Bittersweet Blessings (AmbitiousLeather8309)

Previous Chapter about Ziggy

Previous Chapter about Fido

Despite the midday swelter, Alex turned the heat on in the cabin of the dump truck, pointing both passenger vents at the little greasy takeout bag of shredded paper containing the chirping little alicorn. Rather than cooking in the front with Alex and the runty foal, Russ and the two apprentices hung off the back of the dump truck. Alex thought they looked a bit like foals nestled in their mother’s fluff in the rearview.

The incinerator plant loomed over the edge of the city like a great brutalist temple, with the massive vents sucking air down into the depths of the machinery inside, surrounded by the swirling misty clouds that hung heavy overhead. There werent too many trucks waiting at the gate this time of day, most waste collectors preferred to work at night and turn in at dawn. Additionally, this plant mostly collected ocean waste from the docks. Filtering microplastics from sea water was where the big money was at these days.

Russ and the apprentices signed their truck in before leaving for the decontamination showers. Alex was guided by a flagger to an unloading bay. Alex backed in with a smooth three point turn and in minutes the restaurant alley catastrophe was moving down a system of large pipes to the incinerators.

Miles below the surface of the earth, they would be combusted in the pressure chambers, and the freshly freed carbon from the lifeforms and petroleum products would feed the core of the earth. Instead of pumping pollution into the atmosphere, humans forced it back down to keep the planet from dying.

The only waste generated when you remove the carbon from carbon dioxide is… oxygen. Thats what the clouds were over the incinerator, the condensation of new water forming around the exhaust vents.

Alex put his chirping bundle in his locker while he showered. The Plant provided a harsh but efficient soap in the decontamination areas. everyone instead used the scrub that Russ and Alex’s Abuela had made of thick lye soap, sugar, salt, and citrus peels. Russ joked that the potent and fragrant soap could wash sins away.

Russ kept his facial hair very neat and slicked his hair back. He was obsessed with old movies and adored the ‘vampire’ aesthetic. Lost Boys. Buffy. Queen of the Damned. Abuela called him a “poser,” but she was nearly 90 herself and was actually going to the theatres when those movies premiered. Alex tried to stay inconspicuous, having been bullied for his skinny frame and glasses he had no desire to stand out the way that Russ did.

After changing into casual clothes, the two cousins drove home together in the beat up car they shared, with their little cargo snoozing in the back seat after a few drops of chocolate flavored protein drink.

Abuela inspected the runt herself upon their arrival. The kitchen was steamy with some kind of pork based soup, and Abuela had to clean the steam from her glasses. She tsk tsked under her breath after poking the little alicorn in the stomach. “Rubio, Alejandro … que descuidado!” How careless, she said. They shouldn’t have fed him if they weren’t going to help him poop after.

Abuela glared as she roughly rubbed a tissue directly on the anus of the little foal until he let out a surprised peep and a little splatter of feces landed in the tissue. Lots of animals, the mother will stimulate the bowels with licking and eat the waste, fluffies included. Keep the nest clean, keeps the young clean.

As if two city boys knew anything about raising animals anyways. As a teenager, Abuela rescued all kinds of animals. She was even viral for a minute for the little songs she would sing to the puppies and kittens on her social media. Of course that was over fifty years ago, when vines and TikTok’s and reels were still a thing.

Abuela gently scrubbed the little alicorn in a sinkful of hot soapy water, checking his little wisps of fluff for fleas, before drying him off vigorously with a towel. she boiled him some powdered milk with a little corn flour and fed him from her tiniest teaspoon.

If you asked abuela how she knew all these things, her answer was the same. “La Pandemia.” Covid19. During the lockdowns she taught herself to make soap. Bake bread. Grind corn to flour for tortillas. Rescue animals.

Despite his crossed eyes, mismatched ears, misshapen legs, the derpy little alicorn had a way of sitting perfectly still was almost regal. a scrawny angel.

“No!” Exclaimed Russ, “Not an angel… a duke. A thin white duke with mismatched eyes?! This is Ziggy Stardust.”

Poor Russ had to give a thirty minute lecture about late 1900’s music, but Abuela and Alex were eventually sold on the name. Abuela watched little Ziggy while Russ and Alex went to work. The little runt’s eyes became clearer and more focused every day, and even though he wouldn’t have proper fluff, he did get the soft fuzz of a chihuahua or a pit bull. Not quite hair, not quite fluff… but a coat of sorts.

