Everyone’s Dead – an ISG Writing Exercise

These three words were chosen:

  • Radio
  • Shotgun
  • Steinway

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!



“Why are we in here again?” Sheila whisper-shouted at Randy as they raced back through what had once been the sales area to duck behind a counter. “This was a bad plan!”

“I told you!” Randy whisper-shouted back as they hid, still hearing the inevitable shuffle of pursuit coming behind them. “We need a radio!”

She glared at him. “For what? You want to listen to some music? They would hear it and come running,” she argued, sliding her head around the side to see if anything had breached the front doors yet.

“Not that kind of radio,” he growled, “a radio to talk to people.” He was rifling through their backpack now, clearly searching for something to use as a weapon.

“You don’t even know if there are any people out there,” she grunted in response, turning to scan underneath the counter. “Everyone’s dead.”

“What are you doing?” he squealed as the sounds of entry made their way passed the door and into the room and she continued to shuffle things around in the cubbies.

“I’m looking for a shotgun!” she told him. “This place must have had something in case it got robbed!”
Randy stopped his rifling to stare at her. “Rob them? This place sells pianos. You think people pay in cash for that? Just hand someone $15,000 in a stack?”
“Well, someone could steal something!”

“How? You think  you’re running out of here with a Steinway on your back?”

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Something was amiss in the garden, there was a young boy with a shotgun, listening to the radio. He had a shirt that said “Steinway” with a picture of a piano. He was pulling up weeds and tending to the garden as though it were his own. The cat watched fearfully from her distant perch on the garden wall. He sang along to whatever song was being played on his radio. Every now and then he would look up fearfully, as though someone was watching him. A clattering sound in a nearby house caused the boy to bolt from his task and hide behind the patio furniture, gun drawn and ready.


The soft strains of a radio could barely be heard down the long hallway. Amelee walked slowly yet purposely toward it. Her heart skipping a beat before returning to normal was the only sign of her apprehension.

Just before she rounded the corner, the radio sound vanished and a soft song started to play in the unmistakable sound of a Steinway. Amelee entered the room with her shotgun raised.

The woman sat on the bench, her wrinkled fingers moving over the keys like magic. The gray hair piled on her head was unkempt though her clothing was immaculate and matched the time period from whence the woman was born.

“You’re early, dear,” the woman said.

Amelee pulled the trigger.

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“Something tells me you’ll be fine,” Ginger said dryly.

There was a loud bang and both cats whirled, ears flattened and hissed at the sounds.  Ginger recovered first and bounded through the garden. Lily wasn’t far behind her, and soon they were joined by several other cats.  In a smooth flow of feline intention, they came upon a rather shocking sight.  A human boy was sitting on a porch, a shotgun across his lap, drinking from a jug. Even from across the yard Ginger could smell the fire water the child was imbibing.  She hissed low to her compatriots, warning them of the potential danger.  A radio sat on a table and was playing what sounded like piano music.  Ginger tilted her head. The boy was moving back and forth in time to the sounds, then abruptly stopped.  He lifted the gun and fired at the bushes opposite Ginger and her pack.

“You won’t get my grandma’s Steinway you beast!” he shouted. A loud growl was the only response.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise

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