“Hewwo nice mistuh! Habbin a gud bwite time?”
I’m snapped out of my daydream. I’d been sunning myself on a rock, admittedly odd to do in the woods, but all we have in these parts is woods.
I look back down the pathway I’d been hiking. Oh hey, a fluffy. Looks like a mummah and her babbehs. They must be no more than a day old. Tiny little things, groping around in the dark purple fluff between her stubby little wingies. All of their eyes still held shut to protect their delicate little eyes, their mouths peeping and chirping happy little noises as they hug and cuddle and wiggle in a heap.
“Hello mummah fluffy. I’m doing quite well, thanks. How are you today?” She trots over to the rock I’m sitting on with a spring in her step. She approaches without a care in the world. “Mummah am twyin’ nice hoomin. Mummah am twyin’ weawwy hawd. Nu am awways happy bwite time fow mummah.” She’s being oddly chipper about it. I bet people in the park feed her when she’s like this. Makes sense. Most folks around here would be more than happy to toss the little weasel a candy bar. Makes sense. Can’t deny they’re cute.
“Well gee whiz Mummah, I sure wish there was some way for me to give you my delicious pocket nummies. It’s too bad you don’t a bunch of pretty rocks to give me. Then you could have some.”
She’s transfixed. “Mummah knu whewe find pwetty wockies! Gif mummah nummies?” Bingo. “I’d love to give you nummies. If only you had a bunch of rocks. Like, enough to cover your whole back…” I let it hang in the air for her to ponder.
“But…but mummah hab wottwe chiwpeh babbehs! Nu can cawwy pwetty wockies fow nice mistuh.” Yeah, no shit. “Well that’s alright, I’ll keep an eye on them. You can just set them down there on the grass.” I direct her towards a small tuft of grass that’s at about chest level with me. She waddles up the hill and over to the flat spot above my rock and sets them down. Perfectly in arm’s reach. “Nao babbehs, ou be nice tu mistuh hoomin, he gunna hewp mummah make miwkies fow aww babbehs. Mummah wub aww ou babbehs wots, an gunna miss ou whiwe mummah gone. Huuuhuuuuuu…” She trails off a bit before remembering her task. “Awwite! Mummah gu get wockies!” She struts off down the path. She’s right, there’s some nice rocks back that way. I put them there. Well okay, “rocks.” Rocks, marbles, what’s the difference?
I mean aside from how hard it is to keep marbles on your back, of course.
I peruse the selection of foals she left me. The plumpest peepiest one is, surprise surprise, the same purple as his mummah. He’s got his stubby little leggies and his pointy little horn. I pick him up gently, lifting him to my chest pocket in my coat.
I’ve got a makeshift crib in it built out of a steel sunglass case so he can be completely safe. And so I can show him to his mummah. It’s got genuine fluffy fluff in it, and a bottle of extremely rich formula hooked to a small warmer run by a watch battery. It’s even got speakers in it, singing songs to calm the foal. Did you know that’s how foals learn? It seems really stupid, a fluffy mummah just yammering at her foals about “mummah wub fwuffies” and “fwuffies wub mummah” as though they need to be told. But here’s the thing: They kinda do. The songs help the child learn the most important concept for a fluffy. Love.
After he was situated, I returned to his six siblings. Assorted greys and browns aside from him. Makes sense, those fancy colors are usually recessive as hell. Capitalism got way creepier when we figured out how to edit genes.
They’re all peeping and flopping on each other, their thin smooth fluff just beginning to dry from the licky cleanies they’d been given before meeting you. It is at this time that you find yourself approached by two fluffies. A stout unicorn and a scared looking earthie covered in the grime that comes from living in forest herds. They fuck up any area where they congregate, so they all wind up caked in mud and shit and what have you. I get my adjustable immobilizer out and eyeball the earthie as they walk up. Think I can fit him. Not the big fella though.
He’s who speaks. “Dummeh hoomin! Wai 'ou in twee pwace! Twee pwace bewong tu hewd! Tuffie gunna make mistah gu way!” I’m sure. “Fine, but only if he comes up here and gives me sorry hoofsies. If he does, it’s two against one and I’ll leave.” The unicorn nudges him forwards. “Gu on, speciaw fwend! Gif hoomin huwties fow hewd! Smawty wet fwuffies hab weaw sweepie pwaces!” The nervous sky blue stallion approaches and rears up to give me a stomp.
