Margaret's Garden, Part 20 by:DeusLibra

Cider sucked his hoof furiously as he watched Bumbler play with Dawn and Honey. Apple floated lazily next to him, her wings fluttering furiously to keep her aloft as she slowly glided over him. She had told him the plan, and it sounded fool proof. A perfect way to thwart both his evil father and the roses. He just needed to wait for the perfect opportunity. And it finally presented itself when Bumbler took his spot in front of the rose bush, huffing with the effort of chasing his two daughters. “Sowwy babbehs, daddeh nee’ take wittwe nap.”

Honey and Dawn pouted in disappointment, breaking out into a fit of giggles when they looked at each others exaggerated expressions. The two ran off to play with Clementine’s foals, Bumbler watching quietly as they began a game of huggie tag with Tangerine and Michael before laying his head down and closing his eyes. Within minutes he was snoring softly.

Cider sprang to his feet from his crouched position. “Dis am fwuffy’s chance!” Apple whispered in the young foals ear as he charged at his father. The older stallion looked up groggily, the sound of his sons rapidly approaching hooves waking him. “Wha’ am Cidew doin’?”

No sooner had the words escaped his mouth than the young red stallion collided into him at his full speed of around three miles per hour, his small horn jabbing directly into Bumbler’s eye. The unicorn’s scream brought all playing in the garden to a halt as Cider began to wildly flail his free hoof, battering against his father’s head and neck. “DUMMEH STOOPID MEANIE FWUFFIE! CIDEW NU AM PWANTIE NUMMIES!”

Bumbler stumbled back in pain, tripping over the small edge of the rose planter and falling in amongst the thorny stems, his pained flailing only serving to tangle him deeper into the vines. “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Bumbler shrieked as he released a torrent of effluent as he struggled to escape the planter. Despite the thorns, Cider continued his assault, battering his hoofpads against the screaming black stallion as Apple cackled in his ears.

Cider was suddenly knocked off balance as both Archibald and Button charged him, knocking the colt off balance, a feat made far easier by the off balance nature of the hoofsucking pony. Once on the floor, Cider began flailing and screaming before he was pressed to the ground as Archibald pinned him beneath his stomach, Button restraining his wildly jabbing horn with a well placed hoofpad against the head. This didn’t stop the pony from spraying shit only managing to cover his tail and some of the grass.

It was at this moment that Margaret swung the door open and raced out into the garden, looking around until she saw the four fluffies by the rose bush and walked over. “Hold him down for a while please dearies.” Margaret raced over and began to calm Bumbler. “Calm down dear, stop moving, you are making it worse.” Bumbler stopped, whimpering slightly as Margaret attempted to disentangle him from the roses, before grimacing and pulling her now bleeding hands out of the bush. “Stay very still dear, mommy will be right back ok?”

Margaret raced inside and grabbed the kitchen shears, racing back out side and beginning to cut the roses away from Bumbler. Once enough of the vines had been trimmed, she reached into the bush and gingerly lifted the limp pony from the rose bush and carried him inside quickly.

Laying the whimpering Bumbler on the kitchen counter, Margaret fished around in the cabinet for the tube of insta-heal gel as well as the bottle of rubbing alcohol and a clean dishrag. “Alright dear, this may sting a bit, but its only because I have to do this to make sure you will heal right, ok?”

Bumbler hesitated for a bit, before nodding with a quiet “Otay mummah.” Margaret gave him a kiss on the horn nub before going about detangling any stray vines and thorns from his fluff, giving any open wound she found a wipe down with the alcohol and a dab of the gel. “What happened dear?”

Bumbler sniffled. “Bumbwah nu know. Wus pwayin’ wif Dawn an’ Honey, an den nee’ take nap, an den Cidew poke see pwace wif hown!” Margaret looked in worry at his eye. Luckily, whilst it was obviously red and painful, there was no puncture or scratches. Still, she wet a clean dish cloth with cool water and lay it over the eye, eliciting a sigh of relief from the unicorn. “Dat feew good!”

