You finally managed to get home, with Sapphire and her deceased family all safe and intact. People on the streets gave you some questioning looks as you carried the dilapidated, soggy box with you. Hoisting up the box on one knee, you dig into your pocket for your keys and unlock the front door before heading inside. The fresh smell of flowers wafts into your nose, instantly making you feel a little better.
Setting down the box, you gently unstrap your bag from your shoulder and set it down on the couch. Opening the draw string top, you peer inside to check on the little unicorn foal. It’s breathing and moving slightly, much to your relief.
“Okay, first thing’s first…” you say to yourself. “I need to get this little girlie warm and fed.”
You decide to leave Sapphire in the bag to keep relatively warm while you go and run the hot water tap. As it runs, you dig out an old dish, fussy dish towel before smiling to yourself.
“Perfect. It’s not quite the same as fluffy fluff, but it’ll do in a pinch.”
While under the sink, you grab a water bladder and begin to fill it with the hot water. Once it was full to satisfaction – and feeling much like a water bed – you take it and the towel back to the couch where the bag was left. You set the water bladder down by the bag, fold up the towel, and lay it on top of the make-shift water bed. Gently, you pick up the chirpy unicorn and give them a little tummy scritch, eliciting a weak giggle and some wiggles from the foal. You set them down onto the towel, and she instinctively curls up in the warmth of the towel. …Now it’s time to deal with her family.
You bring the box of fluffies into your large bathroom, setting the box down on the floor. You lay out a trash towel and put each of them onto the surface. They’re all dirty and in various forms of… Rather disgusting disarray from the starvation and various lengths of death.
“Well, if I’m going to be burying them, I guess I better make them look good one last time,” you think to yourself. “Should clean them up a bit so that when she’s older, she can have a picture of her family as one last memory.” Your eyes water once more before you take a deep breath and wipe them away.
You look over Gemstone one last time and notice that in spite of her state of starvation, her breasts were still a little plump. You know you don’t have any proper milk for fluffy foals, and seeing as how Gemstone has passed on… You decided to give her a mastectomy, just to recover what little milk she has left to help feed Sapphire until you get a chance to get more.
Leaving the bathroom, you head into your room and open up a small, steel footlocker you kept in your closet. It contains all of your medical tools from the Fluffy Vet course you took – all graduates got them. Scalpels, sutures, skin glue, fine-tipped scissors, syringes, spare syringe heads… The whole nine yards. All of which were still in factory-fresh condition.
Closing the chest, you take it into the bathroom with you, setting it down on the opposite countertop of the sink.
“Jeez, I don’t remember that chest being so heavy…” you tell yourself.
Opening the chest, you take Gemstone and lay her on her back. You clean your hands, disinfect the areas around her breasts, and strap on some gloves. This might get messy…
Your hand shook a bit as you grab your scalpel. Even though this was routine work in school, you haven’t had to perform a recovery mastectomy to save a fluffy’s life before. You pause to take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves before going back to the job.
After a 20 minute thorough struggle with your own body, and trying to gather up as much milk as you could from her, you suture up Gemstone’s… Rather mutilated breasts. They were much smaller, and actually held a lot more milk than you expected. It seems that she had some milk left to feed her foals… But couldn’t gather the strength to roll into a proper position to feed them.
Looking at the syringes, you had four of them, filled with pure, maternal breast milk. Just enough to keep Sapphire going until tomorrow, if you spaced out her feeding properly. You pop off the used syringe heads, disposing of them in a sharps container, before cleaning your tools and putting them back into your closet. Taking the filled syringes, you store them in your fridge for later before returning to Gemstone’s family.
“This is really a job for a mortician… But I’ll have to do for now.” you tell yourself with a soft sigh.
Over the next 20 minutes, you gently cleaned Gemstone and her deceased foals. You tried to clean them as best as you could with soap and water, and got rid of some of the… Nastier looking pieces. They weren’t the best looking, but it was a far cry better than being covered in mud, feces, urine, and blood.
You take their old box and deconstruct it before tossing it away into your trash pile outside. You gently wrap the family in the old, trashy towel before bringing them outside to the backyard. You had a decent yard that you prided yourself on. A well-kept lawn, a couple of plots for some flowers in your garden, some small (like really small) fencing to keep pests away from your flowers, a shed, and a hammock.
You grab your spade and walk to the plot of flowers next to the hammock and begin to dig a small, 2 foot by 3 foot by 2 foot grave. Once satisfied, you bring the towel of fluffies over to the grave and set them down beside it. You grab your phone from your pocket and take a careful picture of the grave, Gemstone, and her deceased foals. Your eyes water up again as you feel horrible for the family that had to suffer through starvation and sickness. After a moment of grieving you hang your head silently in respect for them. You collect yourself before rolling up the towel, carefully putting it into the grave, and burying them. You pat the top of the grave, now sealed with the dug-up grass, with the spade before taking a step back.
“Here lies Gemstone and her foals. While many may have considered her a pest, and I may not know of their tale, I know of the struggle they faced. Released from the suffering of hunger and sickness, may her and her family rest in peace.” you say aloud, trying to sound as official as possible.
Returning your spade to it’s rightful spot against your home, and your phone into your pocket, you head indoors to check on Sapphire.
Having warmed up a syringe of Gemstone’s milk, you take a seat next to Sapphire’s bed. She seems to be quietly snoozing up a storm. You almost want to not disturb the peaceful little angel, but she needs food.
Giving her tummy another gentle scritch, you wake her up with some weak peeps and fussing. You roll her onto her belly and begin to hand feed her with the syringe of milk, being careful to not overload her.
Sapphire immediately latches onto the spout of the syringe and begins nursing from it. Her little peeps and chirps are replaced with the soft sounds of suction… Nuk nuk nuk nuk. The little chirpy unicorn takes half of the syringe before releasing her latch and smiling softly. Your heart just melts at the sight as you take the milk away from her, using the towel she is on to gently wipe the milk dripping from her mouth.
“Peep! Peep! Peep!” the little foal goes. It seems they have a little more energy now that they’ve been fed. You gently scritch their head, and she gives off some quiet “Coo~” noises before curling back up.
You head back into the kitchen to store the rest of the syringe. In all of this excitement, you forgot to clean yourself and wash your work clothes… You’re quite filthy from working at the shop all day, and then dealing with the mastectomy and cleaning of the family. Taking out your phone, you look at the picture of Gemstone and her family one last time. You now have a foal of your own to care for… You have one opportunity to raise her right, and you feel determined to give her the best life she can have.
Stripping off your clothing, you put them into the clothes bin. You set your phone down on the counter furthest from the shower before stepping in to clear your head and clean yourself. Tomorrow, you’ll need to go out to the shop to get supplies for Sapphire. You wonder if it would be best to get them from your work… Or avoid your co-workers for a bit and get them from another shop instead…
–End of Part 2.