The wreckage of the plane cast an eerie glow in the night, a series of small fires illuminating the debris that now littered the wooded hilltops. Shorn through the earth, the fuselage lay crumpled and shredded into two chunks by the impact. Drowned out by the roaring crackle of the burning debris, several fluffies shrieked from their fallen carriers, confused and horrified at what had transpired.
“HEWP!!! CINNAMON NEE’ HEWP!!!”
“WET FWUFFY OW’T!!! WET FWUFFY OW’T P’WEASE!!!”
“BUWNIE HUWTIES!!! FWUFFY HAB WOWSTEST BUWNIE HUWTIES!!! *SCREEEEEEE!!!”
Scared by the ever encompassing orange glow of the fire and the terrified death cries of the fluffies that were unfortunate enough to have landed closer to the flames, the red earthie continued to scream for help, scratching against the grating of his cage until his hooves bled. Frantic, Cinnamon cried out again and again before he was shook from his mania by a voice coming from nearby.
“Cawm down!!! Fwuffy nee’ tu howd stiww!!”
“Hewwo?! Cinnamon hewe!!! CINNAMON HEWE!!!”
Glancing around, the colt pressed his face against the door of his cage, trying desperately to see around his confines. His whimpers growing as he thought himself abandoned, the red fluff suddenly felt the grating of his carrier shift, causing him to tumble free awkwardly with a thud.
“Git upsies! Gowna nee’ fwuffy’s hewp tu sabe odah fwuffies!”
“Git upsies nao!!!”
Cinnamon peered up, seeing a large violet fluffed stallion standing over him and glaring down at the young colt. Leaning in suddenly, the older fluffy grasped the colt by his scruff, his teeth causing Cinnamon to yelp from the sudden pain as the stallion yanked him upright. Releasing him once he was on all four hooves, the large stallion snorted before shifting his head behind him and turning around.
“Huwwy ups!!! Nee’ fwuffies hewp ow odah fwuffies gowna gu foweba sweepies!!!”
Still stunned by the abrupt appearance and rescue, Cinnamon stood there, staring perplexed as he watched the stallion run deeper within the fuselage, dumbfounded at why his strange savior would be running towards the fire instead of fleeing from it. And the words he used, forever sleepies. They weren’t ones the colt truly understood but something about them sent shivers down his spine. Trembling from the madness of the crash, the spreading fire, and the cacophony of screams all around him, Cinnamon was overwhelmed, urine trickling down his haunches as he failed to budge.
“Cinnamon!!! Nee’ tu moob nao!!! Sabe fwuffies befow it am tu wate!!!”
Shook from his stupor,Cinnamon nodded before hesitantly trotting alongside the stallion, watching as the venerable fluff fidgeted with the latch on a carrier, a blue mare within screeching indiscernibly as she banged against the cage.
“Hab fwuffy ow’t soon! Cinnamon, wook obah hewe!!!”
Cinnamon saw as he shifted his hooves into the groove of the cage before using his mouth to tug the latch loose, the carrier door swinging open and freeing the mare who ran past the pair, still screaming as she fled the burning wreckage. Gesturing to the fallen pet crates that dotted the fuselage, the stallion ran towards another as he called out to the colt behind him.
“Hewp odah fwuffies!!! Huwwy!!!”
Scared beyond belief, Cinnamon hesitated only for a moment, peering towards the opening that the blue fluff had fled towards. He was temped to join her, wanting nothing more than to escape the fiery nightmare as she had. But her expression when she had been trapped was burned within his mind, the terror of being unable to get away as the fire slowly spread closer. It was howCinnamon had felt only moments ago. And if not for the older stallion, he would have never gotten loose. Taking a deep breath, the colt steeled himself.
It was too horrifying to look towards the flames itself, Cinnamon forcing his gaze downward as he hurried from carrier to carrier, unlatching them as the stallion had showed him. Once they had freed several crates worth of fluffies the stallion called out to him, the tumultuous roar of the closing inferno nearly drowning him out.
“Dat am enuff! Fwuffies nee’ wun way’ nao!”
“Buh…wha bout odah twapped fwuffies?!”
