All posts by Erika Raskin

Coma Sleep by Ben Wood

Colorful clothes hanging on clothing line
 

  Before surgery, before the bones are set, and while blood flows from Jacob Randolph in quick rivulets, Agi is there. She is the nurse on duty when he is wheeled through the doors of the ER. She witnesses the doctors bring him back, helps quell the bleeding, feels a triumphant surge when his heartbeat regains its jagged kick on the monitor. She hears the head neurosurgeon muttering jargon to the fellows, picking out works where she can – cervical, contusion, ten-story fall. Eventually, the word stable, which shines among the rest. Two months in … Continue reading Coma Sleep by Ben Wood

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

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

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

Who Could Ever Forget? by Lawrence F. Farrar

Hand with a blister on palm
 

A year after the car accident that orphaned Nick, the Bishops picked him up from his grandmother’s for a weekend at Fallen Tree Lake. Saddened by his circumstances, the financier and his wife had taken to including the son of their late groundskeeper in their own child’s outings. They also decided to see to the bright boy’s schooling, underwriting his tuition at a private institution in his neighborhood. That day, the 12-year-olds had rowed across the lake. Harry, chunky with dark crew cut hair, had done the work while Nick, a slim, sun-bleached blond a … Continue reading Who Could Ever Forget? by Lawrence F. Farrar

In Praise of Not-Knowing by Ginger Moran

Winter trees through a glass ball
 

Write what you know. That was the mantra when I was in graduate creative writing school. We were admonished to write from our own experience, not to try to reach beyond our boundaries and try to re-create worlds about which we had no real knowledge and which would, thusly, come across as fake. But like all mantras, this one has its limits. For instance, my first book, The Algebra of Snow, is about a mathematician alone in the Adirondacks in winter. Anyone being less mathematical than I would be hard to imagine—I struggle with addition. … Continue reading In Praise of Not-Knowing by Ginger Moran

Weather Proverbs, Explained by Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Path through frosted woods
 

Ingrid Jendrzejewski is the 1st place winner of Streetlight’s 2018 Flash Fiction Contest   Mare’s tails and mackerel scales Make tall ships take in their sails. She’s studied the weather and knows about clouds which is why her lips are thin and tight. She does not want to tell him about the promotion. Tonight, she will prepare a nice dinner, but chop the onions too quickly. Blood from her little finger will mingle with Bolognese. When the sky fills with altocumulus and cirrus clouds, a warm front is approaching. Although the day might be pleasant, … Continue reading Weather Proverbs, Explained by Ingrid Jendrzejewski

A Fresh Shot by Emily Larkin

Cocktail on the beach
 

Emily Larkin is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight’s 2018 Flash Fiction Contest ‘I’ll have a shot of anxiety with mint, vanilla syrup, and crushed ice, and a pint of despair. With a lemon wedge.’ ‘That’s a very specific order—you’re obviously a man who knows his drinks,’ the bartender said. ‘Most people order straight off the menu. Are you sure I can’t interest you in a disappointment and bitters on the rocks? It’s the house special.’ ‘No thanks, as you said, I’m a man who knows my drinks.’ ‘Fair enough, one anxiety and despair coming … Continue reading A Fresh Shot by Emily Larkin

Neglect by Julie Gesin

Lamp on bedside table, next to bed
 

Julie Gesin is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight’s 2018 Flash Fiction Contest It’s dark when he reaches home and opens the garden gate, shoulders vulnerable to the pulse of crickets that rattles the garden. Above, the streetlight buzzes, as it always did when they returned home from a play or dinner, sometimes talking, sometimes silent, but always in a state of satiated ease, knowing that all that’s left of the day is the comfort of their bed, the familiarity of each other’s body. He feels her hand in his like a phantom limb. After … Continue reading Neglect by Julie Gesin

Do You Know Where That Money Has Been? by Erika Raskin


 

  My granny Sally, who had a pillow-like soul (except for when she was playing gin rummy and this badass alter-ego would jump out and stomp the competition) used to warn my siblings and me to wash our hands after touching money. We’d crack up thinking it was just an old (Jewish) wives’ tale that somehow involved sticking dollars down one’s pants. But last weekend I noticed something stamped on a $10.00 bill. Intrigued, I went to the .org address and discovered it was a website for some Aryan Nation group trying to drum up … Continue reading Do You Know Where That Money Has Been? by Erika Raskin