Jasper [By MuffinMantis]

Jasper couldn’t remember where he’d gotten his name, only that he’d had it as long as he could remember. He didn’t try too hard to remember, though. He didn’t try too hard to do anything. He didn’t try at all, in fact.

Jasper was, at least in theory, a smarty, although he’d never called himself one and, well…wasn’t a very good one. It wasn’t so much that he couldn’t do the things a smarty did, just that he didn’t. He didn’t know why he didn’t, he just didn’t. And he didn’t think much about it at all.

Jasper, more than anything, cruised through life on auto-pilot. He remembered growing up, surrounded by his siblings, always hearing them asking for milkies or asking to be played with or asking for attention. He never had asked, though. In fact, he probably would have starved before ever tasting solid food if his mummah hadn’t made him drink.

But he wasn’t sad, or depressed, or full of angst. If anything, he felt a sort of vague amiability towards everyone and everything. This, combined with his natural lack of motivation, meant he did a terrible job of finding food he could consume as a cannibal fluffy. Looking at him, you’d rightfully assume that he was starving, and might wonder why he couldn’t find food. That, however, would be the wrong question, since Jasper never struggled to find food, because he simply never tried to.

Of course, Jasper was slowly dying, mostly from malnutrition although partially because he would often go for days without sleep. Not because he wanted to stay awake, just because he couldn’t be bothered to find a place to sleep. If he found a good place to sleep, he’d sleep. If he found a fresh corpse to eat, he’d eat. Otherwise, he didn’t sweat the details.

He was aware that his body was giving out, that sooner or later he was going to die, but the way Jasper saw it, everyone died eventually, so why scrabble so much to stop it from happening? Wasn’t it easier just to let things happen? Why did other fluffies do unnecessary things? He couldn’t understand.

So Jasper wandered aimlessly through life as a sort of neutral presence. A watcher would wonder just what caused the pseudo-smarty to act the way he did, but Jasper never bothered to think about it. Jasper didn’t bother to do anything.

Jasper’s stomach growled, but he ignored it. His limbs demanded rest, his body demanded sleep, but he ignored them. He wandered around, barely paying attention to the world around him. Then he saw a nest, perhaps an abandoned one, and he decided it would be easier to sleep than to not.

Then he heard a voice. “Pwease, nu huwt babbehs! Onwy huwt fwuffy! Babbehs nu am fow huwties!”

Of course, this was nothing new to Jasper. He encountered conflict between fluffies quite a lot, but stayed out of it. Other fluffies tended to leave him alone, his large body, sharp horn, and sharp cannibal teeth deterring all but the most suicidal of fluffies. Even in those cases, though, he’d just ignore their pitiful attempts at harming him, and just move on with his life.

Something small and light pink rushed out of the nest, running under him and hiding behind one of his legs. It was followed by an angry smarty, whose anger turned to fear and apologies when he slammed into Jasper. Jasper, for his part, ignored the smarty, just standing there as the creature bolted.

He was about to walk away when the owner of the voice he’d heard, a battered and limping colt, peeked out from the nest. He flinched for a moment, then half-walked, half-dragged himself over to Jasper. “Tank ou,” he said. “Fwuffy…fwuffy nu coud hewp odda babbehs,” the colt sniffled. “Mummah an’ daddeh gu fowebah-sweepies, nao odda babbehs am gu fowebah-sweepies, tuu. Bu’…at weast wastest babbeh am otay.”

A strange, new feeling surged through Jasper. It was something he’d never felt before, not a neutral feeling like when he was hungry or tired or when he ate or slept. It was…new, exhilarating. Was this the reason other fluffies struggled so much? Was he the only one who’d never known how to feel like this? Was he the strange one this whole time?

But he didn’t have much time to think about it before his body, denied sleep and food for too long, gave out and he fell into unconsciousness.

“Hey, buddy. Feeling any better?” a voice woke him up, and he raised his head, ignoring the protesting of stiff muscles.

“Wewe am Jaspah?” he asked, more because he thought it was expected than because he wanted to know.