Slowly shaking his head, the stallion’s once stoic expression became sullen as he peered back to the remaining containers.
“…Odah fwuffies nu maek it Cinnamon…”
Running up beside Cinnamon, the stallion nudged against him, the red fluff’s eyes fixed firmly on the last cages before the pair turned around to join the other fluffies that they had freed. Once they had cleared the main wreckage,Cinnamon calmed for a moment, thinking the worst was over. But as they joined the other fluffies, the frightened creatures huddled together just outside, he saw that it was black as pitch all around for as far as the eye could see, the only light coming from the burning debris and the smaller fires that dotted the landscape around them.
“Wewe…wewe am fwuffies?”
“…Wooks wike fwuffies am owt’side…an’ am nite time…”
It was all too much for Cinnamon to handle. While he had adrenaline to fall back on before, with the fires and his very life on the line, now he was forced to truly think about their plight. Cinnamon hadn’t truly understood when he was forced into the carrier by his little mother’s parents, with fear and a mild tranquillizer not aiding in the matter. All he could remember was the sad look on his owner’s face as she promised that she’d see him just as soon as the plane landed. But that hadn’t been the case. He, like the other fluffies that had been in the plane’s cargo hold were the unfortunate result of a mix up at the airport, the unlucky pets being no more than lost luggage. Fearing litigation, the airport prepped the misplaced fluffs for a series of flights intended to reunite them with their owners. But the crash had put an end to all that.
Now that it was becoming clear to Cinnamon that he’d never see his family again he began to sob like many of the other fearful and confused fluffies that huddled near the wreckage.
“*huuu…huuu…huuu…Cinnamon wan widdew mummah…”
“…ba’beh hun’gy…nee’ miwkies…*chirp…*chirp…”
“*chirp…*chirp…*chirp…mu’mah? wewe am mu’mah? *chirp…*chirp…”
“DUMMEH BABBEHS SHUD’UP!!! CUSTAWD NO KNO WEWE BABBEHS’ MUMMAH AM AN’ CUSTAWD NU CAWE!!!”
With the fluffies quickly giving in to a panic, sobbing and screaming over each other, it wasn’t until the purple stallion made his way to the middle of them, dragging a small satchel with his mouth that the clamor began to die down, the confused fluffs now staring towards him.
“Fwuffies cawm down!!! Nee’ tu wowk tugethah if fwuffies am gowna maek it!!! Hewe am suwvivah baggy fwom pwane!!! Habs nummies, wawa, an’ odah tings tu hewp fwuffies!!! Fwuffies wiww be otay as wong as…”
It had happened so fast the fluffies scarcely noticed, the blue mare’s scream cut short as the wolf’s teeth tore into her body and pulled her beyond their sight. Staring where she had once been, with only a few faint drops of blood now staining the ground, the fluffies were stunned into silence, having never seen such a creature before. After a few seconds of disbelief and utter shock at how quickly she had been taken, reality set in. Hearing the unseen monsters howl in victory at the meal they had claimed, the fluffies were sent into a wild panic.
“WEWE FLUFFY GU?! WEWE MUNSTAH TAEK FWUFFY?!”
“*SCREEEEEEE!!! GIT OWW’TA CUSTAWD’S WAY’!!! NEE’ WUN WAY’ FWOM MUNSTAH”
“BABBEHS COME WIFF MO’KA!!! FWUFFIES NEE’ WUN WAY’!!!”
It had devolved into utter chaos within moments, with the entire makeshift herd now screaming and scattering away from the wreckage. Quickly met with the encompassing dark, the fluffies fled to the varied burning debris that was littered about the hillside. While most made it, several blood curdling shrieks were cut short, marking those that had met the same fate as the blue mare. Terrified, Cinnamon had tried to flee when the others ran, only to feel the older stallion’s hoof holding him firmly in place.
“WET GU!!! WET GU!!! CINNAMON NEE’ WUN WAY’!!! MUNSTAHS GOWNA GET CINNAMON!!!”
“Wook!!! Stahp yewwin’ an’ wook obah dewe!!!”
