Souls Are Hard to Come By Pt. 15 [By MuffinMantis]

Part Fourteen

Rob took a break from hunting and tormenting fluffies. Not out of any sort of good will or moral epiphany, simply because he didn’t have time. He had a new project, and there was so much work to be done. That, and watching Syrup shaking in terror while struggling to care for her new charge was more than enough to slake his bloodlust. For the moment.

Babbeh flinched as he ate, feeling the rancid not-milkies irritate the suppurating lesions covering the interior of his mouth, oozing fetid pus anew. He chirped in agony, but softly, very softly. If he made too much noise and disturbed the other babbehs, mummah would be angry, and lately she’d realized she could cause even more suffering by aiming her kicks for his mouth.

In the short time since his birth, the first few moments of love had soon turned into pain, then misery, then desperation, then finally to despair. Now, though, as he somehow grew stronger, scavenging what food his toothless and infected mouth could consume and his underdeveloped digestive system could process, now he felt hatred.

How dare mummah treat him like this? How dare daddeh leave them all alone? How dare the other babbehs coo and play as if nothing was wrong? If he had a choice, he’d kill them all. But he couldn’t, not now, and he was too small and weak to escape. He just had to hold on, ignore the pain and eat, stay strong and not let the creeping feeling of sickness overwhelm him.

He wouldn’t die, not before he could escape. He had to have at least a glimpse of the life his instincts told him he should have. Babbehs were for huggies and love! Not for…this! Not to suffer, ignored except for when he was needed to clean a mess!

So he struggled to ignore the pain, forcing himself to eat whatever he could. As his infections festered, his hatred burned almost as hot as the fever.

Rob finished turning the last bolt, but didn’t loosen his grip until he’d shaken the large, expensive studio light a few times, just to be sure it wouldn’t fall the moment he stopped holding it. All was well, though, and he let his arm drop with a sigh of satisfaction. Looking around the basement, he marveled at his handiwork.

Plastic featured heavily, easily replaced sheet plastic so cleanup wouldn’t be too much of a hassle, and to ensure that nothing was allowed to seep into the floor or walls and fester. A large fluffy cage hung from a length of chain, the instability and clear line of sight to the floor below designed to terrify its inhabitant whenever they moved. Then, the benches and tools, the cameras and lights, and a series of screens.

Apparently fluffies tended to die more slowly when exposed to positive stimuli, and it was worth the tiny bit of mercy to ensure his subjects didn’t give up the ghost between sessions. That, and he had…plans for the screens. Psychological torment could really spice things up compared to run-of-the-mill butchery.

Now, all he needed was a fluffy to play with, to be the first subject of his planned dark web abuse series. But he wanted to make this special, make his first subject a memorable one. That ruled out any of the foals under Syrup’s care, and he’d invested too much effort in her for that to be an option. No, he needed a fluffy with spirit, with fire. Preferably a young one, perhaps a young adult or even foal.

Whistling a monotone little tune to himself, he climbed the steps, walked out the door, and started hunting.

Babbeh lay on his side an wheezed, too weak to move as the infection consumed his mouth and throat. He felt things writhing in his open mouth, wriggling through his gums and tongue, but it wasn’t even painful anymore. More than anything, he wanted to give up, go to sleep for what he knew would be the last time.

Internally he seethed, raged at everything, the unfair world, his callous family, his own weakness. But it was screaming into the abyss, pointless anger he fanned to keep the terror at bay. He was going to die. He was never going to know the life his instincts told him he deserved, the one he was born for. It was all for nothing.

But what hurt most of all was how little it mattered. His family didn’t even notice, didn’t care at all. Oh, they’d been annoyed when he first collapsed and wouldn’t stand again, but after a short beating he’d been left there, ignored. Every happy chirp or coo, every mummah song he heard grated even more than the gravel against his skin.

Right now, he’d give anything just to watch them all die.

Rob was getting frustrated. He’d found lots of fluffies, but none with that spark, none good enough for his project. Eventually he’d have an ample supply, fluffies raised to be strong and independent by Syrup, the unsold of which would go to him for his hobby, but for now he just couldn’t find any.

Smarties were out of the question, since they would almost certainly die before giving in to despair the way he wanted. But normal fluffies were too far in the other direction, breaking too quickly. He wanted something special, a fluffy that’d been beaten down by life, but had hardened instead of breaking. Like a bar of metal he could hammer into a twisted sculpture.

He grew increasingly agitated with each failed fluffy, seeing them for what they were: pathetic, too easy to please, too fragile. They’d never tasted despair, or were stuck in the wan-die loop. Useless, useless. “Useless!” he spat, walking away from another family of fluffies, ignoring their pleas for him to take them home with him.

He gave up, deciding to just vent stress on the next group he found and go home for the night. Following sickeningly happy fluffy sounds, he found another stereotypical alley fluffy family, babbehs disgustingly fat, mummah singing tunelessly. He slowed, making no sound and trusting in their terrible low-light vision to remain undetected.

Babbeh’s breathing would stop, then start again as he forced himself to take another breath, to drag out the inevitable. Why was he bothering? Nobody was going to help him, not a worthless ugly poopy babbeh like him. He felt the last of the anger slipping away, felt his true worthlessness sinking in. Watched the family he knew was happier without him living happily in the ray of light from street lamps.

He finally let himself go, let his eyes begin to drift close. A meaty thud caused his eyes to focus, and a shriek of horror from his mummah forced his mind back into focus. He heard a soft splat, and realized it was what remained of the bestest babbeh, falling to the ground at the base of the wall he’d been kicked against and settling into a puddle of gore and shattered bones.

Babbeh heard terrified chirps, heard pleading his hearing was too distorted to make any sense of. He saw death, and blood, and pain, and despair. It was horrible and beautiful, so beautiful he let out an involuntary, rasping coo. Then he saw the specter approach him.

A strong hand wrapped around him, and he felt himself being lifted. He saw the face of the human who’s just made his last wish come true, and for the first time, he saw a smile directed at him. Someone was happy…to see him? The thought was alien, confusing, but it somehow gave him strength he hadn’t realized was possible. Maybe…he could hold on, just a little longer.

Rob grinned as the last leg twisted and ripped free from its socket, leaving the semi-catatonic mare in a bleeding heap on the gravel. He wondered if she was even feeling anything, or if seeing her babbehs all die in front of her had burned out her fragile mind. Not that it mattered, since she’d bleed out soon.

He stood to walk away when he heard a strange sound, almost like the coo of a happy foal, but raspy and gurgling. He turned towards the sound, seeing a rejected foal, mouth open and writhing with maggots, staring at him. But the physical state of the foal wasn’t what caught his attention.

He lifted the pathetic creature up, ignoring the maggots that bounced off his hand as they shook free from the rotting tissue of the foal’s mouth. Looking into the foal’s eyes, he saw something. This foal had been through hell, but had still felt the need to celebrate vengeance on the family that had rejected him.

Rob smiled. Maybe the foal would survive, maybe not, but it was the best option he’d found so far. That hatred would turn the fluffy into an amazing weapon to inflict suffering on others of its kind, properly directed. “Come on,” he said, holding the babbeh and taking off at a brisk walk. “Let’s get you patched up.”

He’d heard of abusers using twisted, broken fluffies to torment others. Somehow, it made them hurt even more knowing the one brutalizing them was a fluffy, and not a “munstah mistuh.” This foal had potential, great potential. Rob could turn it into a monster that would put the average smarty to shame.

Unfortunately for the foal, Rob didn’t believe in sharing the fun.