I of course grab him by the mane. Based on how he flinched I’m guessing it’s what he thought I’d do. Just couldn’t avoid it. I hoist him up and set him into the immobilizer. Then I slide the pieces into place snugly around his legs and lock the pins. He’s basically a torso sticking out of a wooden box for the time being. High centered and unable to flee.
“Nuuuuu! Gif back speciaw fwend! Wite nao! Fwuffy gif sowwy poopies!” He spun around to shit and i charged. I overshot him on purpose and he basically just plastered his special friend and the foals on the outcropping. “Ptoo! Gwoss! kaff kaff nu wan poopies in mouf! Speciaw fwend nu gif bad poopies! Dewe babbehs up hewe!” This surprises the unicorn, who doesn’t notice me reaching down from above him and sticking my middle and ring fingers all the way up his nose.
I’m wearing gloves, of course. I’m not an animal.
I feel his sinuses sorta give as I haul him up. He’s screaming for help but it’s mixing with all the exciting new bodily fluids going down the back of his throat and windpipe. Not great.
“Hewbp! Sabe fwubby! Owwwwies! Smeww pwace huwties!”
“I don’t need you. I only need your special friend.”
He’s still fighting the urge to sob/scream and it’s bringing him to tears. “Nu…nu weabe…speciaw fwend…wif munstah. Nu gunna weabe…nu mattew wat.” He spits blood out. “Am gunna be wite hewe wif speciaw fwend su nu huwties fwum mistuh.” I chuckled. “Oh no, it’s not like that. I don’t need you. If you have anything important to say to him, make it quick.” Still holding tight in his snout, i place my thumb atop the base of his horn.
And then I squeeze. Like I’m trying to touch my middle finger and thumb. He screams in agony while his mate watches. “Nuuuuu! Nu huwt Speciaw fwend! Bwian du anyfing! Pwease jus nu huwt Stuawt nu mowe!”
“Okay. I’ll stop the pain.” I pulled my fingers out, got him by the windpipe, crushed it with my thumb, then twisted his neck quickly to break it on the first try. No need to prolong his suffering. His eyes go dead immediately.
Poor guy. Still had his lumps and everything. So does his dearly beloved, presently mourning him from atop a stump. Funny, escaped domestics are usually spayed.
“Waaaaaai? Wai huwt Stuawt? Nu du nuffin tu mistah! Onwy twyin’ pwotect hewd!” I gut him like a carp with my buck knife and set him up like a basket. I transfer the mare’s foals to it. Ought to keep them warm, AND she’s gonna be afraid of it.
As I set up the grim spectacle, the newly single stallion in my disabling block continues whinging about this and that.
“Huuuuu nuuuu wai du dis! Dat am fwuffy! Dat am Stuawt! Bwian WUB STUAWT! Wan gif Stuawt huggies! An…an teww Stuawt dat ebbyting gonna be otay…” He started softly weeping. He couldn’t really turn his head very far, so he couldn’t look away. He kept closing his eyes, but he’s clearly had some past trauma involving darkness, possibly in conjunction with immobility. He slowly gets more and more scared of not being able to see his surroundings until he has to open his eyes. Then he’s confronted with the empty, lifeless eyes of his mate. A face he’s seen a thousand times, and will never see again. Well, not exactly.
After all, his mind has to conjure some image to go with the squelching, snapping, and ripping sounds. I imagine he starts imagining what horrors I’m out here doing and becomes so frightened of what he’s conjured that he seeks refuge in reality, only to find that reality is a great deal more horrifying than whatever owchy-boo-boo nonsense his marshmallow brain is capable of cooking up.
“Huuuuu nu wike…” His face was inches from the recently repurposed head on this makeshift crib.
“There.” I said, flourishing with my wrist. "Now you can be of some use to me." I turn to the bereaved. “See? He wanted to help, and now he can.” He looks at me. I mean really looks. Stares daggers through me. “Dat nu wat speshaw fwend meeeen! Onwy wan hewp! Nu wan gu fowebba sweepies!” Jesus. He’s fucking angry. Like he is screaming screaming. It would almost sound intimidating if not for their weird dialect, childlike cadence, and doofy little Babbehteef face.
“Hey!” I snap at him to shut him up. He’s so mad, it doesn’t faze him. “Nu! Nu gunna wissen tu munstah! Nu wan hewp munstah! Munstah onwy gif owwies!” I reach over and grab his snout. Then I sorta shove it into the face he’s been trying not to look at. He starts sobbing and shitting, of course. Real trailblazer, this fella.
