By now, Jelly was bawling her eyes out. Claire picked her up and cuddled her, and sat her down on a towel on the bed. Picking up her sister Snowflake, she sat her down, next to Jelly, for cuddle and moral support. Once Jelly had stopped hu huing, and had managed to catch her breath, Claire asked her to tell her what the nasty fluffy store owner had done.
“Da fwuffy stowe daddeh am meanie munstah, hu hu huuuuu” choked fluffy, tearing up and starting to cry. Her sister cuddled her, laying her unicorn head against Jelly’s, and snuggling her close.
“Snowflake, can you tell me what happened?” Claire asked the braver fluffy.
“Fwuffy stowe daddeh am biggest meanie, he huwt jewwy wiv sowwee stick, if jewwy made bad poopies.”
“That’s awful…” said Claire, “did he hurt you too?”
“Nu, am gud babbeh, not stoopid stinky babbeh, Snowfwake know to make good poopies in wittabox.” Snowflake said, beaming with pride.
“What about the other fluffies?” Claire asked, looking concerned at the effect Snowflake’s pride was having on her sister.
“He huwt dem too, if dey be bad fwuffies.” Snowflake responded.
“He taked us fwom mumma! Huuu Huuu Huuu!” Jelly cried, and started to tell her the whole story, interspaced with moments of uncontrollable sobbing, during which time Snowflake would offer further explaination, comforting her sister as she wept.
The fluffy shop owner sounded truly monstrous. As well as beating fluffies for the smallest mistakes, he would put them in a “sowwy box” and leave them there over night, whilst the terrified fluffies cried for their siblings and mummas. He had taken Jelly, Snowflake and their brother away from their mother far too early, throwing them into a pen with older fluffies, who would bully them, giving them “wowstest owwies” before holding them down and making “sowwy poopies” on them.
Then, the fluffy store owner had taken their brother away, because a family had wanted him. Even worse, the family said they didn’t want any fluffy babies later on, so the pet had “taked bwuddah’s speciaw wumps!” castrating him without anaesthetic. Jelly, Snowflake and the other fluffies had huddled together, pissing themselves with fear as they heard him begging and screaming, whilst the pet shop man removed his lumps with a pair of rusty scissors.
No wonder Jelly was so terrified. Claire promised that she would always love them both, never use a sorry stick or sorry box and wouldn’t let other fluffies bully them. She held them close and told them she would never hurt them like the fluffy store owner had done. But then, their story got worse.
"Sometimes, at scawy dawk time, da pet shop man would have da fwuffy fighting, " Jelly began.
“Fluffy fighting? That sounds horrible,” said Claire, wondering why such a monster of a person would ever keep fluffies in the first place. “What did he do?”
“He had oldew fwuffies,” explained Snowflake, “and dewe was ova hoomans, wiv ova fwuffies, like Snake, and Destwoyer, and Wed Bawon. Dey would come fwom faw away pwaces, wike Amerwica, and fight each ova.”
“…an da winnew stomp da woosew wif sowwy hoofies… hu… wowstest owwies… hu hu hu… and… fowevew sweepies… an…an… huu huu huu” Jelly broke down again, unable to continue.
“Sometimes, da woosew be nummies fow da winnew,” Snowflake explained.
Claire’s eyes widened with shock. This monster was making fluffies fight, kill and even eat each other. Claire knew that there were fluffy abusers in the world, and with fluffies being legally considered toys rather than animals, they had no legal protection from them. This, combined with feral fluffy infestations, led to exterminators and fluffy hunts. This Claire could understand, but not abusers. Not someone who would enjoy hurting such fragile little creatures. Jelly and Snowflake had only escaped the fluffy fighting because they were babies.
In the end, she decided not to ask them any more about their lives at the fluffy store. The foals were easily distracted, and had been happy at home, most of the time, except for occasional accidents. With time, they might forget about what happened, and Claire didn’t want to traumatize them any further. Claire couldn’t forget though, even as she tried to. Kissing the fluffies good night, she put them back into their pen for the night, snuggled up with each other in a nest of paper towels. She gave each of them a grape, which would last each of them a good while, feeling better as they chirped away about “bestest nummies” and how much they loved their “mummah” and their “nyu home”.
Claire laid down to sleep, but her rest was fitful. She couldn’t get the image of fluffies fighting one another out of her head, or the horror of a man cutting a baby fluffies lumps off. When she did sleep, her dreams were haunted.