Excerpt from: “Thump Bump and Dump” by Wrona Gall
Photo found in the Public Domain
LA embodied a trend-setting dynamic that challenged people to do more, be more, experience everything. This vibe inspired him to reinvent himself, to overcome his melancholy by rescuing an actual victim. Not some wimp like Francine who threw a bottle of pills down her throat.
Local scavengers would have boosted his rental van by now. The thieves were probably barreling down the 101, oblivious to the bloody cargo area. An abandoned house loomed in front of him. The rotted porch, a strong wind away from collapse, creaked under his footsteps. He ducked under the sagging doorframe. Testing the floor with each step kept him from crashing through the wood. After scrubbing every inch of exposed skin with antiseptic, he tossed his wig, moustache and costume onto a pile of garbage.
He smoothed the wrinkles out of his second layer of clothes, a Lakers T-shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops and dug a candle out of his pocket. He lit the wick and wedged it into his trashed belongings. In a few minutes, Howard Green would be incinerated. He’d again be Stuart Evans, LA cool guy.
Walking toward a glow of neon lights, he texted an Uber to take him to The Grove. This atonement stuff really made him hungry. He craved a juicy cheeseburger oozing bloody grease.
The Rochelle Staab Questions asked of Wrona
We moved from Chicago to Ojai a year ago, so I haven’t experienced weird yet. So far, my impressions are great weather and wonderful people.
Do you have a yet-to-be realized L.A. dream?
Seeing my daughter Vanessa on the red carpet.
Why write short stories? Why write at all? What’s in it for you?
I write to create the endings I want to be on the news.
What is the biggest challenge in writing to theme?
Staying on track. I tend to wander.
Are the characters in your story based on you or people you know/met?
My characters are collages of people I know.
Los Angeles is a patchwork quilt of different neighborhoods. Why did you pick the area you used for your story, and how did the neighborhood influence your writing?
I found an LA neighborhood that resembled our inner city Chicago neighborhood of twenty years where street people, artists, and rich collectors mingled and enjoyed each other while gentrification changed the buildings, but not the rich diversity.
What came first, the character or the plot?
While you’re writing: music (what kind?), dead silence, or…?
I play old black and white mysteries that function as white noise.Favorite writing quote—yours or from someone else…
Enjoy what you write.
Your writing ritual begins with…
Diet Pepsi and a chocolate chip cookie
About Wrona Gall
Wrona Gall moved from Chicago to Ojai with husband, Jim, daughter, Vanessa and rescue Westie, Zoe, in 2016. “Thump, Bump, and Dump” is her second published short story. She is currently writing Resolve, her second novella about Deckle Ahern who is diagnosed low-spectrum autistic and transforms his life from visual artist to Samurai Avenger when his mentor is murdered. Wrona divides her time between writing and sculpture.