Tag Archives: loss

Erik and George by Ty Phelps

Photo of doll
 

  Erik awakens full of pain, lying in a hospital bed in a propped position, his throat sore from the tube that snaked down into his mouth and nose, his limbs heavy and bruised. His head feels like it belongs to someone else. The lights are low in his hospital room and he hears the soft whir of machines. No one is in the room with him that he can see. Panic floods his heart as he remembers the accident: the whirl of lights, the spinning crush of metal. And ten-year-old George, his son, in … Continue reading Erik and George by Ty Phelps

Cats by Christine Tucker

Black and white photo of baby hands holding adult hand
 

  Hey, son. It’s your Mama. Hope y’all are doing good up there. I’m callin’ cause I’ve got a little problem here. So, did you hear about that storm we had a couple days ago, that derecho? Well, none of us had ever heard of one before, either. It was a perfectly nice day and then the wind starts a blowin’ and sounding like a big ‘ole freight train. The trees in the front yard were all bent over double. I’m telling you, it was like the end of days—I never heard such a noise … Continue reading Cats by Christine Tucker

Stupid Old Oak Tree by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Close up photo of tree bark
 

  It’s just a stupid old oak tree, I keep telling myself, while I sit at the kitchen table and watch the white winter sunlight bathing its branches. It’s dying, I say, as I wipe away tears and busy myself with numbing, necessary tasks. Its branches are dropping and it’s trying to tell us and it’s going to kill someone in the process, I think, on frigid, windy nights when its massive canopy creaks and arches over yards humming earlier in the day with shrieking children and yapping dogs. It’s necessary, I explain to a … Continue reading Stupid Old Oak Tree by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Falling Down by Celia Meade

Photo of baby
 

On a windy day in December, just after the sun had set, I stepped out to go to the grocery store for milk. The wind whipped my hair across my glasses, and I didn’t see the uneven sidewalk by the Greek restaurant. It wasn’t icy but I fell anyway. The sidewalk smacked my chin hard, and I bled all over my delicate silk scarf. A gold crown rolled out onto the sidewalk. Someone was making moaning, animal sounds and that someone was me. My spectacles dug into my cheek, the concrete pushing them past their … Continue reading Falling Down by Celia Meade

Mayim by Nancy Ludmerer

Silhouettes of women against sunset
 

Nancy Ludmerer is the 1st place winner of Streetlight‘s 2020 Flash Fiction Contest   The Lubavitch Hasidim are sending two teen volunteers to spend time with our daughter. I resist at first, but Mattie’s Special Ed teacher explains that it’s a mitzvah for the girls, who are sixteen—a special program started by a rabbi’s wife. She says I should let them come; it might be good for Mattie. She hasn’t seen Mattie smile in the eight months since her mom died. If Kayla were alive, she would have fumed: “We’re not religious. What will they … Continue reading Mayim by Nancy Ludmerer

Stealing Light by Billie Hinton

Closeup photo of broken glass under window
 

Billie Hinton is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight Magazine‘s 2020 Essay/Memoir Contest I’m holding the reins of a twelve-hand half-Shetland pony when I get the call. My daughter hops into the saddle, I release my grip, and off she goes to the riding arena for her Pony Club lesson. Hello, I say into the cell phone. My office, a quirky second floor space I rent in a large historic house divided into small offices, has been broken into overnight. The photographer who rents space across the hall from me went in to work and … Continue reading Stealing Light by Billie Hinton

COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

An old brass key dropped in the woods.
 

I’ve been having some strange dreams lately, probably most of us have. A cooked salmon lies in the middle of the highway, missing half his body, yet alive and showing no signs of distress. We all get out of our cars to gape, wondering how he can survive, cooked, headless. The salmon seems sentient, yet placid, accepting. A woman is sawing the legs off a live fox. Witnesses don’t protest; the fox seems fine. Someone is removing a variety of my organs — heart, liver, intestines — as I watch from a distance. I don’t think I’ll miss them. … Continue reading COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

Aerial View by Virginia Watts

Aerial view of farm field
 

Hannah Fisher keeps the curtains closed in every room of the farmhouse night and day. Windowsills are stuffed with juice glasses brimming with seasonal wildflowers: delicate, snow-white Queen Anne’s Lace, purple chicory, periwinkle cornflowers. She’s been working miracles with her monthly budget too, squeezing out extra cash for her husband Rex’s cases of Miller High Life and ingredients to prepare elaborate, formal dinners on the weekends, recipes she downloads on her laptop. If there’s any spare change after all of that, she drives fifty minutes to the Wal-Mart in Scutters Mill and returns home with … Continue reading Aerial View by Virginia Watts

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