A while ago @Dragonixa held a contest which you can find here
were the entrants with Karn ending up the winner
Congrats to the participants.
@Carniviousduck also made this excellent piece A warriors stand (carniviousduck)
Which more or less kick started my take on the story to see where I could take this short story and end it in the predictable manner
And this is the result
I uploaded it this late to make it clear i am not participating just using the contest requirements as a prompt.
The story flip flops between past and present tense on purpose, however im pretty poor at past tense.
I usually write in present tense, so no doubt I mangle grammar way more then normal.
Phlox are a genus of purple flowers
Phlox - Wikipedia
It is also the first appearance of one of the foals i adopted from @Gal-with-pastels
Albeit it as an adult, I needed a leader and Zero seemed to fit the bill.
Purple on the run
The purple fluffy runs through the forest, with fire in his lungs.
And sharp glassy stabs of pain, in his sides.
Running with the kind of despair that lift his hooves.
His golden mane and tail flutter in the cold breeze.
The trees are turning golden brown, the golden sunshine has long since left the skies leaving them cold grey and empty.
It all seems so long ago, that the herd his herd was living here, undisturbed.
Thriving, laughing and playing in the emerald colored grasslands and rolling meadows, filled with dandelions that surround this copse.
Which is roughly circular in shape.
Everything was the most perfect place for fluffies, to live thrive and survive, everything they could ever hope for.
That was until the wolves came, in the latter days of the summer, when the days grew shorter and the nights longer.
Clover was the first to fall prey to them and their hunger.
The fluffies were still blissfully unaware at that time, until the wolves actually showed themselves.
Bemused at how a group of multi colored pastel foals waddled up to them.
To greet them with chirps and babbling about “Nyu fwends and wub.”
This was quickly replaced by screams of pain and terror, as the wolves descended on them.
The herd witnessed with horror how 8 foals were torn apart and eaten alive.
At least 4 of the adult fluffies couldn’t contain themselves anymore, the parents, and they broke down sobbing on the grass.
Their throats were summarily ripped out.
The herd itself was literally torn apart, the majority of their number quickly retreated to what they called the burrow.
Which was a flat trodden circle in the middle of a collection of hawthorn bushes.
The feral fluffie,s through months and years of hardships, and trial and error learned that it would be a good idea to have a safe place to sleep, and to hide in.
Like rabbits, who dive in the ground at the nearest sign of danger.
But fluffies are not animals they are genetically engineered biotoys and blitheringly waddle towards any danger to greet them.
Especially the foals and new additions’ to the herd, such as runaway pets or escaped domestic fluffies, are still too trusting and inexperienced.
They either learn or die.
The herd could manage without them, there are always more fluffies where they came from.
The thick hawthorn bushes wouldn’t hurt fluffies with their thick fur as they shot through them, to get to the relative safety of the burrow.
But when the herd found itself there ,it also found that they were under siege.
Because a herd of a different kind had appeared.
A pack of wolves attracted by this easy prey.
The first night was the worst.
The darkness filled with the screaming and pleading of the fluffies that got separated in the frantic struggle for shelter.
Punctuated by snapping and breaking sounds, or the gurgling death rattle of a fluffy who had its throat torn out.
The herd trembled and was driven to near catatonia, many of them huddling together crying, whimpering, covering their ears.
Several stallions or mares were besides themselves with grief, because they could hear how their special friends were being killed.
One of them, Green grass, a green and purple stallion, couldn’t stand it anymore and burst out of the hawthorn bush to try and help his special friend.
None of the other fluffies tried to stop him.
They could hear him scream a few minutes later, a high pitches screeeeeeeeeee that died down with sudden horrible abruptness.
That filled every fluffy present left to be able to hear it, with a deep feeling of dread.
The wolf pack of around 7 wolves fed well on their kills for the next couple of days.
They also sussed out quite quickly where the rest of the herd was, and they weren’t planning to let these fat little fluffies waddle away unmolested.
Because after all wolves have to eat too.
A week passed and the remnants of the herd, which totaled about 16 fluffies, 10 adults and 6 foals, had to stay in the safety of the hawthorn bush.
But after a week the situation became untenable.
The litter area was overflowing with good poopies and peepies.
The stench was nearly unbearable.
The sewage started to seep in to the living area.
The fluffies were tossed between extreme lassitude and stress
Any new sound was reason for them to huddle together, or to vacate their bowls in horror or surprise.