“Don’t worry, you’re safe. I don’t know what happened to you, but you’ll be okay now.”

Jasper didn’t respond, looking around the room. He was in some sort of large pen, with many other fluffies, and a tall human in a long white coat watching them. The other fluffies were…missing things. Eyes, legs, tails, each fluffy had scars or injuries. Many had no light in their eyes, while others simply repeated their dreary plea for death.

“Don’t be scared,” the man said. “I won’t hurt you. You’ll be safe here until you recover, then we can see about finding you a home. Normally you’d be in the pens for whole fluffies, but…I can’t imagine you got to that state on your own.”

“Wut am ‘scawed’?” he asked, speaking to another creature for the first time he could remember. Usually he ignored, or was ignored by, or scared off other fluffies, and humans didn’t ever seem interested in him.

“What do you mean?”

“Jaspah nu nyo wut ‘scawed’ am, nu nyo hao tu nu be ‘scawed.’”

The man’s expression changed. “Are you okay, Jasper?”

“Wut am otay?”

“How are you feeling, Jasper?”

“Jaspah nu nyo.”

“He’s blank. I don’t know why, I’ve never seen something like this before. He shouldn’t even be alive.

Daniel, owner and primary caretaker in the Hoofway House, made a questioning noise in his throat. Dr. Roost shrugged. “I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but he doesn’t seem to feel anything. He has to have been eating and sleeping at least a little, but I don’t know why he would. He wouldn’t feel any discomfort from not eating, so from his perspective there’s no reason for him to do it.”

“What happened to him?”

“Honestly, I don’t think anything did. He was probably just born like that, but he should be catatonic, not walking around and talking. Maybe it’s the combination of smarty syndrome and cannibal prey drive making him somehow function, but that’s just a guess.”

“So what can I do to help him?”

“Nothing. Just let him do whatever. He’s not hurting, but I don’t think he’ll live much longer.”

Daniel made his way around the pens, starting with the most functional fluffies and making his way towards the pens for the ones who were least likely to make it. It was simultaneously rewarding and depressing work. He felt incredibly fulfilled when one of the fluffies made it to the adoption center, but for every such case there were at least a dozen he couldn’t save, who could only be offered the mercy of a clean and painless death.

Jasper wasn’t something he was mentally equipped to handle. Catatonic, broken fluffies, he understood, but this…there was nothing to work with here. The situation had sunk eventually, and he’d come into work this morning feeling unusually down. With a broken fluffy, there was something to fix, but with Jasper…there was nothing.

He finally reached the last pen, the pen where those he estimated had little or no chance of survival were kept. As usual, several had fallen into the wan-die loop while he was away, and he’d bring around the euthanasia cart to gather them up. Most of the others stared blankly, some following him with their eyes or flinching when they saw movement.

Then he noticed something strange. A chirping sound, happy and not desperate for a change. He scanned the pen and noticed the lanky, oversized form of Jasper doing a half-stumbling run, carrying one of the foals on his back. As he watched, the strange stallion ran up to him before collapsing, gasping for breath.

Daniel looked closer, and realized that the foal was one of the ones he’d been certain he’d have to euthanize today. Maybe with care she could have been saved, but there just wasn’t time or space, not with dozens of new arrivals every day, and she wasn’t in a state to be put up for adoption. He’d never heard her make a sound, she’d just stared at the wall except for when one of the nurse mares was feeding her.

“What…?” Daniel asked in bewilderment.

Jasper looked up at him with something like a grin, showing emotion for the first time Daniel had seen. “Jaspah feew wike Jaspah wan hewp!”


Oh, hey. Possibly a Cluster B fluffy? I know someone sorta like that - they think they probably could have turned out to be a sociopath if they had worse parents than they did, and as it is they get the mental stimulation they need by running a forum for disabled/queer/otherwise marginalised people and helping them instead of hurting. One of the big reasons people with ASPD act out is because they have reduced serotonin processing so they need to do more and more extreme things to feel ANY reaction, which kind of sounds like this little guy.

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