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Long Huo

Long Huo gets left out of pastoral literature because poetry considers his charges and environ a bit more, a ha, prosaic than hillside sheep. What this says about which poets have ever seen sheep up close is another topic, but in truth Long Huo’s chair herd does have a strange beauty, ambling and bumping before him down the halls of the convention center.

They also keep the berber nice and short.

But the point is that Long Huo’s lyre skills are both unknown and unmatched. He plays to soothe his flock; the elevators answer, chiming like crickets in the tracklit night.


Halley knows nobody comes through this part of the library–that’s why he’s here, in fact, to find a free computer–so he’s surprised to see so many chairs in the Bingham Reading Room. It looks like they actually had a reading, except he can’t remember any such announcement.

He imagines a lonely janitor, gesticulating for an invisible audience. He imagines ghosts settling their cold-jelly bones, drinking ethereal tea. He imagines Long Huo, Chair Herder, ushering his charges to new pastures.

Halley laughs at himself and heads to the computer.

After a fierce debate, the chairs vote to have him killed.