“So, Lavender. How have you been doing? Are you and your new friends getting along?”
“Yus, mistah dok-tow! Day-see an Wose am gud fwends tu Wavendew!”
Dr. Deston Faucheuse, renowned fluffy psychologist, author, and general expert on all things fluffological, among other things, currently clad in a stylish dark purple suit, kneels down on the grass, talking to Lavender. Nearby, her new friends, Daisy and Rose, yeah, there’s a pattern there, are playing the fluffy nation’s favorite sport… drumroll… huggy tag, as Leslie Oldman keeps an eye on them.
“And there haven’t been any… incidents?”
“Wut am in-see-dens?”
“What I mean is, there haven’t been any problems?”
The purple pegasus thinks about this.
“Day-see nu shawe baww. But dat wuz wun time.”
Realising that he’s not making much progress, Dr. Faucheuse focuses, ensuring that eye contact is maintained, and gazes into the fluffy’s memories of the past week.
Yes, that is the source of his amazing insight into the workings of fluffy psychology.
So, you’ve had a busy week since your old daddeh left. That’s, what, five bwite times? You’re pretty sure it’s five. You remember, that’s, um, three, and then two more.
First, the bwite time after your old daddeh left, your new daddeh went out, and came home with your two new friends.
There’s Daisy, a pretty white and yellow fluffy, with the prettiest green see-places, and pretty wingies like yours.
And Rose, a red and green fluffy, with no hornie or wingie, but still pretty, and pink see-places.
Your hoomin friend dok-tow Fawshush, you think that’s what he’s called, helped your new daddeh pick them out. Apparently he said that “it was imperative that your new companions have tested negative for any reaction to P53.” You only understood a couple of words in that sentence, but you didn’t need to, because the only two words you needed to understand were “new companions”! That means friends.
Daisy and Rose are the best, by the way. They’re so nice to you! When you told them about what your old daddeh had said and done, they both cried and hugged you.
Out of the corner of your eye, you saw your new daddeh shed a tear too. Your new mummah and daddeh said that they’ve got enough love for all three of you. Other than the ball thing, the three of you been getting along nicely. You still sometimes have to spend a few forevers in the saferoom, and you still don’t really get why, but now, you’re not alone in there!
But then, a couple of blue-suit hoomins showed up in one of those flashy light caws that goes woop-woop, and they had bad news.
Your old daddeh had been found, and he had gone forever sleepies. They said that he had been hit by a “twuck”.
You were very sad, and your new mummah and daddeh were very sad, and your new friends were very sad, even though Daisy and Rose had never met your old daddeh, they were sad for you.
The strangest thing happened after that, though.
A weird fluffy you’d never seen before showed up on the fawm, while the hoomins weren’t looking.
He was wearing a black blankie, and looked very hungwy.
He just said SOWWY FOW YU WOSS. and then he left.
You had a funny feeling that you’d see him again some day. That didn’t seem like something you should be looking forward to.
After that, there was something called a “fun-ewaw” for your old daddeh. It wasn’t really fun.
He was in a big boxie, and the boxie was closed, because apparently, after your old daddeh was hit by the twuck, he looked really not-pretty. Everyone was wearing the same color, black. You thought that maybe they should mix it up with some brighter colors.
Then, after everyone had said goodbye to your old daddeh, and you had hugged the old daddeh forever sleepies boxie one last time, they put it in the ground, and covered it with dirties.
After the fun-ewaw, you and your new friends were treated to some blackcurrant ice cream. Your new friends had never had it before, but they loved it!
Yours was a bit salty, though. You were crying into it.
While you’re remembering all of this, you suddenly feel a strange feeling, that feels like there’s someone else in your head.
“Oh my. I can honestly say that that’s never happened before.”
“Dat wut neba happun befowe?”
“Never mind, sweetheart.”
