Category Archives: Fiction

Firedamp by Tonja Matney Reynolds

Photo looking up at birds in the sky
 

The canary was still. It was too late to run. Too late to escape. Too late to pray for God’s mercy.   Matt had been one of the lucky ones, one of sixteen coal miners chosen to work on a Saturday morning. His boy Luke brought the count to seventeen. Matt expected him to be excited for his first day of work, but Luke had been dawdling all morning. When they finally stepped inside the mine, the other men were already gathered a hundred feet ahead. Their carbide headlamps shone on the uneven, rough-cut earth … Continue reading Firedamp by Tonja Matney Reynolds

Talisman by E.H. Jacobs

Abstract painting
 

Morning hunkered over the house, gray and unyielding, pressing through the spaces between the drawn shade and the window frame. Wes sat on the edge of the bed in underwear and socks, next to a newly cleaned and pressed suit, still in dry-cleaner’s plastic. The only other furniture a three-drawer dresser and two nightstands of unfinished pine. His closet door stood half-open, exposing the dimly lit shelves and the t-shirts, sweaters and pants piled upon them. In searching for a belt, he had noticed a bright blue fold of fabric slumping over the shelf at … Continue reading Talisman by E.H. Jacobs

Gemini by Charlotte Morgan

Photo of stars on sky avove a tree
 

When that technician pointed out two heartbeats and two precious teensy penises on the screen, I was over the moon. Buddy leaned over and kissed me and cried real quiet-like, like he wasn’t actually crying, but I knew he was. Right away the names Elvis and Jesse popped into my head—Mama raised me on Elvis—but I didn’t say that out loud. Buddy would’ve immediately made frying egg sounds and said in a high sissy voice, “This is your brain on baby.” I’d been a total ditz when I was pregnant with Kayla, but so far … Continue reading Gemini by Charlotte Morgan

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