Today I revamped the Interactive Fiction section, adding separate pages for each game, because it pleased me to do so. You might go ahead and check out the new format, in a spare moment.
Now, if you never saw the old version of the Interactive Fiction section, you may think that you’ve missed out on something. I assure you that you have not, but I understand your feelings regardless. Let me make it up to you by reproducing a novel I composed on my phone last Friday night:
The Perfect Horse.
A Twitter Novel. Copyright Ryan Veeder 2014.
A horse was born in Utah in 1989. She had no idea of her amazing destiny.
The horse’s owner named her Clarriene. He was a horrible man. He ground Clarriene’s mother into dog food and glue, and smiled as he did so.
He said he’d do the same to Clarriene! But she was too perfect to stay with that awful man. She jumped over a 30-foot fence and escaped.
Clarriene galloped across America to the city of Iowa City, Iowa, where she joined a circus. She jumped over fences, and balanced on a ball.
Did she fall off of any ball? No. Did she kick any child in the neck? No. She was perfect.
The people who saw Clarriene perform were better people after they had seen her, because they had seen a perfect horse.
I saw Clarriene perform at the circus. I cried.
The manager of the circus told Clarriene that the show was leaving town.
“Will you come with us?” he asked.
“Yes,” said Clarriene.
“Where are we headed?” asked Clarienne.
The manager said, “Utah.”
A chill crept across Clarienne’s horizontal spine.
Clarienne galloped sadly back across the nation to her ancestral home, the salt-choked wasteland that men call Utah.
She performed in the circus as best she could in that climate. She performed perfectly. The people of Utah had never known such beauty.
One day a man came to the circus. He was the mother-grinding owner of the horrible horse ranch. He fixed Clarriene with a hateful stare.
“I own your bod,” he rasped, “and my legal right is to convert it to glue.” He said these words to Clarriene. She shuddered.
But the clowns and elephants of the circus, Clarriene’s loyal friends, set upon the man with hands and tusks, and saved Clarriene from him.
They killed that horse-hater, and buried him in Utah’s salty soil, where no worms would grind his bod into meat.
The perfection of Clarriene remained unsullied.
The circus manager protected his employees from prosecution by scattering them across the nation. That circus exists now only in memory.
But whither Clarriene? I cannot say. I hope that she is happy; I hope that she still balances on a ball and improves the lives of others.
There is one thing I do know. I know that every horse I have seen since I saw Clarriene was not Clarriene. No other horse is perfect.
Clarriene is perfect; all other horses are imperfect. But, then, I am imperfect as well.
…Or am I?