The little fluffy may not have a solid concept of time outside of periods of light and dark, and even a few minutes could be thought of as “forevers”, but it was sure that it had gone a very long time alone. Far too long for any little baby. The foal’s stomach felt as a hollow cavity, nigh constantly panging for sustenance. “Miwkies! Miwkies pwease! Widdow Fabbo nee’ miwkies fo’ gwo’ biggies an’ stwong!” the foal mutters to itself to drive off the loneliness, and reaffirm its needs, lest it forget. Lest no one ever hears, and the forever sleep comes for it. Yet still, the foal knows not to speak loudly of its plight.
It must not feel alone-- although talking to itself makes the loneliness that much more crushing-- but it cannot draw the ire of this hostile world. It cannot cry and draw the monsters; the monsters of bestial form, and that of mankind. The foal can only press on, sleep when too tired to keep moving, and waste away.
“Nee’ miwkies! Onwy widdow babbeh; nu can num biggy fwuffy nummies! Dem num-nums baddies fo’ babbeh teefies and tummy! Mummah sai so! Huu huu huu, wai mummah hab foweba sweepies!? Miss mummah! Nee’ mummah! Wan’ mummah!”
Each sentence refreshes the mental wounds. Every recollection the foal has of its family before those fluffies met their doom burns its spirit with a yearning for the past, as opposed to this irrevocable and unfair present. Every reminder that it was too young to fend for itself makes the city’s backstreets and blocks stretch on to infinity from the foal’s diminutive perspective; the journey long, monotonous and uncertain. Every acknowledgement of its neglect shakes the foal to its core. Mummah was always there for her little baby! Now there was nothing! Nothing except the things that wanted to hurt the poor baby, make it sad, and end its life!
“Wai nubodies wub Widdow Fabbo? Widdow Fabbo am onwy widdow babbeh! Babbeh nee’ huggies and wub! Nu wan–”
The foal let out a cry of surprise. It had blundered into a puddle! But it wasn’t the forsaken water puddles that came after the sky’s gray and somber tears, rather, it was an icky, sticky alley scum-slime left by a leaking garbage bag that had been dragged off by a sanitation worker. The unseen act did not exist in the fluffy’s mind, and it was not capable of drawing the conclusion, so the innate irony of its misfortune-- a labor dedicated to cleanliness was most unclean in reality-- was lost to its tiny brain. All that Little (Reddit-word) was aware of was the uncomfortable matting of its under-coat and the wretched smell the substance exuded.
The foal blinked away the tears and kept the major volume of its sadness dammed up behind squinted eyelids. Refraction caused the world around the fluffy to splinter into warped multiples of distorted light. Little (Reddit-word) trudged onwards, sniffling and swallowing its sobs.
“Nu smeww pwetty! Nu smeww pwetty at aww! Too stinkies fo’ wicky-cweanies! Am bad babbeh! Am bad Widdow Fabbo! Nuuuuu!” lamented the foal, unknowingly reaching the end of its list of misgivings with its life. All there was left to do was start over from the top.
“Huu huu huu! Miss famiwy! Scawy munsta gib famiwy foweba sweepies! Bawky munstas num aww fwuffies! Huu huu… so hungwy… hab tummeh huwties an’ heawt-huwties! Hewp widdow babbeh! Am onwy widdow babbeh!”
So it drew on until the foal began to stumble and sway unsteadily on its hooves. The advanced lack of coordination, by even fluffy standards, meant that the foal had to sleep as well as it could manage, because its energy levels were atrociously low.
Alas, there was one morsel of fortune that was as discarded and overlooked as the foal in the mire: an oversize plastic bottle of some human drink left on its side. Its colorful label called out to the foal like the palms of a desert oasis to a destitute left to the heat and sands. Little (Reddit-word) bumbled its way to the lip of the bottle, which was marginally wider than the girth of the foal. Despite its young age and meager servings from its late mother, the foal was naturally plump.
Little (Reddit-word) clambered into its protective plastic capsule and, against its better judgement-- whatever passed for such a thing in the realm of fluffy thinking-- took a few inquisitive whiffs. The foal gagged. It reeked! And the plastic bottle trapped its accumulated stench!
Garbage-slime, defecation and urine. But somewhere in that rancid chemical cocktail of odors was the sweet, sugary scent of artificial flavors and coloring. “N-n-nummies… nummies! Nummies!” Little (Reddit-word) gasped to itself. It was so desperate, and the residue in the bottle was so inviting! It smelled sweeter and tastier than any mother’s milk it ever suckled on!
Tiredness be damned at that moment; Little (Reddit-word) pushed forth to the back of the bottle where most of the liquid resided in a small collection and lapped at the drink. “So tasties! So nummy-yummy!” Its little feces-ridden tail wagged with uncontainable glee. “Fank ‘ou fo’ nummies! Widdow Fabbo nee’ nummies so baddies!”