When I let him pull away he’s coughing and spitting, trying to get bits of…whatever out of his mouth. In between hacks and wheezes I’ll hear a “Nuuuuuu, smeww wike speciaw fwennnnn” or “Huuu tuu much fwuff in mouf, nu taste pwetty…”
“Oh, you think that’s too much fluff? Well you’re gonna hate eating those foals then.” His face contorts in horror, finally betraying new emotion. “W…wat? Nu wan num babbehs! Babbehs nu am nummies! Am babbehs! Pwease, nu make Bwian du dat. Dat tuu much fow Bwian…” Coward.
“You’ll do it if I tell you to, or I’ll hurt you. I’ll hurt you in ways you don’t know you can be hurt. I’ll hurt you in ways that will teach you horrible new things about yourself. And you’ll be grateful, Stuart.” He cringed at the last part. “Nu…nu am Stuawt. 'Ou awweady gif Stuawt fowebba sweepies. Am Bwian. Bwian da Bwoo Fwuffy. Bof stawt wif same bub sownd.” I shake my head in disapproval. “No, Brian is a stupid name. I’m changing your name to Stuart.” He’s confused. A human is telling him his new name, but he hates it. He hates the human. “N…nu, dat am Stuawt.” He nods towards his dead lover. “Fwuffy am Bwian. Bwian wike-” I wave a hand in his face and cut him off. “Yeah yeah, like blue. I get it. Don’t care. Your name is Stuart now.”
"N…nu! Dat am fowebba sweepies speciaw fwend namesie! Nu wan! Tuu saddies! Tuu weiwd!" I go around behind him and grab the icepick I brought. I position it above the base of his neck. I press down just far enough to lodge it in the bone. “Do you feel that? I know it hurts.” He’s choking back tears, trying to puff his cheeks and look tough. “If you disagree, or talk back, or try to call yourself anything but ‘Stuart’ I’m gonna smack the top of it. Now, eventually if I do that enough times, it’ll go through the bone you feel it in. And if that happens, you won’t be able to feel anything but your head and neck ever again. Won’t be able to move or anything. I’ll keep you in a box and feed you fluffy meat all day.” He’s terrified. The fear is in his face. "So you are gonna want to be quiet, respectful, and not question anything. If I tell you to eat a foal, you do it." He’s about to respond when we both are interrupted. “Scuse fwuffy, can nice mistah-” She stops as she sees the corpse crib. A lone mare with a single baby. Maybe a week old. An almost-walkie Tawkie Babbeh. “Uhhh nebbamind, fwuffy gu nao.” She turns to leave and I get up to walk towards her.
“Wun! Hoomin am munstah! Gunna take babbeh!” Little fuck thinks he can help her. Cute. I close the distance in two steps while she’s still sorting out an escape route, and pluck the foal from her back. Dark brown with yellow mane. “Nuuu! Pwease nu take wastest babbeh! Am onwy fing dat wub mummah! Mummah wose ebbyting su can keep babbeh safe! Pwease gif back wastest babbeh!” I ignore her and take the baby to the crib. “Mistah wai gif upsies?” The lump speaks. “Am onwy teeny wittwe babbeh, wan be wif mummah. Tuu cowd! Need mummah wawm fwuff!” I put my thumb up to his mouth and he clamps it shut. “Open it.” He shakes his head. “Fine. Have it your way. Was gonna snap your neck but you lost that privilege.” I drop him on top of the chirpies and return to my prisoner. I force his mouth open and start yanking his teeth out one by one. It’s not hard, sorta equivalent to pulling apart a LEGO that’s kinda stuck. He’s trying to say something, not that it’s coming across. When i finish I take my hand out of his mouth. He just screams. “WAAAAAAAI!?”
“Because I don’t want him to get hurt in your mouth.”
“Huh? Wa’ munstah meaw-” I shove my hand in his mouth and hold his jaws open. With the other hand I retrieve the fussy foal and bring him to face his mother. “Mummah, anything you want to say to your poopy baby before he becomes a tummy baby again?” She’s still struggling to understand. “Wat? Pwease gif babbeh back! Wat mean? Nu can be tummeh babbeh nu mowe!” Idiot. Fine. I shrug and take him back to the gaping maw of my sobbing friend. “Alright little guy, ready to be good nummies?” He’s peeping and thrashing frantically. “Nuuuuu! Wet babbeh gu! Wan gwow up an be fwuffy! Nu wan be nummies! Nu gif chompy huwties tu babbeh!” I fold his legs under him despite his struggling. “Oh don’t worry, I took his teeth. You should make it to his tummy fine.”
