Category Archives: Fiction

Salmonella Summer by Suzanne C. Martinez

Photo of person in sky hanging from a parachute
 

I spent four days and nights smashed against a bus window in transit to my first husband’s family reunion half nauseous from breathing in the diesel fumes and the aroma of the chemical toilet a few feet behind us. The vinyl seat stuck to the back of my thighs, as he seeped into my half of the bench I was sharing with him. He was a big guy, Swedish-Norwegian and a lapsed Mormon. Six months earlier he’d announced it was necessary for him to move out so he could enjoy anonymous sex, drugs, drinking and … Continue reading Salmonella Summer by Suzanne C. Martinez

Broken by Alison Thompson

Stairway in a teal hallway
 

On the third visit, they kicked his stomach and broke his thumbs. The bones cracked like an electrical charge shooting through his entire body, exiting via his skull, as if everything he knew, everything he had ever perceived, was wiped clean. For those few moments, the world flashed white, then just as quickly, his whole reality dumped back down on him, a furious writhing mess he could not make sense of. Then he blacked out. When he regained consciousness, he was lying in a pool of his own blood-tinged vomit. He had two thoughts; one … Continue reading Broken by Alison Thompson

Shop of the Heart by Cynthia L. Singerman

View up the stairs through a tunnel
 

“You can get a wax.” She rubs the stubbly black fuzz on my calves, nodding. “A little long.” “Yeah, I know. It’s been cold.” I feel the need to defend myself to the woman painting my toenails. Suddenly my mother has somehow teleported herself into the salon, kneeling at my feet, reminding me that I’ll never be doing it quite right. I look down. The hair is long on my legs. I could braid it. French braid my armpit hair too, but I’m wearing a sweater, so she’ll never know. The guy waiting for his … Continue reading Shop of the Heart by Cynthia L. Singerman

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

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

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

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 Christine West

Sandbags in front of window
 

Christine West 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 Christine West

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