“Alright dear, wait here on the table, I need to go deal with Cider.” Bumbler quickly attempted to struggle to his feet. “Pwease nu huwt Cidew, Cidew am gud fwuffy!” Margaret sighed, taking the fluffy off of the table and setting him on the ground. “Bumbler, I don’t like having to do this. I hate having to punish ANY of you.” Bumbler’s ear and tail drooped. “Fwuffy kno, buh Cidew am onwy widdew babbeh…”

“He’s not a little baby any more Bumbler and we both know that. And if he doesn’t answer to consequences now, it will be harder down the line. Do you want to stay in here while I deal with him, or do you want to come out and be present during the punishment?” Bumbler limped over to stand next to her by the door. “Fwuffy wan’ be dere.”

After retrieving the baling wire and shears, Margaret made her way outside, Bumbler slowly limping along beside her.

Cider was still flailing desperately, though it appears that at some point Grapenut had joined in to restrain the colt, sitting on the unicorns hind legs to stop his bucking, pinning the tail to prevent any more sprays of fecal matter… “DUMMY MEANIE FLUFFS!” Cider shrieked angrily. “FWUFFY SABE OU’ AWW!”

“Cider.” Margaret didn’t crouch down to meet his eye level, instead choosing to look down at him whilst standing at her full height, which while she wasn’t the tallest of people, for fluffies it was the equivalent of being looked down upon by Atlas. “MUMMAH!” Cider cried in relief. “Mummah Cidew sabed da hewd fwom the wosie munstahs!” The gathered stallions stared at him in confusion as Margaret looked over at the rose bushes, a massive fluffy shaped section cut out of the once pristine bush. “Indeed.” She crouched down, prying the hoof from his mouth and lashing his forearms together. “And you will have to answer for that later. For now…” Margaret tied a piece of the baling wire around his bound front hooves and hauled him onto his back legs, “We need to go to the tree.”

Cider was distracted from his shrieking as he desperately attempted to get his hoofpad back into his mouth, stumbling blindly forwards as he was lead out of the garden. Margaret lashed his hooves to the mount on the pecan tree, the colt whimpering in desperation as he hopped up and down trying to reach his hoofpad, tongue outstretched. Margaret watched him for a moment before turning and looking on the ground for a decently large twig.

Finding one of appropriate length, Margaret gave it a few test swings to get the feel of it before striking Cider across the rump hard. “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Cider screamed loudly as he voided the remainder of his bowls, Margaret neatly sidestepping the spray. “Cider.” The colt stopped his hopping, turning angrily to look at Margaret. “Owwies! Why mummah do dat?” Margaret stared back stonily. “Why do you think?”

Cider was silent for a moment, as if trying to work it out himself, before he seemingly remembered his hoof was not where it was supposed to be, turning his attention back to getting it into his mouth. Another strike from the switch brought him back with a shriek. Margaret let out a sigh.

“What did you mean when you said you saved the herd?” Cider craned his neck to face her. “Dummeh meanie daddeh was gonna get hewd nummed by wosie pwant munstahs!” Margaret opened her mouth to respond, closing it after a moment as she had no real reply. “Den aftew he feed hewd to da pwantie munstahs, he was gonna get mummah nummed by pwantie munstahs!”

Margaret was silent as she attempted to process this delusion. “Den dummeh meanie daddeh hab aww da pwant nummies, an’ den make new hewd, an’ den, an’ den…” Cider went silent again, beginning to hop once more in an attempt to reach his hoof. Margaret sat quietly and watched him for a moment. “Cider why do you think that Bumbler was going to feed us to the roses?”

The pony seemed to ignore her, continuing his tiny hops up and down. Another strike of the switch brought him back to attention. “Cider, why do you think that Bumbler is going to feed us to the roses?”

“Appwe towd me! Appwe towd fwuffy eberyting!”


“Hey Jim, I have a weird question.”

“Alright, go ahead.” Margaret sighed, trying to figure out the best way to phrase the question. “Have you ever heard of a fluffy with an imaginary friend?”

“Actually no, funnily enough fluffies don’t really have much of an imagination, at least not that kind of imagination. They are really just limited to wishful or fearful delusions at best. Its why they don’t really play with dolls or the like. Don’t know the exact reason for it.” Jim was quiet for a moment, seeming to realize why his grandmother brought the topic up. “What’s going on?”

