The Car that Jumped the Creek

My mother lives in an enviable neighborhood, one of those places where everyone not only knows each other, but likes each other, the houses are well-kept, and the backyards… well, the backyards look like they come straight out of a garden magazine.

This is in part because the backyards along this particular street are a flood plain for a tiny creek that usually only runs for a couple weeks out of the year. This year, with all the rainfall, it has been flowing for three months. Everyone on the street listens to stories out of places like Cedar Rapids and is happy to have obeyed the zoning laws. The result of the flood plain is that there are no fences between the yards to muck up the view. It looks like one long, lovely, green park.

This morning, my mother’s down-the-way neighbor Carol called at about 7:30 and woke her up.

“You’re missing all the excitement. I couldn’t let you sleep through it. Come see.”

This is how the story goes, according to Carol, according to my mother (forgive me, Carol):

A white car apparently came down the street behind the creek (which runs perpendicular to said creek) and just kept going. The noise, presumably made upon connecting with the tree on the far side of the creek, and then the bank on our side of the creek, alerted Carol and her husband, who got out in time to see the car driving merrily down the backyard-park. The woman behind the wheel (I don’t quite dare say “driving”) rolled the car through a garden and a couple of lawns before parking, getting out of the vehicle, and walking away.

The police car here is sitting at the end of the dead-end street where the car started. The creek is the scratch cutting the photo in half, horizontally. It is about 4-5 feet wide, and currently full of about a foot of running water.

Through the neighbor’s garden, into another neighbor’s lawn…

And finally the bird comes to a landing. What? I don’t see a “no parking” sign here, do you?

“Are you all right?” Carol’s husband yells after the retreating woman.

“Yep, I’m fine,” she replies without looking back. She keeps walking. The car is just sitting there in the yard, unlocked, windows down, looking like it was placed by aliens, maybe. It definitely doesn’t fit the neighborhood’s sense of appropriate lawn decor.

So the police are called, and arrive shortly. They track down the name of the person who owns the vehicle, but lo! she cannot be found.

I am anxiously awaiting an update, though I’m not sure whether I’ll get one. I imagine the tow-truck might come, and that’ll probably be that. Maybe I should send my story to Unsolved Mysteries?


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