You’re Bill, a fluffy exterminator. You don’t really like your job, but it pays the bill and it performs a necessary service: getting rid of feral fluffies.
It’s a necessary job, but you hate killing the things; most of them are innocent, naive creatures who have no concept of what a nuisance they are. Most of them. You’ve met a few you didn’t mind killing; a couple foal-eaters, several smarties, a gay serial rapist stallion, a foal rapist, and an irredeemably spoiled brat who made life miserable for everyone, human and fluffy alike, and had a penchant for property damage. You didn’t kill that last one, but you weren’t in a hurry to find a fire extinguisher when it managed to ignite itself trying to spite you and its former owner. That one sort of fell into the category of a self-correcting problem, really. You still like fluffies though, and have a trio of your own at home.
Lately, however, you haven’t had to massacre entire herds of fluffies, thanks to a new business arrangement with a physicist who decided to make some money on the side by starting his own fluffy farm. It’s a good arrangement for everyone; the science dude makes lots of money selling fluffy shit to be processed for methane to produce clean energy, then turn what’s left into fertilizer, you make money capturing fluffies to ship to the farm, and the fluffies who would otherwise live in the wild dirty, diseased, starving, and vulnerable to predation (four-legged or two-legged, it made little difference) got to live in a place where they were clean, well-fed, and happy. For once, everybody ended up happy.
Well, except for the fluffies the farm wouldn’t take, such as cripples or smarties. They still died. But as far as fluffies are concerned, that’s a pretty good outcome, especially considering your ability to annihilate entire herds at a time.
You drive up to the farm, honking the horn, then smash your fist into the dashboard of your Ford Bronco to get the CHECK ENGINE light to go out. One of these days you’re going to have to find the short-circuit that’s causing that. One of the farm employees opens the gate and waves you through and you drive past, trying to ignore the smell and the shrill, panicked shouting and crying coming from the back of your Bronco.
Pulling up, you kill the engine and get out, opening the back up as John Freeman, resident physicist and science nerd, strolls up with his hands in his pockets.
“Hey Bill, got another load for me?”
You pull the open-topped crate out of the back and drop it onto the ground with a thud, eliciting yelps and more crying from inside; you didn’t mean to drop it that hard.
“Yup! Guy called about some fluffies destroying his yard. Got you a stallion, two mares, and three foals. Looks like they made a little family unit under the guy’s bushes. They’re, uh, a little upset.” You don’t need to tell him what fluffies do when they’re scared; he can see and smell the shit covering all six of them and the inside of the crate.
The stallion interposes himself between the two of you and the mares and foals; surprisingly, he doesn’t puff out his cheeks or make any threats.
“Pwease, nu huwt fwuffies! Fwuffies jus wan safe, wawm home an nummies. Nu wan make hoomins angwy. Pwease nu huwt!”
“Nobody’s going to hurt you. This is your new home,” Freeman says, smiling down at them. He looks back to you. “We’ll get them cleaned up and introduce them to the others before dinner.”
“So, everything running smoothly here?” you ask, jerking your head toward the fenced-in area full of shouting, laughing fluffies.
“Oh yes, that feral herd you snagged for us integrated quite nicely. The only issue was when…”
He shrugs, looking confused and irritated at the same time.
“Apparently, one of the mares named her foal Skettis, and one of the other fluffies thought this meant the foal as literally made of spaghetti. And ate it. That, uh, sort of created an issue and the foal-eater ended up being forcibly drowned in a mud puddle by the angry mother and some other members of her herd before any of my workers realized what was happening. But, everything’s going smoothly now. They’re happily producing shit in enormous quantities, and I’m making money, so there it is.”
You nod, make a polite wave to the farm hand picking up the crate full of fluffies and carrying it away, ignoring their protests and crying the whole way. You see him get the water hose and can only imagine the screaming and crying that’s about to erupt.