Work was always plentiful for Alex and Russ, but after the Restaurant Alley Incident, work for them seemed to triple. They were able to take on two more apprentices. It was agreed that a newer, bigger truck would need to be purchased from the Incinerator Plant before the Christmas Rush to get the streets clean.

Abuela seemed more like herself, more cheerful, singing songs from her youth to Ziggy. Having a pet around the house really brought back memories for her, and taking care of a small creature was second nature. Fluffy Ponies really thrive when their diet is mostly lettuces and a bit of nuts or dried insects for protein, and the whole family was eating more greens as a result, too. Abuela’s doctor even took her off a few medications because her health had improved so much.

“Hey Russ, you ever see a weird lookin big black dog during cleanups? It’s creepy… Feels like a bad omen every time I see him.”

Russ shrugged. He wasn’t terribly aware of the living creatures, more concerned with the money he made clearing the dead ones. Alex’s curiosity ate at him. what kind of dog lived nearby so many fluffy colonies? Was it eating them?

“Hah! Hey Alex! Your Grim Reaper is up ahead! It looks like he’s got a fluffy pony infestation too. Fuck, man, worse than fleas. At least the fleas don’t whine about everything.”

The big dog walked by, almost purposefully avoiding looking at Alex. But the seasoned garbage man could not look away from the lumbering form. Alex wondered what kind of paws the dog had, maybe it was a wolf hybrid or something… but Alex saw that there were no paws.

It had hooves.

“Wow,” Alex whispered, “You’re a fluffy pony???”

The dark form paused, almost as if surprised and unsure what to do.

The foal on his back cheeped cheerfully. “Dis am Fido! Me SuShine! Nyu Fren?”

Fido shushed the little yellow floof on his back.

Alex smiled, “Aww, what a pretty name, Sunshine! And Fido, thats a great name for a big fluffy who looks like a dog. I’ve seen you around, Fido. I guess you being a fluffy yourself explains why you’re always around the colonies. My name is Alex and I clean the stinky poopy stuff with my big truck. You guys doing ok? It’s hard living on the streets sometimes.”

“Fido gib SuShine bestest nummies and pway games and stay safe and warmsies! Fido bestest fwen.”

“Can you talk, Fido? Or does your baby do all the talking?” Alex could sense something in the big brown eyes of the enormous fluffy. Intelligence?

“Fido nu talkies to hoomins. Onwy Fwuffies.”

Alex nodded, “I can respect that. It was cool to meet you both. See you around.” Alex turned and walked back towards the truck. A man’s voice spoke up behind him.

“Actually, Alex, I’m quite tired of such hard living and might inquire about changing our living circumstances. I don’t know how or what you might have to offer, but its always worth asking, since you kindly offered.”

Alex whirled on his heels, looking for another human in the narrow alleyway.

There was no one. Only garbage and two fluffies.

“You see why I don’t talk to people, now. I can assure you my voice is too deep, so pretending to talk like an ordinary fluffy is even more confusing and upsetting for all of us.”

Alex knelt down in the grime to be eye level with the dark grey stallion who spoke like an old man.

“Fido, bud, you’re freaking me out a little. But actually … I think you both should come with me. I don’t know why and our landlord will flip shit, but … we’re kind of already a houseful of freaks, you’d fit right in.”

Russ was beyond annoyed at having even MORE fluffies in the house, but Alex assured him it was temporary. The little yellow one could be adopted out easily, and the big one might even work with them, sniffing out herds or even like… maybe talking to them. It’s a fluffy pony the size of a German shepherd who doesn’t speak like he has a mouthful of marbles, what’s NOT to like???

Upon entering the house, the air was tense. Abuela was sitting in her chair, repairing a sweater, smiling and blissfully unaware of the strange aura surrounding them. Ziggy seemed tense in his little basket at Abuela’s feet, eyes soft but alert, wings close to his body.

Fido stepped gingerly on the carpet, as if he had never felt it beneath his hooves before. Alex suggested that Abuela have a look at Sunshine and maybe give the little filly a bath. Abuela was delighted to have more little guests, and gave Fido a head pat before scurrying off to the kitchen with Sunshine. Fido was taken aback by the sight of the pure white alicorn colt sitting in a basket.

