All posts by Erika Raskin

Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan

Photo of train tracks
 

I was walking our dog this evening, around six o’clock, when I heard the low rumble of an approaching train. I live in Silver Spring, Md., a few blocks from where the tracks cross over Georgia Ave. When walking down our street, we can see the trains passing at our level, giving the illusion that there is a crossing up ahead. Actually, Georgia dips down below the tracks at that point. But I always look, for I’m reminded of the times my father would take me to watch trains on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes we’d go … Continue reading Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan

Collection Day Winton Place 1995 by Rachel Lippolis

Old photo of slide
 

Sylvia wished she saw anything but houses when she looked out her bedroom window. A field, a lake, or the foggy moors of Wuthering Heights. Or if there must be houses, let them be stately. Like Pemberley or Brideshead. Misselthwaite Manor, with its secret garden. Not the plain cape cod homes that filled her street. Only a narrow driveway separated the postage-stamp yards. These houses were like her own: two bedrooms, one bathroom, and low ceilings. Sylvia preferred reading books about faraway places, about people whose names were exotic like Helmer and Katrina. Of times … Continue reading Collection Day Winton Place 1995 by Rachel Lippolis

Regarding Your Time-Off Request by Sean-Taro Nishi

Silhouettes of people walking
 

To: Team Members From: Jill Valentine, MENTOR Re: Time-Off Requests Dear Team, First off, how lucky we are to still be thriving in this economy! Because not everyone’s so lucky. Some people are out there sleeping under bridges and rubbing sticks for warmth. Does this mean the world is rigged? Absolutely not. The world is fair, and if you Googled the word fair, you’d see that we’re the leading pioneer in fairness. And yet, some of us don’t realize how lucky we are! Now, we’ve always given you a lot of leeway because we’ve found … Continue reading Regarding Your Time-Off Request by Sean-Taro Nishi

Eternally, Me by Erika Raskin

Crazy collection of accoutrements
 

I’ve written before about the upside of long-term ditziness (mostly having to do with the silver-lining aspect of it not being a new, and therefore alarming, decline.) And I’m glad that I’ve documented it. The other day I got back inside from a brisk (because it was so freaking cold, not for any exercise benefit) stroll and removed the shades from my face—and was confused that it was still quite dark. I put my hand back up and found another pair. Think: The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins. I asked my supportive spouse why he … Continue reading Eternally, Me by Erika Raskin

The Chair by Sue Allison

Abstract photo of chair with part of arm hanging over it
 

My mother had a chair that when she sat in it, she was invisible. At first she put it in a corner where she would be unseen and could not be found and where she would hide from our rambunctiousness and our needs and our growing for hours. But then she put the chair in the middle of the living room or the dining room or the hall; we never knew where it might be. It was her Christmas chair. It was blue. When she was in it, we couldn’t talk to her, and though … Continue reading The Chair by Sue Allison

Another Plastic Buddha by James William Gardner

Streams of headlights along highway
 

The truck stop parking lot reverberated with idling big diesel engines. The air smelled like sour urine. Randal Whitley stood by the open door of his cab smoking a cigarette and drinking his morning coffee. A stick of beef jerky and two chocolate donuts was all he’d had for breakfast, but that was usual. He seldom sat down to eat in the mornings. When he awakened he was wired and anxious to hit the road. It was drizzling rain in Tuscaloosa, a cool morning for the time of year. Usually it was already hot in … Continue reading Another Plastic Buddha by James William Gardner

Self, Expression by Anne Holzman


 

Anne Holzman is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight‘s 2020 Flash Fiction Contest   I hear you before I see you. I start working on arranging my face. There’s the ding-ding of the elevator, the door opening, your father’s voice. Your father is a good husband. He visits me every day, except once in a while he doesn’t come. On those days, the elevator doors open, and it isn’t him, and they open a while later and I can smell the supper cart and I know for sure he’s not coming. Those are hard days. … Continue reading Self, Expression by Anne Holzman

Erebus by Patrick Christie

Light barely penetrating through darkness
 

The Captain had not been himself ever since we extracted the frozen bird carcass from the ice. He had become withdrawn, seeking solitude, showing disinterest in his duties even as four of his men resided in the makeshift infirmary, coughing up blood all hours of the day.   The expedition had begun without incident. We departed from the Port of Bluff in New Zealand on the 3rd November and spent only five days caught in pack ice in our passage across the Ross Sea. We entered McMurdo Sound under sail and landed on Ross Island … Continue reading Erebus by Patrick Christie

On Being Threatened with Hellfire in the Second Grade by Martha Woodroof

Silhouette of someone jumping in the air
 

My father was an atheist; my mother, an agnostic. My parents preached conscience and character to their two daughters instead of dogma. I grew up in Greensboro, N.C., a city with seven colleges. Outside of academic circles, however, society was rigidly constrained by the Bible Belt. Pictures of a blue-eyed, blond-haired Jesus were omnipresent. The judgmental Yahweh of the Old Testament thundered from a lot of Christian church pulpits on Sunday mornings. All my school friends went to Sunday School and church. As far as I could tell, the primary goal of their religious experience … Continue reading On Being Threatened with Hellfire in the Second Grade by Martha Woodroof

Next to Godliness by Sheila Longton

Bird's eye view of tractor
 

Sheila Longton is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight’s 2020 Flash Fiction Contest     What I remember of my mother is this: She is down on her hands and knees, crawling backwards along the hallway, scraping old wax from the hardwood boards with a hairpin. *** John Thompson lies in a bathtub. He lies in a bathtub, without water, and waits. He is eighteen. He lies in a bathtub thinking help won’t come in time, that he will die. Without finishing high school, without going to college, without ever becoming a rock star like … Continue reading Next to Godliness by Sheila Longton