“Hewp! Mummah! Sabe babbeh! Nu wan be nummie babbeh!” His mother is panicked. “Pwease! Nu huwt! Gif back babbeh! Mummah du anyfin!” I stop.
“Anything?” I asked. She was startled, but compliant. “O…otay!”
I point at the mare from earlier, now emerging from the path. She’s worn out and has some marbles in her mouth. “Give her forever sleepies or I feed your baby to this fluffy.” She doesn’t hesitate. Takes off without a second’s consideration.
“Hewwo! Nyu fwen-” She’s cut off by a hard double hoof to the snout. “Shaddup! Ou hafta gu fowebba sweepies nao fow mummah tu sabe babbeh!” The fight was on.
I returned to my work, placing the foal in his mouth. It was panicking now. “Mummah! Whewe mummah? Nu heaw mummah! Hewp! Hewp! Babbeh scawed!” I stroked his face and calmed him while nudging him further in. "Nuuuu! Babbeh nu wan! Tu dawk! Tu smewwy! Nu wan be in fwuffy tummeh! Mummah, HEEEEEWP!" His mother abandoned the beatdown she was giving her new friend and started clomping back my way. “Mummah cummin babbeh! Mummah cummin! Nu wowwy!”
She was about halfway here when I rotated the foal. “Okay buddy,” I said, patting the toothless one on the back. “Time for dinner. Swallow.” The baby starts shitting. Glad I flipped him. He squirms and the big fluffy starts gagging. I grab his snout and hold it shut. “Heeeewp! Babbeh stuckies! Nee hewp! Nu wan be nummie babbeh!” The fluffy is still resisting, so I plug his nose and start massaging his throat. Through muffled sobs and screams he starts swallowing. I can feel the kicking foal fighting his descent, but once the throat muscles have him he’s basically fucked. I tape up the snout behind him and he screeees all the way down by the time his mummah shows up tailed by the brutally beaten other mummah, mouth still full of marbles. It’s puffing her cheeks out and keeping her from talking. Her attacker was more verbose.
“Whewe Babbeh! Gif babbeh tu mummah!” I scoff. “You didn’t do what I asked, so now that monster fluffy Stuart ate your baby.” She’s despondent. "Dat nu twue! Fwuffy nu hab moufie! Nu hab buubuu joos! Whewe babbeh? Bwing mummah tu babbeh wite nao!" Fine. Whatever you say.
I hoist her up next to the suffering heap that ate her son. She strains to listen. She can hear SOMETHING…
“Hewp! Mummah sabe wastest babbeh! Nu can see ow moob nu mow! Huuuhuuuuu sicky wawa ebbywewe gif babbeh buwnie huwties huhuhuhuhu…” She went limp. Wasn’t even struggling against me now. “Nuuuuuu… Wai du dis…wan babbeh baaaaack…” She’s given up. Perfect. I pull the icepick out of Stuart and plop it down through the nerve cluster at the base of her neck, killing all sensation south of the vertebrae it’s behind. I set her with her haid against the box in a spot where she can hear here frightened baby. Satisfied that she can’t ignore him, I take the duct tape off Stuart’s snout and he starts howling in pain.
“Nuuuuuuuu! Nu wike dis game! Weggo! Wan die! Wan du anyfing bu dis!” I twist his ear until it bleeds. “Shut the fuck up or I’ll make sure you lose everything that matters to you and live forever. I am fucking serious.” He recedes into his thoughts. “Huuuu nu wike… Feew babbeh in tummeh… Babbeh movin! Wan hewp! Huuuhuuuuuuu…” Meanwhile the paralyzed mummah just sobs, unable to comfort her panicked baby.
“Mummah! Babbeh weggies huwt! Aww babbeh fwuff am fawwin off ub babbeh! Nu weabe babbeh, pwetty fwuff! Babbeh nee fwuff!” Wow. He’s durable.
The severely wounded mummah from before approaches. She drops seven marbles at my feet and slumps over. “Pwease…pwease nu huwt babbehs. Mummah bwing pwetty wocks…”
“I said I wanted a bunch. This won’t do.” I scoop her five babbehs out of the crib I’d fashioned and set them on her back. She’s initially excited before realizing one is missing. “Whewe Puwpuwe babbeh? Nee aww babbehs, pwease!”
