After a few hours on a redeye flight from the midwest, John stepped out of the gate and into the airport, happy to stretch his legs. A quick trip to baggage claim had him out the sliding doors and into a tropical paradise. He took in the warm salt air, the sight of tall palms, the sun making him squint through his aviators. A quick detour back inside, and John re-emerged with a small straw hat, grinning ear to ear.
First vacation in forever, John thought. I’m going to enjoy this.
The shuttle picked him up moments later, and John found himself on a quiet hour drive down a two-lane highway surrounded by sea and sand. The driver wasn’t talkative, but that suited John. He wasn’t much of a conversationalist.
Which was funny, considering friendly conversation is what got John here in the first place. Not long after he had moved to his secluded home, John befriended his closest neighbor Gary. The opposite of John, Gary loved to talk…even if the conversation consisted of him being the only verbal participant. He loved John exactly for this, and the two became friends. And when John has let slip that he hadn’t had a proper vacation in a decade, well! Gary wouldn’t have it, and insisted on John going out to his family’s beach house.
While Gary never took no for an answer, John actually embraced the idea. It had been too long, and the idea of heading somewhere with sun and palm trees excited him.
The beach house, while in a small subdivision, belonged to a tucked back and secluded neighborhood. Gary’s beach house was a modest ranch-style concrete home, white adorned with dark blue shutters and trim. He tipped the driver, and gathered his duffel bag and backpack before shuffling up the front yard and to the front door. Two key turns later, and the door smoothly swung open.
The air was musty, faintly mildewy, as one would find a shut house in the Southeast in the summertime. John began opening curtains and windows to air the place out. He had no neighbors to really worry about: this particular neighborhood consisted mainly of seasonal owners who came down to their properties during the winter months.
“You’ll be by yourself with all the snowbirds gone!” John recalled Gary telling him. John chuckled at the term.
John cracked open the second window, and turned to look at the layout of the house. It was a small two bedroom beach house, with an open living area and kitchen. It was perfect for John; the simpler the better. Besides, he thought to himself, I plan on being on the beach for most of this trip. He turned and opened the door on the right to the guest room, per Gary’s description, and began unpacking.
Twenty minutes and a change into swim trunks and sandals later, John emerged from the room and began opening up more windows. It was in the kitchen where John opened the small sliding window above the sink, and it was in the kitchen John nearly threw up from the smell bellowing in. He slammed the window shut, ripping his own shirt off to wad up and cover his face.
“No,” he absentmindedly groaned into the shirt. “Not on my vacation.”
John knew that rancid smell anywhere.
John sighed into his shirt, and his eyes drifted from the window to the sliding glass door on the same wall, leading to the back of the property. The long vertical shades had been drawn, preventing John from seeing out. He apprehensively shuffled over, and slowly turned the blinds.
“Oh, no,” John whispered. “Gary is going to be pissed.”
The back of Gary’s property was minimal, as it was connected to a canal like the other properties. It was a basic concrete patio surrounded by fencing on two sides, with the canal and back of the house boxing it in. Gary had installed a row of soil and grass by both fences, as his wife loved succulents and other tropicals they kept.
Unfortunately, the signs of fluffy horticultural abuse was rampant: any greenery that was there previously was either eaten or discarded after being thrown up; the soil [mixed with fluffy feces and what looked like blood] was everywhere, covering the patio and caking Gary’s patio furniture; and anything that could be broken WAS broken.
John scanned the yard, and gasped: there were fluffy corpses everywhere. Splatters on the fence, legs and fluff strewn all over…he saw mutilated adult fluffy bodies, and the remains of what looked to be a few baby fluffies. John caught himself whistling unconsciously at the mayhem; this was a fucking crime scene. He returned the blinds to the closed position, and walked back to the guest room for his phone.
Behind the grill, a green adult earthie fluffy named Buster let out the last of his scaredy poopies.