Any sound could mean the wolves broke through their defenses.
But even worse than that, their food supply was starting to run out.
The herd had half heartedly started to collect a small food supply which was being devoured by them, as fast as they collected it.
But now they really are out of food, and their outlook is bleak.
Starvation or eaten alive.
On the eighth day the leader of the herd.
A black and white stallion with 3 white circles on his flanks, named Zero brought forward the idea that he had spend several days thinking about.
The herd leader is not the most dominant fluffy, or the strongest, but the most intelligent one. The one that can get them out of tight spots.
And they have never been in a spot tighter then this.
Zero devised an idea that could possibly save them.
By dooming somebody else.
One of the present adult fluffies would have to serve as bait, and distract the wolves as long as possible while the herd runs away as fast as possible.
None of the fluffies present are that keen on throwing their lives away.
They stare sheepishly at the sky, or the well trodden ground, or scratch with their hoof in the dirt.
They look at anything, but each other.
“If nu fwuffy wan be bait then Zewo wiww be bait,” says Zero resolutely, knowing that his herd is doomed without him.
But what choice does he have ?
“…Flox…Flox wivv be bait fow howlie munstas,” says a voice tremulously.
The other fluffies look around and see the purple stallion with a golden mane.
He is a relatively new addition to the herd, he only joined this summer.
“Yu am gud fwuffy” Zero tells him. “Nao dis am plan.”
Flox waited at the edge of the hawthorn bush until he could see the wolf pack.
They generally congregated near the front trees where they could keep a good look on the hawthorn bush.
He is supposed to run out and make a target of himself when he hears the sign
A fluffy stomping on the ground.
Flox could feel his heart pounding in his throat, he doesn’t want to die.
But if he doesn’t do this the entire herd, him included will die and he so desperately wants to be a good fluffy.
Maybe this will make him a good fluffy.
Flox train of thoughts were interrupted by the sound of fluffy stompies on the barren earth.
His death warrant.
His heart leapt out of his throat.
Flox shots out from under the hawthorn bush as fast as a fluffy can and that’s not very fast.
He has no idea how long he needs to run and evade the wolves, to give the herd the time it needs to get away.
Suddenly Flox is convinced this is a very, very bad idea.
On the other side of the hawthorn bush the remnants of the fluffy herd slips away quietly or at least as quiet as they can be.
As Flox made an obvious noisy target of himself.
The wolves sit up intrigued, eyeing this fluffy with an obvious death wish until they tire of his antics.
Just as flox stumbled and ran in to the copse.
Flox gasps as the fire in his chest makes it hard to breath.
It feels like his chest is filled with shredded glass, every breath hurts.
His legs are heavy and feel like lead, he has no idea how long he has been running he can hear the wolves though.
They run around him, like they are trying to turn this in to a game.
He holds his panic at bay through a supreme effort of will, but he can practically feel their rancid breath in the back of his neck.
He can practically feel them nipping at his tail and hoofsies.
Flox swerves and evades the undergrowth and the trees that rapid flash by him.
The copse really isn’t that big, but it feels like it’s never ending.
Suddenly he staggers and stumbles out in to the open, on to the rolling meadows.
Flox comes to a skidding halt and looks up.
He blinks the sweat out of his eyes and looks around, wolves at his back.
Wolves at his front too.
They swarm around him.
With a grim effort of will, he keep his panic at bay just for a few moments longer.
But he is so very very tired.
With courage that verges on despair, Flox turns around and runs right towards two of the wolves nearest to him.
Jumping straight at them.
To do …something, …anything to keep them occupied, for that just much longer.
Crashing with all his weight in to one of them.
For all the good it does him.
He bounces off the predator like a cotton ball does of a wall, crashing in to the grass field and tumbling down a shallow incline.
Whimpering and crying all the way.
He stops in front of the feet of the biggest, blackest wolf he has ever seen with eyes that smolder like fire.
It snarls at him.
Flox hopes that the blackness comes quickly\Flox hopes that the end is swift.
Flox lies on the rolling grasslands, his guts torn out by the wolves that now snarl at each other and tear at his flesh.
Despite the searing pain, he permits himself an ever so faint smile before the light fades from, his eyes.
He has done it.
The herd is safe.
He is a good fluffy after all.
Art By @Dragonixa
Art wil be taken down if she requests it.