Souls Are Hard to Come By Pt. 12

Part Eleven

“Du Coco tink Coco am twash?”

“Mummah sae aww babbehs am gud babbehs, bu’ if daddeh nu wub Coco…wut Coco du? Wai am Coco bad fwuffy? Coco am sowwy.”

“Sowwy fow wut? Sowwy fow nu hab pwetty cowows? Sowwy fow hab bad daddeh hu nu wub? Sowwy fow nu gu fowebah-sweepies wen daddeh twow 'way? Am Coco weawwy dat big of a dummeh?”

“Bu’ Coco nu am gud fwuffy! Nu gib daddeh happies! Maek daddeh haet Coco!”

“Daddeh nu haet Coco.”

“Bu’ daddeh caww meanie namesies! Twow 'way!”

"Daddeh nu haet. Nu cawe at aww. Coco am jus’ twash tu daddeh, nu eben wowf haetin’. Bu’ Spwite nyo hu du haet Coco.

Coco sniffled. “Du Spwite haet Coco?”

“Nu. Onwy Coco haets Coco. Bwame sewf fow bad daddeh. Sae am sowwy fow nuffin Coco du. Coco nu wub sewf. Onwy cawe 'bout if daddeh wubs.”

“Bu’ gud fwuffies gib mummah an’ daddeh happies!”

“Nu, dat am fow gud toysies. Gud fwuffies am fow huggies an’ wub, nu onwy fow gib happies, fow hab happies tuu. Am Coco toysies, ow am Coco a fwuffy?”

“Am fwuffy!”

“Den wib wike wun. Nu wibe fow daddeh, wib fow sewf. Nu twy gu baek, nu haet sewf fow nu be pwetty. Fowwow Spwite. Wan’ show Coco somefin’.”

She followed him for what seemed like forever, the hard rough ground biting into her soft hooves, used only to the padded saferoom floor. Her previously sedentary body struggled to keep up with the rugged fluffy. She nearly collapsed with exhaustion when they stopped at a fence.

“Wut am daddeh finkin’. Nu maek babbehs stwong. Onwy cawe 'bout pwetties, nu cawe ‘bout fwuffies bein’ gud stwong fwuffies,” he spat, seeing her exhaustion. He wasn’t even breathing heavily. “Spwite wewe nebah su soft. Dat wae Spwite nu gu fowebah-sweepies in twash bag. Coco nee’ git stwongew fast ow nu wiww wib wong.”

For all his harsh words, he allowed her to rest for a moment, before urging her to get up. “Wiww be dawk-times suun. Nu wan be out in dawk-times, ow munstahs wiww num.”

He pushed aside a small bush, revealing a tunnel leading under the fence. Although he could barely squeeze through, it was big enough for Coco to easily walk through unhindered. It made her feel even smaller than the bulky fluffy’s presence normally did.

Inside the yard there was a little garden, mostly with blueberry bushes, but with a small section dedicated to tomatoes. Close to the fence was a doghouse, clearly made for a very large animal. Strung over the yard was a wide net.

Sprite walked immediately towards the garden, and grabbed a low-hanging tomato. He turned to walk back towards Coco, when the door behind him opened, and someone stepped out. Coco froze. If her daddeh had tried to give her forever-sleepies for being ugly, how would this man react to seeing them stealing food? She quickly hid behind the dog house.

Sprite! Been a while since you came around here. How have you been?”

“Hewwo, Wiww. Spwite am otay. Wewe awmost time fow nyu babbehs, su had tu stay 'way fow a wittwe wiwe.”

“Oh. Sprite, I’m sorry.”

“Nu be sowwy. Babbeh nu gu fowebah-sweepies dis time. Coco! Nu hide.”

She fearfully peaked around the side of the doghouse. “Hewwo, nice mistuh.”

The man frowned. “Sprite, you didn’t tell her about me? That’s cold.”

“Sowwy, nu hab time. Wewe awmost dawk-time.”

“Understood. Just let her know the rules. Congratulations, Sprite. I’ll get her a chip in a couple of days.”

“Tank 'ou, Wiww.”

“All good. Just sad I can’t do more for the two of you.”

Sprite lead Coco around the doghouse to the front door. He pushed it, and it opened inward without resistance. Inside there was a neat nest, a few ragged toys, and a bowl of water. Unthinkingly, she rushed over and drank until she was forced to stop for breath.

“Wiww wet Spwite stay hewe, wet taek nummies fwom gawden. Onwy wan Spwite fowwow wules, su Coco nee’ fowwow wuwes tuu.”

“Wut am wuwes?”

“Nu poopies in yawd, nu huwt pwants in gawden, an’ nu caww Wiww nice mistuh.”

“Wai nu?” Coco asked in confusion.

“Nu wike. Sae am cweepy. Bu’ am nice an’ wet Spwite stay.”

“Hey, Sprite!” Will’s voice called. “One more thing. Try to avoid bringing back too many more fluffies. Two or three are fine, but I can’t have an entire herd in my backyard.”

