Crimson spat out another piece of orange fluff, the Smartie hadn’t been as useful as he’d hoped, typical that he’d get his underlings to do all the dirty work while he cowered away. He swore he never knew where ‘da spawkewy munstah’ had gone to.
Of course once Crimson started ripping off his genitals Orange told him right quick about Black and Brown chasing her into an alleyway and being attacked by a blue stallion.
Crimson left Orange to bleed out and followed the stench of Black’s sweat back towards the alleyway, sure enough he got faint wisps of Sweetheart and her foals, still not strong enough to confidently follow. But the stallion she was with, Crimson easily picked up his scent, either Sweetheart was with him and this was an easy hunt, or she wasn’t and this stallion would tell him.
After some ‘persuading’ on Crimson’s part of course.
Sweetheart woke to the sound of babbling and laughter, it took her a moment to remember where she was but when she felt the papers on her bedding she happily recalled Archibald letting her and her foals sleep here last night.
Her foal! She looked round, Ozzy and Peaches weren’t beside her, J.D. wasn’t on her back, she panicked, where could they have gone.
“Hewe mummah.” Peaches soft voice happily cooed from behind the desk.
Sweetheart turned the corner, behind it she found Ozzy and Peaches eating into Archibald’s food supply, both calm and happy, while Archibald played with J.D., it was something he’d seen Henrietta do with human babbehs and it seemed to work well with Fluffy foals as well.
He looked at J.D. and covered his own eyes with his hoofs. “Huh, whewe babbeh? Whewe babbeh?”
J.D. waved his little arms in front of Archibald. “Am hewe Awchie, babbeh hewe.”
Archibald smiled and removed his hoofs so he was looking right at J.D. “DEWE BABBEH.”
J.D. burst out in laughter and starting bouncing on his little butt, having the time of his life. Sweetheart watched the scene unfold, part of her guilty over not being able to give her children this level of fun before, but most of her enjoying seeing them at ease.
Slowly she joined them, her body still sore from all the exertion they did yesterday, and nestled next to Ozzy who pushed some of Archibald’s food towards her, it was mostly grass with a couple berries and leafs mixed in, but it was food.
“Mummah gud?” Ozzy asked her.
“Mummah gud, jus a wittew sowe, hawd bwight-time.”
Ozzy nodded, it was hard, but they were free now.
J.D. saw his mother and tried to waddle towards her. “Mummah, babbeh hungwy, wan miwkies.”
Before he could get very far, Peaches picked her baby brother up and placed him on her back. “No miwkies Jay-Dee, mummah need nummies fiwst tu make miwkies. Wet’s pway whiwe we wait.”
J.D. was a little upset that he wasn’t getting fed right away, but that disappointment vanished once Peaches started trotting around with him. Seeing his siblings play got Ozzy excited and he rushed over to join them, leaving Sweetheart and Archibald alone together.
Sweetheart smiled at him. “Jay-Dee wike yu, Awchie gud wiv babbehs.”
“Mummah Hen see many hoomin babbehs, Awchie wike pwayin wiv dem. Pway same way wiv Fwuffy babbehs.”
“Sweetheawt hab biggesh heawt happies fow seein happy babbehs, fank yu fow pwaying. An fank yu fow shawing nummies, nu mean to num su many.”
“Nu wowwies, mostwy spawe. Awchie keep hewe fow cowd-times if nu find home, bu fink Sweetheawt wan gu home hewsewf.”
Sweetheart paused, then slowly nodded. “If Sweetheawt am Spawkews den wan gu see mummah, if Sweetheawt am nu Spawkews, den may-bee Pawka famiwy wet famiwy stay safe fwom cowd-times.”
“Dat gud pwan, Pawka Famiwy vewy nice, wet Fwuffies stay fow wittew bit. Bu is wong wawk, need suppwies.”
Archibald got up and started gathering food for the long trek, Sweetheart watched him, surprised at how much he was helping them since they only met yesterday. But it was sweet of him and she was enjoying his company, she hoped they could stay friends after all of this was over.
Tired from their playing, her foals returned to her, all panting but giggling, not having had this much fun ever in their young lives, Ozzy picked J.D. off of Peaches and placed him in front of Sweetheart, she turned onto her side to allow him to start feeding. Peaches looked over at Archibald gathering food.
“Wha Awchie duin?”
