Cast of Characters
“Gud pwants am bestest nummies ebah! Mummah gon’ num an’ maek bestest miwkies fow babbehs!”
Hayden awoke suddenly at the sound, realizing he’d drifted off to sleep watching out the window into his garden. A herd of feral fluffies was greedily eating the various plants, none of which were fruiting. Oh well, he didn’t really care about it anyway, he only grew vegetables because it attracted feral fluffies to play with anyway.
He thought about what he’d do to this particular herd. Maybe trap them all and smash them all with a baseball bat, or see how many he could kill with his pellet gun before the others fled. No, he’d done that too many times, it was getting stale. Something new, some new cruelty, that was what he needed. But what would it be?
Then he noticed something unusual about this herd, something he hadn’t seen before in the dozens of herds he’d played with. The herd seemed to only have breeding pairs, each with foals. This wasn’t particularly unusual, except that fluffy foals were so hilariously fragile that it wasn’t likely that each pair’s foals would survive long enough for the other pairs to have foals. Well, the details didn’t matter, what mattered was the glimmer of an idea that was forming.
Well, forming might be the wrong word. Maybe more like “solidifying.” It was something he’d idly considered for a long time, but it just wasn’t realistic since herds like this weren’t exactly common. But now, now he could try it. A little thrill of anticipation went through him. Something new to do again, after so long!
He pressed the button on the remote he’d kept in his hand during his vigil, and the gate to the garden closed with barely a sound. He’d paid a lot to get that done, but it was much more reliable for capturing feral herds that closing the gate manually. Fluffies might be stupid, but they had a great sense of smell, and would usually bolt before he got the gate closed.
One of the fluffies, a light blue unicorn, hadn’t been eating like the others, and seemed to be standing watch. Unusual, since usually the only fluffies who didn’t immediately start gorging themselves were the ones the other fluffies prevented from eating. Maybe this was the fabled “smarty-friend” others had insisted were a thing.
The (presumed) smarty-friend moved to the gate, trying to nudge it open, but it was locked in place. While normally Hayden would have waited for the herd to panic, so he could enjoy seeing them already trembling in fear when he opened the door, this time his plan would go more smoothly if he could act before panic set in. After all, panicking fluffies did stupid things, and he didn’t want the foals to get trampled this time around.
“Hewwo, nice mistuh. Pwease wet smawty an’ hewd out. Nu wan be stuck in hewe.” The (confirmed) smarty asked when he opened the door and walked out. The other fluffies didn’t seem to view him as a threat yet, so maybe they’d been extremely lucky around humans.
“Why do you want to leave? Isn’t the food here good?”
“Nummies am gud, but fwuffies nee’ tu kee’ movin’, nu am gud fow fwuffies to stay in one pwace, nummies nu wast forebah.”
Well, a smarty that wasn’t just an idiot lording imagined intelligence over the others, and one that seemed to actually care for his herd, what’s more. A rare thing.
“I’m afraid I can’t let you leave just yet, but you can eat all you want and leave later if you want.”
“Otay, nice mistuh. Tank 'ou for nu huwt fwuffies.”
The smarty-friend began to eat as well, demonstrating that even fluffies were vulnerable to a charming voice and kind smile. Perfect. Now, while they were all distracted, Hayden could set the first part of his plan into action. Moving from pair to pair, he quietly gathered up the foals, placing them in a fenced-off section of the garden away from others. With each foal, he carefully pinched the scruff in the same way a fluffy would when carrying the foals, causing them to enter a relaxed state. A shame that response gave way to the infamous “BAD UPSIES” screech when they got older.
He noticed something even more unusual about the herd. Most of the foals were about the same age, give or take a day or two, still small chirpy foals. Puzzling, but it had no impact on his plan; if anything, it only made it easier.
He’d gathered up most of the foals before his actions were noticed but the preoccupied fluffies. How this herd had survived with that little situational awareness was beyond him, but suddenly it clicked. They must’ve escaped from an ethical fluffy mill. Sometimes people would “free” fluffies from even ethical mills, leaving them to starve and die in the wild without a second thought. That explained the similar-aged foals, their passive attitude towards people, and their general lack of caution. It must’ve been recently, too, or their foals would have fallen to the perils of the outside world.
“Pwease, nice mistuh, gib babbehs back. Nee’ miwkies.”
The comment didn’t really create much uproar like he’d been dreading, just a few polite requests to return the foals. He didn’t have any intention of doing so, but he made a few non-committal comforting statements and they resumed eating. This was going to be so easy!
Soon, he’d gathered up all of the foals. Now it was time for the fun part to start. He picked up the hose, modified to his very specific needs, and began to hose down the fluffies, eliciting shrieks of terror as the higher-than-usual pressure blasted into them and knocked them off their feet. Soon, they were all sobbing in puddles and mud patches.
“Wai mistuh huwt fwuffies?”
“I didn’t hurt any of you. It’s just a bit of water.”
“Wawa am bad fow fwuffies!”
“No, it’s not. But that doesn’t matter. I wanted your attention, so I got your attention. Now listen.”
“Wut mistuh wan?”
“I said listen,” Hayden scowled at the herd, and they cowered. “You came into my garden and ate my plants without permission.”
“Smawty am sowwy, bu’ hewd hab tummeh-huwties an’ nee’ nummies.”
Hayden looked over the herd, if anything overweight, and shook his head. “You don’t look hungry. It looks like you were just greedy and took my plants without asking.”
“Pwease, nice mistuh, gib babbehs back. Wet fwuffies gu.”
“Here.” With a click the gate swung open. “Go.”
“Bu’ babbehs nu can gu, fencies am in da way.”
“Oh, the foals. I’m keeping them.”
“NUUUUUU! GIB BABBEHS BACK!”
“No. I’m keeping the babbehs, but you can stay too, if you want. I’ll even give you food and water. However,” he raised his tone so the less-intelligent of the fluffies would pay attention. “You can’t have the babbehs back unless you play a game with me.”
Hayden grinned, genuine mirth in his voice. “I call it…The Babbeh Game!”
Cast of Characters
I can’t wait for the actual abuse. This should be fun.
This guy is an unreasonable creep. I like the herd, though.