We recently published Kathryn Kulpa’s stunning “Little Runaway.”
Here, we ask her two questions about her story:
1) I love the imagery and detail here, especially “dinosaur footprints of bass.” That is such a perfect description of that pounding bassline some drivers insist on! How did you come up with such a brilliant line?
I’m not sure! The story was written very quickly, in one uninterrupted burst, and I could hear that BOOM, BOOM in my head as I wrote it. When I was a little kid—like preschool and kindergarten—I was OBSESSED with dinosaurs. Dinosaur books were all I would read, and the term “Thunder Lizard” stayed with me. That scene in Jurassic Park with the impact tremors from the approaching T-Rex also made a deep impression. So, all these dino images, just hanging out in my head waiting for the right moment.
2) The little hints of what the character is leaving, the little hints of where she is going — it’s all so powerful. So, do you think she is going to get on the right bus? Which is to say, do you think (hope) things will be okay?
Yes, I think she will ultimately get on the right bus, in all the many meanings that bus carries. Unlike some of my characters, who are running away from danger, this protagonist is, on one level, throwing herself into danger. She wants to be the film noir heroine, the girl on the run. She’s rejecting safety, because safety feels like stagnation to her, but she also has an innate sense of self-preservation that tells her to fade into the background when the predators stomp by. She’s on the edge—fingernails digging into that soft windowsill—but she’s hanging on, not letting go.