“Well, I just wanted to drop those fluffies off and see how things were going. I’ve got word that there’s a herd of about a dozen or so hanging around a garden supply store, so if you want, go ahead and have a truck ready to pick them up and I’ll see if I can’t round them all up for you tomorrow.”
Freeman grins, shaking your hand enthusiastically.
“Sounds great! We’ve got plenty of room, even with the fluffies breeding like, well, fluffies, we’re only at half capacity.”
You turn to walk back to the truck and he matches pace with you.
“I’m just glad you run an ethical operation,” you say. “I’ve seen other fluffy shit farms, and they tend to be ridiculously abusive. Like stacking cages so the fluffy on bottom gets shit on constantly. Or that one operation I saw- they have the fluffies in cages, and the shit falls through the bottom and gets slurried off for processing. But they have an entirely idiotic set up that’s unnecessarily cruel and vindictive; the fluffies are confined to cramped cages all day, except for when they get dragged out and put on a tread mill to run at full speed. Any who don’t keep pace get shocked with cattle prods. Who the hell pays for a tread mill and a bunch of cattle prods when free range fluffies exercise for free? And they ran them so hard, that while the guy was showing me the operation, two of the fluffies died of heart attacks on the tread mill! And apparently that occurred on a regular basis. Better still, they ‘encouraged’ the fluffies to shit through constant terror and abuse; regular beatings, verbal abuse, and they had ‘demonstrations’ where they tossed a bunch of colts and a smarty to run loose inside the facility so they’d get chased down and torn apart by dogs. They actually paid for dogs, just to tear apart fluffies who could have been adding to their shit pile, in order to terrify their stock. How the hell were they making any money with an operation like that? I even heard one of the employees laughing because a mare had given birth in the cage and her foals fell through the floor into the shit. Again, those foals could have been living there and happily producing shit for them, but they seemed more concerned with being as cruel and abusive as possible than turning a profit. What a bunch of dumbasses.”
Freeman nods, replying, “You’re talking about the operation across town, on Commerce Street? I checked them out when my fluffy farm was still in the planning phase, trying to get ideas how to set it up. You’re right, those guys are complete idiots more concerned with exercising power over helpless animals than making money. They didn’t do anything right; when fluffies are stressed out constantly, and making ‘scaredy poopies’, they don’t digest their food properly and what comes out only gives you half the yield of methane and nutrients as regular fluffy poop. Did you see they were feeding their fluffies garbage?”
“No, I wasn’t there at feeding time.”
“They totally were. Rotting food, straight from the city dump. They were convinced the bacteria would increase methane production in the poop. So all their fluffies were malnourished, riddled with disease, plagued with digestive problems, stressed out, and constantly making terror shit because of the way they were treated, and these morons were investing money in all kinds of stupid crap like that tread mill and the dogs. But they didn’t invest a damn thing into their fluffies and killed off half of them for a lower poop yield per month than I get in a week!”
He gestures at the fence angrily, pointing at the brightly colored fluffies happily eating from troughs, playing with toys, napping, or giving special huggies.
“Look at my operation! I pay the same thing they do for feral fluffies, maybe a little more, and because I actually take care of them instead of abusing them, I’m not constantly replacing all the ones I’ve killed through stupidity, so I’m actually spending less to get new fluffies than they are. Expensive tread mills, thousand-dollar German Shepherds, and cattle prods? Pffft! I bought a hundred bucks worth of balls, blocks, and other toys and fenced in ten acres of land and let the fluffies do what they please. They get their exercise and none of them drop dead from it. They’re happier, healthier, and get balanced nutrition so they produce lots of shit, and it’s QUALITY shit, not like that crap they produce. And you know it’s cheaper to just build some plywood barracks and fence in some land than to build those steel cages and that expensive poop collection system that automatically washes it all into bins every day? Even if you don’t like fluffies, what kind of dumbass cares more about being a dick to things that can’t fight back than he does about doing the damn job right and turning a profit?”
He shakes his head as you get to the car.
“Oh well, I guess that’s why they’re not in business anymore.”
