gail schimmel

The blog of writer Gail Schimmel: A bit of writing, a bit of parenting, a bit of thinking and some book reviews

The Disaster

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I wrote the following as a Writers’ group exercise, and I found it very funny. During the previous exercises that day, I had invented a character called Granny Mu, a querulous Chinese Granny. In the exercise that follows, we were told to write about the aftermath of a disaster. I think we might have been told to start with the sentence “I was the only survivor”. I hadn’t meant to reintroduce Granny Mu, nor to write a comic piece, but she was very insistent. It was a full page of writing in my notebook, but is just a tiny story here!

The Disaster
I was the only survivor.
I was in my bedroom when the shooting started, and, unlike the others, I didn’t go running out. I stayed, closed my journal, and hid it under the mattress. Only then did I leave my room. I’ll always wonder if I could have saved the others if I had been less obsessed with my own privacy. But Granny Mu says that I wouldn’t have been able to, and that now I’d be dead too. “Just another hungry spirit,” she says, like my mother and father, and my two brothers, all shot by the psychotic pizza delivery man.
“You should have ordered Chinese,” says Granny Mu, often.

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