Flash in the Pan


A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

Catch Of The Day


by Barbara Toboni

It's Spring Break. Four of us are on our way home from visiting family in the mountains along the Feather River. The cliffs are blooming with wild lilacs and snapdragons, and the river is running full force, sparkling green and gray in the sun, winding and twisting its way to the Delta. Cousins, Chase 6 and Kyle 10, beg us to stop so they can fish one last time.

"I suppose it wouldn't hurt to stop for a little while." A shady turnout just ahead looks like a good spot for me to park the van. The boys scramble out and grab their gear.

My sister, Vickie calls out, "Kyle, watch out for Chase. Stay where we can see you."

The boys dash off clutching nets and poles. Chase steps over rocks with lanky legs. He's tall for his age with a head full of light brown curls and dark brown eyes. Kyle swings out his line with skillful arms. His cast is a good one, and he puts down his rod to help his younger cousin.

I turn and watch as silver green willows bend in the direction of the current. An electric blue dragon fly flits in and out of the brush. Vickie turns to the sound first.

One of the boys is hollering, "Look what I got!" It's Chase.

"Wow. That was quick," I tell Vickie.

He's holding up his net to show Kyle. Soon I see both of them stumbling along the rocky bank toward us. Chase reaches us first dangling the net. I peek over his shoulder. An amazing specimen peeks back. Large colorful eye spots decorate the delicate brown wings, a buckeye butterfly.

"We didn't catch a thing." Kyle says.


Barbara Toboni is a writer in Napa, California, where she lives with her husband and helps run a computer business. She has two adult sons. She’s written essays and poetry for various newspapers and journals. Her most recent work includes a short story for an anthology on autism.

Tenth Flash


Emergency Room by Jack Swenson
The Ambulance by Antonia Albany
On Dandelions by Alegria Imperial
A Similar Fate by Melanie Surani
Mr. Parker 1972 by Andrea Marcusa
Raking The Beach by Marion Agnew
The Christmas Box by Suzanne Aubin
Untitled by Jo Lauer


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