“I just thought you should know. I’m gonna walk down to that store you told me about and grab some cleaning gear-”
John pulled his cell from his ear to escape the volume of Gary’s voice. “The fuck you are! John, the whole point of me and Maddy sending you up there was to RELAX. So fucking relax. I’ll call my buddy Phil who runs charters a few miles from you. He also has a pool cleaning business and can clean that back porch faster and better than you. So do me a favor: chill out, smoke, and just watch some TV until Phil gets there.”
John laughed. “Fine, fine. I have nothing to smoke, though, bud. I never travel with it.”
John heard the telltale sounds of text tapping on the other end, followed by Gary replying, “Phil will take care of that, too. I mean it, John. This is your vacation. Relax.”
A few episodes of a cooking show later, John answered the polite knocking at the front door. He opened up to find a tall, thickly built man in a sleeveless shirt and board shorts. Obviously a local from his sun-scorched skin to the faded company tank top he was wearing, John had guessed that this individual could be none other than Phil.
John extended his hand, and Phil’s shot out to meet it. “Hey dude. Phil,” the man boomed.
“John,” he replied with a chuckle. Gary DID say he was a loud guy.
“Cool, John. Welp.” Phil clapped his hands together. “I was told by Gary specifically to get this shit done quickly, and to give you this-” Phil produced a vacuum-sealed baggy and handed it to John. “-and to tell you to relax.”
John put both hands up, the universal sign of surrender. “I got it, I got it,” he chuckled. “Thanks for the assistance and the green. Just give me a knock when it’s taken care of.”
Phil flashed a grin that was nearly as bright as the orange reflective sunglasses he had on, nodded, and turned to walk back to his truck.
Buster nudged his special friend, a violet winged fluffy named Princess, through the hole under the fence, waiting until she was completely through before ushering his two children through to her. “Tank yu, speciaw fwiend,” Princess cheered, motioning them forward. Buster squeezed through, but popped out awkwardly and lost his balance. He crashed into a tall clay birdbath, yelping. The column shifted off its base, resulting in the bowl falling and wedging itself into the dirt and fence, blocking the hole.
Unfortunately, it had also caught a foal in the process of sliding through the fence, and bisected the small white filly just above the hips. She let out a horrible liquid bleat, blood and sinew already propelled up through her body and out her mouth. The mother turned back and screamed.
“SCREEEEEE!!! BESTES’ BABBEH NUUU!”
The rest of the herd’s reaction was in waves, resulting in a lot of crying, pissing, shitting, and running. Buster and his special friend took off away from the carnage and the noise, scared poopies and peepees in their wake. The other toughie and his family hid under deck chairs, crying loudly.
The mother twisted and sat down on her rump, and reached forward with both hands to grab her similar-colored “best baby” filly. Well, the still-living half.
Her clumsy hooves squeezed her baby’s torso, resulting in sharp peeps from the child. Picking the baby up, the dam hadn’t noticed her tough handling of the baby caused bits of viscera and organ to drip down onto her fluff and teats. “Bestes’ babbeh jus nee huggies and wuv, den all beddah,” the mother cooed shakily.
The filly’s brain was losing blood, neurons misfiring. Her jaw sharply opened and closed, sometimes jutting back and forth horizontally like a broken animatronic. “Heh-ha. Haaa,” exhaled the dying filly. “Uhht.”
“Babbeh, wai nu huggies bak?” The dam was obviously in denial. No screams or peeps were uttered in her last moments; just awkward breaths and gurgling moans. It did not take long, and the blood-covered mother finally had registered that her baby had just gone forever sleepies.
“BESTES’ BABBEH NUU-HUU-HUUUU!” The mother’s wails prompted more shitting and screaming throughout the herd.
“STAHP!” The herd all stopped and turned.
Standing on the seat of a deck chair, the herd’s leader stamped his hoof: he was a blue unicorn with a red mane and tail. And he was smart; so smart that he took over his dad’s herd and led them on a long journey from a canopy-covered forest near fresh water to a seasonal neighborhood with very little in the way of food sources.
They were on their second day by the time they came upon Gary’s backyard, and only had found small bits of grass and wilting plants for nourishment. Morale was not high for the herd.
