Authors Note: Hey, guys! Been a while, I know! I figured I’d repost this story that apparently got lost when the site briefly went belly up. I’ve made a few edits, but its more or less the same as it was when it went up the first time. The second part that was also up is a little more tricky, as I’ve decided to try and take things in a slightly different direction, so that’ll be a little longer before it goes back up. Pretty sure I said this in the last post, but just wanted to reiterate that I probably won’t keep to an upload schedule of any kind. New parts will be added as they’re ready. All that said, I hope you enjoy.
The air already had a distinct chill to it, despite the sun only just dipping below the horizon. It was shaping up to be another early Autumn, and among many other things, it also meant there would be a resurgence of ferals looking for homes. To most people it was a nuisance, but to people like Veles Kresnik… It was harvest time. This was the time of year he looked forward to almost as excitedly as Christmas, as it made finding fluffies with desirable colors that much easier.
Those that turned up at the door of his ancestral home were offered a bowl of spaghetti, laced with a sedative, which acted long enough for him to secure the little creature so that he could do his work. While his family was by no means ‘Über Rich’, he had inherited the house and an exceptionally generous sum of money from his late Father. Enough that he could live his entire life comfortably without working… That didn’t jive with what his Mother taught him, that ‘A man has to work for a living’… So, he’d taken up fluffy harvesting as a means of providing a modest but steady stream of income.
It was to this end that Veles had perfected his craft of luring fluffies inside, and it was no secret that he took great pride in his trade. He’d gotten the proper dosage through extensive practice, and could put just enough ground up sleeping pills into a bowl of spaghetti to knock a feral out for a good four hours, almost to an exact minute. Knocking them out made it so much easier to sort through their numbers without being inundated with questions, and thus it was easier to decide which of those he’d sell to a breeder friend of his, which would go on the open market for sale to a “”“good home”“”, and which ones he’d keep for himself.
His Father had made considerable money working with the ‘State Department’ in the Eastern Bloc during the latter years of the Cold War and the upheaval that marked the start of the Post-Soviet era… At least, his working for the State Department was the ‘Official’ story. Veles didn’t buy it, as he recalled finding a series of foreign passports and other documents hidden in the hallway closet, all of whom contained a photo of his Father under a different name. Regardless of how Father had earned his money, Veles intended to preserve as much of it as possible for his own children, as any responsible man would. It was his Mother, who had lived behind the iron curtain for the majority of her childhood and teenage years, that taught Veles how to do more with less, and thus save money…
Fluffy meat was an admittedly acquired taste, but properly prepared and served it was oh so tender and sweet, and far cheaper to acquire than pork, beef, or even chicken. Sure, he could easily afford to eat regular meat, but why pay fourteen dollars per pound of beef when he could have fluffy for free?
So, Veles made it a point to use as much of the fluffy as possible. ‘Waste not want not!’, another of Mother’s innumerable folksy sayings. First he’d fill a large freezer, nearly 10 Cubic Feet, with the choicest cuts of meat. He could run the lesser cuts through a meat grinder, using the intestines to make enough fluffy sausages. Typically it was enough to supplement his food budget for a year at least. Filling it entirely was a bit labor intensive, as fluffies were relatively small, and generally it took approximately 400 fully grown fluffies to fill the freezer.
Given their seemingly endless numbers, however? Between the amount of money he spent on sedatives, spaghetti and other consumables, plus the amount of time required to butcher so many bio-toys, it still averaged out to about .50 Cents per pound. Any excess he would turn into jerky, which sold quite well online, turning a .50 Cent loss into a $3.50 profit. Fluffy jerky was cheap to produce, high in protein, and had a considerably long shelf life…
This made it popular with hikers, bikers, hunters, fishermen, and even doomsday preppers… Some of whom claimed fluffies were an apocalypse waiting to happen. Veles wasn’t so sure about that one, but their money was as green as anyone’s, so he didn’t really care either.
The pelts were easy enough to turn into hats, or to sew together as a sort of quilt, another skill passed onto him by his dearly departed Mother, whom had died in the same automobile ““accident”” that claimed his Father’s life. He actually quite liked the sewing part of his work, it was one of the many things he was good at, and always conjured fond memories of simpler times when he was younger.