“Pikin nummies fow jouwney, wong wawk tu home.”
Ozzy and Peaches got very excited. “Famiwy weawwy guing tu see gwanmummah.”
Sweetheart tried to calm her foals down. “Stiww nu knyo dat, ny knyo if mummah am Spawkews ow nu. Bu Awchie say Pawka famiwy awe fwiendwy, so may-bee wet Fwuffies stay safe fow cowd-times. Nu git tuu many happies wen we nu knyo wha happen.”
Ozzy and Peaches calmed themselves but were both still happy at the idea of seeing their mummah’s mummah. Ozzy ran off to help Archibald pack while Peaches nuzzled into her mother.
“Peechee nu cawe if yu Sweetheawt ow Spawkews, yu stiww mummah nu matta.”
Sweetheart sniffed back some tears and held her daughter close, she was lucky none of his children took after their father. She’d seen what a bad Smartie could do to a herd, it kill her if one of her own foals went down that route.
With Ozzy’s help, Archibald was able to gather his supplies into some balled up newspaper and tie it to his back, Archibald had learned how to tie knots from Henrietta when she had trouble bending over to tie her shoes, it was difficult for Fluffies due to lack of opposable digits, but not impossible.
Once J.D. was properly fed, they left the schoolhouse, hoping they were prepared for what came next.
“Wich way Mistah Awchie?” Peaches asked, still giddy with excitement.
Archibald pointed through the buildings of the city towards a footbridge over a river and into a forest, it was the closest way out of the city they had and the only way Archibald knew they could go to reach The Parker Family.
“Oba bwidgie an intu Twee Pwace, fowwow woad fow many bwite-times, tiww find Pawka’s. Woad dangewous, bu Twee Pwace keep Fwuffies safe, jus no gu ousside bwanches.”
Something clicked in Sweetheart’s head, while she was captive at Josef’s house she remembered him telling her about what Mother said of her abduction, that her herd originally lived in the ‘Twee Pwace’ before Smarties’ father was killed and the herd left for better shelter, finding Sweetheart along the way.
It was looking more and more likely that Archibald was right.
Sweetheart turned to her foals. “It wong wawk nyo, need gut oba bridgie befow dawk-times, su nu compwain bout sowe hoofies.”
Ozzy and Peaches nodded their heads. “Nu compwain mummah.”
Satisfied that they were set, the Fluffies started their journey, Archibald and Sweetheart in front, Ozzy and Peaches behind, and J.D. still sleeping peacefully on his mother’s back.
As they walked Sweetheart looked over at Archibald, she was starting to trust him more and for the first time since they met she was able to appreciate how nice his light blue fluff looked in the morning sun. Looking at him calmed her, and it had been far too long since she was last calm.
Archibald caught Sweetheart looking at him, it made him a little nervous, but in a good way, like wingie-fings in his tummah. He was ok with her looking at him, cause he liked looking at her too.
“Awchie du tuu mush for Fwuffies, am tuu kind.” Sweetheart said, still unsure how she was ever going to repay him.
“Awchie onwy du wha mummah Hen teww him, hewp uddas whewe yu can. Mummah Hen caww it Kawma, be gud and gud fings happen, hewping Sweetheawt is gud.”
Sweetheart frowned slightly. “Sweetheawt nu bewieve dat anymowe, knyo it nu twue. Unwess Sweetheawt weawwy am bad fwuffy.”
Archibald took a shot and stepped over and gently rub against Sweethear’s side. “Sweetheawt am nu bad fwuffy, jus come fwom bad pwace.”
Sweetheart blushed slightly at the touch, she said nothing but it was impossible to miss the smile on her face. Ozzy and Peaches giggled to themselves, they both liked Archibald and hoped their mother liked him too, she deserved a little bit of happiness.
As they got closer to the bridge, the faint sound of the river started growing, Peaches felt herself shiver at the sound.
“Wawa bad fow Fwuffy.” She whispered, trembling as she did.
Archibald nodded. “Wawa bad, bu Fwuffies gu on bridgie, be many miwes fwom wawa.”
Peaches was still scared but Archibald’s words comforted her a little bit. As they continued onwards, J.D. finally woke up, he looked out towards the forest and gasped.
“Wow, Twee Pwace am biggesh Pwace eba.”
Archibald smiled at the little guy’s wonder. “Dewe bigga Twee Pwaces dan dis, Twees dat toch da sky dey su big.”
