A documentary on Grapefluffs and how they aid in wine production.
The frame starts on a modest house, a tall and lanky man with long black hair is walking out from the front door, the camera slowly approaching him. “Hello! Hello are you Monsieur Cabbot?” Smiling as he stretches his back, he nods. “Yes. I am Desmond Cabbot, owner of Le Sang du Doux. Are you the ones from the news? The interviewers?” He nods, clearly excited as he gestures to the front porch.
Now a close up on Desmond as he sits in a wooden chair on the porch, smiling as he holds a bottle of his vineyard’s famous wine. Laughing slightly, he offers some to the man behind the camera. “Perhaps later. So Monsieur Cabbot, if you could attribute one thing to the skyrocketing success of your vineyard’s wine, what would it be?” Nodding as ponders the question, he lightly scratches his beard and smiles. " That is simple. My grapefluffs…"
Desmond is now standing outside a series of large, wooden barns smoking a cigarette as he looks to the camera. Smiling he waves a small cloud of smoke about. “No smoking within. A rule I set back when I first started making wine. In my youth we used simple grapes and my Papa would smoke like a fiend while we worked.” Laughing, Desmond takes another drag off his cigarette. “And we could taste it. The wine, it tasted of ash and bitter tobacco. We told this to Papa and he would become angry and yell. But yes we could taste it. So no smoking inside.”
Clearly indoors, Desmond is standing proudly next to a livestock pen. Within are several strange looking fluffies. Their skin appears to be bark like with a rough and wooden texture, with longs strands of vines that fall from their head, neck, and rump, similar to a normal fluffies’ mane and tail. Some of the older grapefluffs also have what appear to be leaves that hang from their vine like fluff. Desmond, smiling like a proud father, picks one up, the grapefluff laughing and giggling as he holds it closer to the camera. “This one is one of the younger ones, my sweet little children. They have it far, far easier than us. They get to run and play all day long.” Petting it slightly, the man behind the camera zooms in on the grapefluff slightly. “How does it feel? It looks rough and patchy…” Laughing, Desmond walks closer offering it to the man. “Would you like to touch it? It is softer than it looks.”
Moving nearby, the camera looks up to the glass ceiling. Desmond’s voice can still be heard despite not being in frame. “Water and sunlight. These are the two most important things for my grapefluffs. The sun, it is free for all so I have glass ceilings like a green house in all of my grapefluff pens.” Lowering the shot, there were long metal rods connected to rubber tubing that continuously released a fine mist, with several grapefluffs standing next to them, their eyes closed and smiling. “And the water, yes. This gives them all the water they need during the day. It runs for several minutes every other hour until sundown.” The focus shifting as the shot goes back to Desmond as the man behind the camera spoke. “Why sundown?” Laughing as he leaned over to pet one of the roaming grapefluffs. “They all sleep as the sun sets. Grapefluffs are not active at night, even more so than the standard fluffy.”
Kneeling over, Desmond is frantically waving to get the cameraman’s attention, clearly excited about something. “Look, over here! Look, look, look!” One of the larger grapefluffs with leaves has several small purplish growths budding from one of it’s leaves. Being exceptionally careful he lightly touches the leaves to allow the camera to zoom in. While some of the growths are the size of peas, a few are larger, having become more oblong in shape and the vague beginnings of facial features can be seen.
“Daddeh…babbehs tu widdew, nu huwties…”
Zooming out, Desmond is petting the grapefluff, her concerns melting away as he showers her with affection. “Do not worry my sweet little one, your children are safe.” Looking to the camera, he smiles. “Now that this one had began to bud, soon she is to be moved to a more private pen. The grapefluffs do love to play and bruised grapes make sour wine.”
Faint music can be heard as the shot is now on smaller and more contained pens. Desmond is within one petting a larger grapefluff, several grapevines dangling from her mane. The growths are quite large and bulbous, with several now clearly having eyes and a mouth “It is Chopin. It soothes them and the wine is better for it. My Grandmother’s idea ages ago. She would say that the grapes had ears and the music would inspire them.” He laughs as he stands up. “Here is where the older grapefluffs are kept. Only those who have many grapes are here, as they are careful with themselves and each other. They still sing, play lightly, and hug, which is so important. The grapefluffs must be happy for the wine to be good.”
“Gwapefwuff wuv daddeh!”
Now strolling past the pens, Desmond walks as the shot hovers slightly behind him, showing the larger grapefluffs hugging and playing, she sound of laughter and giggling all around. “They come here once they have begun to bud. As time goes on, the buds grow and grow, until they start to develop their nubs.” Walking over to a pen, Desmond crouched near a rather swollen looking grapefluff, her belly dragging the floor as she walked over to the fence, her tail wagging as she looked up at him. The various purple buds that dangled from her leaves were now quite large, and have a bizarre appearance, similar to a fluffy’s newborn foal, except with wet, purplish skin. Occasionally, one of the larger ones twitches slightly, emitting a small chirp.
“Gud bwite time daddeh! Wuv yu!”
Petting the swollen grapefluff, Desmond smiles as he lightly touches some of the larger grapefoals. "See even though the litters grow off the body of the mare, her body, it swells with juice. The water and the sun help her produce natural sugars that become the fluid that her body pumps into the foals. At his touch, one of the larger foals squirms and chirps loudly, clearly alerted to some unseen presence. Concerned, the grapefluff looks up to Desmond.
“Babbeh otay daddeh?”
Nodding as he lovingly strokes her mane, Desmond looks to the camera and then back to the mare. “They do love their little ones. They are fine my sweet mother.” Her concerns gone, the grapefluff smiles as she nuzzles against his hand, a new question on her mind as she looks up happily to her owner.
“Daddeh, hao wong tiww babbehs?”
