All posts by Erika Raskin

Each in One Piece by Bradley M. Radovich

Cornstalks, shot from the ground up
 

  The familiar constriction arose in her chest. She followed the dark echoes of her husband’s steps; his gait sober as cold coffee. Heel, toe. March. She giggled at the image of her husband as a soldier. His shoulders were still square, but his chest was sunken, and his paunch tightened his shirt. The pain moved into her shoulders as she held her breath against hiccups. “I can drive,” she said, exhaling. “You can hardly walk,” he said. “Try to keep up.” “Try it in heels!” That image caused her to smile. “What’s your hurry? … Continue reading Each in One Piece by Bradley M. Radovich

Getting Carded. And a Love Letter by Erika Raskin

Old cash register
 

I was typing my alternate ID number into the keypad at my (formerly) favorite grocery store when the perky cashier asked if I qualified for Senior Discount Thursday. My finger froze midair. “Excuse me?” She repeated her question, louder this time, for the people over in the produce aisle. I smiled à la Kellyanne Conway when somebody brings up her husband’s tweets, and gave the wrinkle-less clerk ample opportunity to say something like, “You look far too young, of course, but we are required to ask everybody. Even school children.” She didn’t. Granted, I’m almost … Continue reading Getting Carded. And a Love Letter by Erika Raskin

One Hundred by Tara Lindis

Lighthouse above waves
 

Tara Lindis is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2018 Flash Fiction Contest. The children do not have life jackets. We give them ours. Their slender arms slide through the adult sized holes, we tighten the black webbed straps as far as they can go, and click the plastic buckles. The orange vests rise to their ears; black eyes and tufts of black hair stick out like baby chicks. In the dark early morning, we smell the rain coming, and we know it’s the last crossing before the onset of winter storms. Prayers now. … Continue reading One Hundred by Tara Lindis

Tomato and Cheese Sandwich by Katherine Smith

Coffee cup with woman in background, black and white
 

Katherine Smith is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2018 Flash Fiction Contest. The coffee was bitter and good in La Palette, Carol’s favored café off the Boulevard Saint Germain. Ten years before, a twenty-two-year old student, she’d eaten the same sandwich she ate now, baguette with camembert and thinly sliced tomato. Then as now the waiter had ever so slightly wrinkled his nose at the American proclivity to eat cheese with vegetables. Ten years ago, she’d cared just a little more what the waiter thought, with a slight, pleasant ripple of guilt. She’d … Continue reading Tomato and Cheese Sandwich by Katherine Smith

Sandbags by C.B. Ahlstrom

Sandbags in front of window
 

C.B. Ahlstrom is the 1st place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2018 Flash Fiction Contest. My social anxiety as a high schooler was grossly misdiagnosed as maturity by adults. I wasn’t seen as shy, but as respectful. They thought me wise, not scanning for clues of how to best abide by social norms developed by my cooler peers, surely. I was empathetic and sensitive, not a people pleaser devoid of a core self. “You don’t want to do that,” my mother would say firmly, any time I had an original thought. My actions of course were … Continue reading Sandbags by C.B. Ahlstrom

Kalulu by Alex Rawitz

Cliffs with water between them
 

He emerged from the bushes clutching a bottle of wine, his face whipped red by the wind. They were huddled together in the clearing. Dry tufts of winter grass poked through the ratty blanket on which they sat. He stood a distance away and searched for Markus, who, noticing him, slowly detached himself from the others and approached. “Thanks for coming out, man.” Markus took the bottle of wine with trembling hands. “Some day for a picnic.” “Why did you come out of the bush just now? There’s a road right there.” “I don’t know. … Continue reading Kalulu by Alex Rawitz

Be a Woman Bug by Susan McCulley

cartoon of cat watching ladybugs
 

“Be an ant,” he says. “Don’t look at the whole project at once and try to do it,” says my stone-steady, clear-eyed, logical-thinking husband. “Be an ant. Do what’s in front of you. Do this one thing, take this one step, then do the next one.” I’ve seen the ant approach in action over and over. This man has renovated dozens of old houses by being an ant. He has a vision, then he “ants” them, piece by piece, bit by bit, until they’re finished. Things that once resided only in his imagination become real. … Continue reading Be a Woman Bug by Susan McCulley

Room For Grace by Daniel Kenner

person standing in middle of water
 

You Held My Hand And Walked Me Out Of The Water     Sometimes I look at the photos of my parents before they were sick to try and find clues of the diseases to come. There’s one of them courtside at a Providence Friars basketball game, three days after Valentine’s Day. It’s a Thursday, a school night, timestamped 9:25 p.m. Mom must have skipped Survivor. It’s almost a year to the day before Dad’s official diagnosis. They look bold and bright. They belong together, they’re soulmates. And I cry. Mom chose “Grace” as her … Continue reading Room For Grace by Daniel Kenner

Turkeys by R.H. Emmers

Leaves and branches in water
 

I was sitting at the bar in the My-Oh-My drinking what was left of my disability check after buying oxy from the retarded janitor at the hospital. The idea of killing someone hadn’t come up yet. I kept staring at the dancer in the cage in the corner. She was short and pale and had the resigned expression of someone floating in darkness just waiting for the next tragedy, exactly the kind of girl I’m always attracted to. I thought if I stared hard enough, she’d look at me, but she never did, which is … Continue reading Turkeys by R.H. Emmers

Diluted by Jaime Balboa

Lemons in white sink
 

I hate the scent of imitation lemon in dish soap. It’s too concentrated to be authentic. But the scent will lose potency once I dilute it in water. That’s always the trick. Dilute what’s unpleasant. Dilute what hurts you, what keeps you up at night and, even though it’s still there, you can bear it, even accept it. The pyramid of dishes starts with a foundation from yesterday and leads, like an archeological excavation of dried food bits, through memories of breakfast and lunch to the dinner we just ate. Dirty mugs and glasses clutter … Continue reading Diluted by Jaime Balboa