His voice was low but firm as he pushed the Cinnamon’s head, forcing him to look out past the darkness and towards one of the smaller fires. The brown mare that had saved several foals had fled to it to escape both the monsters and the horrifying night. Now that she was close to the orangish glow, the colt could just make out the outline of the monsters, dashing in towards her, only to scurry away as they came too close to the fire.
“Munstahs nu am wike fwuffies…Dey nu am scawed of dawkies…Dey am scawed of fiwe…scawed of dah bwite…”
“Weawwy? Munstahs hab scawdies tu? Den fwuffies jus’ hab tu stay hewe den…”
“…Nu. Fiwe nu wast fowebah…An’ wen fiwe gu ow’t, munstahs wiww git fwuffies…”
“Buh…buh wat am fwuffies gowna du?!”
“Fwuffies wiww hab to weeb hewe…git way’ fwom munstahs…Keep moov’n tiww bwite time…Fow nao, fwuffies nee’ tu sabe odah fwuffies…”
Letting go of Cinnamon, the stallion began to rifle through the survivor pack, taking everything out in the faint hope that there was something within that could save them. Ration bars and several canisters of water were a great find, but would do little to stop the encroaching monsters from slaying them. There was a plastic box with a large red cross on the top that the stallion explained was used to help with hurties, but wouldn’t be helpful without any people.
“Wewe am hoomins? Hoomins cud hewp fwuffies!”
The stallion grew quiet for a moment, simply looking towards the ground before tossing the kit aside.
“…Hoomins nu can hewp fwuffies…Fwuffies hab tu hewp fwuffies…”
At a hurried pace the stallion continued until the pack was nearly empty, worried that he would find nothing to help them. But near the bottom was what he was looking for: a utility lighter. Pulling it out with his mouth, the stallion worked it awkwardly into his hooves, depressing the trigger and making a small flame that caused Cinnamon to jump slightly.
“Gud…fiwe’stawtah can hewp fwuffies…”
“Wat am dat ting, Fiwe’stawtah?”
“Nu…dis am…Nebah mind…hewp…hewp Fiwe’stawtah find sum bwanches…”
“Wike widdew bwoken twees…Hewp Fiwe’stawtah findies wan dat am big enuff…”
Putting the gear back within the kit, save for the lighter, the fluffies began to scour around the wreckage until they found a suitable pile of fallen tree limbs that were struck to the ground by the plane as it crashed. Pulling a large branch free, Firestarter held it out with his mouth, handing the lighter to Cinnamon. Then, slowly explaining how to depress the trigger, Firestarter showed the young colt how to work the lighter, pressing the end of the stick into it’s flame until he had a makeshift torch. The stallion then worked the satchel’s strap around his neck, making sure that it would safely drag behind him, knowing that they would need the supplies to survive. His voice slightly garbled by the branch, Firestarter slowly walked towards the edge of the wreckage, beckoning Cinnamon to follow close.
“Cinnamon come wiff Fiwe’stawtah…Nu weeb wewe dah bwite am…”
Cinnamon hesitated as Firestarter slowly stepped into the darkness, with the light of his torch barely illuminating the night. Turning back, the stallion could see Cinnamon’s apprehension had frozen the young fluff in place.
“…It am otay…Fiwe’stawtah kno Cinnamon hab scawdies…Buh Fiwe’stawtah pwomise tu keep Cinnamon safe…nao wets gu hewp odah fwuffies…”
The pair made their way towards the small fire in the distance, leaving the safety of the wreckage’s substantial luminescence. Walking slowly, Cinnamon kept pace with Firestarter, cautiously glancing around at the umbral gloom that surrounded them, unable to tell if the noises just beyond the light were real or his imagination getting the best of him. Firestarter for his part was seemingly calm, walking forward with his gaze firmly set on the small bit of debris that the mare had taken the foals to for safety. It was puzzling to Cinnamon how calm Firestarter seemed. If not for the bravery of the older stallion, Cinnamon wasn’t sure if he could even make the journey. Fidgeting anxiously and whimpering out of reflex, Cinnamon spoke, desperate to take his mind off of the things that lurked just out of sight.
“*huuu…huuu…huuu…Wai am Fiwe’stawtah nu scawed of munstahs?”
“Fiwe’stawtah am scawed tu, Cinnamon…”
“Buh…buh Fiwe’stawtah nu seem scawed tu Cinnamon.”