The finished products of his labor, winter hats, mittens, and even the odd ‘fluffy coat’, were also an easy sell online… Only in America could he do what he loved and get paid for it. Just advertise a product as ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘eco-conscious’, or all sorts of other ‘eco-adjective’, and the same insane --not to mention fabulously wealthy-- people that kept fluffies as pets would hand over fat wads of cash, or pay with credit card, or money order, or cashiers check… Not personal checks though, those tended to bounce more often than not.
Only after his sausages were made, his freezer thoroughly stocked with delicious fluffy steaks, chops, cutlets, and legs, and his coffers sufficiently filled with the proceeds from his various fluffy based enterprises, did Veles allow himself to indulge his favorite winter hobby. Any fluffies that turned up on his doorstep were his to play with as he pleased, and he was just as adept at that aspect of things as he was the skinning, butchering, tanning, and sewing.
They were, after all, bio-toys. Breaking them was about as illegal as smashing a toy truck, or melting a plastic army man with a magnifying glass, not that Veles would ever do such a thing to either of the examples. The latter two were timeless toys, toys that could serve a positive purpose in a child’s life. In fact, he actually rather liked collecting plastic army men, but that was neither here nor there. Fluffies were neither timeless, nor did they serve much, if any, positive purpose in a child’s life, ergo… They were fair game.
At present, Veles wasn’t partaking in his hobby, much as he might’ve liked to. Instead he sat in his slightly dirty tank top and cargo pants, reclining contentedly on the couch in his sizable living room after a long day of gutting and cleaning. He’d just finished a lovely dinner of fluffy steak, served beside some twice-baked potatoes and an ice cold beer. Not a high class meal, but it was as delicious as it was cheap, and that’s really all that mattered. Now he was relaxing with a book, the ‘Collected Works of H.P. Lovecraft’… It was a remarkably odd and fascinating collection of literary works, certainly more entertaining than his recently canceled television package, another effort to save money wherever he could. Too many commercials, plus nothing but re-runs or boring shows with boring characters doing boring things.
This Lovecraft guy, though, he wasn’t a slouch when it came to ideas. Freaky gigantic albino penguins, not to mention some weird Alchemist guy hiding out in a French mansion, or a drug addicted guy jumping off a cliff thinking he was a king or something… It was weird, sure, and Veles typically had to have a dictionary on hand to understand some of the more obscure words, but… The stories spoke to him, in a way no book ever really had before.
These were tales of great cosmic entities, epic in size and scope, incomprehensible to human minds, and equally uninterested in human affairs. Most harbored no ill feelings towards humanity, in fact they harbored no feelings towards humans whatsoever… At least, none that a human might understand. The best that could be discerned was ignorant apathy, as mankind might look down upon an insect, bacteria, or pocket lint. In a way, Veles supposed it was a dynamic shared between humanity and fluffies… They were driven by genetic programming, with all the reasoning abilities of a toddler, and all the impulse control of a gambling addict.
Never could they hope to comprehend the complexities of human thought and emotion beyond some laughable facsimile, nor could they ever reasonably hope to threaten a human with serious bodily harm. Most people were disdainful of their presence, sure, but often times that disdain drifted into apathy. Fluffies were born, grew up, lived, and died without most people so much as batting an eye. Few cared to stop and help a distraught fluffy mare find her lost foals, or to purchase the discounted ‘Foals-in-a-Can’ before they expired… At least… Not for anything good. Even Veles’ interest in them was almost purely based on profit, and to a lesser extent their utility as a food source.