“Wisten tu Beaw,” the smarty, Bear, bellowed. “Dummeh daddeh nu no dat beddah nummies is away fwum da gwassy pwace.” He pointed to the minimal amount of vegetation. “Dummeh daddeh nu no dat dese gwassies bettah. Wook, even pwetty nummies!”
The rest of the herd turned and began cooing over their perceived luck, completely all moving on and forgetting about the distraught white dam and her dead child. Buster motioned for Princess and his two children, a yellow winged filly and a cream-colored earthie colt to one side of the fencing. The other toughie, a red horned stallion, rushed over to the grass by the birdbath, nearly knocking over the catatonic childless mother. He was followed by his special friend and their recently born foals, still too small to walk on their own. Tiny mounds of red and light blue were nestled in the mother’s pink fur as she trotted over to start eating, with a tiny brown mound following her.
“Ooo,” the pink horned dam burbled, “wookit da pwetty nummies!”
Gingerly plucking her babies off her back, she hoisted herself up on her haunches, trundling over to a dazzling display of wild red orchids, their flowers small red vibrant shoots and stalks cascading down like fireworks. Managing to wrap her stubby synthetic hooves around some of the plant, the pink fluffy promptly chomped down and started grazing on the orchids.
“Cynfia wuv pwetty nummies!”
Phil updated Gary quickly via text, then slid the phone back into his pocket. “Damn fluffies,” he muttered, reaching into the bed of his pickup and grabbing his pressure washer and a bucket of chemicals and separate cleaning tools. There weren’t many cases of random fluffies down in his community, but Phil would notice a few here and there [both alive and dead] after the tourism season would end. Either left behind or got themselves lost. In the end, the heat, sun, and environment were a death sentence for fluffies.
Phil slammed the door to his truck bed shut. “Hopefully, there aren’t too many bodies.”
Buster, the green toughie, raised his head and sniffed at the orchids. “NU! Dese nu smeww pwetty fo nummies.” He turned to Princess. “Speciaw fwiend, nu num dose. Onwy num da gwassies. Babbehs, nu pway by pwetty gwassies.” His two foals nodded and giggled, and bounced away from their parents to play huggie tag.
Bear, the smarty and leader of the herd, climbed down from the deck chair. Kiki, the mother to his one surviving colt, rubbed her head against him. “Wuv yu, Beaw,” she swooned, her white and pink fluffy clashing loudly against his. He shoved her away with a hoof.
“Nu nao,” Bear said sternly. “Gu num nummies. Gu wiv BeawBeaw.” He gestured to the red and white unicorn colt he named after himself twice, who was too busy yelling at his own shadow to notice his name uttered. Kiki, defeated, lowered her ears to her skull and trotted over to BearBear, nipping at his neck to get him moving. A shrill SCREEEE caused both Kiki and BearBear to crouch low in fear, as every fluffy turned to the orchids near the birdbath.
Cynthia, the pink fluffy, watched in horror as her special friend Thunder stumbled over himself, unable to regain coordination. He shook his head, violently and repeatedly, as if to shake something off his face. He whined and salivated heavily. His nose leaked booboo juice.
“Tunda su huwty,” Thunder kept repeating. “Is nu gud. Nuuu. Tunda nu wan huwties.”
Cynthia gathered her babies and held them to her fluff, paralyzed in place.
Thunder stood up suddenly, flailing his front hooves at some unseen force, his chubby red legs windmilling in the air. He toddled backward, landing on his rump, the force jostling his head and neck. More booboo juice was coming out of his snout, but faster. He wiped at it lazily, matting his fluff.
“Tunda jus’ nee’ way down,” he sniffed, yet unable to move much from his sitting position. Thunder’s head lolled forward, his lungs now choked between it and his considerable belly that began to visibly and audibly quake and gurgle.
“It otay,” Thunder moaned. “Tunda o-otay. Nu tummeh huwties. Tummeh otay-”
Thunder’s tail, somewhat trapped under his legs, forcefully lifted as his pelvis shifted back from the force of the diarrhea erupting from beneath. The fluffy nearly levitated an inch from the sheer pressure blasting from his rear. Thunder could barely scream as hot bad poopies tore through his insides and burned his poopie place, seeping into his pretty fluff and spreading out in the dirt.
