It seemed time to expand on my Amazon page and publish a new work that could accompany my debut novel, After The Sucker Punch. While currently working on a new novel, as well as a collection of essays in book form, it was my short story, “She Tumbled Down,” that jumped out as the next logical choice.
This particular narrative was inspired by a dramatic hit-and-run that occurred in my neighborhood several years ago that shook our small beach community and currently remains unsolved. My husband and I walk by the street memorial put up by the victim’s grief-stricken friends, one that is meticulously maintained to this day and is depicted in the cover photo above, and we invariably look at each other and ask, “Who could do such a thing… hit a person then drive away?” Sadly, hit-and-runs make up approximately 10% of all vehicle accidents in the United States and have become an epidemic in the city of Los Angeles. The tragedy of the act is only multiplied by statistics that indicate as few as one-out-of-five are ever solved.
“She Tumbled Down” is my imagining of one painful answer to that unanswerable question my husband and I so often ponder. It is not the story of the woman who died on the street corner we walk by, but it is written in her honor and that of other hit-and-run victims whose heartless deaths will never find justice.
The synopsis follows; I hope you’ll download a copy and be moved by the read… and certainly share any thoughts on the Amazon page, social media, or directly to my email address. I always appreciate hearing back from readers!
New Year’s Eve night. It’s late, well past the midnight hour. A woman looking for respite from noise, champagne, and tensions with her boyfriend steps out to clear her head. She calls out that she’ll be back shortly and heads down the quiet neighborhood street… and never comes back.
A man with too much to drink and too fast a car roars by on that same darkened street and, in a flash of motion and impact, is stunned to see the face of a startled woman smash into his windshield. When the car stops, he shakes in silence, waiting for… something.
But no one approaches, no cars go by; no inquiring lights flicker on. The noise of distant parties continues uninterrupted, as if this surreal event hadn’t just happened. He peers out the shattered glass but sees no stirring in the darkness; he cannot even see her in the gully below. And in a moment of irrational fear and panic, he makes the unfathomable decision to drive away and never look back.
“She Tumbled Down,” a short story, follows the ripple effects of this tragic hit-and-run, attempting to answer that unanswerable question, “Who could do such a thing?” From that first fateful moment through the months and years that follow, the narrative weaves through the lives of seemingly disparate characters, threading the initial event into another story, a love story, that ultimately links to the tragedy in unexpected ways.
She Tumbled Down is available in e-book format. Thank you for reading!
Visit www.lorrainedevonwilke.com for details and links to LDW’s books, music, photography, and articles.