Margaret pinched the bridge of her nose in an attempt to stifle the on coming headache. “Cider is claiming that a flying pegasus named Apple told him that Bumbler was going to kill me and the entire herd by feeding us to the roses.”

Jim let out a long slow whistle. “Jesus Christ, that’s a new one.” Margaret sighed again. “It gets worse. He claims that this Apple told him that the only way to keep the roses from getting stronger is to suck his hoof, and to push Bumbler into the roses. Don’t know if the little bastards plan was straight up murder or just grievous bodily harm, but it sure did some damage.” Margaret pulled the curtain back a little to look out into the garden. Bumbler was slowly limping over to the watering hole, his two daughters supporting him as he walked.

“So where is Cider now?” Jim asked. Margaret leaned into her high-backed recliner. “Far as I know still tied to the pecan tree, attempting to get his hoof back into his mouth.”

Jim sighed. “Fuck. You may need to ask someone with actual experience in this field.” Margaret laughed. “Who? A fluffy psychologist?” Margaret was silent for a moment. “Those probably exist now don’t they.” Jim laughed. “Fluffy psychology is a required course to become Hasbio certified, and it just so happens that we know a particular vet who has that qualification.”


Dr. Vaughn’s receptionist picked up on the third ring. “Hello, you have reached the office of Dr. Vaughn, FVD, our office closes in less than an hour so we will be unable to accompany any walk-ins at this time, but I can help you schedule an appointment if-” Margaret cut her off. “Hello Alice, I just had a question on fluffy psychology for the good doctor. May I speak to him?”

“Certainly, one moment please.” As the distorted hold music began to play, Margaret walked to the window, pulling back the curtains and looking out at the pecan tree, able to make out Cider, still jumping up and down, but at a much slower pace now. She knew how things were going to end already, but hoped that Dr. Vaughn would have some sort of miracle drug, some sort of experimental treatment that could fix the colt, but this amounted to wishful thinking.

“Hello, this is Dr. Vaughn, my lovely receptionist said you had a question for me?” Margaret cleared her throat. “Hello Doctor, my name is Margaret, not sure if you remember me but I came to see you a couple months ago.”

“I certainly remember you! We don’t have many appointments where an owner comes in with one fluffy and leaves with three, how are those fluffies doing by the way?” Margaret sighed. “They are all doing well, unfortunately the same can’t be said for the colt I am calling about.” Dr. Vaughn’s voice took on a much more serious tone. “I’m so sorry to hear that. Would you be able to give me a brief rundown of his symptoms?”

Margaret told him about Cider, from his mother’s betrayal, to the hoof sucking, the imaginary Apple and the attempted patricide. Through out the whole discussion, Dr. Vaughn was mostly silent with the exception of an occasional “Oh dear” or “That’s not good at all.” When the story was finished, Dr. Vaughn gave a heavy sigh.

“Margaret, the way I see it you have a couple options. You could spend thousands of dollars on a fluffy psychiatry specialist, thousands more on experimental pharmaceuticals, and keep a possibly murderous paranoid schizophrenic fluffy on your hands, you could release him into the wild, which is a felony in this country, or you could put him down.”

The line went silent for a while as the doctor’s words hung in the air. Margaret finally managed to release a sigh. “What about one of those… what are they called, factory resets?” Dr. Vaughn sighed. “Sorry to say that’s really just a Hasbio half truth. It is basically souped up electroshock therapy in an attempt to wipe the neurons. Even in the small cases where it does work, the fluffy has forgotten everything, from how to use a litterbox all the way to how to walk. In one particular case it turned out the test fluffy had lost the knowledge on how to breathe.”

“God dammit. Well thank you for your time Doctor.” As she was about to hang up, the doctor stopped her. “One last thing Margaret. When the time comes, the best spot is right at the base of the skull. Quick and painless.”


Margaret came out and sat on the deck, the setting sun tinging the whole garden a slight orange. “Line up dears, Mommy has some bad news.” The fluffies, somewhat instinctively, sat in a semi circle around her rather than in their assigned places in line. Once Bullet had been finally rolled into place. Margaret took a deep, shaky breath. “Dearies, we all know what happened in the garden today. Cider was very bad and needed to be punished.”