Now in front of another pen, Desmond is already crouching, his hands gesturing to the mare within. All of the grapefoals that hang from her are wiggling slightly and chirping. “Here we see a grapefluff that is ready. Her foals are all plump and wiggling now, and the mare, she is full of juice.” Opening the pen, Desmond walks over and carefully lift up the swollen grapefluff, the mare smiling as she is lifted. Only a faint bit of concern marks her expression.
“Caw’fuw daddeh. Babbehs widdew…”
“Oh they are so well trained. A fluffy with her litter, she is so scared and so frightened. But here they live in peace and happiness. Nothing harms them, I make sure of that. So when I must handle them, they trust me as a father.” Desmond smiles as he starts to walk away with the grapefluff.
Now the grapefluff is on a low table, Desmond carefully looking her over as she giggles and sings to her grapefoals.
“Mummah wuv babbehs, babbehs wuv mummah, hab wots of joosies, gwow big an’ stwong!”
As he looks over the grapefoals Desmond runs his hands over them, occasionally lightly squeezing a few. He then takes a small basket and pluck three, each one chirping wildly as they are separated from their mother. “With each litter, we take a few that are overripe. They will go to the pens and be cared for and loved so the cycle can begin anew.” The mare, still smiling, looks to her foals within the basket, as they chirp blindly wondering where their mother is.
“Daddeh nu take babbehs p’wease…am tu widdew…”
Rubbing his finger over the squirming foals, calming and soothing them, Desmond smiles to the grapefluff. “My sweet mother, they are simply so grown and large now. They will be ok, I promise you.” Stroking her mane, the grapefluff clearly calms as she continues to sing to the grapefoals still hanging from her. Looking to the camera, Desmond smiles as he shakes his head. “And the sweet mother is still calm and happy. This is crucial for what happens next.”
Now in another room, the backdrop hidden by a drawn tarp, the grapefluff is next to a wooden press connected to a small barrel. Desmond walks next to her and hugs her, petting her affectionately. “I adore you my sweet mother. You are a good and wonderous grapefluff. I love you very much…” Her smile growing wider by the second, she looks up to say something, cut off by Desmond’s practiced hands, as he takes a small spike and gores her through the side of her head, a cork on the end plugging the hole as he presses it in firmly. Going still, only the grapefoals, who are now frightened, are moving, their small bodies squirming and writhing in fear.
Taking a basket Desmond begins to pluck the grapefoals one by one. “It was important that she be happy all the way to the end. Fear spoils the juice of the mother. Thankfully the foals have nothing but their mother’s juice at this point, they are too young to make their own.” As he makes his way to the back of the mare, he put the grapefoals within the press, their tumbling bodies frightened and confused as they chirp madly. As Desmond continues to speak, they try desperately to climb over each other, unable to escape the small barrel. “So then we crush the foals, like the grapes of old. The juice, it will be very sweet and have a robust taste flavored by the joys of the mare.” Still looking to the camera he lifts the press and begins to pump it up and down into the barrel, a chorus of tiny screams can be heard as he explains on.
“nuuuuuuu!!! sabe babbeh! sabe babbeh!”
“mummah, hewp babbeh!”
“We press the foals, firmly and with vigor, as this too is important for the release of the sugars. The wine we make here has a naturally high brix volume, so she is very sweet.” He laughs, as no more noise can be heard from the barrel. Desmond then taps the dead mare, a loud thunking sound as he strikes her body lightly. “And now that the rigor has set in, we can finish.”
Closing up on the inside of the small barrel, a deep violet broth can bee seen, bubbling from the pressures of the press before, occasionally the skins of the foals can be seen, with only a few features of their faces surviving the pressures of the pressing. Desmond can be seen working the cadaver’s genitals open with gloved hands, a light purple fluid occasionally leaking out. “We tilt the corpse down so we do not lose much during the barreling and corking.” Taking the small barrel, he pours the fluid and the pulped foal remains into the corpse, giving the barrel a couple of healthy taps afterwards. Taking a large cork, he then presses it deeply into the dead mare, his arm pressing within a healthy distance. Standing up, he wipes his brow. “*Whew. It is much work, but I assure you it is worth it. We do not make quantity here, we make quality!” Picking up the corpse, he then walks beyond the tarp, the camera following.
The shot passes several racks, all filled with the cadavers of mares, all frozen in nearly the same identical position of an upward smile. Placing the newest grapefluff barrel down with the others, Desmond looks to the camera. “And that is it. We wait for the sweet juices to ferment within our new barrel. I have found that the wine tastes best after three weeks, but we are made to order so some sit here even longer.” As he continues, his hand falls to the barrel, stroking it’s flank slightly as he speaks.
Walking over to another barrel, the cadaver’s wooden skin a much darker teak than the others, Desmond lifts it up and walks through the racks until a small table can be seen. Placing it down, he reaches deep within the barrel and pulls out the cork, putting it to his nose. “Ah, now this one you must share with me.”
Sitting down, holding a full wine glass, Desmond smiles to the camera. "It is a wonderous thing this wine, and of course I owe it all to my sweet ones, the grapefluffs. taking a short but satisfying drink from the glass, he nods. “It is many things that must come together for it to be perfect. The water, enough sun, the sugars of course. But if I had to say the most important ingredient for the wine…I would say it is love. Love makes the wine.”
This is my entry for the theme of garden/fruit fluffs. A Community mini-theme: Gardenfluffs and Fruit Fluffs
I really, really didn’t want to ever write about fluffies as food but here we are…
If you are reading this, why not enter yourself. You can do it! I believe in you!
I might add some actual artwork before the end of the deadline but no promises there. Enjoy
Edited: Grapefluff and Grapefoals by Princess Purrpaws