The batch of foals from Whitie were gone.
Douglas stood in the driveway, watching the last of the buyers leave with the well-prepared foals. All of them were put through the rigid program and all the buyers left with well-behaved fluffies, and his bank account just swelled more and more. Wasn’t perfect, no, but it beat opening a mill. Least for the time. The new batch came out with higher marks than the regular lot; Ruddy was a natural at teaching them and putting the fear of God in them to always listen to their owners, lest they end up like the milkbag. She was gonna be fine, though. Or, rather, if she died, he knew how the process went and could do it again to another, deserving mare.
Lord knows there were plenty who needed to get turned into a milkbag.
Still, with the buyer gone, Douglas retreated into his house and to his office. He needed to get some more buyers ready, and get another mare knocked up so he could get another batch out there. Profits were still good, but they could always be better. Maybe he could try two batches at the same time. Could mean he’d need to get involved a lot more, and the chance for washouts, but it meant more funds coming in than going out—
His phone buzzed. Why did it always do that while he was thinking? The big man snatched up his smartphone and, upon reading the caller ID, scowled. He didn’t recognize it. Better not be some fuckers asking about his car’s extended warranty.
“Hello?” He answered the call all the same.
“Hello, is this Douglas Jenkins? This is the 3rd Street Animal Clinic.”
His mood turned right around. “It’s me, yes; something’s wrong?”
“O-Oh, nothing’s wrong, sir. Just…Dr. Mitchel wanted me to leave a message for you. You deal with fluffies a lot, right? He asked if you could help us with an issue.”
“Well, cutting to the chase, we would like to pay you to take some fluffies off our hands.”
Douglas paused. “…seems…under the table. But I’m interested.”
“Sorry. City had to pass new rulings after those fluffy-centered protests. Now all animal hospitals and clinics that tend to them need to ensure they’re directed to no-kill fluffy shelters following examinations and treatments. Unfortunately, those don’t tend to have a lot of vacancy, and we were just forced to take on a small herd. They were picked up in a school’s courtyard and were marked as eligible to be moved to one of the shelters, but none are open, and we can’t ship them to another city.”
“City requires a sharp fee for doing so, to discourage shelters from offloading work onto others. And we can’t euthanize them ourselves unless they have incurable, untreatable illnesses and injuries, and the only one with any noteworthy issue was a brown-colored stallion suffering from malnutrition.” Douglas could tell right away that was the “poopie fluffy”, which meant the herd made the poor bastard eat their crap. Fluffies just always found new ways to disgust him…but they were his profit all the same. “So, we need them gone, and Mitchel said you might be able to help because you run a business dealing with them.”
“Guess he finally checked my business card,” Douglas mused. “but why me?”
“It was you or a mill, and the only places mills are allowed to source from are shelters after the city caught wind most sourced from the feral population. Apparently, that’s unethical. Even then, mills are constantly shut down, reopened, and then shut down again, and those fluffies just get bounced around until they die or end up back in a shelter, only for the cycle to repeat.” Douglas remembered that. Happened a lot more often with more protests from fluffy sympathizers. He didn’t have a problem with them; most of them were protesting the right things, but he liked to look at a problem from both angles, and besides, most great colored fluffies came from mills in the first place. People just didn’t like clarifying that out in the open.
Still, an interesting opportunity was in his lap. “How’s the pay?”
“A hundred per fluffy, with the agreement being, if we hit our own occupancy limit, we send them out to you. We’ll then mark them as delivered to a shelter and, from there, what happens to them is out of our hair. City won’t bother checking.”
Almost sounded like they were using him like some sort of mob disposal thing. Douglas didn’t care. Money was money, and if people asked questions, he could easily say he ran a farm. Which, technically, he did. Funnily, it didn’t qualify as a mill; turns out, a mill required a certain number of fluffies to classify as such. He was way under that number.
Still, he had an opportunity. “I’ll take them, then. Just send someone out here with the fluffies and the money.”
“Awesome! We’ll be sending someone over soon. Just…warning. We think the herd’s ‘leader’ is a smarty. We can’t exactly euthanize him because ‘in the eyes of the law’ there’s nothing medically wrong with him, and only shelters can euthanize him over that. Namely kill shelters.”
Douglas scowled but shrugged. He had a way around that. “I’ll sort him out then. And, don’t worry, they’ll be taken care of here.” The tech hung up. Douglas set his phone down and breathed a sigh. New fluffies for the farm, with a smarty to boot as well; truthfully, he wasn’t enthusiastic about that, but it also meant he could get some more, good colored foals.
Besides, he wanted to try some new breaking methods. And the smarty was already not needed, so he’d make for a suitable test subject.
