I hope everyone’s Halloween was the most horrible it could be! I know mine certainly was! As promised, Sorbet’s story continues! If a little late.
Halloween had always been bedlam in Betty’s neighborhood. Kids mobbed the houses on her street in their costumes, shrieking and giggling as each house did it’s best to scare the crap out of them.
Betty’s house was at the end of the street so she figured her house was the place to catch a break from the sounds of screams and chainsaws. Her yard was full of skeletons posed to be doing regular, every day things. Like sitting on the porch with a beer or floating in a little swimming pool while her speaker played fun,spooky music.
To Sorbet, the night was full of magic. Dressed in his own skeleton costume, he had trotted about the porch, chattering hellos to all the kids who came up the walk to get a full sized treat and in return had gotten more petties than he could possibly handle.
Sure, some kids were a little rough, but they were just little, he reasoned. Some were just babbehs, even. So he took it all in stride, happy just to be a part of the fun until Betty decided it was time he got to trick or treat, too.
Once the kids had their time, Fluffies got a chance to participate. At least on the street Betty lived on and provided they wore a glowstick around their necks and were properly harnessed. It was a hassle, but it meant that all involved were safe and had a good time.
None moreso than Sorbet. Who insisted on carrying his trick or treat bucket himself.
Fluffy-safe houses were marked with special pumpkins and were generally pretty generous with both treats and affection. By the time the night was done, the brightly colored alicorn colt was tired and his orange pumpkin bucket was stuffed.
Betty had to carry him back to their house while he chattered excitedly about his plans to share his treats with the newest addition to their family: The batfluff foal they had found at the pumpkin patch.
“Can nyu babbeh have tweaties yet?” He asked, head tilted with a thoughtful frown on his chubby face.“or stiww onwy miwkies?”
“Just milkies for now, Sorbet. She’s really, really little” Betty answered as they walked up the drive to her house. Ben was waiting on the porch, having come over to help hand out candy and to mind the infant fluffy and the cats while Betty and Sorbet trick pr treated.
Sorbet noticed that he was over a lot more often lately. And that when he was Betty laughed and smiled a lot. He wasn’t sure of him in the beginning, but had eventually decided that he was a nice mistah and okay to have around.
“There you are! Get a good haul?” He said from the porch, taking the treats when Betty handed him the bucket. “Whoa! This thing’s heavy!”
“And we’ll need to be extra careful when we check it. Just cause they have a pumpkin out doesn’t mean it’s all safe for him.” Betty said with a pointed nod at the house across the street. Her neighbors were usually nice enough but the one in question had given her shit about Sorbet being off leash on the porch more than once.
“How’d the baby do?” She asked on their way back into the house. Sorbet still hugged onto her shoulder, peeking at Ben as he walked in behind them. He giggled when the man reached over and scratched behind his ears.
“She was up for a little bit. Peeped for some milk and then fell asleep while the last few trick or treaters came by. I put her back in her little incubator a bit ago.” Ben explained, setting Sorbet’s haul onto the kitchen counter. “I can sort through this with Sorbet if you wanna go check on her?”
Sorbet was torn. He wanted to see how many treats he’d been given, but he also wanted to see the babbeh. The tiny little thing had been under constant care since they had found her with her wing broken that day in early October. And Sorbet wanted nothing more than to hug her and sing to her, but he was only so little himself.
“Can Sowbay see babbeh?” He asked hopefully, eyes big and watery as he looked up at Betty. She had a hard time refusing him much. But she did set him down on the counter with Ben.
“I’ll go get her. And we can all check your candy together. Deal?” She asked, poking his chubby little cheek. It wasn’t exactly what he wanted, but it meant he could see the baby, so it wasn’t too bad.
“Otay. Sowbay an’ Ben wiww wait wite hewe.” He said very solemnly, sitting by his treats on his haunches, watching Mummah go into the spare closet that currently housed the incubator where their new foal spent most of her time asleep.
It was spacious and warm and it was out of reach of the way of the cats. Sorbet craned his neck to see if he could see the inky black foal from where he sat.
Something about her smelled familiar. Like his brothers and sisters from so many forevers ago. But he couldn’t quite put his hoofsies on why. And thinking too hard on it made his thinkie place hurt.
Tapping his hooves on the counter nervously, he looked up at Ben who then reached over and petted him again. His hands were very warm and that was reassuring. Mummah wasn’t gone for too long til she returned with a small bundle in her hands.
“Hewwo, sissy!” Sorbet said very quietly. “Big bwudda Sowbay got you tweaties!” He stepped closer, lifting his nose to boop the little foal wrapped in her baby blanker covered in stars and moons. Her little head lifted and she chirpped back in reply, stronger than she had when she first came home.
Ben had dumped out the treat bucket as they chatted and started to sort through the things they had been given. Anything too dangerous was sorted into a pile from what was safe. Betty watched, making a note of what was being kept over what was being tossed and made a note of which houses they came from. They’d be houses to avoid next year.
“She’s really little, huh?” Ben noted, tossing a chili flavored chocolate into the kitchen trash can. “They say how old she was at the vet?”
“Not even half a day, apparently.” Betty replied, heading to the fridge to get a drink out for her and Ben. Sorbet following her as far as the counter would allow him. “My guess is the farm found the mare and either removed her themselves or had someone come get her. There wasn’t any sign of blood or anything to indicate something bad happened. But our lil girl here was a considerable distance from the nest that she was probably kicked out of the litter for how she looks.”
“That’s fucked up.” Ben replied and took the offered beer from Betty and gave Sorbet his treats back. Leaning on the counter, he watched them nose through the treats before picking out a strawberry flavored treat shaped like an ice cream cone. Without having to say a word, Ben unwrapped it for him.
“You gonna keep her?” He asked, nodding at the foal before opening his bottle and leaning on the counter.
“A warm house and someone keeping her fed and clean is her best shot at surviving. And Sorbet seems pretty attached already.” Betty shrugged, petting the foal’s forelock gently with one finger. “What do you think, Sorbet? Can this lil lady stay?”
Sorbet immediately lost interest in his treat and nodded, trotting back over to sit by Betty, his little hooves lifted to rest on her arm.
“Widdwe babbeh need bestesh mummah. An’ dat am ou, Mummah!” He said with a happy little toss of his pastel orange tail.
“A baby is a big responsibility, Sorbet. Will you help her be good and follow the rules?” Betty asked, serious, but smiling. “She’ll be counting on you to help her best a good fluffy.”
Sorbet nodded again, very serious. Living with Mummah had been the best thing to happen to him and he knew, somehow, that staying here was what was best for the little foal.
“Sowbay wiww teach hew, Mummah. Be bestesh bwudda evah!” He said it with such sincerity, nuzzling her arm with his cheek.
“Then I guess she’s staying, huh?” Betty reached over and petted him, smiling to see him so happy.
“She’s gonna need a name if she’s gonna stay” Ben chimed in, stepping over to peek at the foal. “What name should she have, Sorby?”
Sorbet gasped. Were they asking him to choose a namesie? That was such an important job! Unsure, he looked back up at Betty, to see if it was okay. And when she nodded, he then looked at his new sister solemnly.
“Sissy is vewy pwetty. Like staws in the sky. Is there namesie wike that?” He asked, climbing into Betty’s arm so as to be nearer to the foal.
“There’s lots, actually.” Betty replied, shifting her grip so neither of them were held too tightly. “There’s Starlight. Nebula. Astra-”
“Astwa!” Sorbet said happily as soon as Betty had said it and then very carefully curled up next to his new sibling. “Hew Nyu Namesie is Astwa.”