It had been a busy day so far.
The new canned-foals were releasing in a few days, and every fluff-crazy person in town wanted to try one. He was out in the front most of the morning, hauling the new vending machines. Based on the many pre-orders, the fluffmart was expecting a huge demand.
He didn’t really get it. Fluffies were smelly, loud, and annoying. Yeah they could talk, and could be cute sometimes, but do you really want a toy that can whine, and cry? And the amount of shit just one of them could create…
Maybe being an employee at fluffmart had soured his opinion. He didn’t care. He wasn’t paid enough to care.
He’d spent the rest of morning clearing out the litterboxes in the production floor. When he entered each nesting room, he was greeted with the same tiresome refrains:
“Pway baww mistah?”
“Nice mistah, gif upsies?”
“Babbeh dun gud poopies in wittahbawks, mistah!”
“Gif huggies an’ sketti?”
He hated hearing them babble on, their voices were shrill to him. The worst thing was the ‘mummah song’. Every single day, he had to go to the production floor and clean out the litter in the nesting enclosures, and at least half of the damn breeders would be singing that accursed, out-of-tune reprise: Mummah wub Babbehs, Babbehs wub Mummah!
After cleaning the litterboxes, he moved to the training room.
Some of the other employees liked working here. Not him.
Now that they were producing their own fluffies at the mart, rather than receiving them directly from Hasbio, there were more of them than ever stuffed into the training floor. They were so loud that when he left the floor, he could hear a ringing in his ears. Thankfully, he was only ever in there for a few minutes to clean out the litterboxes.
He was on the sales floor by midday, dealing with all the naive customers. All of these people, he thought, would learn just how awful fluffies are quickly enough. Many got returned after only a few weeks, sometimes even in one piece…
He liked to tease the ones that came back that he recognized from the nests or the training room. A little revenge helped him get through the day.
Unfortunately, plenty of the fluffy products never got sold, and as they got older, they would take up space that could be used for newer products. Which meant they had to be moved down to the bargain bin. If they didn’t sell there, it off to the regular bin- euthanized, of course. He hated their begging and whining as he took those ones by the cart-full to the processing floor.
There was a big rush of customers starting around 1pm.
His first sale, a piss yellow unicorn called “Sugarsweet” that caught the heart of some old woman who slowly counted her pennies out.
The next sale was one of the brand new LitterSmarts™, basically an automated litterbox. Some had already been returned after a few accidents in which the fluffyies using it were sodomized by the box’s cleaning arms.
Some teens came in a little afterward, looking to a few of the bargain bin fluffs- likely for cheap abuse entertainment. They bought a few of the oldest browns and greens, smiling devilishly as they paid.
Around 2pm, a fat lady tripped and crushed an entire bag-full of fluffies. As funny as it was, he was the one who had to clean it.
By the time 5pm rolled up, they sold most of the fluffies from the deluxe section and the bargain bin, and an alicorn got sold too. Several returns, all terminally depressed pillows and litterpals.
He popped the pillow and litterpal return orders into the computer, and his shift was done for the day. He was heading for the break room to grab his jacket when he bumped into the manager, “good timing,” she said, handing him two large bin bags with a tired smile, “take these out to the bio-waste dumpster for me when you leave, would you?”
He didn’t mind, there was a fire exit that opened out beside the dumpsters on the way to the break room. Down the hall between the production and training floors, and just on the left before the break room.
He came out into the alley. It was a nice afternoon.
As he walked over to the dumpster, he held his breath. It always stank with the euthanized rejects and whatever the doctors had removed for the custom orders, and Hasbio only came to collect it once a week. It was so bad in hot weather that the fluffies within would sometimes liquify and drip out onto the ground.
Thankfully, it wasn’t that bad today, though a couple of flies darted around the lid, an indicator of what was within. As he approached the dumpster, though, one of the bags in his hands clipped the wall and ripped, and some of its contents spilled out.