“Jay-Dee wan see biggesh Twee Pwace, wan see da sky.”
“Awchie take babbeh wun day.”
He froze and looked at Sweetheart, a little embarrassed by his assumption. For her part though, Sweetheart just smiled and nodded.
“Dat sound nice.”
They were only a road away from the path leading to the footbridge when Sweetheart stopped, she suddenly got a cold shiver down her spine, but it was early afternoon and the sun was still in the sky. She stopped, wondering what was going on.
“Wha happen mummah?” Ozzy asked, worried.
“Mummah nu knyo, few cowd but is stiww bwite-times. Mummah fink…”
Sweetheart froze in place, her whole body tensed up and her breathing became more and more frantic. Archibald looked over at her, seeing her break out into a cold sweat, he recognised the signs of a panic attack, but he’d no idea what set her off.
“Sweetheawt? Am yu ok?”
She could barely speak, her mind racing with months of pain and torture, she knew it was coming, she could smell him on the air. With barely a whisper she breathed out a single word.
Ozzy and Peaches looked around, they were starting to smell him too, Peaches couldn’t help but let out a scardie pee-pee, the trauma of her father’s action causing her to revert back as she let out a little ‘Chirp’.
Sweetheart looked at Archibald, he was now understanding how horrible their captivity had been. He puffed his chest, ready to fight whatever devilry came at them, but Sweetheart shook her head, knowing it was a losing battle.
The four Fluffies burst into a sprint, all of them making for the bridge, they moved just in time as well as just as they ran across the road, Crimson burst out from an alleyway and gave chase, his mouth foaming with rage. Peaches shit herself in terror.
“NU WOOK BABBEHS!” Sweetheart yelled to her children. “KEEP WUNNING ACWOSS BWIDGIE!”
Being older and taller, Archibald and Sweetheart were able to keep ahead, their little hoofs pounding on the wooden boards of the footbridge, both of them ignoring the gaps in the metal railings, too easy for Fluffy to fall through if they weren’t careful. J.D. held on with all his might, his eyes closed shut, trying to avoid seeing Crimson again.
Behind them though, Ozzy and Peaches were staying ahead of Crimson but only just, his athletic body was closing the distance on them, Ozzy could see his sister starting to slow down, too scared of the monster behind her to stop, too scared of the water in front of her to keep going. She needed help.
And he was going to give it to her.
Ozzy stopped running and turned to face Crimson, giving Peaches a chance to escape, by the time she realised what he was doing, she was already halfway across the bridge.
“Gu, Ozee find yu wata. GU!”
Conflicted, Peaches turned and round to the other side of the bridge, hoping her mother would know what to do. Seeing Ozzy facing him, Crimson slowed down until he was in a slow, menacing stroll towards the furious looking colt, Crimson just smiled at his son.
“Dummeh Cwimson nu huwt famiwy gain, Ozee nu wet him.”
Crimson smirked. “Yu angwy wittew fucka. Cwimson wike dat, gun be gud fight.”
Crimson took another step forward, Ozzy puffed his cheeks up. “NU MOVE! Ozee wiww gib yu foweba sweepies if Cwimson move.”
Crimson put on a face of mock sadness. “Bu babbeh nu kiww daddeh, dat wha bad Fwuffies du.”
“Yu am nu daddeh.”
“Bu Cwimson is daddeh. Yu wan kiww Cwimson, dat fiwe in yuw tummah, dat wage. Dat aww fwom Cwimson, dat my bwood, an yu neba wun fwom dat.”
“Ozee nu hab tu wun, Ozee betta dan yu.”
And with that, Ozzy dashed forward, intent on killing this creature in front of him. Crimson just smiled and ran forward as well, not to kill but to play with his food.
As they got closer to each other, Crimson raised his front legs, ready to stomp on Ozzy, but Ozzy was prepared, he ducked under Crimson’s front and darted underneath him, readying his horn to stab Crimson in the hind legs.
Only for Crimson to quickly switch legs and back-kick Ozzy in the face, fracturing the outside of Ozzy’s orbital bone around his right eye. By a miracle Ozzy didn’t fall into the river, but his little body smacked into the metal railing and fell to the ground, hurt and broken. Crimson just looked down at his son, seeing his right eye reddened and bulging, and he sneered.