You raise an eyebrow in surprise, “Really? They went under?”
“Well, yes and no. Their idiotic approach to running a business was losing more money than they were making, and instead of trying to do things in a halfway intelligent way they decided to fire most of their employees. Turns out that when you hire vindictive, abusive assholes who get off on tormenting fluffies, some of them use more or less the same approach to people they don’t like. One of the guys they fired set fire to the storage area; ignited the methane and basically blew up half the plant and set fire to the rest. A couple employees died, along with most of the fluffies, and they didn’t have the money to replace what they lost and closed up shop. To make things worse, the guy who did it waited until their insurance lapsed just to screw them over even harder.”
“Geez. Ok, well I’m gonna head out; I’ll give you a call tomorrow about picking up those ferals.”
“Thanks Bill, I appreciate it.”
You swing by your girlfriend’s apartment building to pick her up for dinner, park near the dumpster, and hop out. She’s already locking the door to her apartment and heading toward you, grinning.
“Saw you pull in! So where you wanna eat?”
“I dunno, I was thinking Japanese tonight. What do you think?”
“Mmm, udon and eel rolls! You paying?”
You laugh and hug her around the waist, returning to the Bronco.
“So when we eat at McDonald’s, you don’t mind paying. When we go to some expensive place for sushi, I get to foot the bill.”
“We can go dutch…”
“No, no, I see how it is. We men have always been the oppressed gender, holding doors, opening jars, paying for expensive restaurants…”
She cracks up and slaps your arm playfully. Your sense of humor fits hers perfectly. Just as you go to open the passenger door for her, however, she pauses.
“Do you hear that?”
You stop to listen.
“Yeah. Sounds like a fluffy crying.”
“Do you think it’s a feral?”
You shrug; if it is, you’re off the clock and heading out for dinner with your girlfriend, so you’re not going to catch the thing. Not now, at any rate. But maybe you can convince it to wait around for you tomorrow and you can snag it and any other ferals with it.
“I’ll check it out. If it’s a feral, maybe I can grab it for Freeman tomorrow.”
She waits by the truck while you walk over to the dumpster. Hmm. It’s not hiding behind the dumpster, it couldn’t fit under it, so… is it IN the dumpster?
You lift the lid and the sobbing and huuhuuing definitely gets louder. You sigh in irritation; dammit. Somebody threw a fluffy into the dumpster. You can’t just leave it in there to die, but this is severely crimping your date night. You fish around in the trash until you spot a bit of blue fluff and grab it.
You sigh and hold the fluffy at arm’s length so all its scaredy poopies fall in the dumpster; it doesn’t make any though, so you pull it out and look at it.
Hmmm. Sky blue pegasus, navy blue mane and tail. Attractive color combination. You tilt it to check, and it’s definitely a stallion. Wait, what the hell?
It’s ass is dribbling blood and something white… oh, son of a bitch.
“Pwease, nu huwt fwuffy poopie pwace! Fwuffy onwy wan nyu home an wuv. Nu huwt!”
“It’s ok, buddy. What happened? Why are you in the dumpster?”
“The… no smell pretty sorry box.” You’ve become quite adept at fluff-speak over the years.
It sniffles, and you can hear more bodily fluids of various sorts drip to the ground with an audible splat. You are seriously grossed out.
“F-f-fwuffy hab nyu daddeh. Daddeh wan pway peepee pwace game, then… daddeh gif spechow huggies. Nu wike spechow huggies game; daddeh gif poopie pwace bigges owies. Den daddeh nu wan fwuffy nu mowe.”
It breaks down into uncontrollable sobbing, with the occasional chirp. Oh, fuck. What kind of sick freak would rape a fluffy and then throw it in the trash? It’s like if John Wayne Gacy was a Brony.
Your girlfriend has her mouth covered with her hands, eyes wide, and is making some sort of sound like she’s going to be sick. Careful not to get any of the garbage covering the fluffy, or any of the bodily fluids dripping from its ass, on you, you go around to the back of the Bronco and gently set the injured, raped fluffy in there and lay him on his side.