“Otay! Tank 'ou!”

They settled down, eating the tomato and finally getting to rest. Coco was exhausted; the time she’d spent unconscious after nearly dying hadn’t been remotely restful. It would be good to get some actual sleep. She slumped into the nest, grateful at the chance to be off her hooves.

After she’d had a moment to sit, a moment without a constant distraction, everything hit her all at once, and she began to sob. Everything she’d known, everything she’d loved as gone now, and for what purpose? So her daddeh wouldn’t have to take care of her or find her a new home? Was that too much to ask for?

“Coco hatchu, daddeh! Coco nu am bad fwuffy! Nu desewbe wose housies an’ toysies an’ mummah!” she wailed.

“Dat nu wiww hewp,” Sprite commented. “Haetin’ nu am wowf it. Onwy maek fwuffies dummehs, onwy maek fwuffies git huwties an’ fowebah-sweepies. Daddeh nu am wowf dat, nu nao. Coco jus’ west, weawn tu wibe wike fwuffy, nu wike toysies.”

“Nu am faiw!”

“Nu, bu’ at weast fwuffies am awibe. At weast we hab each ofew.”

Coco kept crying, but eventually gave in to exhaustion, and fell asleep.

Coco didn’t have such a bad time adapted as she’d expected. To be fair, she was extremely lucky compared to most feral fluffies. She had a safe place to stay, a reliable if not particularly glamorous source of food, and she had Sprite to keep her safe. Few other feral fluffies even considered picking a fight with the giant unicorn, and even cats and dogs would slink away.

Weeks passed, and one day Sprite’s routine abruptly changed. “It am time.” he said, and Coco immediately understood what he meant. It was almost time for daddeh to throw away another ugly babbeh. They had to be there, to at least try to save it.

As Sprite had explained, exactly when daddeh threw away the babbeh wasn’t always the same, but he’d found it was always within a few days, back in the bad days when he’d spent his time lurking around the trash cans, keeping an eye out and hoping to save a foal. Once he’d learned the pattern, it was just a matter of going back at the right times. It was better this way, since they couldn’t help the babbehs if they starved or got killed by a stray animal.

Still, Coco dreaded going back. What if they were too late? What if they couldn’t save the babbeh? What if she had to see a dead brother or sister? What if daddeh caught them?

But they had to do it. It was unfair to let a babbeh suffocate in garbage because they didn’t even try. Coco understood this, and so she swallowed her misgivings and followed Sprite. It was the best, no, the only option. She couldn’t bear the thought of another fluffy suffering what she had.

Another day, digging through the piles of trash, finding nothing. Still, nothing was far preferable the far more likely of the two alternatives. Finding nothing meant going back to the makeshift nest reeking and filthy. But finding a cold, still corpse would be worse.

This time, however, something was different. There was some deeper misgivings in Coco’s heart. Something was wrong today. But she couldn’t bring herself to show her cowardice, and the thought of what might happen if they didn’t make it in time made her sick. It would be fine, they just had to do this for a couple more days at most.

“Found you.” Daddeh’s voice.

Coco shrieked as she was roughly grabbed a lifted into the air, a rough hand clamped over her mouth. “What? Coco?”

“WEABE COCO AWONE!” Sprite roared, charging out of the trash. Daddeh easily sidestepped.

“Oh, so it’s been you the whole time. You know, you’ve been a massive pain in the ass, Sprite. Cleaning up after your trash diving is a fucking nuisance. All for what? So you can drag a half-dead worthless shitrat out of the trash where it belonged?”

“Daddeh…'membew Spwite?”

“Of course I do, you’re the little asshole that killed a valuable alicorn.” He smirked as Sprite flinched. “Oh, so you didn’t tell your sister. You didn’t tell her that everything she’s been through is your fault?”

“Spwite kiwwed munstah tu pwotect famiwy!”

“It was an infant, you moron! Well, now thanks to you, I know I can’t afford to keep fluffies around until the next litter. Did you mention that to Coco? That the reason she was dumped was because you are a murderer? Or did you want to keep that hidden?”

“Mummah sae babbeh wewe munstah! Spwite pwotect odda babbehs!” Sprite roared as he charged again. This time daddeh didn’t sidestep, and Sprite grunted in pain as a harsh kick smashed into his side, rolling across the ground before jumping to his feet.

Daddeh stared, bemused. “Well, that explains a lot,” he said, looking at Sprite with a calculating eye.

He leaned closer to the trembling unicorn. “Do that again,” he growled.

Sprite froze.

“Do it or I’ll going to break your sister’s neck.”

“NU HUWT COCO!” Sprite charged again, and received another harsh kick for his troubles, this time to a leg.

This time Sprite stood a little slower, but began to charge a third time before tripping and collapsing. Daddeh grinned, the expression shockingly genuine. “Well, today’s just full of surprises. Follow me, there’s something we need to discuss.”

Seeing Sprite’s reluctance to follow, he scooped up the stallion, grunting slightly from the weight, and carried the struggling pair inside.

Part Thirteen


Preach it!