Category Archives: Fiction

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

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

Tips and Guidelines for Becoming a Shooting Star by Ashley Morrow Hermsmeier

Shooting star in dusky sky
 

Remain calm. You have purchased the crème de la crème of packages; don’t squander the experience with a panic attack. So bridges make you sweat. So you chew three Xanax every time you board a plane. So you refuse to open your eyes at the top of the Empire State Building, so so so…Think of the hospital beds and the tubes and the shots you will not have. Think of the chemo and the surgeries and the lopped off body parts you’re not trading for a few extra months. You’ve made your decision, so take … Continue reading Tips and Guidelines for Becoming a Shooting Star by Ashley Morrow Hermsmeier

The War by Carla Myers

microscopic germs
 

Private Wilson hesitated at the precipice. It felt like a long time since his Sargent had barked, “Wilson, GO! GO!” Technically, Wilson hadn’t heard it, the air rushing by the plane was moving by so quickly that it hijacked all speech and left angry roaring wind in its place. Still, he knew what the Sargent had said, there was no mistaking his squinting eyes and tensing body trying to squeeze out sound and even though Sarge’s skin seemed to be blown back, trying to take his facial features with it, Wilson could still make out … Continue reading The War by Carla Myers

Sequins by Gina Willner-Pardo

multi-colored sequins
 

Risa Eccles, thirty-nine weeks pregnant, sat in her car, furious at Dr. LaSalle for being an asshole, at Paul for having the kind of job that made him seem like a degenerate, at herself for thinking that having a baby might be fun. She watched people walking in and out of the clinic. Some of them held crying toddlers; others—mostly elderly—grasped canes, walkers, or other people’s arms. She thought, Everyone who comes here needs something desperately. It reminded her of church. When she was sure she wouldn’t cry, she called Paul. “The baby’s fine,” she … Continue reading Sequins by Gina Willner-Pardo

Vanilla Music for Sinister Women Coming of Age by Mark Galarrita

Vanilla soft serve cone
 

California Girls was the lyric that bumped the bass held together by a woman’s sweet, altered, voice that tasted like vanilla but left a burn like bottom shelf vodka; and Elsie Malabago loved to hear this sort of tune on 93.5 POP! Radio, cruising with the windows down in her Mother’s old ’99 Corolla—before her Mother’s heart gave out and she died in that car cursing Papa in Tagalog and staring Elsie in the eye to say “putang ina,” whore, with her dying breath—but Elsie forgot that morning because it wasn’t Mother’s car anymore, it … Continue reading Vanilla Music for Sinister Women Coming of Age by Mark Galarrita

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 words 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