1.) a group of insurance salesmen attend a professional conference. each one sees his doppelganger there, but each is too self-doubting and insecure to tell anyone else.
2.) a robot cleans an apartment angrily. the robot’s robot partner watches, appalled but intrigued.
3.) a girl grows up and watches each tree on her block chopped down due to disease or roots pressing against the pavement. refusing to resign herself to a life of treelessness, she moves away. one summer she returns to find the city government has planted new trees. she cuts them all down.
4.) a man and his lover take a trip to a small town in maine. absolutely nothing happens.
5.) two fish who actually love each other very much refuse to say “i love you” to each other. they melt.
6.) a small boy is never quite sure if he has stepped on a snake or not. he is haunted. he grows up and works first in a circus, then in a dusty bookstore.
7.) there is a murder mystery. it is ultimately about whether or not a certain fruit grows in a certain climate at a certain time of year.
8.) a woman tells jokes. they are not very funny. she is desperate. she kidnaps a comedian, and steals his material. still, no one laughs. she throws herself into the sea.
9.) a boy gives a boy a ladybug. he (the second boy) names her lindy the ladybug of all ladybugs. there are over-ripe figs hanging from trees. all is green and buzzing. everyone lives happily ever after.
Tara Roeder teaches writing in New York City. Her work has appeared in venues including E Ratio, Haggard, Halloo, and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. Her chapbook is forthcoming from dancing girl press.