“Yu fink yu betta dna Cwimson? Dat is why yu faiw.”
And he kicked Ozzy in the head again, completely shattering the eye socket. Ozzy howled in agony as his right eye was torn from his skull from the sheer force of Crimson’s attack, and could only watch helplessly as Crimson stomped on his lost appendage right in front of him.
Across the bridge, Sweetheart heard her son’s anguished wail and realised what he was doing, Peaches near enough ran into her, panting and crying.
“MUMMAH, Mummah, Ozee fight Cwimson, hab wostesh huwties, pwease Mummah, hewp brudda.”
Archibals stepped forward. “Awchie take cawe of Cwimson.”
Again, Sweetheart shook her head. “Nu, yu gu foweba sweepies an Cwimson stiww chase famiwy. Onwy wun way tu stop him.”
Solemnly, Sweetheart took J.D. off her back and handed him to Peaches. She then looked at Archibald, she was smiling but tears were streaming down her face as she enveloped him in her front arms and hugged with all she could give and whispered in his ear.
“Wook afta babbehs.”
Before he could say anything, Sweetheart was already running back across the bridge, back towards Crimson.
Unaware of what was happening on the other side, Ozzy tried to crawl away from Crimson, regretting the mistake he made in fighting his psycho of a father.
“Pwe… pwease, nu mowe huw… huwties.” He whimpered to the indifferent Fluffy.
Crimson rolled his eyes. “Cwimson upset, hope yu be wike him, couwd be gweat stawwion, bu you wike mummah. Jus a wittew kunt.”
Crimson kicked Ozzy onto his back, forcing the frightening young colt to face him.
“Nyo since yu famiwy, Cwimson gunna make yu choose. Wha du Cwimson take? Yuw udda see-pwace, ow yuw speciaw-wumps?”
He pressed a hoof to his son’s testicles to emphasis his point.
“Ozee betta choose ow Cwimson gunna take bov.”
“Nu… nu wan… nu wan wose speciaw-wumps.”
“See, yu jus wike daddeh, awways fink wiv yuw dick.”
Crimson looked up at the voice calling at him, he saw Sweetheart marching towards him, trying her best to look as strong as possible in front of him. He saw right through it but he appreciated the effort.
Made it a lot more fun.
“Hewwo speciaw-fwiend, jus techin babbehs hewe bout…”
“Sweetheawt nu cawe Cwimson, nu wan heaw it. Hab deaw fow yu.”
“Cwimson am aww heawie-pwaces.”
“If yu wet babbehs gu, an pwomise nu tu fowwow dem, den Sweetheawt wiww come home.”
Ozzy couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “MUMMAH NU!”
“Hab tu babbeh, Mummah onwy wan yu tu be safe, gu wiv Awchie, find famiwy, pwotect brudda an sistah.”
She looked back at Crimson, she could see he was considering it. “Teww Joesep dat babbehs gu foweba sweepies if yu wan, he nu wna dem, jus Sweetheawt.”
Crimson grinned and nodded. “Agweed, yu come home, an Cwimson nu teww daddeh bout babbehs.”
“Wet Ozee come hewe fiwst, nu wan him neaw yu.”
Crimson silently agreed to the terms and kicked Ozzy in the side, motioning for him to get moving. Wounded and traumatised, Ozzy limped to the other side of the bridge, passing by his mother on the way. Behind her he could see Peaches, J.D. and Archibald running towards them.
“Why mummah?” He cried as he asked her, his tears stinging the place where his eyes use to be.
Sweetheart said nothing, she simply smiled and kissed him on the head before continuing her walk.
By the time Peaches and Archibald reached Ozzy, Sweetheart was already in front of Crimson, the red bastard smirked at his prize and looked back towards the foals.
“Say bye-bye tu mummah, yu neba see hew gain.”
Peaches screeched. “NU, NU HUWT MUMMAH!”
Sweetheart turned back to her children, looking at each and every one of them, something in her eyes felt off to them, she was still their mother, but she didn’t look scared. She looked… ready.
“Mummah wubs yu aww babbehs.”
When she turned back to Crimson her expression changed, it was a look Crimson had never seen before, a smile almost as cruel as his appeared on her face.
And for the first time in his life, Crimson felt what fear was like.
Sweetheart threw her hoofs around Crimson and jumped off the bridge, taking both him and herself down into the icy waters below.