KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 5: Spring 2016
Micro-fiction: 258 words

An Ordinary Day

by Jonathan Cardew

Levi was out chopping wood, the twins were down by the river, and I was inside with Ma, baking.

Ma had some advice: “When you see him, run.”

“Run where?” I asked her.

She stopped folding egg into flour. “Look at me.”

I looked at her.

“No, I mean it! You look at me. Right here!” She pushed her fingers almost into her eyes.

“I’m looking,” I said.

“It doesn’t matter where you run, you just run. Okay?”


“You run and you keep going. Find a route that’s quickest. A route without obstacles.”

Levi had told me that a devil was someone who smiled one minute but had a fist for you the next. He also told me how our father used to pitch a ball. He used to do it hard.

“What did he look like?” I asked him, out by the woods.

Levi grinned. “You.”

“Are you going to run?”

He fiddled with the ax handle, scanning the tree line. “No, I’m not. I’m not going to run.”

I stayed with Levi for the rest of the afternoon, lining up logs for him to strike with the ax, gathering the splintered pieces into a pile. Ma didn’t want me to be outside, but she was sleeping now, like she always was. Each time the ax came down, I watched the trees, expecting a figure to come out of them. The day was slow: just leaves moving in the wind and birds drawing patterns in the sky.

I could feel it about to happen.

Jonathan Cardew
Issue 5, Spring 2016

is a writer and editor based in Milwaukee. His short (and very short) stories appear in Atticus Review, Blink Ink, Flash Frontier, and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, among others. He teaches writing at Milwaukee Area Technical College, where he co-edits The Phoenix Magazine. He is from a city in the north of England, known for its knives.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Jonathan Cardew’s Shorts and Short Shorts: Stories etc.

Ordinary Mythopoeia: An Interview with Jonathan Cardew by Georgia Bellas in Atticus Review (28 May 2015)

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