Wittew Wion Fuwff 17. by Motowhed

If you want to say a prayer for him…now is the time
-Motowhed

The sky was cleared that night as they buried Nike and Eepor, side by side in a small glen near the nest. Leo had worked silently on the two shoebox sized holes and had watched as fluffies came to say bye-bye to their friends. When the last bit of soft earth had been tamped down by hooves, Leo stood in silence for the rest of the day, weeping.

Upon his return to the nest, he ordered the herd to begin preparations to leave the nest. “Is no’ safe hewe nu moa.” He had explained. The next morning, fluff laden with what food they had left and the few blankets they had folded or rolled on backs, Leo, his foals stuffed in the fluff on his back, led his herd away from the nest. He had considered taking his two hidden weapons but decided that he had enough of war and sorrow, and left them.

It was a silent and somber march for the herd through the day, first following the creek, then turning when they was was blocked. The kept walking until they came upon a copse of trees in a meadow and settled into their thick roots for the night.

Leo left his foals snuggled with a large mummah who was happy to fluffpile them with her babbehs. He walked away from the herd head hung low. He didnt know where to gon he just needed to be alone. He walked for hours, the wind ruffling his fluff, the dark of the night felt comforting for the black well of despair that enveloped his soul.

He reached a small park that overlooked a lake, a bench under the edge of a pool of light, faced a rail overlooking a short drop of cliffside into the water. He climbed up on the bench and sat on his haunches, not crying, not shaking. He stared into the blackness of the water wondering if he should simply jump in. He could paddle himself for a moment or two sure, but once his fluff was soaked he knew he would sink like a rock. Maybe that was a good end for him, down in the dark and silence. If he was dead then the horrors of his life would end…Xerxes couldn’t keep coming after him or his herd if he was dead right? He thought about Nike, and Clyntius, and Eepor and the constant recurring horror and pain that seemed to wash over his life.

He was interrupted in his brooding when a man in a long tan rumpled looking not fluff…the hoomins called it a trench coat sat down beside him. The hoomin lit a smoke stick and sighed. “‘sa funny ol’ world innit?” He said, his words sounding funny to Leo. Leo didn’t respond and the man puffed his cigarette in silence for a moment. “Seems like a long, dark way down don’t you think?” He said finally. Leo wasn’t sure he liked the half laughing tone the man had, but he responded “Dawk an quiet mebbe wha sumfwuffy need.” The man nodded, “Aye. Strewth, mate…still, no rest for tha wicked now, is there?” Leo shot a glare at the man, his yellow head fluff looking ghostly in the light of the lone streetlamp nearby. “Weo nu wick-hed oa’ bad fwuffy.” The man held up his hands in mock surrender, “Its just an expression mate, means like…no time to die when there’s still work to do.”

Leo nodded at this, returning his gaze to the water. “Weo dunno whewe it aww gu su wong. Juss wanna be happeh fwuffeh wiff daddeh. Den…seem wike evewyone Weo wub ge’ owwies jus’ for Weo wubbin’ dem.” The man scratched his chin, then chain lit a new cigarette and flicked the burning end of his old one over the rail where it was swallowed by the darkness and water. “Aye, been in your shoes…eh…hooves, so ta’ speak. Felt the same for a long toime. Tried to run from meself in some dark places, but devils have a way of findin you just as you take a breath to relax.” Leo nodded, “Weo wish Weo coul’ wish it aww betta, wish dewe was big magic, bigga den hoomin magic, wike big sky daddeh magic, take it aww back an make evewyfing wite again.” He lowered his head and his eyes brimmed with tears.

The stranger lifted an eye brow, “Oi, me little friend…you want to know the secret of magic?” He leaned in conspiratorially, “Any cunt can do it.” He whispered… And then he sat back puffing his cigarette and looking contented. Leo didn’t know what this strange talking strange looking stranger meant but he felt something start ticking in his head. The stranger broke the silence, “The real magic power in this world is the people who are willing to do what needs to be done, no matter how hard it is, no matter how much it hurts. They usually don’t get called heroes because what they end up having to do is nasty, diabolical, usually pretty naughty little things. But in the end they’re the ones who really make a difference…they get to stand and laugh in the face of all the gods and give the devil the finger. Because… in the end my fluffy little mate, beyond all hope and reason, they won.” He lifted his cigarette blowing out a puff and laying his head back. “In the end… brave means nothing…honor means nothing… if you win…if you can strike a blow against the darkness and let that spark of hope keep glowing, it doesn’t matter what they call you, you still won.”

Leo’s head swam, the stranger’s words flitting through his mind, coalescing a feeling he’d had. He felt his heart fill again and he suddenly had a plan. A hard, mean plan. It left his heart heavy and joyful at the same time. The stranger stood to leave and stretched, “Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, and if you gotta go down swinging then the only thing you can hope for is to take them all with you…Well…'Ta.” He turned the collar of his battered trenchcoat up around his neck and turned to leave. Leo, tuned his head and called “Hey mista?” The stranger turned back to face him and Leo gave a wicked grin which was matched with the stranger’s own. “Spawe a wight?”

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Either Leonidas is a smoker, or he has some devilish ideas regarding fire.

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LEONIDAS, FLUFFY GOD OF FIRE AMD WAR, FATHER OF THREE, THE COLOR WE BLEED, AND THE BRAVEST FLUFFY AROUND, HO-OAH!

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I’m still holding out hope that someone will figure out who the stranger actually is.

John? Is that you?

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There we go! Winner!