Fido spoke, his words halting to a stammer in places. “Alex,” he rasped with a dry throat, “ ahem Alex… uh… ‘Ziggy’ here tells me that you are all very kind, good humans and have treated him well. Ziggy wants me to ask you if you know what he is?”

Alex puzzled before answering, “ He’s talking to you right now? He’s our fluffy pony. He’s an alicorn? He’s not the best looking, and he doesn’t talk, at least not to us, but we love him all the same.”

Fido looked up at Alex thoughtfully. “Do you know about angels, Alex? Or fairies? Ever heard of wishes coming true? Or the Story of the Monkey’s Paw, where people make wishes and the wishes come true but it goes horribly wrong?”

Alex nodded. Fido Continued, “Ziggy informs me that he is more than an alicorn. He is an entity of sorts that has been embodied in such a way as to grant wishes. He says he can see the hearts desire of anything with enough brains and heart to desire, and sometimes he can make them appear. He says that… Your grandmother’s greatest desire, especially since you boys are all grown up, was to have something to take care of. The greatest desire of Russ, your cousin, was success and seeing his hard work pay off. Your greatest desire, Alex, was not an alicorn like you thought, but rather… your mind craves to solve mysteries and make discoveries. Your heart’s desire is learning.

“But Ziggy has a heart and a mind and has a wish he wants granted, too. And that’s why you brought me here, Alex. Ziggy informs me I’m kind of his… brother? Of sorts? I am a different kind of entity. Ziggy is the beginning of stories, and I am the end of stories. He grants wishes, and I… I truly am a grim reaper of sorts. That’s why I have seen so much death and suffering.”

“You see, Alex… Ziggy and I have the same wish. We no longer want to be alone in the world. We need each other. And Ziggy wishes to go out and find others like us. Other freaks. Did you have one last wish before we left?”

Alex shook his head, “Not really. Nothing I don’t already have. I wish the best for everyone. Happy days. Brief sadness. I hope Abuela is happy. I hope Russ is happy. I’m sad to see you go, but I hope you’re both happy, too. It was so cool to have an alicorn, even just for a little while. I always suspected they were magical or something. It was cool meeting you, too, Fido.”


Sunshine chirped happily, bouncing around the kitchen floor, a little butter colored cloud of love and cheer as Abuela set her food dish on the floor. Sunshine’s life had been nothing but happiness since she arrived. Her basket, her blankets, her toys, her Abuela, good food, and cuddles and love.

“mi pequeña rosa amarilla!” Abuela smiled down as the little fluffy pony gobbling her plate of cooked vegetables. The old woman remembered the day her grandsons brought Sunshine home in a greasy fast food bag, a little chirping newborn, eyes not even open, so small she had to feed the tiny golden foal boiled milk with her tiniest teaspoon. The boys didn’t know you needed to stimulate the bowels or little animals get bloated. The mother would lick their little bellies to help them. A tissue works just as well.

It was such a joy watching the little yellow foal grow into such a sweet full grown mare. The old woman thought it was wonderful to have something to take care of again, since her grandsons were grown men all of a sudden. She hadn’t had a pet since the boys were small.

Russ had become so successful with his garbage business he needed an office and a secretary to manage everything properly. He was making plans for his next big venture to be a theatre to show old movies. Imagine it, The Matrix on a vintage projector, no holograms, just like when it first premiered.

Alex sold his half of the business to Russ and was finally back in college like he wanted. In honor of his grandmother’s lifelong love of rescuing animals, Alex was going into veterinary school. It was like after that restaurant alley incident, everyone’s wishes came true.

Alex drew little alicorns and big black dogs in the margins of his biology textbook, without really understanding why.




Such a sweet story! Ziggy and Fido are fascinating characters, I’d love to see more of them, though this is such a satisfying piece on its own.

I’m a real sucker for disabled, runty or otherwise odd Fluffies… and the folklore of Black Dogs. We have a lot of stories of them here. :slight_smile:


I’m not implying I made a mute fluffy and a fluffy who speaks like a human to avoid having to write in fluffspeak.

I’m not saying that at all. /s


This is a great setting for telling some good stories!
Please continue!