Father Mason was not necessarily a cruel man. He was certainly a strict man, but he did not believe that made him cruel.
Of course, others said he was cruel, but they were all fools, every one of them. After all, Mason was only doing what people had done for hundreds, even thousands of years already, preaching words that had been recited millions of times before.
Why should they suddenly be an issue now?
Some called him a bigot. Others claimed his church was nothing but a breeding-ground for hatred. He cared not. All that mattered was his faith in God.
And so, every Sunday, Mason would walk into his church and provide a sermon for the loyal followers of his town. He would tell them about the evils of homosexuality, the terror of the non-white invaders, and the importance of never letting women have a say in anything.
…he just couldn’t understand why attendance kept dwindling.
But despite everything, Mason’s faith was unwavering and steadfast.
Even if he had nothing else… he still had God.
Mason was going about his usual Monday morning routines when it happened.
His town was small, small enough that he didn’t bother going to church unless it was to provide a sermon. If anyone needed him, they simply came to his home and knocked on his door directly.
Of course, that had happened less and less over time. As Mason’s hair had gone white and his skin had begun to sag, his congregation became smaller and smaller.
In fact, nobody had knocked on his door at all for six months… until that Monday morning.
Mason stopped in the middle of washing his dishes and opened the door, fully ready to greet whoever was awaiting him… but there was nobody there.
At least, there was no person there.
What there was, however, was a herd of fluffy ponies that had trampled their way onto his lawn, stomped their way across his path and pounding their tiny, grubby hooves on his door. At the very front of the group was a fat one, a unicorn with bright red fur and a permanent scowl on it’s flabby face.
“Hooman! Dis Smawty wand nao! Gib homesy an’ nummies!” The fluffy barked at him. Evidently it was ‘Smarty’.
“No, it is the land of God.” Mason replied calmly, determined not to let this wretched abomination of science annoy him.
“Nu, stoopid! Dis SMAWTY wand, STOOPID!” The Smarty replied, stomping it’s hooves on the ground.
“No.” Mason repeated, his calmness starting to fade. “This is the land of God. He created it, He formed it, He grew it and loved it, He-”
“SHADDUP DUMMEH HOOMAN! SMAWTY NU CAWE ABOUT ‘GOHD’!”
A nerve in Mason’s forehead twitched. Maybe getting angry at it wasn’t so bad after all.
He had heard all about the things, of course. Everyone had. Twisted freaks of nature made in laboratories (probably by Democrats too), birthed not by God’s divine hand but by man’s rusty scalpel.
Mason had never liked them. They were an affront to God with their very existence. Purely by living, they were spiting Him, and Mason would not stand for that.
He looked at the ragtag herd. Pregnant mothers with no concept of marriage, others like the Smarty who dared to defy the magnificence and glory of God… and yet they had been brought to him, the noblest, purest, most devout Christian there had ever been.
Clearly this was God’s plan, not only for him, but for the herd.
And therefore, whatever happened to the herd while they were in his care was exactly what God had intended to happen to them.
“Very well.” Mason said. “You will live on this land with me. You will eat with me, and pray with me, but you will only do so as long as you prove yourself worthy of God’s mercy.”
“Wan sketties!” Smarty snorted, not listening to anything Mason said.
“Come along.” Mason replied, also not listening to anything the Smarty said. He led the herd into his garage and, once they were all inside, lowered the door, closing them in.
“Otay dummeh hooman, whewe sketties?” Smarty huffed, already impatient.
“This is where you will sleep.” Mason said, gesturing around the hard concrete floor and the bare brick walls. He had never owned a car, he had no need for one, so the garage was mostly used for storage… but even then, Mason had little property he needed to store anyway.
The garage was essentially empty, except for it’s floor which was now teeming with multicolored balls of fuzz of various sizes, all glumly looking around at the cold, hard environment they would now have to live in.
Mason opened the side door of the garage which led out to the back yard. He walked out, and beckoned for the herd to follow him, which they did. Once by one the fluffies waddled out again, finding themselves now in a sparse patch of grass. No trees, no flowers, no ornaments… just a plain square of ground surrounded on all sides by a strong wooden fence.
Mason had always intended to do something with the land, but had simply never gotten around to it. Now he wouldn’t need to… because the fluffies would do it for him.
“This is where you are going to work.” He told the fluffies.
“Wowk?” One asked.
“Wha ‘wowk’?” Another asked, tilting it’s head to one side.
Of course, Mason thought to himself, Never done a day’s work in their lives, just like those damn Jews up in Washington.
“Work is what you have to do if you want to remain here. I’ll go to the store later and get what we need, then you’ll start working. You’ll plant vegetables and tend to them over time. When they’re grown, they’ll be harvested and eaten. Every Sunday, you’ll attend a sermon in the garage.”
“Wha’ ‘sewmon’?” Another fluffy asked. Mason bristled slightly at it’s lack of knowledge, but continued.
“A sermon is when I will bestow upon you the glory of God’s majesty.” The fluffies didn’t know what any of that meant, but it sounded impressive, and some let out quiet 'ooh’s.
Some, but not the Smarty, who continued to glare at Mason.
“Some people consider Sunday a day of rest… but I am not one of them. You will work on Sunday the same way you work any day. If you do not work, you will be punished. After all, idle hands are the devil’s playthings.” Mason said, using a phrase which he had always taken to mean ‘laziness is a sin’.
The fluffies looked around, slowly becoming less certain with their new home.
Fortunately for them, their Smarty was there, and he stepped out of the herd to tell Mason exactly what he thought about the entire situation.
