“Hmm…ain’t gonna bother naming those ones actual names…” Douglas stood near the fence, notebook in hand, as he watched the fluffies do as they did. Some lazed about in the grass, others babbled to one another about things he didn’t care to listen to, and a few stallions fruitlessly pawed at and tapped at the fence, begging it to let them out. He had to commend their effort, at the very least, but they weren’t escaping. Their only way out was through the program. Ironically, it was both easy, yet cumbersome, to rehabilitate fluffies; easy to get them to snap out of the feral life and mentality, but hard to get rid of the stuff the program targeted. As such, few ferals made it through; once a fluffy knew about things like “sketti” it was next to impossible to get it out their heads. Or even beat into their heads that ‘sketti’ was a treat, and not theirs. At least not without a lot of trauma.
Douglas jotted down notes on each fluffy, making sure to silently note who each was. No names, of course, just…colors. Then again, with how simple the mind of a fluffy was, even a color could be considered a good name to them. So, there’s that. For the most part, he didn’t see any troublemakers: the fluffies in the pen were divided between trying to fruitlessly escape the pen, bemoan their situation, make dumb threats at the fence, or accept and get used to it. Those ones were the smart ones. The rest would come around in time.
The thing that stood out to him was the mares; they were depressed and forlorn. Some moped around, silently sobbing, while others pawed at the fence in a shitty attempt to escape. A few were even helplessly searching around, calling for their foals as if they were lost. He was a bit surprised by the revelation that they were still looking; most mares, when a brood was lost, just opted to make some more. But these mares were looking for their current broods, or, for some, the ones he took. He assumed it was because of the “no special huggies” rule.
Would he let them have more? Not soon; with the diversity of ages for the taken foals there was no telling when they would all be sellable and out the program, and how many would wash out. He hoped none; every foal who washed out was another to stuff in the barn, and despite its size, there was only so much room, and he disliked culling fluffies.
Douglas finished taking notes on the fluffies and turned to head back to the house. Best to check on the foals in the program.
It took a few minutes to get inside and to the saferoom’s doorway. Mary was hard at work teaching a handful of foals how to make good poopies and Ruddy was instructing a few others on never demanding ‘sketti’ and that they needed to earn it. Douglas wanted to try something new this time; let them know about ‘sketti’, but make sure it’s beat into their heads that it’s to be earned and not given.
He caught movement to his right. Douglas glanced over to the punishment basket and saw three foals in it. Two were dirt brown fillies but the last was a bright purple filly, one who was shouting and beating her tiny hooves on the others.
“Ruddy.” The stallion bounded over in a heartbeat. “Why’re these ones in the basket?”
“Oh, those am bad babbehs. Dah bwown ones keep cwyin’ fo’ mummah.” Ruddy eagerly explained. “Buh dah puwpwe one? she bewy bad babbeh. She gabe huwties to anothah babbeh.”
Douglas scowled and knelt by the basket. The two brown foals just cried harder at his presence, while the purple one…puffed her cheeks. Well then. “Ruddy told me you’ve been misbehaving.” He wanted her to admit it herself. Let her dig her own grave.
“Hmph! dummeh babbeh wouwdn’t wet smawty hab baww, su fwuffy gib owwies tu hew! smawty su smawt!” She was digging with a damn bulldozer.
“A smarty, hmm? Well, we don’t really have room for those. I’ll deal with you. As for you two,” He turned his attention to the sobbing brown foals. “you two won’t stop crying?”
“We just wan’ mummah…nu wike safewoom…wan’ mummah…” One stammered and sobbed.
“Tough. You’re here now. But good time to make an example. Smarty,” His stomach turned at calling the purple filly that. “your mother’s outside. Let’s go get her, ‘kay?” The big man lifted the basket and left the house, heading back to the pen. Time for another demonstration, and sooner than he expected. Oh well.
Douglas came to a stop near the fence. Carefully, he reached into the weaved basket and plucked up the purple filly. “So, which one’s your mom?”
“Hew!” The filly pointed a hoof at a mare who looked just like her, but with a dirty, brown mane. Said mare was shouting at a stallion; Douglas heard bits and pieces of their conversation, and it sounded like she was blaming him for their predicament.
The mare, naturally, perked up at the sound of the voice. She turned and waddled over to the fence as fast as she could, eyes on the squirming, wiggling filly. “Babbeh! 'ou came back to mummah!”
“So, this one’s yours.” Douglas confirmed. “Any reason she’s calling herself a smarty, then? Better not be a ‘bestest babbeh’.”
The mare’s face fell. Panic shot across her face and Douglas practically watched the gears turn in her head so she could come up with an excuse. “S-she nu bestes’ babbeh. She smawty 'cos she smawt!” She stammered, clearly lying.
