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The Tornado by Kathy Downs

The Tornado
Congratulations to this week’s Flash Fiction Saturday challenge winner, Kathy Downs. Here is her piece, The Tornado:


Where is your mother? The bar said she left already, but they probably lie for her. It’s ugly out, ugly out. Can’t believe we still have power.

I know, I know, Square Sponge, Square Sponge, I don’t understand, but it is on, you’re fine. Yes, I’ll get you some chocolate milk. What is that beeping noise?

Over and over and over, the same DVD. Blows my mind. I never even let your mother watch television, bad for you. Oh, there’s that beeping again.


Oh, thank you, sweetpea, my phone? I don’t understand this phone. Tommy bought it for me. Uncle Tommy. I miss him, I wish he’d visit again soon.

Yes, yes, yes, here’s your milk. And fruit chews? I can’t believe you’re so skinny. Where in the world is your mother? I have plans for tonight anyhow. It wasn’t ringing, though, I know that noise.

You’re looking at me like I’m stupid. You want to play games again on my phone? Then what? You know everything but only say milk, fruit chews, and square sponge.

Okay, okay, sponge bob whatever. There is goes again! Oh, look at that. Really? A message about a tornado? It just flashed at the top, I don’t do that texting stuff.

Here’s the fruit chews. You always want my phone. Take my phone, oh, wow, the sky is crazy. I haven’t seen a sky that crazy…what are you doing? Oh, it says us. Us? A tornado is near us? I’m supposed to believe a phone? Well, can’t they do any–

Oh, my God! Don’t look so scared. Honey? Honey? Sweetheart, Caleb, I mean Sara, come here, come here, square sponge isn’t going to work now, the lights are out, see? Come on, sweetie, I’m sorry if I hurt your arm, we have to go downstairs. I know, I know, don’t cry, don’t cry, I’ll turn all the lights on as soon as I can. Hurry, hurry.

It’s okay. Hey, you still have your fruit chews! Here, Sara, you’re such a smart girl, let’s find a pink one! We’ll taste them to see. Oh, Baby, oh, baby. Look, let’s say a prayer for Mommy!

God, please let my daughter be safe, please let Norah be safe, please let her be having a good time! We’re having a good time, aren’t we? Aw, you are so cute, I’ll hug you, sleepyhead. Lord, how can the child fall asleep now? Oh, oh, oh, it’s okay, it was just a big loud noise! I know, I know, it woke you up, but let’s go over to this corner, okay? You’re such a good girl. Oh, my God, I can see your mouth screaming but I can’t hear you.

Isn’t the quiet nice? No, no, we’ll sit here a minute longer. Sweet little girl, sweet little girl. I never told you about your great-uncle Caleb, did I? No, no, I didn’t. Aw, you’re so sweet to kiss me! Boo-boo? No, grandma’s fine, I’m fine, I’m fine, no boo boo.

I had a little brother once. Would you like a brother? You would. You’re so sweet. It’s allergies, it got dusty down here, didn’t it? Like a storm in north Texas… We left Texas. We left Texas after Caleb. My parents would’ve died if they’d been here today with us!

Well, of course, and they are dead, which is why you’ve never met them…but they would have loved you so much, Sara! As much as I love you, and Mommy loves you!

Oh, I loved Caleb.

That was bad, but not as loud as last time, was it? Look at us, we both need a bath! The phone is still beeping, I know, I know, and thank you, you’re such a smart girl!

We sure didn’t have phones like that when Caleb…just sirens, but it was too late, we were outside… He was right next to me, and then he was gone.

Oh, it was a long time ago, sweetie. In a little bit. We’ll go upstairs in a little bit. We’ll probably have to go and get you some more chocolate milk.

No boo boos! Just dirt! We’re fun girls, aren’t we? Square sponge? Oh, probably not for a while, Baby, probably not for a while.


Kathy Downs lives in Mesick, Michigan. She has been an active member of 40 Day Writers Facebook group for 8 months. You can connect with Kathy on Twitter: @KathyDowns50

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