Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Roommate - Lucinda Gunnin

Author: Lucinda Gunnin
Date: 2010
Setting: Southern Illinois, the city of Carbondale, in the present
Availability: in the anthology Consequences

Story: Tina Black has come to hate everything about the man who is staying in her home. Bob was a friend, an Army veteran, who needed a temporary place to stay. Now, more than a year later, he won’t leave. Tina’s husband, Doug, is too polite to ask him to find a place of his own, and she can’t bring herself to do anything about the situation, either. Bob is so selfish and annoying that Tina has begun to contemplate killing Bob.

Their city, Carbondale in southern Illinois, has been fortuitously spared from tornado strikes throughout history. But on this sultry summer day their deaf cat begins to act strangely and seems to be trying to make Tina follow him into the basement. Just in the nick of time, Tina realizes that a funnel cloud is bearing down on the neighborhood. She and the cat huddle under the basement stairs as the house above them is ripped to shreds.

But, Bob was asleep in an upstairs bedroom. What has happened to him?

Commentary: The Roommate takes a look at the literary phenomenon known as a pathetic fallacy, where the weather is a mirror for the mood of the story or protagonist. But, it is more than that, as Tina struggles with the guilt of her many hours spent wishing that Bob were dead. After the storm, although she is injured and in shock, she is constantly plagued by the guilt she feels over not warning Bob to get into the basement. Is his fate somehow her fault?

Author info: Lucinda Gunnin (see has been published in several magazines under her maiden name of Lucinda Morgan, and writes for the Heartland Women Newspaper. She has had stories published in books from Twin Trinity Media, and won the Fall 2008 Writers Weekly 24-hour short story contest.

Consequences is available as a paperback, or in ebook format.

Unusual Words:
misogynistic- the characteristic of hating women

Language skills 5
Depth of meaning 6

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell me what you think! Feedback is the lifeblood of blogs.