Dr. Faucheuse finishes his examination. All seems to be well. Lavender’s new friends are settling in, and they’ve shown no signs of susceptibility to Pheromone 53. The Oldmans confirm that everything has been going smoothly since Leslie’s brother was buried. Good, good.
Then, after booking the next appointment, and saying his goodbyes, Deston prepares to make his exit.
“Hey, what’s that over there?”
When everyone looks back, he’s already gone.
In his office at the top of Faucheuse Tower, Pierre, with his back turned to his brother, gazes down at the city.
Deston checks his soles, making sure he didn’t step into a cowpat or a fluffy turd during his visit to the Oldman farm. Merde. Literally. Stepped in one of Lavender’s creations. Oh well. Deston mutters a word under his breath, and the smushed piece of Lavender poopie on his heel vanishes. Deston loathes stepping in smelly messes. Those are expensive shoes he’s wearing, they go great with the suit. Deston summarises the appointment for his brother.
“All is well. No fluffy reenactments of a zombie movie. Despite her old owner’s death, she’s adjusted quickly, and has become fast friends with her new compatriots. There was just one thing…”
Pierre finally turns around, his gaze briefly sweeping over the old family portrait.
“And that is?”
“She could tell that I was poking around in her mind. Hey, don’t give me that look! They aren’t the best at recaps, you know that. They tend to leave out the finer details, like everything not related to playing, hugs, special or otherwise, and Italian food. Still don’t know what Hasbio was thinking when they programmed that last one in.”
“Well, we’ll never know, because all of their original documentation was mysteriously destroyed. But this is noteworthy. Usually, you can get in and out of someone’s mind, and they’ll never catch you. Even the smartest humans can’t catch you doing it. Except me, of course, now please kindly knock it off. I recently learned of a, um, computer game, the name escapes me, about a gang of thieves whose abilities strongly reminded me of yours. But whoever designed that game clearly had an oversimplified understanding of Jungian psychology. My point is, a fluffy catching you with your hand in the mental cookie jar is remarkable. I’m not ruling out Phenomenon X, but I’m not jumping to conclusions either.”
“If you come with me next time, I’m meeting them again next week, you can use the same trick you pulled on Calvin to harvest a few drops of her blood, and then you can find out if she’s X-positive. And you still need to have the Talk with him, by the way. He’s getting close to Threshold X. He could pass it any day now, and if he doesn’t know what’s coming before it happens, then all of our plans, and all of our work, will have been for nothing. This is a dangerous game we’re playing here, Brother.”
“I know. I know. We must survive, as many of us as possible, whether we walk on two legs or four. Having Calvin on our side will be vital in the coming war with the Order. I’ll do it tomorrow. Snowball just gave birth, I have a present ready, so I have an excuse to drop in.”
Pierre gestures towards the present, perfectly wrapped in silver paper, on the desk.
“What is it?”
“Promise not to spoil the surprise?”
“One of our new Bestest Mummah beds. With room for up to eight foals. In black, because it’ll make a nice contrast with Snowball. I know our Bestest Babbehs kibble reduces the size of the litter, but Octomoms can still happen, and I’ve deliberately abstained from ascertaining the size of Snowball’s litter. I want it to be a surprise.”
“How sentimental, Brother.”
“Oh, shut up, Brother.”
Deston chuckles. They’ve been bickering like this for decades, at the least, and neither of them could imagine a life without it.
“Well, I must be off. I’ve got another book signing. Fluffzilla: The Biggest Fluffy Ever is flying off the shelves. Xavier wants to talk to me about an adaptation for the silver screen. And I sense the imminent arrival of some particularly weaselly minds, en route to this very office. For a moment, I thought that someone had actually emptied a bag of weasels in the building.”
Pierre scowls. “That’ll be some of the boys from the legal department. I can’t abide them, but they’re a necessary evil.”
“Well, we know all about necessary evils, don’t we? We do them, so nobody else has to. We must survive. Until we meet again, Brother.”
Deston utters a word, snaps his fingers, and then he’s gone.