“Nuuu,” Thunder cried. “Tunda nu mean tu num meanie gwassies. Tunda jus’ su hung-HUUU-” Another spasm of pain rocked Thunder, his throat suddenly expelling thick red foaming vomit.
Cynthia’s red and light blue foals soiled themselves in her fluff, and her tiny brain had finally snapped. She tossed her children onto her back and took off screaming.
“Fwuffy otay,” Thunder slurred, his movements slowly down and becoming jerky. “Fwuffy jus’…jus’ nee’ huggies.” Thunder’s left front leg punched the air while his right gestured for a hug. “Nee’…nee’ miwkies.” His head lolled back, sending an arc of blood spattering all over the garden. “Miw-miwkies. Miwkies.”
All the other fluffies were too scared to watch the end, but Buster. Buster watched Thunder finally collapse to his side, stool mixed with blood leaking out one side and foaming red vomit piddling out the other.
“Muh. Mummah.” Thunder’s neck strained, his mouth forming a suckling shape. His legs twitched, beginning to curl in like a dying spider’s.
Between body-rolling throes of puking, Thunder reverted to chirps, until he no longer made any noise. His breathing slowed, and Buster watched Thunder take his last agonizing exhale, his mouth craning for an invisible teat. Thunder’s head dropped, splashing to rest in a crimson puddle, eyes open but forever sleeping.
“All right, let’s see. Double check, “ Phil murmured to himself as he connected his pressure washer to the hose. He went through his bucket quickly, making sure to avoid another unnecessary trip out to the truck, and put in his earbuds. Phil adjusted his visor, clicked open the side gate, and pressed start on the opening track of his favorite pool-cleaning playlist: “Phil Me Up Spring Break ‘04”.
Phil whistled, and quickly looked around.
“Hmm. Hour. Maybe an hour and a half.”
He set the bucket down and wheeled in the pressure washer, clicking it on with a terrible whirr.
Behind the grill, Buster farted.
Cynthia waddled as quickly as her pink legs could muster, away from the sight of her special friend making scary poopies and red sicky wawa’s. She bolted past Thunder and away from the herd, running in a lazy slalom out of sheer terror, her red and light blue babies chirping anxiously on her back, and her brown ugly baby trailing behind. Sad wawa’s stinging her eyes, she could barely look where she was going, and yelped as her front hooves suddenly found no ground.
Cynthia had run a zigzag pattern straight for the canal, and slipped shoulder first down the concrete steps to Gary’s dock. The first step knocked the wind out of her, her right front shoulder connecting first and sending the pain rocketing down her side. The second step Cynthia nearly missed, twisting in the air and moving further forward…but her back hooves clipped the edge. She was sent face first into the third step, her pink horn cracking at the tip, then bending slightly downward before crunching an inch and a half back into her skull. Cynthia flipped over, her fat body landing with a thud on the landing of the dock.
Her babies had gone airborne the moment she did. The red baby filly was the first to go flying, hitting the third step first before rolling down to the landing having suffered a few broken ribs and a fractured back leg. The blue winged colt tried valiantly to flap his wings to safety as Cynthia launched him high into the air, cartwheeling forward towards the canal. Unfortunately, all his wings did was slightly change the angle of his trajectory: rather than granting him a quick and merciful death with a nosedive into the concrete, the colt found himself careening towards a steel boat cleat headfirst. His neck connected first, snapping his head forward and instantly paralyzing him. His body crumpled, and began shuddering involuntarily, his bowels voiding from the trauma.
The brown baby tumbled shortly after her, either not paying attention to his mother’s fall or intent on following her regardless. The colt fatly rolled down the stairs, bouncing off the mother’s fluff twice as they both crashed together down the steps. The brown earthie colt landed hard on his side, knocking him out but leaving him only bruised, and not too far from mother.