“DUMMEH HOOMAN!” Smarty bellowed at him. “Nu wan do 'wowk’s owe ‘swemon’s! Hewd wan’ SKETTIES!”
The herd murmured in agreement. Spaghetti did sound a lot better than working.
Mason simply glared back at them all, feeling himself starting to itch at their insubordination.
“For now, you will return to the garage and wait for me. I’m going out to buy your food and everything we need for the garden. Then when I get back, the work will begin.”
An hour later, Mason returned. The fluffies had been locked in the garage and left to their own devices, which meant milling around complaining about being hungry, cold and bored with nothing to play with.
He opened the side-door, having taken the long way through his home and yard to enter the garage to ensure none of the fluffies would escape through the front way… but as soon as the door opened, a foul smell wafted out.
The smell of shit.
Mason stepped into the garage and looked around. All the fluffies were quietly wandering, nobody talking, nobody doing anything in particular… but they were all avoiding a patch of ground in the center of the garage floor, where a large coiled turd had been dumped.
“HOOMAN! GIB SMAWTY SKET-”
“Shut up.” Mason replied, cutting him off as he closed the door behind himself with a slam. “Who did that?”
“DO WHA’?!” One of the fluffies suddenly squeaked, staring fixedly up at the ceiling. “FWUFFEH NU DU NUFFIN! FWUFFEH A GUD FWUFFEH! AWWAYS MAKE GUD POOPIES!”
Mason walked across the room, the sea of fluffies parting to avoid his footsteps as he approached the fluffy and it’s guilty conscience. The rest of the formerly feral herd backed away, leaving the guilty fluffy alone, sitting in the darkness as Mason’s shadow fell over it.
Mason reached to his hips and unbuckled his belt, sliding it off with a sound not unlike the slithering of a snake, gripping the metal buckle in his hand as the long strip of leather hung by his side.
With one quick swipe of his free hand he snatched up the fluffy, which let out an ‘eep!’ and a quick spurt of frightened piss.
“Did you shit on the floor?” Mason asked it.
“NU! DAT NU FWUFFEH!” The fluffy replied, it’s eyes darting around frantically for any way of escaping.
“Then where did it come from?” Mason asked.
“UH… UM… UH… UM… UH…” The fluffy babbled incoherently, it’s eyes snapping around in all directions as it desperately looked for salvation. “UH… A MUNSTAH!!!” It finally said.
“A monster?” Mason asked. “And where did it go?”
“Uh… dunno…?” The fluffy replied.
It’s lies were so pathetic, it almost made Mason wince.
“You not only made a mess of your own home, but you lied about it too.” He said, gripping the belt tighter in his hand. “Don’t you know that lies are an affront to God?”
“Buh… buh nu knu wha’ ‘gohd’ is…” The fluffy mewled.
“Because you couldn’t even wait for me to explain anything to you before you decided to shit on the floor.” Mason replied, turning and holding the fluffy aloft for the rest of the herd to see. Sure enough, it’s rear was caked in brown stains and lumps, some of which were still glistening and wet.
Mason walked over to the side door and kicked it open, striding out into the midday sunlight.
“Follow me.” He snapped at the herd, who quietly filed out of the garage behind him.
Before heading to the garage, Mason had setup everything he’d needed for his project. There were several large, rectangular patches of land marked out by wooden pegs and a low barrier of string tied around them, which he had designated as the ‘garden’. There were two long, low troughs, one he had filled with water, the other he had left empty, to be filled with food later. A couple of children’s watering-cans sat next to the troughs, already filled and waiting to be used, and leaning up against the garage wall, some large sacks of vegetable seeds.
And, in the middle of the garden, standing atop a heavy box, was a plastic leg-locking restraint device for punishing fluffies. Mason carried the guilty fluffy over to it and shoved his legs into it one by one, ignoring his ‘NU TAKE WEGGIES!’ cries as he did so.
He had no intention of taking his legs. He was going to do something else.
“This is your punishment”. He said loudly, ensuring the rest of the herd were listening as the guilty fluffy wailed and cried inside the restraint. “Your punishment for being filthy, vile, disgusting creatures… and your punishment for daring to lie.”
Mason reeled back with his arm before suddenly scything it down, the black leather belt hissing as it shot through the air before landing hard against the fluffy’s back with a muffled ‘SNAP’. The fluffy yowled in pain, while the rest of the herd cowered away from the whip-like belt.
Mason reeled back again and once more the belt lashed down against the fluffy’s soft, fuzzy body, the impact slightly muted by the dense fur of their namesake, but their infamous sensitivity to pain making up for it anyway. Once again, Mason sliced the belt through the air, cracking it against the fluffy’s back. It’s eyes were full of tears, it was openly pissing where it stood, and the only sound it produced was a constant wail of agony.
There was probably something in the bible about someone being whipped. Mason didn’t really know for certain, he’d only read some parts of it after all, but it was the thought that counted.
Finally, after five lashes, he stopped.
The guilty fluffy was sobbing and babbling incoherently, it’s rear caked in more shit and piss stains than it had started with, as the rest of the herd watched in terror. Even the Smarty was silent after witnessing the brutality of the whipping.
Mason turned and looked at them.
“This is what happens when you disobey.” Mason stated, pointing at the wheezing, wailing fluffy. “When you disobey me, you also disobey God, and neither of us are merciful. If you want to get into Heaven, you will do as I tell you, and never question me. Is that understood?”
A murmur of agreement rippled through the fluffies, until one voice peeped up.
Mason pinched the bridge of his nose.
This was going to be harder than he thought.