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Bruce Holland Rogers

April 2009

Unpleasant Features of Our New Address

 Artwork : This photo was taken by  and is used through the   license.

We buy cat food at the convenience store and bribe them so they don’t rush inside when we unlock our door.

Artwork : This photo was taken by Scott Granneman and is used through the Creative CommonsAttribution Sharealike license.

This story is an exemplar for Bruce’s Short-Short Sighted column.

One, the overgrown tangle of weeds that is the back garden. None of us owns the land. Not us, not Andy and Tomi in the flat above ours, not Enrico in the flat below. Enrico says “They should send a gardener round,” and we agree that yes, they should. Whoever they are.

Two, the black-and-white cat begging at the front door. “She lived in your flat before you bought it,” Tomi says. “I guess they left her behind.”

Three, the speed of cars flying through the roundabout. They ought to do something to calm the traffic.

Four, the black-and-white cat’s kittens. Why wasn’t the cat spayed? They should have had her spayed.

Five, the kittens of the kittens. So many, so soon. They hunt in the jungle of the back garden by night. By day they crowd the front door, begging. We buy cat food at the convenience store and bribe them so they don’t rush inside when we unlock our door.

Six, more kittens.

Seven, wrecks in the roundabout. Again and again, bleeding drivers make their way through the cats and kittens to ring the bell. These people leave spots of blood on the walkway. None of us owns the walkway. We don’t answer the door. Why don’t they bother someone else? Can’t they see we’ve got troubles of our own?

Return to Bruce’s column.

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About the Author

Bruce Holland Rogers

The eyes of Bruce Holland Rogers

Bruce Holland Rogers has a home base in Eugene, Oregon, the tie-dye capital of the world. He writes all types of fiction: SF, fantasy, literary, mysteries, experimental, and work that’s hard to label.

For six years, Bruce wrote a column about the spiritual and psychological challenges of full-time fiction writing for Speculations magazine. Many of those columns have been collected in a book, Word Work: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer (an alternate selection of the Writers Digest Book Club). He is a motivational speaker and trains workers and managers in creativity and practical problem solving.

He has taught creative writing at the University of Colorado and the University of Illinois. Bruce has also taught non-credit courses for the University of Colorado, Carroll College, the University of Wisconsin, and the private Flatiron Fiction Workshop. He is a member of the permanent faculty at the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program, a low-residency program that stands alone and is not affiliated with a college or university. It is the first and so far only program of its kind. Currently he is teaching creative writing and literature at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, on a Fulbright grant.

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