“And why is she smart, then?” The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.
“'cos mummah say su!”
Douglas frowned. The filly was dropped back into the basket. “NUUUU!! MUMMAH! HEWP BABBEH!”
“NUUUU GIB BACK BESTESH BABBEH!” She finally screamed.
“So, you lied.” Douglas undid the latch on the fence and walked into the pen. The mare’s confidence evaporated in an instant and she violently screeched when he grabbed her, lifting her by her scruff and walking out the pen. “Rest of you, follow me. You try running, I’m kicking you to death.” He heard them follow, though with tears and waterworks beginning, as to be expected. There would be a lot more very soon.
A few more steps and Douglas stepped into the Pit. The mare was dropped down, and he reached into the basket to tug the filly out, setting her down onto the concrete as well. “So, everyone watching?” He took a step back and stared down at the frightened mare. “Good. Here’s the deal, this mare forgot the rules. No ‘bestest babbehs’ allowed, and so that means she’s a bad fluffy.” The crowd of fluffies gasped.
The purple mare rapidly shook her head. “NU! NU AM BAD FWUFFY!” She shouted at the others. “Mummah wobes aww babbehs! nu bestes’ babbehs!”
“No point in lying anymore. So, here’s what’s going to happen.” He flicked a finger at the terrified foal. “You’re going to stomp her to death.”
“NU! NU WAN—”
“Or, let me finish,” He firmly stated. “I give both of you forever sleepies. And I will take my time with it, too. So, choice is yours. Either she dies, or you both do. I got no time for smarties, and that filly’s gonna grow up to be one, so she’s worthless.” The filly was sobbing and crying, babbling and begging for mercy. Douglas remained stone faced and just tipped the basket so the two terrified brown foals could see the punishment as well. They needed to. “So, pick. You have ten seconds.”
“But…mom loves baby! She lo—SCREEEEEEE!!!” The mare’s hoof came down on the foal’s back. Douglas practically heard the foal’s spine shatter from the impact, and she screeched again, uselessly flailing her forelimbs as her hind legs, naturally, stopped working with her obliterated spine. “MUMMAH WHY! WHY GIB HURTIES TO BABBEH!?!”
“Huuhuu…s-sowwy babbeh! Mummah nu wan foweba sweepies…” She applied more pressure. The foal screeched again. Douglas looked up to the herd. They all wore pained, horrified expressions, watching in terror as one of their own viciously killed a foal. Her foal, as well. The purple mare applied more pressure and the foal’s screaming turned to gurgles. A bit more and, as he expected, her entrails oozed out her mouth. The foal’s flailing died down and her eyes slowly rolled up into the back of her head as, with a final push, the foal’s insides splattered out from her mouth and around her mother’s hoof. She was dead.
“Well, wasn’t expecting that. Thought you were a good mother.” She sobbed and shivered, eyes glued to the bloody pancake that was her filly moments ago. Douglas wasn’t amused; truth be told, he didn’t plan to kill the filly. With how every mare was he ever dealt with, she’d beg and beg, then run the clock out. He’d then kill her and leave her progeny alive to witness it and, with the spice of trauma, go on to never do what she did…but this was honestly the first time where a mare chose herself over her foal. He knew some mares were quick to throw their foals to the wolves, so to speak, when things got bad, but to witness it himself? Was an extra level of cumbersome to witness.
Of course, this was the second time he got to witness it in person…the milkbag in the room was the first.
“Still, this means you get to live.” He motioned to the rest of the herd. “Won’t be a happy life, though. Think about that next time you have a ‘bestest’. If you have one. Everyone, back to the pen, now.” The herd sauntered away. The mare scrambled and clambered out the Pit, though she lagged behind the others. With the looks she got, Douglas knew she was gonna be ostracized and scorned. Most, if not all, fluffies looked down upon foal-killers unless it was in a time of emergency. This was the mare opting to save herself over her foal, the furthest thing from an emergency. So, he made a mental note to check the pen tomorrow morning. He expected to either find a corpse or find her traumatized from being assaulted. Who knows, who cares?
“And that,” He tilted the basket up so the terrified foals could see him. “is why it’s best for you two to go to a loving home with human moms and dads, and not back to your bad, feral mothers…because every mare’s a ‘good mother’ until they get put in a position like that. And, when it happens, you better hope she’s quicker than that one was.”
[Quick, fun one again. I couldn’t think of something grand, so I decided to do something like this. Some good ol’ gaslighting and filicide…or…would it be foalicide here…? Hard to say. I’m just glad people are still happy about this story, and happy to see more of Douglas’ efforts to make good fluffies. Don’t hesitate to leave questions about the story; I’d be glad to answer them in the comments below or in the next chapter.