In Piano Girl, a man enjoys listening to the young girl in the apartment next door practice playing the piano. Late one night, the man hears the girl sneak out of her apartment. Concerned about the girl’s safety, he follows her through dark streets to a jazz club.
In Off to College, a young woman sitting at a bus stop watches her ex pick up his new girlfriend in his shiny car.
In No Shovel, No Bacon, Blind Henry and Yamaha, two men with a lot of self-inflicted scars from their pasts, sit around and talk about the dogs they’ve known and loved, family lore, and how to make the best clam chowder.
In Money in the Jar, an aging restaurant owner named Doug is set in his ways, which explains why the new place up the street is stealing all his customers. The story poses a familiar question: Can you teach an old Doug new tricks?
In The Fugwheel of Floeness, little does our starry-eyed Alice know what befalls her when she receives an unannounced, pompous furry ball on a lonesome wintry evening. Mr. Pompeii Snoot draws to his full height of five indignant inches and bears strange tidings as snow blankets down their world.
In The Munro Marathon, a Scottish adolescent is distracted from his studies by football, his pending summer freedom, and Cathy Gentles, the beautiful girl in the short skirt sitting next to him in class.
In Theatrical Spirits, an impoverished man living in a troubled country takes on a new job as custodian of a haunted theater. As civil unrest becomes violent, can the elitist captain of the guard, a patron of the theater, be trusted?
In Synergy, a working mother bored with the unmerciful monotony of carting kids to daycare, wiping runny noses, and cooking endless dinners seeks passion in the arms of a dashing executive at the office.
In Bake, Kelly and Prity, two middle-school teachers, prepare for the final day of school by making cupcakes in Prity’s kitchen. As the two young women crack eggs, mix batter, and spread icing, Kelly tries to hide the crush she has on her co-worker.
In The Good Baker, a young student takes a summer job at a local bakery with surprising consequences.
In Tiger Shrimp, a young grocery clerk ponders a difficult question: what items can a customer morally shoplift? He would probably let slide a hungry thief making off with staples like bread, potatoes, or even a chicken, but when a man purloins a pound of fully cooked colossal tiger shrimp, the clerk--who happens to be a runner on his high school track team--decides to give chase.
In God Alone Knows, a London-based reverend, who harbors a personal secret from his congregation, visits his ex-wife in Yorkshire in hopes of a fun weekend.
In A Black Morning, Celia wakes up on her fiftieth birthday, laments the wrinkles on her face and hands, and wonders why her husband is not lying beside her in bed. If he is off golfing, she’ll kill him!
In The Sunflower Girl, the guilt-ridden husband of a woman with breast cancer reluctantly rearranges his work calendar to meet his wife at a new clinic. Once there, he has an unexpected encounter with the patients in the waiting room.
In the Sailboat, an aging widower named Nick makes wooden furniture by hand for a living. When his customer visits to check on an order of rocking chairs, Nick must endure repeated inquiries into his mysterious side project: the crafting of a model sailboat.
In One Day in May, Erin, a young sign language teacher, tries to teach Graysie, her five-year-old deaf student, how to read a calendar. As hard as she tries, Erin cannot get Graysie to understand that May has come and gone and she must turn the page to June.
In The Ramp, a gruff school bus driver drops off a load of teenagers at an unoccupied field and tells them to “go have fun.” In the middle of the field sits a mysterious concrete ramp to nowhere.
In What Happens in Arcata, a father is determined to throw his daughter a wonderful birthday party after screwing it up the prior year. But when his wife texts him to Get Some Healthy Snacks, he buys soda, chips, cookies, chocolate milk, and Twizzlers. Things go downhill from there.
In Dragons, Po Sein, a nine-year-old boy, is sent to fetch a take-out meal by his single mother. To accomplish his task, Po Sein must navigate unfriendly streets, but along the way, he is comforted by visions of beautiful dragons.
In Hippopotamus, a harried mother of three whose husband is deployed somewhere in Afghanistan resorts to a time-honored escape: She goes to the mall. Once there, she finds herself inside the multiplex watching a movie with a total stranger.