Realistically, when he sat down and really thought about it, he had no real feelings about fluffies, other than they were… Bumbling inconsequential things, like a bottle cap, or an empty ketchup packet. The parallels between Lovecraft’s creations and the relationship between humans and fluffies were thought provoking, at least for Veles, and he’d be sure to thank his girlfriend for leaving the book at his house while she’d gone off on her trip to an important conference in Atlanta. She’d probably want the book back when she got home, but that wasn’t really important at the moment. What was important was that Veles was warm, his stomach was full, and he was engrossed in a thoroughly enjoyable book… Life was good. For all of five minutes…
He almost didn’t hear it, given the size of the place, but there was a faint tapping at his front door. Closing his book and setting it on the couch beside him, Veles grunted as he got out of his seat. He wasn’t fat, but… He wasn’t thin either. While fluffy meat was delicious, it was also incredibly high in calories. Making his way towards the front door, he briefly peeked out the window. The sun was setting beautifully beyond the distant mountains, but he saw no sign of any person actually standing at his front door. Either he’d hallucinated the tapping, or… Tap! Tap! Tap! A grin quietly spread across the man’s face, quickly he approached the heavy front door and flung it open.
“Hewwo nice mistuh!” A vibrant red feral pegasus stallion greeted cheerfully, in spite of the autumn chill. He wasn’t alone, having a brown earthie dam standing beside him, just about ready to burst with foals. “It am gettin’ cowd ouwside… Nice mistuh be nyu daddeh? Gib housies and nummies, pwease?” A few moments later both the mare and stallion flinched, obviously this was typically where they had the door slam in their face, but… Not this time.
“Why hello, little fluffies!” Veles responded cheerfully, standing aside and gesturing inside. “Of course I’ll be your new daddy, come on in out of the cold!” The stallion started to move inside, but the mare put her hoof out to stop him, eying Veles with an air of suspicion. Looking between the two, it was obvious that the stallion wasn’t so feral as Veles initially thought… Probably a runaway, not completely covered in filth, so likely recent… The mare, however…? She had that hard-bitten look in her eyes. Veles had seen it hundreds of times. She was a true feral. Experienced, cautious, and rightfully so… Still, there was one lure that no amount of caution could ignore.“I was just about to make spaghetti, you’re welcome to have some.”
That look of hesitation was quickly replaced, the eyes of both fluffies glazing over as their genetic programming took over. Veles had used the spaghetti line more than a thousand times, and so far he’d yet to see it fail. So predictable, so utterly incapable of spotting the obvious danger. Looking down at himself, Veles could see his pants were stained with more blood than he’d previously thought. It was, after all, laundry day. He couldn’t have presented more of a threat, short of actually holding a severed fluffy head in his hand…
Veles discovered that the stallion’s name was ‘Rocket’, while the mare didn’t have one, and thus Veles dubbed her ‘Izzy’. Not that their names would matter all that long. Well… Not Rocket’s at any rate. Pregnant mares like Izzy could be lucrative, both for the foals they produced and because of the ongoing shortage of ‘Milk Bags’ in the fluffy breeding industry. A decent milker could fetch forty dollars, and ferals, being naturally hardier than their domestic counterparts, could be worth double that. Neither Rocket nor Izzy could know that, to Veles, they appeared as little more than pastel colored dollar signs…
“Mummah eat sketties?! Sketties bestes nummies for tummeh babbehs! Tummeh babbehs haf biggest happies!” Izzy proclaimed joyfully, happily waltzing into the living room. Rocket went right along with her, leaving behind the frigid brick stoop in favor of the nice, warm, house… They couldn’t have known the smile spreading across Veles’ face was anything but benign… Closing the door gently, the man made a point to flick the deadbolt into place. With one twist of a knob, their fates were utterly sealed.
Veles set out some old newspapers for the fluffies to wait on while he prepared their meal, just in case they had any accidents. This was a routine he’d also performed thousands of times by now, to such an extent that he sometimes fooled himself into thinking he had the fluffies’ best interests at heart, at least until it came time to dose their food. All the while he was sizing them up, determining what, if anything, he could do with them.
Rocket had decent colored fluff, and was big enough to make a full sized winter hat. On closer inspection the man determined that Izzy was probably just on the brink of giving birth, perhaps no more than a day away, and that gave Veles more options. He otherwise would’ve needed to keep Rocket in the picture long enough for Izzy to give birth, as a stressed dam was less likely to deliver a healthy litter, but she was far enough along now that it wouldn’t matter if he disappeared.