“Fiwe’stawtah am a hewpah fwuffy…wus twained tu hewp owdah hoomins wiff tings awound dah housie…Fiwst ting dey teachies hewpah fwuffies is tu nu cwy ow scweam wen sum’ting gu wong ow am scawy…dat no hewp…Onwy ting tu du am twy fwuffy’s bestest…an’ wite nao, odah fwuffies nee’ Fiwe’stawtah an’ Cinnamon tu hewp dem…”
Her eyes darting about nervously, Mocha clutched the foals close to her chest, sitting squat on the ground. With every snarl and flash of teeth she could tell the monsters were getting closer, the terrified fluff backing away inch by inch as the fire dwindled down.
“*huuu…huuu…huuu…WEEB BABBEHS AN’ MO’KA AWONE!!! P’WEASE!!!”
As she scrambled to avoid the encroaching monsters, one of the foals that had been clinging tightly to her fluff fell loose. Screeching as it tumbled to the ground, the light pink filly landed belly up, wiggling and flailing it’s nubs wildly.
“*screeeeeee!!! hewp!!! *chirp…*chirp…ba’beh feww!!! *chirp…*chirp…”
Pleading as it rocked to and fro, the frail fluff chirped and peeped, the mare turning in horror as she saw the beast’s outstretched maw lunge from the shadows. The filly shrieked as it’s fangs sunk deep within her flesh, her shrill cries quickly silenced as her ribcage splintered and cracked under the pressure of the monster’s jaw, her entire body seizing violently before going limp.
Mocha turned away as she hunkered around the remaining foals, thankful she wasn’t able to see as she heard the awful tearing and gnashing of the monster devouring the lost filly. Trembling as the foals began to peep and chirp anxiously, their sensitive noses able to smell their sister’s blood on the air, Mocha curled around the scared little fluffs, knowing that the beasts would soon overtake them and trying in vain to spare their lives. Hearing the nightmarish growls growing ever closer, she began to whimper, clutching the foals tight to her chest as she felt their heavy footsteps approaching.
“Wook ow’t!!! *SCREEEEEEE!!!”
Running between the encroaching beast and the fearful mare, Firestarter held the torch high, the flames inches from the monster’s face. It snarled, baring it’s teeth and attacking as it retreated, snapping it’s jaws around the stallion’s hind leg before ducking back into the shadows. Falling to the ground, Firestarter cried out in pain, his mangled leg kicking against the soft dirt from sheer agony.
Horrified at first to see one of the beast’s so close to the light, the sight of the stallion that had been helping him being hurt was somehow far worse to Cinnamon. The dangers that lurked just beyond the shadows seemingly forgotten, the colt ran over to Firestarter, throwing his hooves around the fallen stallion.
“*huuu…huuu…huuu…Am Fiwe’stawtah otay?! Munstah gib Fiwe’stawtah wowstest huwties!”
“…Nu…Fiwe’stawtah nu can wawkies gud nu mowe…tu mani huwties…”
“…Buh…buh Cinnamon nee’ Fiwe’stawtah! Fwuffies nee’ Fiwe’stawtah!”
The shock of the attack finally wearing off, the brown mare unclenched her eyes, seeing that she and the foals were miraculously unharmed. It had been the stallion and his little friend, the pair somehow making the dangerous trip from the main wreckage to the burning debris she had fled to by instinct.
“Fwuffies sabe Mo’ka?Sabe babbehs? Tank yu su manies…”
The foals once again on her back, Mocha trotted over to Cinnamon, the mare seeing the colt try in vain to drag his fallen friend closer to the fire. While the torch was still lit, with Firestarter still holding it firmly within his mouth, the colt wanted him as far away from the shadows as possible.
“…Widdew fwuffy nee’ hewp?”
“Yus…hewp Cinnamon moov Fiwe’stawtah cwosah tu dah fiwe…p’wease!”
With their combined efforts it took only a moment to pull Firestarter closer to the burning wreckage, the stallion moaning each time his wounded hoof was moved. Once they were as near the fire as their frail bodies could manage, they placed him down against the ground.
