Filling the Space Pt. 9 [By MuffinMantis]

Part Eight

[Author’s Note: A bit more of a relaxed part than most of the others, less focused on sinister plots or the fluffies themselves and a bit more focused on Sam’s interactions with the people in her life, as well as her more personal struggles.]

Sam struggled to suppress the feelings of anxiety, drumming her fingers on the empty table and creating little clicking noises as her nails tapped the wooden surface. Though she’d only been seated for a few minutes, it felt like it’d been hours. Thoughts of all the things that could go wrong drifted through her racing mind, each conjured image worse than the last.

Across the table from her, Rebecca sighed.

“Will you please stop twitching so much? It’s going to be fine. Alice knows how to take care of foals, and Mikhael sure as hell isn’t going to do anything that could hurt the parents, so just relax.”

“I just don’t like having them away from me. What if something goes wrong? Sunbeam and Aqua and Victor and Smokey are too young to be away from Knight and Hope.

“They’re going to be fine. Alice can bottle feed them if somehow they can’t go a few hours without eating. You never spend time with any of us anymore, and frankly I think it’s unhealthy to only spend your time focused on anything, even fluffies.”

“I don’t only focus on fluffies. Besides, I spend time with Mik.”

“And when’s the last time you talked with him about anything other than fluffies?”

Sam couldn’t come up with an answer for that one. Deep down, she knew that the points were valid. Still, it didn’t help with the anxious feeling.

She’d cancelled a vacation she’d had planned with two of her friends when Knight and Hope had first shown up. To make up for it, she was spending some time with them. Well, one of them, anyway; Alice’s pet mare had recently begun pestering her about babbehs, so she was spending the evening watching the foals so her fluffy could get some idea of what it was really like.

She really had been a bad friend recently, but the fluffies needed a lot of attention and help adjusting to their new lifestyle. At least, that was the excuse she always made. In reality the incident with Milly and Arch had left enough of an impression on her that she had a hard time leaving the fluffies alone out of fear they might be harmed. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust Alice or Mik, it was just that the world was a cruel place towards fluffies, and something terrible could happen at any time.

“Sam, we’re going to eat dinner and watch a movie, and maybe after this you can stop worrying so much. You get way too wrapped up in these things, you know. I know you want to take the best care of your fluffies that you can, but taking care of yourself needs to come first. So relax for a while, stop being so hyper-vigilant, and maybe the rest of us can stop worrying about you so much.”

“I know, I just…”

“You just make yourself sick thinking about things that will never happen. You shouldn’t be worried at all, not with Alice and Mik taking care of them, and yet you’re a nervous wreck after less than an hour. You need to take care of yourself, Sam.”

“I do take care of myself.”

“You take care of everyone around you and pretend that it’s taking care of yourself. Look, this isn’t something to talk about when we’re trying to have fun, so let’s just relax and have a normal conversation for a change.”

“What about?”

“I don’t even care at this point. Anything but work or fluffies. Is there a new show your watching or something?”

“Well, there’s this one series…”

Sam felt refreshed as sat on the couch, watching TV instead of the foal-cam for the first time in what felt like forever. It really had been too long since she’d spent time for herself, even if being told that by someone else wasn’t the most enjoyable experience. Being able to just relax without worrying about taking care of the fluffies or worrying about work really did work wonders.

Mikhael had assured her that Hope and Knight had had a lot of fun spending time around Rose without the stress of being in a large group or having to watch over the foals. They were under a lot of pressure too, it seemed, especially with Victor requiring constant attention and Smokey bursting into tears over the smallest kindness. Sam’s increasingly tense mood probably didn’t help with that, even if she was careful to never take it out on the fluffies; fluffies were very sensitive to their owner’s mood and by neglecting herself she’d also been putting extra strain on them.

As for the foals, Alice said they’d had a great time. Alice’s fluffy, Snowball, had been overjoyed to have foals to take care of, and have spent the entire evening hugging them or singing to them. Alice had half-jokingly confided that the singing was so horribly off-key that she was having doubts about letting Snowball have foals now, for the sake of her own ears and sanity. Still, it seemed everyone had had a good time.

For all that the self-care time was welcome, Sam felt that she could relax more now that she was home. The fluffies were all asleep, having had a long day, so the house was dark and quiet apart from the TV. So Sam sat and paid only half a mind to the show, musing that it was nice that sometimes, there was nothing that went wrong.

Part Ten


<cut away to show all the things that secretly went wrong than will start causing recurring issues in 3…2…1…>


Anyways, it sounds like Sam has some serious obsessive tendencies going on. If fluffies are anywhere close as intuitive as regular pets then I can understand how it is impacting them. All the self-doubt and projecting going on is stressful.

1 Like