He groaned and opened the dumpster, leaning the lid back on the wall, and chucked the intact bag in- a swarm of flies rising as he did- before turning his attention back to the spilled waste.
Mostly it was fluffy corpses and corpse parts- and thankfully, the good doctor placed them into their own individual waste bags, so it wasn’t too hard to clean, though there were some that were not bagged. Fluffy waste wasn’t really regulated.
He began collecting the smaller bags and depositing them, careful of the ones that had a little viscera on them from the bag-less bodies- those ones could rot in sun. There was a large bag that was nothing but fluffy legs.
Another bag was full of eyes.
The foal bags, though, were literally filled-to-bursting with little tiny corpses, some even looked to be newborns, in fact. A paradoxically sad and funny side effect of the new foals-in-a-can line. Even for Hasbio, this level of disposability was cold.
He carefully pinched the top of these bags and lifted them slowly to the dumpster- if they fell and ripped open, he wasn’t fucking cleaning it up, and the rats would have a field day. So many people complain about fluff infestations, but nobody ever talked about the rat swarms that had increased tenfold now that fluffies gave them such an easy food source.
As he threw the last of the sealed bags into the dumpster, he noticed it- at first, he thought it to be a small pile of turds and severed guts, but no. It was a horribly disfigured and un-bagged brown foal.
One of its eyes was severely swollen, one of its legs was bent in two different directions. It was skinny enough that he could see some bones poking through its filth-soaked fur. This didn’t look like the good doctor’s work- for one, his work was always clean, and for two, the doctor did not leave anything alive.
But this fluffy was moving, breathing.
It sort of rocked its head from side to side, took long breaths, and occasionally tried to pull itself forward with its one good leg through the flesh detritus and waste plastic.
It eventually noticed him staring at it with its non-infected eye (which was very bloodshot) and the two watched each other for a little while. He thought about simply ending its life then and there. He could just give it a quick press with his boot an it would be over. It would probably be mercy, from the looks of him.
Something stayed his hand though, he wasn’t sure what.
Maybe its pathetic, absolutely helpless appearance, or the fact it was surrounded by and covered in its dead brethren. The gravity of its injuries, perhaps? Or the fact that it was alive at all, clearly having been through a lot. He could maybe respect that.
It chirped meekly once, and held its hoof out to him.
He sighed, and reached down for it with an apron-wrapped hand.
Carefully lifting the sad mass up, he could feel its shape through the cloth- it was worse than even the worst-condition fluffies he’d handled before, like a handful of twig-like bones poking through loose skin.
Inspecting it a little closer (but far enough away as to avoid the stench), he noted how clumps of its fur had fallen out, and how thin the rest of its fluff was. It moved only its head, and its front right hoof- the rest of its limbs and its tail simply dangled helplessly.
Around the fluffy’s backside, well… he cringed a little at what he saw. Its anus had prolapsed, and its genitals were hidden beneath a mass of infected flesh and clumped fluff. A steady drip of greenish-brown slime flowed from the area. The mangled back leg had bones sticking through the skin and fluff in several places, like splintered toothpicks.
Turning it back over to look at its face, it wearily looked at him with its remaining eye. The infected one had turned black and yellow and budged out of his skull, the eyelid no longer able to even close due to its size and the thick crust forming over it. Something dark slowly leaked from its snout, too.
“Well, you’ve had a bad time, haven’t you buddy?” He said to the fluffy.
It shakily raised its hoof up towards him, clearly using what little energy it had left to do so. Its mouth moved a few times, too.
“Did you say something?” he asked, bringing it closer to his ear.
“F-fank yu fo’ h-h-huggies,” it eked out.
He brought his head back around to look at the fluffy’s face. It stared up into his eyes for a time, until a single tainted tear formed and gently rolled down its disfigured face.
The man sighed. His heart had made his mind up for him. The Hasbio design team claims another human victim, he thought, making his way back inside the fluffmart with his newly adopted fluffy.