“No. I have him. He’s right here.” I open the case he’s in and bend down so she can see. “I have your bestest babbeh. And if you want him back, you’ve got to do what I say.” She’s nervously tapping her hooves while she makes a little circle put of sheer panic. “Huuuu wat hafta duuuuuu fow sabe bestest babbeh…”
“It’s real simple. You have five babbehs, I have your bestest. Since he’s the bestest, that means he’s worth as much as all the other babbehs, right?” She looked upset and confused. “Babbeh am bestest, but wub udda babbehs tuu!” Good.
“If you want him back, you need to give forever sleepies to your foals. All five of them.” It was like a bomb dropped. “Wat! Nuuuuuuuuuu! Pwease nu dat! Anyting bu dat!” Smirking, I continued. “Of course you could always take the hurties instead. You’re big so you wouldn’t go forever sleepies.” She’s still confused, and the ambient sound of Stuart trying to apologize through his mangled mouth mixed with the mummah’s mournful sobs can’t be helping.
“Huuuuu otay. Huwt mummah.” I put my hand up. “It’s not that simple. If I’m letting your foals live, you’re losing something. There’s five of them, one for each of your legs, and the last one for your eyes. Sorry, your ‘see places’ or whatever you call them.” Weirdly, she seems to understand.
“Mummah onwy get tu hab aww babbehs if am dummeh nu weggie nu see pwace fwuffy. Nu can hewp babbehs wike dat. How bout…mistah onwy take back weggies?” I nod. “Good. In order to do that, I’ll need you to pick three foals and eat them.” Now she’s back in hysterics.
“Nu! Nu make mummah num babbehs! Mummah wub babbehs!” I flick her nose, eliciting a yelp of pain. "Then pick which two you’re gonna save and eat the rest, or I’m gonna do to you what I did to him-" I point at Stuart. “Only you won’t be able to walk when I let you go.” This crushes her spirit and she returns to the small tuft of grass where her babbehs sit, peeping and dreaming of milkies, huggies, and love.
She gently moved the brown wingie and black unicorn, and returns for the three earthies. She gets ready to stomp when I stop her.
“No. Eat them alive.” She’s learned not to fight me and slumps down, looking at her precious babbehs. The little chirping bundles of joy she’d do anything for. This can’t be happening, right? Fluffies aren’t for meanies and saddies!
I coax her over to me and gently place her in my lap. I grab the first foal and place him in her mouth, holding my hand over her mouth sort of like in this Quickhorn drawing. Using the same methods I’d tested earlier, I coax her into swallowing, repeating it for each foal before she had a chance to recover from the horrid feeling of her own children flailing and struggling as she gulped them down. There was a mess of peeping coming from her tummy. It was hilarious.
“Nuuuu!” She started running in a little circle. “Babbehs! Am sowwy babbehs! Nu wan make ou tummeh babbehs, but munstah wan huwt mummah! Wan huwt babbehs!” I cut her off.
“Nah, I was kidding. Just wanted to see how many you’d eat. Three is impressive!” She’s stunned. “W…wat? Wat mean?” “Oh, you didn’t have to eat them. If you’d just told me to take your legs and eyes I’d have let you go with all your foals. Since you were such a good sport, I’ll give you bestest babbeh back though.”
This didn’t cure her disposition, but it markedly improved it. “Weawwy! Fankyu, munstah! Fwuffy wun way! Nebba hafta see fwuffy nu mow!” I chuckled, removing the foal from his case and placing him on her back. After drinking so much of the super rich formula I was pumping into him, he’s gonna demand most, if not all of her milk. I see her scamper down the hill into a clearing where she slides them off her back and starts giving huggies and licky cleanies. During this, bestest babbeh’s eyes open.
“Peep! Mummah? Peep cheep! Mummah!” She is crying with joy. “Das wite! Am ou mummah! Babbeh am mummah bestest babbeh! Ou wewe in mummah tumm…” She trails off and starts sobbing. Meanwhile, her bestest baby is puzzled. Mummah…mummah…mummah. It’s familiar. He’s heard it before. He ponders this as the creature claiming to be his mother hoists him up with his supposed siblings and walks into the woods singing an atonal mummah wawkie song. I listen to a different tune. The one I’d been playing all day for her babbeh.
"Mummah num babbehs,
Babbehs am fow mummah,
Mummah make babbehs,
Su mummah hab bestest nummies!"
Yeah. He’ll be fine.