Group Effort by Spriggan Radfae

the word gold written on paper
 

I like games. I like cooperative, team-building games in particular. Here is a game called Midnight Adventure that I played in competition with several teams: A group of five people (my team) worked together to carry a heavy railroad tie through midnight darkness and complete one circuit around a large building. Along the way, we listened in the dark for audible cues from non-participants and took instructions from them. Those people awarded us tokens, and my team required a certain number of tokens to finish the game. Also, team members were not allowed to talk … Continue reading Group Effort by Spriggan Radfae

Imaginings by Kateryna Bortsova

painting of busy street
 

  Images come in my imagination, either imposed by impressions from the movies, music or theater or by simple communication with another person. Some think my works are based on literature, but this is not so. The image of a potential picture will not leave my imagination until it is depicted on canvas or paper, an oil or acrylic painting. First, I inwardly develop all the details. Sometimes I start a small sketch, but the more detailed image is developed in my mind, the less time and effort I need for its implementation.                The … Continue reading Imaginings by Kateryna Bortsova

The Semicolon, Another Grammar Guidepost by Erika Raskin

Shadow of person on bicycle
 

A while ago I went with one of my nieces to get matching semicolon tattoos. This was remarkable for a variety of reasons: 1. I was 56. 2. Years before, when my eldest daughter came home from college sporting her first permanent ink, I may not have reacted well. 3. Trends in general have always bugged me. A lot. Our landfills are filled with them. So are our photo albums. 4. In terms of the grammar symbol itself, I never really got semicolons. Half comma, half period—what is that about? (Kurt Vonnegut rudely referred to … Continue reading The Semicolon, Another Grammar Guidepost by Erika Raskin

How to Grow Wild by Kathy Davis

photo of Fleabane flower
 

How to Grow Wild   Vision failing, she feels the leaves looking for butterfly weed, a seedling from her greenhouse for me to take, add to my efforts to flower a field. Cup plant, sweet goldenrod. Stratify the seeds six weeks then scratch them in—instructions on the packets she presses in my hands, stressing the importance of natives. On this street of manicured lawns, her home, its yard not mown, could be mistaken for abandoned. Fleabane, milkweed. But no monarchs this summer so far—a hint of loss that worries her. “Invasive,” she says about the … Continue reading How to Grow Wild by Kathy Davis

A Grammar Rule to Live By by Erika Raskin

Plane trail in the sky
 

“Period. New Paragraph,” the mother of a good friend of mine used to announce when changing subjects—sometimes mid-sentence. It’s a good rule for life in general, though. I believe in changing your mind. When I was in sixth grade I agreed to participate in an Outward Bound type field trip that involved rappelling down a cliff. I took one look at the ground below and sat on the grass. Period. New Paragraph I spent freshman year of college in a state so cold that by November when I went outside with wet hair, it froze … Continue reading A Grammar Rule to Live By by Erika Raskin

Only Skin Deep by Linda Nemec Foster

broken pearl necklace
 

If I could erase anything from my distant past (not the recent one), it would be that first half of fifth grade from September to December of 1960. The country was on the edge of its Camelot years with JFK and Jackie, perfectly coiffed, on his arm. I was on the edge of my first meltdown: pre-adolescent, pre-pubescent, pre-everything. Stuck in fifth grade, I viewed the universe from a basement classroom in the bowels of St. Wenceslas Elementary School in a boring suburb of Cleveland. Most of the teachers were nuns, relegated to black and … Continue reading Only Skin Deep by Linda Nemec Foster

Beauty is in the Eye of the Boulder by Emily Littlewood

Yard with stone pathways and around trees
 

I’ve lived way out in the country for a little over a year and, with the exception of an inability to have food delivered, I have no complaints. There is something weird about the house though: the rocks. The previous owner used them to mark the driveway to separate it from the yard. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to create a path outlining the entire acre. He also used them to encircle the trees in the yard. Every. Single. Tree. We live in the George Washington National Forest. This is something that … Continue reading Beauty is in the Eye of the Boulder by Emily Littlewood

Just Another One of Those by Stephanie Coyne DeGhett

Three rockers on a porch.
 

Just another one of those, he’d say to himself when it all got really annoying and he was trying to talk himself down a little. And we know just how to take care of things like that. He’d say this to himself, even when there would be no we involved. What he meant by those things included various kinds of car trouble (the catalytic converter, twice now) and conversations with the lawyer of his soon-to-be-ex-wife. They included—like now—glitches in the master schedule of the small college where he was registrar. The pair of phrases would … Continue reading Just Another One of Those by Stephanie Coyne DeGhett

The Jumping Off Place by Diana Pinckney

slats with light and shadow
 

The Jumping Off Place Josephine Hopper’s comment on husband Edward’s painting, Rooms by the Sea, 1951   Azure waves float two rooms            a door opens                       catching the ocean breeze sunlight streams            in a part of this suite                       where under a slice of picture the red sofa invites            shadowed in blue-gray                       the corner of a chest no balcony   no steps   no sand            the jumping off place                       for someone who gazes from these disembodied rooms            waiting for the horizon                       to widen   the sea to deepen who would want            to be drifting here                       only a seeker of the spare ways            a … Continue reading The Jumping Off Place by Diana Pinckney

Maida’s Little Books by Susan Shafarzek

Drawing of a house made from neon wires
 

Maida Westabrook was a brave little girl who had a “floating mass of hair, pale gold and tendrilly” and also a serious chronic illness, which had at one time confined her to a wheelchair, but that was in the past. She could now walk, albeit with difficulty, and had many friends. She also had a devoted—and, happily, wealthy—father, a widower who cherished the life of this his only progeny and thus was devoted to making her life satisfying, stimulating, and worthwhile. To that end, as can happen only in fiction, he provided her (in a … Continue reading Maida’s Little Books by Susan Shafarzek

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