Veles chatted with the fluffies as they ate their spaghetti, at least as well as one can converse with the little chimeras… Greedily they consumed the pasta and sauce, as if it was the greatest food in all creation, having no idea that Veles used just about the cheapest ingredients he could get his hands on. Their joy was just one of the many reasons he didn’t feel all that bad about what he planned to do next. The man waited until both fluffies were done eating before he gave them both a bath, much to their annoyance, but he wasn’t about to let a bunch of ferals roam around his ancestral home without a good scrub.
The effects of the sleeping pill gradually took their toll on the freshly cleaned and fed fluffies, so Veles suggested the three of them go out into the living room and sit together on the couch. Rocket was excited to watch ‘FluffTV’, and visibly deflated when Veles informed him that he didn’t have FluffTV, or any TV service for that matter. Instead he offered to read them a story, which they accepted… The man went out of his way to make them all cozy and warm on the seat, bundled in a pleasantly soft blanket, even going so far as to hum them a gentle lullaby… With that, the two of them lapsed blissfully into sleep, and only once Veles was certain that they wouldn’t wake up did his caring facade fall away.
Unceremoniously he pulled the blanket away from the two slumbering fluffies, then grabbed Rocket by the scruff of his neck and started carrying him towards the door in the kitchen… It was as old as the house itself, for more than a century it’d stood resolute in its frame, its hinges well lubricated through all that time. The wood was scuffed, the brass knob tarnished, but it was solid, sturdy, and most importantly… Thick. Thick enough so as to make it nigh impossible for all but the loudest of human screams to penetrate its implacable surface. Another revelation Veles had learned as a boy growing up there… Sometimes Father brought work home with him.
The barrier creaked on its hinges, indicating it might be time to give it a bit of WD-40, but Rocket remained asleep in spite of the noise. He snored and cooed comfortably, even as Veles roughly carried him through the gaping aperture, down, down, down… Into the darkness of the cellar below. The door closed with a dull thud, but that too failed to wake the sleeping fluffy. Rocket’s rest probably wouldn’t last, not that the man really wanted it to. Carrying the fluffy in his arms now, Veles got a better feel for just what this particular specimen was like. Purebred domestic fluffy was akin to eating a fine filet mignon, while a feral several generations removed from its domestic ancestor could be as tough as shoe-leather, at least depending on its age, making it more suitable for use in a richly flavorful stew.
Rocket certainly had the underdeveloped muscles typical to domestic fluffies, but not so underdeveloped as to be ideal. Perhaps a less than fine filet mignon, which, as Veles thought about it more and more, sounded quite delicious at the moment. He’d only eaten a short time ago, granted, but between making spaghetti and getting a better feel for Rocket? Well… He could eat again.
The cellar of his home was dimly lit by a single dangling light bulb, the air tinged by the mixing smells of fluff, blood, and bleach. On the far wall was a workbench, complete with custom made fluffy restraints and all the tools a person of Veles’ persuasion could ever want. He wasn’t an abuser, per se… Abuse implied that he saw fluffies as anything other than what they were. Bio-Toys. He enjoyed fiddling with them, testing just how well they could hold up to certain stimuli, not unlike when a kid might tape a firecracker to a toy soldier to see what happened. A distasteful waste of perfectly good fireworks and a loyal toy soldier to be sure, but not abuse.
Purging Rocket at this stage would be a difficult and lengthy process, especially after he’d just eaten, but Veles didn’t need to purge him for what he had in mind. Aligning the sleeping fluffy on the table, he wasted little time securing the little guy’s legs with a quartet of re-purposed leather belts. Next, he positioned a bucket at the edge of the table, right under the stallion’s rear end, to catch the inevitable ‘scaredy poopies and peepees’.
A rising sensation of anticipation encouraged Veles to begin humming ‘Clair de Lune’ to himself, a song he’d become quite familiar with as a child, his Mother having been a professional pianist… Evidently that was how she and his Father had met, some state function at the American Embassy in her native country. As with sewing, the song reminded Veles of happier, simpler times, when everything in the world didn’t seem quite so crazy. A time when the sun had shined brighter, the air smelled sweeter, and he wasn’t so afraid to exit his front door without a handgun concealed on his person. After all, there might be other people out there… Just like him.
