Rated PG. for reflected nihilism.
Hall of Mirrors
By Bruce Holland Rogers
One afternoon during his lunch hour, Emory wasn’t feeling particularly hungry. It was the monthly free-admission day at the art museum, so instead of getting a sandwich he went in to look at paintings. “This one,” he said to himself, “makes me think of flying, except that the blue is not right for the sky. It is more of a painting about sorrow, I think. Of flying through sorrow.”
Emory was in the habit of mumbling his thoughts aloud, but usually he was so quiet, his words so indistinct, that no one knew what he was saying. This time, however, a woman who stood near him said, “Interesting. Then what do you make of the companion piece?”
He looked at her as she stood waiting, an earnest expression on her face. He nearly apologized, nearly told her that he knew nothing about art. But then he glanced at the second painting and the words were out of his mouth, clearly and distinctly this time. “All that whiteness makes me think of hospitals. The jagged line there, the bucket that is tipped over but isn’t spilling a drop — it must be the psychiatric ward of the hospital. The yellow corners, the dead flies make sure that I know not to take comfort in the whiteness. Fear of insanity. That’s what I see.”
About the Author
Bruce Holland Rogers is an American author of short fiction who also writes under the pseudonym Hanovi Braddock. His stories have won a Pushcart Prize, two Nebula Awards, the Bram Stoker Award, two World Fantasy Awards, the Micro Award, and have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and Spain’s Premio Ignotus.The 2001 short film The Other Side, directed by Mary Stuart Masterson, was based on his novelette, “Lifeboat on a Burning Sea.”
He is a member of the Wordos writers’ group and is a permanent member of the fiction faculty at the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program in creative writing of Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. He has taught fiction writing seminars in Denmark, Greece, Finland, and Portugal. In 2010 he taught at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest on a Fulbright grant.
About the Narrator
Cartoonist Barry Deutsch lives in Portland, Oregon, in a bright blue house with bubble-gum pink trim. His 2010 graphic novel Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword was the first graphic novel to win the prestigious Sydney Taylor Award, and was also nominated for Eisner, Harvey, Ignatz, and Nebula awards. His second Hereville graphic novel, Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite, won the Oregon Book Award. The third Hereville book, Hereville: How Mirka Caught A Fish, was released in late 2015.