All posts by Erika Raskin

Cat Ladies by Paula Spurlin Paige

Black and white cat on its back
 

It was a sticky, overcast August day in the Connecticut River Valley, and it was going to be a heavy one. Already, at 9:00 in the morning, Ed was poking his head into a series of little rooms upstairs in Elsie’s old Colonial, looking for the bathroom, only to find each room occupied by a resident cat, or two. Gray and white cats, tabbies, a Maine coon, and a black one whose white mustache made him think of Charlie Chaplin in reverse. Finally, he located the bathroom, where he inspected the toilet, which hadn’t flushed … Continue reading Cat Ladies by Paula Spurlin Paige

Of Cars, Lucille Ball and Dogged Determination by Erika Raskin


 

The quarterly meeting of Streetlight’s editorial staff had just ended. It was a particularly uplifting one. It’s incredibly gratifying to be part of a team that is committed to ushering art into the world. We tackled tech concerns, mapped out the spring issue and welcomed the gifted Deborah Kelly as the new associate editor. Assignments in hand, I’d said my goodbyes and left Elizabeth Meade Howard’s beautiful home. Filled with light, paintings and photography (including an autographed black and white of Lucille Ball, my soul-sister), just being in the art editor’s house is kind of … Continue reading Of Cars, Lucille Ball and Dogged Determination by Erika Raskin

A Look and a Voice by William Cass

Aerial view of road and buildings coated with snow
 

Doris said, “Seems like it might snow. First of the season.” She turned from where she stood in front of the kitchen window and looked at Martin. He was sitting at the table holding a nearly full glass of milk. He regarded her with a blank stare. They’d been married for forty-six years. She said, “Well, what do you think about that?” Martin shrugged. The mid-morning light in the room was dim. He stood up, went to the sink, poured out the milk, rinsed the glass, and put it in the dishwasher. Then he turned … Continue reading A Look and a Voice by William Cass

The Last Time by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Shadowy figures walking into twilight sky
 

Last month, as we celebrated our daughter’s 17th birthday, it struck me that we would enjoy only one more birthday celebration together as a family unit before she heads off to college. Her birthday falls in October, and after next year, she’ll be in Boston or DC or Iowa or God knows where, taking poli sci classes in her fall semester, drinking cheap beer and making magnificent mistakes—and figuring out who she was born to be. After so many years of princess birthday cakes and streamers and sweet 16 party carpools, the realization was stunning. … Continue reading The Last Time by Kathleen McKitty Harris

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