A lot of us come from small towns and remote places and find ourselves in big cities, maybe to live in ways we couldn’t or shouldn’t imagine. Once upon a time there was a horse, free and proud. He lived in Russia. Then when he was old enough to want more than his simple life he poked his head up and found he had admirers, people who liked listening to him. You are who your last dozen tweets say you are, he knew. Some of those admirers wanted to pay for his thoughts. He had an invitation from a sponsor who paid him to move to New York City.
First horse had a bad apartment then he had a big apartment. Horse went to work for his sponsor. He liked it here, but it was scary. Living in a big city, you get to hear other people’s conversations all the time. Inane, or robotic, or cool, or sad. A lot of people in NYC live alone, and all they have to keep them company sometimes are their pets.
Horse wondered if he was a pet.
One night horse’s sponsor came over and slit horse’s throat. It turns out horse had been sponsored by a necromancer. The necromancer put horse’s head on himself and wore it to horse’s job and punched horse’s time cards. Everyone had to work. The necromancer worked at a company that gets the joke and participates meaningfully in an actual conversation with a full awareness of the context. He liked it there! Somehow no one really noticed that he was living as horse.
It was hard being two things though. Was he man or horse? He had to lie to everyone, he thought. He had planned to use the tools of public relations and press management to make horse more important—the most famous, the most beautiful. And also to make some money from horse.
Every night he’d come home and the headless body of horse was rotting in the guest room. Horse was half a black puddle by now. The necromancer had tried so hard to be like horse, but something had gone wrong. We can’t have nice things on the internet.