“Tank yu fow hewp’n Cinnamon…”
“Cinnamon am wewcomes…fwuffy’s name am Mo’ka…Mo’ka find babbehs an’ wun way’ wiff babbehs wen munstahs came…*huuu…huuu…huuu…buh munstahs took wan an’ poow babbeh gown foweba sweepies nao…”
Cinnamon took a breath before putting his hooves around the weeping mare, wanting to console her before coming up with some sort of plan. He would need her, especially with Firestarter potentially hobbled.
“Dat am awfuw…buh cwy’n nu hewp fwuffies…an’ nu bwing bahheh back edah…Mo’ka gowna nee’ be stwong fow babbehs nao…”
Even as the colt said it he fought back tears himself. It was so hard not to break down after all that had happened, but Cinnamon needed to be for Mocha what Firestarter had been for him.
Wiping her cheeks, Mocha did her best to stifle her sobbing, happy that at least for now, the other foals were safe, as well as her new friends, although the injured stallion wasn’t looking so good. Trying to keep quiet, Firestarter bit his lip as he slowly forced his injured leg upright, rising awkwardly to his hooves, wobbling as he winced from the pain.
“Fiwe’stawtah! Nu git upsies! Fiwe’stawtah am huwt!”
“…Name nu wus Fiwe’stawtah, Cinnamon…Owd daddeh gib name tu Fiwe’stawtah befow…buh daddeh gown nao…gu foweba sweepies jus’ wike aww dah odah hoomins in scawy cwash…Fiwe’stawtah awways kno daddeh wud gu way’ fow Fiwe’stawtah did…Fiwe’Stawtah jus’…jus’ wan hewp…wike nices hoomins hu show Fiwe’stawtah hao tu hewp daddeh…buh Fiwe’stawtah nu can gu wiff fwuffies nu mowe…”
“Dat nu am twu!!! Fiwe’stawtah gowna be otay!!! Fwuffies nee’ Fiwe’stawtah!!! Cinnamon nee’ Fiwe’stawtah!!!”
“"Cinnamon an’ fwuffies be otay…Cinnamon am smawt…an’ bwave tu…Hewe…taek dis…”
Working the strap loose, Firestarter handed the satchel over to Cinnamon, placing it over the colt’s torso. Then, placing the spent torch on the ground, the wounded stallion pressed both of his hooves against it, his eyes bulging from the effort as he snapped the branch in half, the effort nearly causing him to collapse.
“Wha am Fiwe’stawtah du’n?!”
“Odah fwuffies nu nee’ Fiwe’stawtah…fwuffies nee’ Cinnamon…Fiwe’stawtah taek wan stick, Cinnamon taek dah odah…Fiwe’stawtah gu awone…wead munstahs way’…an’ Cinnamon hewp Mo’ka…find odah fwuffies an’ hewp dem tu…”
“Cinnamon nu can hewp fwuffies! Nu wike Fiwe’stawtah can!”
Smiling somberly, the stallion reached over and held Cinnamon tightly in his hooves.
“…Den yu am Fiwe’stawtah nao…”
Taking his half of the branch, the stallion held it in his mouth as the colt worked the lighter for his friend one last time. Once the torch was lit once again, he slowly strode past the debris as the young fluff watched on, fighting back tears and trying to be strong. As he made his way further and further from his companions, the howls became more distant and harder to hear. Now only a dull light in the distance, the new Firestarter worked his branch into his muzzle, sitting on his haunches as he forced the lighter to ignite. With the torch now ready and the supplies firmly around his back, the colt began to make his way to the next fire, stopping only for a moment when the mare hesitated to follow him.
“…It am otay…Fiwe’stawtah kno Mo’ka hab scawdies…Buh Fiwe’stawtah pwomise tu keep Mo’ka safe…nao wets gu hewp odah fwuffies…”
The sun finally rose on the hillside, the flames of the wreckage having long since died out. Not far from the fuselage, the stallion’s corpse laid atop the grassy clearing, his entrails splayed free from his body. The wolves had devoured his lower half quickly, and now that morning had come, their appetite had been peaked once more, the pair once again ripping and tearing into the fluffy’s succulent flesh.
Artwork by Dragonixa