“Well, sorta. But, I wanna hear the story.”

“You will. I’ll tell ya.

“Gimme a minute.”

“Let’s wait for the next bus.”








The Man Who Believed the Walls Were Closing In On Him


“Do you know what it means to believe in something?” Stirling asked his son.




“No, … I mean, really believe in something.?”


“Yeah. I think so. What are you gettin’ at?”


“How about believing in something that’s not real?”

“Like the Easter Bunny. Or Santa Claus?”


“Well, I don’t believe in either of them.”


“Yeah. But, suppose somebody did?”


“I’d have to say I think they’re not all there. In the head.”


“I agree.


“Now extend that.

To someone who thinks there’s an imaginary person with them.

They believe so much they ‘talk to them’.”


“That’d be really weird.”


“Another example.

How about a man who believed the walls of his room were closing in on him.

The room got smaller and smaller, little by little, every day.”


“He would not acknowledge anything or anyone beyond where he believed his walls to be. Nothing existed outside his walls.”


“That’s pretty weird alright.

But, where ya goin’ with this?”


“Right here.!”


“This man believed the walls of his room were closing in on him. So much so, that a very phenomenal thing happened. Something that shows how powerful the mind can be.”




“Well, the doctors decided to try and break this guy’s belief about his walls with an experiment. They decided to physically move him beyond his imaginary walls.”


“They put a man on each side of him. Each attendant took hold of the sick man’s arms. Under his armpits. And then decided to physically move him past his imaginary boundaries. Carry him slightly if they had to.”


“What did the doctors expect to happen?”


“They didn’t know. What did happen is extraordinary.”


“What do you mean? What happened?”


“Well. As they moved him toward where he believed his wall to be,

the moment he got to the boundary in his mind, he jerked and got really stiff.    

His motion actually stopped the attendants momentarily.”


“Of course they were able to move him past his wall. T

here was nothing really there.

In reality.”


“But to him, in his mind, they had just slammed him up against his ‘wall’.           

His mind told him they were trying to force him ‘through a wall’.”


“That’s pretty weird.”


“That’s not the weirdest part.”






“The weird part is,

the next day the man had real, physical bruises on his body where his mind told him those parts had been slammed up against a real, solid, physical wall.”


“His mind bruised his body.” 


“No way!”


“ ’fraid so.”


“And this is a true story.”







“That’s unbelievable.”


“Shows the mind can create something. And believe it to be true.







“Okay, dad.

How’s this all come together?” asked Sean.


“Well, dad was really calm one night. Strangely so.

Peaceful. But, still with an eerie aloofness.”


“I asked him casually, but, seriously, ‘What’s up dad?’ “


“He said, ‘Let me talk to you philosophically. Man to man.’ ”


“We sat by the fireplace. And talked heavy-duty stuff.”


“Dad talked. I listened.”


. . .




. . .


“My dad stopped there.”


“I’m tired.”


“We’ll pick this up another time.

Thanks for listening son.


“No worries, dad.”


G’nite. I LUVYA.”


“Nite, dad. LUVYA2”


We shared a nice, loving embrace.



THE END . . .  


but ,

to be continued . . .

just beyond the fringe.

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