That was one of the few things Veles actually envied about fluffies… Theirs was a life of contented ignorance, the concepts that made most men cynical or jaded had no bearing on their simple genetically programmed minds. Ironically, Veles supposed that ignorance was partly responsible for him taking up his destructive hobby. He would never harm an animal or another person, barring self-defense of course… But fluffies? They were unique, they could communicate their feelings, and he could inflict onto them without mercy the very same terror that so regularly consumed his deeper thoughts.
Unaware of the silent menace racing through his soon-to-be tormentors head, Rocket remained asleep on the table, snoring faintly as Veles grabbed a series of sharpened blades from a rack behind his workbench. He fidgeted slightly, but otherwise remained unaware as the man used a marker to scribe several dotted lines at the joints where Rocket’s legs met his body. Setting out a blow torch and a scorched black metal file, Veles donned a leather apron, rubber gloves, and face shield… Safety first. Odds were Rocket would wake up as soon as the man started cutting, but that wasn’t quick enough for Veles, so he flicked the stallion on the nose. Blearily Rocket opened his eyes, searching the dimly lit space for what’d disturbed his slumber.
“D-Daddeh…?” He asked tiredly, trying to rise from the table, feebly straining against the restraints. “W-Wai weggies nu wowk?” Veles could see the confusion and fear filling the stallion’s eyes. “Daddeh, hewp Wocket? Wocket stuck.” The man merely continued humming Clair de Lune as he examined his cutting knife. The steel glinted in the overhead light, glittering like starlight in Rocket’s wide and suddenly comprehending eyes. “N-Nu hewt Wocket! Wocket am gud fwuffy! Wai hewt gud fwuffy?” Veles slowly brought the knife down to rest on Rocket’s right fore leg. “Nu! Nu sharpy sowwy stick! Wocket be gud! Wocket be guuud!” He panted nervously, struggling against the restraints.
Veles held the knife there for a few moments, staring apathetically at the creature he held at his mercy. It was a test he performed every time he did this, to see if he felt any sort of sympathy or remorse. To date he’d butchered well over five thousand fluffies, and not once --not once– did he feel much of anything other than anticipation and excitement. Here he held power over Rocket’s future, his life… His death… Right in the palms of his hands. Rocket clenched his eyes shut, tears streaming down his cheeks as he tugged for all he was worth against his bindings, but it was all for naught. Veles moved the knife away from the leg, setting it on his bench before he grabbed a nearby stool. There he sat directly in front of the fluffy, staring at him with cold intensity.
“Why did you leave your home, Rocket?” Veles asked simply, methodically, his voice as smooth as glass. “Open your eyes and answer me.” Rocket tentatively opened his eyes, sniffling and sobbing, the terror clear as day in the wide expressive blue orbs. A sudden flare of rage overwhelmed Veles’ sense of calm, and in a moment of weakness he snapped. “Answer the fucking question, shitrat!” The man suddenly boomed, resulting in the telltale sound of scaredy-poopies sloughing down into the bucket…
“Wocket wan haf pwetty speshul fwend, buh dummeh daddeh say haf to wose speshul wumps fiwst…” The fluffy pleaded its case frantically, snot dribbling down its pathetic little face, all while Veles’ brief spat of anger rapidly cooled. “Nu speshul wumps, nu babbehs, dat wat Fwuff Tee-Bee say. Nee wumps fow pwetty speshul fwend, haf pwetty babbehs.” Veles stared at Rocket, his calm demeanor fully restored. He could certainly understand the fluffy’s desire to procreate, it was one of the basic functions of any life form, animal or bio-toy. “D-Daddeh wet Wocket gu nao? Wocket am gud fwuffy!”
Veles chuckled sinisterly to himself, that’s what they all said, even the most vile of smarty or hell-gremlin… How many times had he watched a ‘good fluffy’ stomp the life out of a runt or an alicorn? He couldn’t begin to guess. Sighing through his nose, Veles rose to his full height then picked the knife back up. His plan was for four fluffy ‘weggies’, charred lightly in a cast iron skillet, then oven roasted to medium rare. Fresh legs were some of the best eating out there, at least when it came to Fluffies… Sort of a mix of all the savory flavor of a lamb chop, mixed with the versatility of a chicken or turkey drumstick. The sooner they were prepared the better, with freshly amputated legs proving the best of all.