“So, this is them…yeesh.” Douglas watched the last of the feral fluffies get unloaded from the pick-up truck. Late in the afternoon, with the sun setting, he knew he needed to get the herd to the barn before, like all fluffies, they panicked about the darkness. Ten in total, all with typical feral traits such as dirty fluff, muddy hooves, and shit-caked asses. Their colors were okay, with one or two having darker, shoddier colors and three with grand, bright colors. The foals were about the same and were in all stages of their lives: some rode on their mothers’ backs and had closed eyes, some had their eyes wide open and babbled about, and a few walked along with their mothers. Only a handful could be salvaged for the program. The rest were too old to be effective; he learned well feral foals didn’t work well for the program and were best saved as examples.
The last of the mares joined the others on his yard. Already, they were acting like they owned the place: stallions were tugging up grass to try and make nests for their special friends, mares sat around and watched their babies play, and said babies ran about playing shit like “huggie tag”. Douglas scowled at it all but didn’t bother commenting further; they’d be unhappy soon enough.
The delivery driver approached, counting out a wad of cash he curtly offered to the big man. “Here you are, eleven-hundred dollars.”
Douglas accepted and pocketed the cash. “Pleasure doing business with you. And remember the deal; you catch any more ferals you can’t offload, can always send them this way.”
“That’ll be a load off our minds. We weren’t sure what we were gonna do. Least this way…well they’ll be taken care of, right?”
“Sure. Except the smarty. Speaking of, he’s been trouble, right?”
The delivery driver rolled his eyes. “Lots. Had to get corked when he tried to spray someone giving a medical examination to a mare. We’re assuming that’s his special friend or something like that.”
“Some stallions tend to get that way, even smarties. Smarties, however, are less ‘chivalrous’ about it. But all the same, I’ll take care of them, and send some more my way if you have to. Here’s hoping those protesters don’t catch wind of this. Even then, I do have a mill license, mostly as a ‘just in case’.” It was really just in case he decided to open a mill of his own, but it also helped steer hugboxers away from his business; as much as the hardcore ones wanted to admit it, mills were legal, so long as they followed proper guidelines.
All the same, Douglas bid goodbye to the driver, and after the man left the big man approached the settling herd. The smarty stood out like a sore thumb; apple red with a bright green horn. The little shit was flanked by two large stallions, his “tuffies”, and said smarty barked commands and orders to the others. At first, Douglas assumed the unicorn was actually being a good leader. That quickly faded when he overheard the stallion demanding all the food be brought to him to eat first, then leave them the scraps.
Shame good smarties were few and thin…then again, most heard the word smarty and grabbed a sledgehammer.
One of the fillies took notice of him. “ou be nyu daddeh, mistah?” She asked in her usual, shrill voice. It got the rest of their attention, and some of the mares huddled around their foals protectively; this wasn’t their first run in with something bigger than them, it seemed.
“I suppose I can, but—”
“Dummeh hooman! gib smawty sketties an’ wand fo’ hewd!” Douglas reached down and flicked the shit out of the smarty’s cheek, earning pained whines from the horned fucker.
“Speak out of line again and I make an example.” The curse made them all grow wary. Good. Douglas stood back up. “Now, there’s gonna be some rules here. You and your herd will live there,” He pointed to the ol’ barn where many other fluffies before them went in and rarely came out. “and I’ll feed you kibble three times a day. All poopies will be in the litterbox; anything out—”
“Nu kibbwe fo’ hewd! sketties!” The smarty interrupted him again. Douglas reached down and grabbed him by the scruff, earning a shriek of agony from the horned asshole, followed by the obligatory crying of ‘bad upsies’.
“Nu! nu gib owwies tu speshuw fwend!” A mare waddled towards him. A glare made her stop dead in her tracks, leaving her to snivel and cry at the sight.
“You need to be made an example off as well?” Douglas asked. She said nothing, just sat there and cried. “No? Then get back to the others.” She tearfully complied, and the smarty whined pathetically, still trying to free himself. Douglas took a long, deep breath and walked towards the herd, stopping mere feet from them.
“Like I was saying, poopies go in the litterbox. There will be no special huggies unless I allow them. Failure to comply means the foals get sent to the Pit. And if anyone steps out of line, disobeys me, or even looks at me in a way I don’t like, they end up like this charming fella here.”
Douglas dropped to a knee, brought the smarty high, and SLAMMED the fucker down onto his kneecap. The wet snap of bone filled the air, and it made the herd break into tears and waterworks as the smarty shrieked and screamed in unfathomable agony. The big man dropped the smarty onto the ground, with the fucker practically bent into an L from the backbreaker he was treated to. He gurgled and spasmed pathetically for a few more seconds before, finally, dying, though not before releasing a final jet of shit on the ground.