A couple fluffies nodded in agreement. Margaret felt tears beginning to well up in her eyes from some unknown place. “I just got off the talkie box with the nice vet, and he told me some bad news. Cider is very, very sick.” Grapenut, Dawn, and Clementine all raised hooves. “Yes dearies?”

“Wiww bwudda ge’ betta?” Dawn asked worried. Margaret felt a tear roll down her face as she shook her head no. “No, dear. Cider needs to take forever sleepies to get better.” The herd began to sniffle and sob. Bumbler began to cry, thick tears running down his face as he hugged his remaining children.

Margaret took a deep shaky breath before continuing. “I know this is hard. I really wish this didn’t have to happen.” A slow, shaking black hoof was raised into the air. “Yes dear?” Bumbler shuffled his way forwards, coming to a rest in front of Margaret. “Can Bumbwah say gudbai’s to babbeh?” Margaret gave a nod, lifting the stallion and carrying him in his arms out the gate. “Dearies, please go and wait inside your safe rooms.”

“Otay Mummah.” The herd shuffled off as Margaret carried Bumbler over to the pecan tree, the fluffy shivering in his arms as the cool night wind, no longer buffeted by the fence, blew across his patchy fluff.

Cider was still where Margaret left him, desperately trying to reach his hoof, hopping up and down slowly. Margaret placed Bumbler on the ground, the large stallion limping over to sit next to his son. “Babbeh?”

The sound of his father’s voice had no effect on the colt, who continued to bounce up and down, his tongue extended to reach the chapped, bleeding hoofpad tied in front of him. Margaret choked back a sob. “I will leave you to talk to him alone.”

Margaret walked back inside and retrieved the shot gun from it’s place above the fireplace mantle, the weight of the firearm causing the cuts from the rose thorns to bleed once again. Margaret loaded birdshot into the shotgun and walked back outside to the tree.

Bumbler had long rivulets of tears running down his face, his only son ignoring his voice and continuing to bounce up and down. Margaret felt the same trails begin to form on her face as she approached the stallion and laid her hand softly on his head. “It’s time dearie.”

The black unicorn limped over to his son, wrapping his arms as best he could around the colt and cooing softly. “Daddeh wuv ‘ou.” Margaret picked him up with one arm and carried him back to the coops, placing him inside where he was immediately surrounded with hugs.

Margaret made her way slowly back to the tree, the sun set having set but enough light remaining to aim the barrel of the shotgun at the still hopping pony. By the grace of whatever god was out there looking down on the two of them, Cider stopped to catch his breath, Margaret sighting the shotgun in on the base of his skull.

The gunshot echoed throughout the empty fields of grass and wheat three times before the night fell completely silent, save the crickets and the wind.

Part 19
Part 21

35 Likes

Damn even in death (?) Punky found a way to disrupt the herd. Cider went cuckoo thanks to her.

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Oof. That hit hard. Like the Doctor said beyond major treatment it really was the only way. The thought that an affected creature can voice it’s own psychosis and it’s father can (attempt) to say his last goodbyes is what pushes me firmly into the camp that they are far beyond toys.

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The bird shot would of been more appropriate since it is commonly used for hunting rabbits. A deer slug would turn him to mush.

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That was the plan, quick and painless shot straight through the base of the skull.

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There would be little of the corpse left and Margaret would be painted red. Bird shot wouldn’t do that and it would be just as fast. I hunted rabbits as a kid, that is how I know. Any rifle above .17 HMR would ruin the meat. Anything above a 30 caliber would leave nothing left but odd bit of mangled body parts. For shotguns 20 gauge or .410 gauge using bird shot is the most appropriate since it would very quickly induce shock and kill if you didn’t have a clean shot and with a clean shot it would be dead instantly. More importantly it wouldn’t completely destroy whatever you shot like it would with a slug. In effect a slug from a 12 gauge would be the same as smashing that colt with a 15 pound sledgehammer. Even a slug from 20 gauge would leave him a mangled bloody mess that would be completely unrecognizable. And 3 shots is serious over kill for presumably an animal the size of a small cat, especially with deer slugs. If you shot a deer 3 times with deer slugs that would be considered excessive.
For that matter here is what a 12 gauge would do to a watermelon with a 1 ounce slug.

