Post-apocalyptic Bra Shopping? An Interview with Peggy Chambers

"Bra Wars" a story by Peggy ChambersI believe that all women share two common traits: 1) we allow ourselves occasional contradictions–keeps life interesting–and 2) we hate bra shopping.  Of course, most of us don’t have to face mutant monsters along the way, unless you count our fellow shoppers.  Peggy Chambers has written a darkly ridiculous short story, “The Apocalypse Sucks: Bra Wars,” about two not-quite-friends who manage to survive the apocalypse and avoid the monsters now inhabiting the Earth until….

Well, until they need a new bra.

 To get started, why don’t you give the readers your pitch on “Bra Wars.”

Bra Wars is a great little story built on the wants and needs of all people.  I love science fiction and I’m a big Steven King fan.  But I also have a sense of humor. That mix has given me an unusual outlook on life.  Bra Wars is an upbeat story about friendship after the death of most of the people on the planet – and the story of the new ones that are left. A good friend helps you move – a best friend helps you move heaven and earth to find just the right bra.

Did you consciously write a story about friendship?

Sandra and Molly bounce off each other well – they are a good mix even though complete opposites.  I’m not sure the writing of a story about friendship was a conscious act when I started the story.  But, as a wife, mother and grandmother I love my family, while I cherish my female friendships.  I know how women talk to each other, and how they would die for each other even as they pick each other to death. The one thing all women have in common is a need of support – from their friends or from their bras.

In “Bra Wars,” a virus has killed almost everyone, yet there are no dead bodies. Can you share how you avoided what could have been a rather gruesome scene?

I really didn’t want to deal with the horror of decomposing bodies.  It would have given a different turn to the story.  My virus turns bodies into dust.  It provides a full-service death and then a cremation.  At least it is easy to clean up after.  Women like that.

How in the world did you come up with the idea of having to buy a new bra–post apocalypse?

Like most women, I hate buying bras.  I gain weight, I lose weight, I change sizes.  I think that even at the end of the world, we still have to go buy a damn bra.  So, if you have to fight creatures in an abandoned mall to get to the bras – so much the better!

What do you see as the most important take-away from “Bra Wars”?

People’s needs don’t change, even at the end of the world. We still have friendships. We still have needs. But, be careful of bat creatures hanging on the outside of your windows at night!