“Just hold still, little guy. I’m gonna get you taken care of.”
He doesn’t respond, just chirping like a foal and muttering about “wan mummah”. You look at your girlfriend.
“We’re gonna be late for dinner. I gotta drop this guy off at the vet.”
She nods, and the whole way to the vet’s office, she stares out the passenger window and cries. She gets worse every time the fluffy in back gets louder about, “why daddeh huwt fwuffy? Fwuffy jus wan home and daddeh tu wuv…”
The vet is the same one you take your fluffies, Sunshine, Midnight, and Mint to. He’s the best in town, though he always grumbles about not getting enough respect for what he does.
“Oh wow. This little guy has some serious trauma to his anus, rectum… geez, this guy’s a mess. I’m going to have to operate immediately.”
“Sorry to drop this on you right before closing time,” you say. He waves his hand dismissively.
“My job is to put fluffies back together and keep them healthy and happy. I’ll be a couple hours late for dinner; nobody waiting for me at home but my fluffy, so it’s no big loss.”
He looks at your girlfriend before continuing.
“Looks like you’re on your way out to dinner yourselves.”
“Yeah. I found him in a dumpster on the way to the car.”
He examines the raped stallion, still bleeding but now sedated so the vet could perform a thorough exam without hurting him any further. You know the anesthesia isn’t cheap.
“Well, he’s definitely not a feral. Well groomed, and he’s chipped; I can look up his history later. It won’t tell us who did this to him, but I can find out who sold him, let 'em know what happened. At this point, one of two things is going to happen. Either he’ll die during the operation, thanks to blood loss from his intestines getting shredded by some guy’s di-” he pauses to look at your girlfriend and changes what he was about to say. “From what happened, or he survives. Best case scenario, he’s gonna have a lot of emotional baggage and he’ll kinda walk funny for a week or two. I might be able to save him, but if there’s too much damage he’ll basically need a colostomy bag for the rest of his life, and with a fluffy that simply isn’t feasible. It isn’t feasible for most animals. Fluffy, cat, dog, whatever, if that’s the case then I’d recommend putting him down. His quality of life would be nill at that point. But, if he makes it and he isn’t too badly damaged as a result, what do you want to do? Do you want me to keep him and try to find a shelter that’ll take him, or do you want him?”
You shake your head.
“I’ve already got three fluffies at home, and one of them is a complete wreck from abuse. You’ve seen Sunshine. I can’t handle another fluffy, especially one that’s going to have similar issues.”
“I understand. It’s actually the smart choice, not taking on another fluffy in your situation.”
“I’ll take him.”
Your girlfriend spoke so quietly that at first you didn’t understand what she said.
“I said I’ll take him.”
The vet looks at her grimly.
“You know you’ll have to foot the bill for his medical care if you do, and it won’t be cheap. And assuming he survives the operation and doesn’t need to be put down, you know he’s going to have some serious issues, right?”
She nods and wipes a tear from her cheek.
“I know. I’ve dealt with Sunshine before, even a couple times when Bill wasn’t around. I think I know what I’m getting into.”
“Ok. I have Bill’s number. You two run along and have your dinner; I’ve got to get started and see what I can salvage from this little guy.”
You lead your girlfriend out of the vet’s office, thanking the receptionist as she lets you out the door and locks up behind you.
“Why would somebody do that to some poor, defenseless animal?!” she sobs.
“I dunno, sweetie. I dunno. There are some seriously messed up people in this world. How about if we just have dinner at my place tonight? I’ll cook us up something nice.”
“How about spaghetti?”
“Spaghetti? Ok. I was thinking stir-fry, since we were gonna have Japanese, but spaghetti sounds good.”
She looks at you, fresh tears forming in her eyes.
“We have to share with the fluffies.”
“Ok. We’ll do that.”
You open the car door for her and walk around to the driver’s seat.
Well, it’s like Benny Hill said: what a world.