Then, just as he was applying pressure to the blade, Veles was interrupted by the unlikeliest of sounds… A clip from the song ‘Lawyers, Guns, and Money’, emanating from his back pocket. Sighing faintly, he lifted the blade again, leaving just the faintest cut on Rocket’s tasty looking leg. Setting the blade on the workbench, he reached to his pocket and withdrew his phone… Staring at the number for a few moments, he swiped the screen and brought it to his ear.
“Hey! How’s my little skylark!” He greeted genially, leaning against the table and idly stroking the head of poor, terrified, Rocket. The sound of his girlfriend’s voice was faintly audible, just enough for Rocket to start caterwauling, asking the ‘pwetty voicie’ to help him, this was ended with a quick smack on the head. “No, no, not busy… Just whipping up a little snack, that’s all.”
Veles sighed contently, he could listen to that woman speak all day, even if she was just… Reading a phone book. Did they even have phone books anymore? It didn’t matter. At present she was telling him about her day, how her colleagues at the conference had all congratulated her about her latest research paper, the one she’d been working so hard on.
“Oh? Well that’s great! That was the one with the… Uh…” Veles snapped his fingers a couple times. “The utopia one! Yeah!” The man cast a look at Rocket, he wasn’t the only one that made a living on fluffies. Then she mentioned something else, her flight had been moved up, she’d be home earlier than expected. “Do you need a ride home?” No… No she was going to get a cab. All she needed was for him to save her a plate, a request Veles happily agreed to. “Of course, Marzya. Do you want yours with or without the sauce?” Without, it was always without, but it never hurt to ask. “Alright, I’ll see you in about an hour. Love you!” She loved him too, and just like that Veles had hung up the phone and slipped it back into his pocket.
“M-Munstah daddeh wuv Wocket?” The fluffy affixed to the table asked tentatively, reminding Veles just exactly what it was he was doing in the basement to begin with. “Pwease, nice mistuh… Nu take weggies. Wocket nee weggies fow wun, an pway, an huggies, an wuv an- SKREEEEEEE!”
Veles didn’t let him finish, swiftly picking up the knife and resuming the task of cutting away the first weggie. The fluffy thrashed as best it could in its restraints, thick streams of tears cascading down his face whilst crimson rivulets of blood emerged from the cut. The man briefly stopped mid cut, inwardly debating whether it was worth it to save some of the blood to make some sort of… Pudding. He’d never had blood pudding, but wasn’t averse to giving it a try. Maybe for thanksgiving or Christmas, both of which being holidays that Rocket would never live to see. With that in mind, the man resumed the grisly act of dismembering his meal.
“SKREEE! SKREEE! WET GOW! WET GOW! WEABE WOCKET AWONE!” Rocket pleaded, bubbles of snot joining the myriad of slickness that dirtied the pitiable creature’s ‘adorable’ face. The pleas fell upon deaf ears, and if anything his thrashing only encouraged the butcher to take his time with the work. Veles cut with all the skill of a surgeon, expertly severing tendons and dis-articulating the leg from the joint. Veles finished cutting through the muscle in a couple minutes or so, only stopping when the blade once again met with the table. “Haf… Haf… Haf… Pwease! Nu mowe! Nu mowe!” The man lifted the severed leg and examined it.
“Just enough fat to be flavorful, not too musclebound… Not bad.” Veles proclaimed, setting the weggie in front of Rocket where he could clearly see it. “Now you might feel a slight… Burning sensation.” The man added, grabbing the blowtorch and old scorched metal file.
The blue flame sprang to life with the sound of a small jet engine, reflecting brightly in Rocket’s wide, tear soaked eyes. It took a few moments to heat the file to red hot, already Rocket’s remarkable ‘Fluffy Healing Factor’ was causing the wound to clot. Still, best to intercede before the creature expired on account of blood loss. The basement was once more filled with tiny screams as he pressed the glowing metal file over the freshly severed stump. A few patches of Rocket’s fluff caught alight, prompting more screaming and pleading until Veles put the smoldering embers out, primarily by slapping the fluffy sharply and painfully.