“So, any questions? Or do we need to dirty my knee up more?” None of the herd spoke up. They were too busy sniveling and crying over the death of their smarty. Good. Meant they were compliant through fear. “Then follow me. Oh, and no chirpy babies or talkie babies allowed in the barn, so leave them outside.”
“Buh…babbehs nee’ miwkies…” He grabbed the mare’s ear and twisted it hard enough to make her shriek and spasm.
“Someone didn’t hear me. Are you sure these’re working?” He asked mockingly before releasing the bruised ear. “Move.” The mare sniffled and got moving with the others. Douglas followed closely, opening the fence for them and letting them all in before sealing it and giving them only two ways to proceed; into the barn or nowhere.
Said barn was, sadly, empty. Ironically, the last batch of fluffies inside weren’t killed; he sold them to some kid trying to kickstart a “hygienic” mill. Douglas wanted to call him a dumb college kid, but money was money, and it wouldn’t be his house the cops raided if they figured he didn’t have a license.
The herd moved into the various, hay-made nests, still trying their best to adjust to their new life. As instructed, each of the mares tearfully discarded their foals outside the barn in a small pile, leaving the sightless chirpies to peek and chirp helplessly, and the talking ones to cry for their mothers to return for them. One mare did try to waddle in with her brood on her back. Douglas snatched one off in a flash, which prompted her to screech and whirl around to face him, flinging the rest of her brood off her back.
“Nu! gib back bestes’ babbeh!”
He frowned and clenched his hand. Messy, bloody sounds rang out and the foal was no more. “Forgot to add, no ‘bestest babies’ around here. Leave that at the door. So, I’ll be back with a basket for the foals. If any of you try taking them inside,” He tossed the mangled foal corpse over his shoulder. “they get to go like that one did. Let’s call this the first test of obedience. Pass, and you don’t get heart hurties.” With that, Douglas turned to walk away from the barn and headed for his house. This herd was a bit like the first one he baited into the barn, except they were less trusting. Made sense; ferals were a lot more skittish when compared to domestics, who would trust a damn rock with a smiley face painted on it.
So, time to see if they went the same way as the first batch did. Spoiler, they didn’t make it past a month.
“So, Ruddy, how are things going in here?” Douglas stood in the doorway to the saferoom. Ruddy, with his new position, was loving the perks of the job and even wore a little bandana around his head to distinguish him to other fluffies as “guider”. Douglas wanted to use “guidance counselor” but…felt wrong. Guider was more accurate anyhow.
“Dey’we gud! wuddy nu can wait fo’ mowe babbehs! I’ww teach them ebewythin’ I know!”
“Good, and I’m glad you’re enthusiastic. So,” He set down a basket and carefully removed each of the feral foals taken. The salvageable ones, at least: chirpies and talking ones, with the older colts and fillies left outside in the barn with their parents. “here’s the next batch. Mostly chirpies and talking ones. You know what to do.”
One of said foals, a talking colt, looked around, bewildered and shocked over where he and the others had been taken. Looked like he didn’t recognize what a saferoom was. All the same, Ruddy was eagerly moving the chirpies to the milkbag, letting them latch on and nurse from the tortured mare. “Nu wan’ safewoom! wan’ mummah!” The colt finally cried, and quickly went into a tantrum. Ruddy puffed his cheeks and stomped over, delivering a firm swat to the foal’s head with his hoof.
“Nu cwy, babbeh! nu one wants cwyin’ babbeh! nao get dah miwkies, ow 'ou go to dah sowwy basket!” Ruddy almost said it with the same cruelty Douglas did. It impressed the big man. All the same, the sniveling colt sauntered over to the milkbag to get his own fill, leaving the stallion accomplished and full of pride.
“Good job, Ruddy. I knew I put the right fluffy for the job.” He even reached down to pat the proud stallion’s head, earning a pleased mewl from him. “Now keep at it. And remember, if they act up, basket. I’ll send them to Gabby.”
“Otay’! teww wizawd munsta wuddy says hewwo!”
Still need to work on that part, though. Least he wasn’t scared of Gabby anymore.
[Short, but sweet. I wanted to introduce another herd to be the focus of the next few chapters and do a fun idea I wanted to do since last chapter. I did want to make this larger, but I felt that’d be best saved for the next chapter, with each segment dealing with various problematic fluffies within. This can just be considered a taste of what’s to come. So, leave a like and a comment; I always enjoy reading those and seeing how people like Douglas and his demented business. Take care!]