All too quickly, the foal consumed all that was left of the sweet drink. Its eyes shot wide in disbelief that its supply was so short-lived. “Nuu! Widdow Fabbo nee’ mo’ nummies! Wai no moa nummies!”
The streams of tears trailed down the foal’s cheeks. “Pwease! Nee’ moa nummies! Hab no bwuddas ow sistas! No hab shawe ow waid fo’ moa nummies! Pwease! Pwease no be meanies to babbeh! Am onwy widdow babbeh! Aww awone! Pwease! Pwease!” The foal stamped its front hooves as it pleaded fruitlessly to deaf, inanimate ears.
When it was forced to accept that it was wasting its breath, the orphaned fluffy sobbed and sobbed, before attempting to salvage the rivulets off the sides of the bottle. Licking droplets was barely a comfort after the soaring joy. Little (Reddit-word) soon abandoned the effort and conceded defeat to sleep. It curled up near the lip of the bottle, where the fresh airflow made inhaling some degree tolerable.
All too soon, the foal’s sensitive stomach began to rumble angrily and turn over. Little (Reddit-word) awoke with cries of pain and contortions as its innards waged hateful war on itself. “HUUU! HUUUU HUUUU! SCREEEEE!” the foal wailed all throughout this terrible episode, until it violently started to spray diarrhea down the length of the bottle. The plastic that wasn’t covered by the colorfully corporate wrapper was quickly stained a sickly blend of brown and green.
When the pain finally subsided, Little (Reddit-word) crawled out of the filth. The foal spent its night among loose garbage, sleeping soundly from exhaustion and attrition. The creatures of the night soundly avoided the meek fluffy, utterly repulsed by its smell. When the orphan finally awoke again, the sun hadn’t risen.
Underneath the dark sky, with only the distant orange glow of the streetlights for comfort, the foal trembled and began its aimless trekking anew, unaware of the ill-begotten safety of its misery. Yet starvation was a patient and unrelenting demon that crept along with each meager hoof-step the fluffy took.
Little (Reddit-word) waited at the edge of the wide blacktop, where the gleaming lights, roaring noise and whooshing breeze were. The speeding shapes and their obnoxious sounds were horrific! But there was nothing for the foal at the previous alley, and in order to keep going, it had to go across the road. Its mother always warned against doing this. Only the smarty was smart enough to lead the herd across the pathways of metal monsters.
But the smarty wasn’t smart enough to not get the worst forever sleep imaginable, and the monster-mister insisted on leaving the last defenseless foal of the group alive. So the ragged foal committed to waiting until the monsters were done playing their contemptible game of tag before scrambling across the asphalt. When the coast was finally clear, Little (Reddit-word) made its dash.
The ways of the traffic lights were mystical. If the foal did not hurry, the spell would wear off, and the worst squishies would ensue. It was an undertaking too great for such a weak creature, though. The foal reached the other side of the crosswalk and promptly threw up. There was hardly anything to it, just a pitiable amount of fluid and clumps of sordid matter.
However, the second time it happened upon a plastic cylinder, it was much more promising. And much more tragic. The Foal-In-A-Can was tossed aside with such callousness that the brittle shell had shattered. The passenger of this unwitting vessel had been ejected a short distance, and was little more than an inert lump of flesh and tiny bones. Little (Reddit-word) sniffed it, and was dismayed to realize it would have been a fluffy, given a little more time.
“Huu huu huu… babbeh go foweba sweepies! So sowwy widdow babbeh! Widdow babbehs am nu fo’ foweba sweepies! Am widdow babbeh!” the foal mourned its fellow kin while it still had the strength to do so. But its struggle was ongoing, while the canned foal had succumbed to the cruelty that struck preemptively. The orphan investigated the can, found the surrogate nipple, and helped itself to the precious formula. It was not nearly as sweet as the bottled drink. It was not nearly as endearing as mother’s milk.
But it filled up Little (Reddit-word)'s belly, and the formula stayed down while the orphan slept in the ruined foal-container. Little (Reddit-word) drank all it could from the reservoir, which amounted to a paltry supply. The can was not designed to support a foal of its size and age, after all. At that point, the foal spoke its lament to itself, and went on its way.
Listing off its misgivings with its situation like usual.
Anything to keep the loneliness at bay.
The fright at bay.
The mental picture of the dead fluffy, which hadn’t even grown its fluff in yet, at bay.
The memories of the slaughter of its herd at bay.
Anything at all to keep on going, because in spite of all the terrible things that had befallen the orphan foal, the fear of what was waiting in the domain of dreams was too great for it to give itself over to it.
Thus, Little (Reddit-word) kept on moving. Wandering aimlessly through the urban sprawl in the hopes of finding some substitute for its mother’s milk before it was too late. That was its lonely, loveless fate.
No hugs for this little baby. No care for this little baby.
Just the hot sun, and the shifting shades of the buildings that cornered the alleyway as the days dragged on. Just the nastiness of refuse, and the other strays gone unnoticed by the people living their busy lives.
Just an unwanted dreg, wallowing in its own miasma.