“Still happy you left your home, Rocket? Still happy you abandoned your ‘daddeh’ to get a ‘pretty special friend’? How would you feel if something you cared about abandoned you? Why wonder, when we can find out!” Veles asked curiously, picking up the severed leg and maneuvering it as if it was moving of its own accord. “Hey there, Mister Weggie? Do you want to go back with Rocket, or would you rather I eat you?” The man paused for a moment, watching the frightened fluffy’s eyes go wide with curiosity. “I see… Don’t worry, I’ll let him know.” Veles tossed the weggie onto the work bench, then tightened his grip on the knife… His pulse was quickening ever so slightly at the droplets of blood, glittering like dozens of rubies in the dim basement light. “Mister Weggie says he hates you, and so do all the other weggies. In fact, they want me to help them run away from you.”
“Huu… Nu wun way weggies! Wocket gud fwuffy!” Rocket insisted pleadingly, but the weggie didn’t respond. “Pwease, nu tak Wocket’s weggies! Wocket nee weggies for wun and- SKREEEEE!” Veles commenced to severing and cauterizing the stumps, one by one. Each time he would pause to allow Rocket to plead with the remaining legs to stay, but of course none of them answered.
Veles came away with four perfectly severed legs when all was said and done, leaving his apron, face shield, and gloves in the basement. He also left a sobbing Rocket strapped to the workbench while he went upstairs to the kitchen. The stallion hadn’t entered the ‘Wan Die’ loop yet, and Veles wanted to give the fluffy time to recover before he came to continue the bloody harvesting process. Skinning the weggies was easy enough at this point, fluffy skin was easy to peel away from the meat. The fact that they didn’t have actual hooves, but instead leather padded ‘foot pads’, made it all the easier.
Bone-In fluffy legs tended to take longer to cook, but Veles was in no hurry, as Marzya wouldn’t be home for some time. As planned, he seasoned each weggie with generous helpings of salt and pepper, then seared them in a cast iron skillet while he pre-heated his oven. A decent amount of fat was rendered in the process, while a flavorful ‘fond’ formed on the base of the skillet. Veles first drained much of that fat away for later, then scraped the fond away with the aid of some red wine, which he also drained into a separate container. Seeing as the skillet was cast iron, he needed only to transfer it and the weggies to the waiting oven.
“Daddeh?” Veles froze momentarily at the sound of Izzy’s voice, then closed the oven and turned to look at her with a raised eyebrow. He wasn’t used to dams of her size, perhaps he’d gotten the dosage wrong, or maybe Rocket had been a greedy little bastard and eaten more of her spaghetti when the man’s back was turned. Either way he found himself with a very much awake fluffy, and that wasn’t part of the plan. “Wat am smeww pwetty? Is nummies fo Izzy?”
“No, silly! You already had sketties.” Veles responded cheerfully, briefly searching the counter top. He quickly shoved the remnant red fluffy skin to the back of the counter, well out of Izzy’s field of view. “I’m making Daddy food, it’s a special food that’s only for Daddy and Daddy’s special friend. Although…” He trailed off, stroking his chin in mock thought, planning to offer Izzy more spaghetti with a stronger dose… Then he got an idea… A twisted idea. Veles had for himself an interesting twisted idea… “I guess you could have some if its leftover. Does that sound nice?”
“Otay Daddeh! Izzy wuv speshul daddeh nummies!” Izzy cheered joyfully, trying, and failing to jump around… Instead she managed to roll onto her side, a fact Veles quickly and gently corrected. “Tank ou, Daddeh! Izzy wuv ou! Izzy weawy cited to meet Daddeh’s speshul fwend! Is Daddeh’s speshul fwend cited to meet Wocket?” Veles quirked an eyebrow, his expression becoming very serious, before he crouched down to pet Izzy.
“We’ve talked about this, Izzy. You’re too old for imaginary friends.” He said seriously, inwardly grinning to himself when a look of true confusion washed over Izzy’s face. “I know you’re lonely, but you know the rules, you’re the only fluffy allowed to live here.”