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That very well may be, but Margaret doesn’t plan on eating the meat. She wanted to kill Cider in a near instantaneous moment so he wouldn’t suffer. Birdshot, as you said, would induce shock, but wouldn’t kill instantly. Also there was only one shot, it just echoed. She was also standing a good distance away from him when she shot.

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That honestly doesn’t make sense. It wouldn’t echo 3 times since its presumably the midwest and wide open areas without confined spaces. And i said bird shot would send an animal into shock and kill if you DIDN’T have a clean shot. WITH a clean shot bird shot would kill instantly. And I am not implying she would eat the colt, I am saying a woman in her 80s wouldn’t want to mangle the body of a creature she loved. Once again using a slug on an animal that is presumably the size of a small cat would be like smashing it with a sledgehammer. You also mentioned that she has poor vision and the risk of missing with a slug is high since shotguns aren’t rifled. That is why slugs are used for large animals, they are inaccurate and are meant to impart a large amount of energy at once. Birdshot on the other hand will spread out after about 5 meters and has hundreds of pellets which will rip through a small animal like a fluffy and kill it instantly especially WITH a clean shot, which she has since he is tied up.
Here is a comparison of Birdshot, Buckshot, and slugs versus big chunks of beef. Not the slug rips that piece of beef to bits and would explode a fluffy.

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Jesus Christ dude it’s a story. Margaret isn’t a hunter, she gardens. The shotgun belonged to her dead husband, she only uses it to scare off coyotes. She chose the deer slug because from her limited understanding of ammo types it would be the most certain death. You want a story with complete and utter realism, go and write it yourself.
Look man I’m all for constructive criticism but this is just arguing realism in a story about sentient bio toys.

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I don’t expect complete and utter realism. If I did I wouldn’t be reading stories on fluffies, that being said its pretty easy info to find and that one line in the story completely ripped me out of it. And you don’t have to be a hunter to know this, anyone who has handled a shotgun will know this. And at her age she would know this especially if you use it to scare of coyotes. I know because I have done that. Bird shot stops being effective against larger animals past 35 yards. You can even look at the box for the shells and it will tell you. And I have also yet to meet a farmer or farmer’s wife or doesn’t know this. Especially since for 10 years as a kid I would spend my summers on a wheat farm.

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Fine I edited the story.

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It actually makes a lot of sense that the notion of imaginary friends would be almost completely alien to fluffies since they seemingly personify and agency/intent to every object around them. So why make an imaginary friend when that rock over there is a friend, that tree is a friend, hell their “leggier” can be their friends.

I could see them inventing an imaginary friend if they were in a sensory deprivation chamber with nothing to be a “friend” but not really any other situation unless they were crazy.

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this really broke my heart, I kept thinking Apple was a real fluffy, one of the other foals egging him on. Margaret acted on the best instructions but I just wish there was another way, how that on leg removed?? Cider was a good boy, he didn’t deserve this.

i still think punky could be redeemed with enough punishment and her foal shouldnt have been killed. but with cider with the way the vet put it, have no other way <3

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Well, I just binged parts 1 to 20. Uhm… That’s a little enthralling! Such good work. Thank you! Following in case there’s more :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::heart:

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Damn man!

This story is fantastic!

This chapter alone was just perfect!

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Jesus it’s a STORY and you do know that there are people who have no experience with shotguns? I mean if you wanted that realism than write it yourself. But please stop being so angry because of one line no one else cares this just comes over as overly aggressive.

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Hope to see next soon

One thing bumbler improved a lot and a good father. It sad cider fallen into such state :cry:

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I definitely did as well. I should have been doing homework, but this was far more entertaining.

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Maybe, I am not convinced. Now it’s been a few hours since I went past it, but the mysterious stranger, presumably Nick, left the “blockie” and didn’t he give Bumbler a ball? I am thinking that Ball might be a hidden speaker of some kind and Nick is manipulating fluffies from afar.

Just a hypothesis that struck me.