“Not twu, Izzy wuv Wocket! Wocket is Izzy’s speshul fwend, gib Izzy tummeh babbehs!” Izzy countered vehemently, but Veles shook his head. “Daddeh… Daddeh nu 'member Wocket?”
“There is no Rocket, Izzy. It’s always just been you…” He said seriously, forcing a terribly nervous look. “I don’t know what you’re talking about regarding ‘tummy babies’, because that’d be impossible. You’re the only fluffy allowed to live here.”
Izzy stared at him, her little brain trying to parse through everything he’d just said. Fluffies had incredibly selective long and short term memory… According to one of Marzya’s research papers, it took them almost exactly thirty days of extended contact with another fluffy to cement that relationship as having really happened. This was by design, as Hasbio believed it would reduce the level of depression fluffies might face when their foals were taken from them, or if one of their foals died. It was incredibly difficult to mourn someone they didn’t remember ever knowing, after all. The thirty day period went in line with the return policy that would’ve been standardized had Fluffies been a financial success.
Their memory wasn’t the same way with humans, again this was by design, so that the fluffy would always remember its owner, even after just one look at them. Actually that was one of the things Marzya had mentioned in one of her research papers, where a murder victim’s fluffy actually identified the alleged killer from a line up. The identification was even used in court, though it’d actually gotten the suspect acquitted, as the average person knew just how stupid a fluffy actually was… Oh, to be a fly on the wall when the prosecutor put a fluffy on the witness stand, coaxed it through its testimony, and finally asked ‘Is the killer in this room?’… According to one of the jurors, the entirety of the room burst out laughing every time the thing spoke, even the judge.
Inadmissibility in court aside, the science was there, and Veles was allowing himself to become sidetracked by thoughts on his beloved girlfriend. From his own experience, Veles knew that fluffies needed roughly seven days to gestate a litter, and there was no way Rocket and Izzy had hesitated upon meeting one another, so that meant her relationship with Rocket might as well have happened in the blink of an eye. Regardless of the fact that Rocket was Izzy’s special friend, he would nonetheless appear in her mind only as an abstract blob of red and blue that may or may not have existed in reality.
The effects of the sedative, even in an apparently weaker dose, helped to blur that mental image even further. It was more than enough that when Veles, Izzy’s ‘Daddy’, told her she didn’t know any ‘Rocket’, she was more than inclined to believe him. After all, he loved her? Why would he lie?
“O-Otay, Daddeh…” Izzy conceded, looking at the floor with confusion. “If Wocket nu weaw, whewe tummeh babbehs fwom?” She asked, searching Veles’ eyes for any sort of help. The man forced another sad look, continuing to pet the fluffy’s freshly cleaned mane.
“I don’t know, Izzy.” He consoled, allowing the dam to press her little head up into his hands. “You’re the only fluffy allowed to live here.” The man repeated before standing up straight and returning his focus to the cooking of a sauce to accompany the weggies. “Now, why don’t you go lay down and get comfy. It’s late, and you need your rest.”
Izzy agreed hesitantly, waddling off into the other room. He’d long ago ‘Fluffy Proofed’ the kitchen and living room, so he wasn’t so concerned she’d get into anything without his supervision. With the sauce simmering and the fluffy legs roasting, Veles quickly disposed of the four flaps of fluffy skin, still covered in the red fluff of Rocket. He had a number of ideas floating around his head as to what he’d do with the freshly pillowed stallion, not to mention Izzy and her foals… Maybe he didn’t need to get rid of them all right away after all…
For once he was thinking incredibly long term, as he intended to make sure Izzy remembered her foals before he moved on to his next phase, or most of them at any rate. He’d also need to set up a camera and get some video of her having her babies, then nursing them, and eventually raising them. This he’d show to Rocket, as the video would be enough to keep his memories of her from fading, all while he ceased to exist in Izzy’s mind. Then, when Izzy had grown thoroughly attached to her foals, Veles would do what Veles did best… He’d make them disappear without a trace, and just like Rocket… They’d never have existed. This time, however, she’d remember every one of them.
From that point on? Well… The sky was the limit.