Keith stared, dead-eyed at the text document. His head pounded with strain from staring at the cold white screen.
His eyes flicked over to the computer’s taskbar, and down to the built-in clock. 2am.
Why would anyone be visiting at this time of night?
Might as well answer if they’re going to keep knocking.
He stood up from his office chair, stretching out his slumped back. He rubbed his sore eyes and left the room, walking towards the front door.
With any luck, whoever is behind the door might be a serial killer coming to save him from the agony of writing a novel.
He opened the door.
“HEWO NICES MISTA! WET AMBWETTE AN BESTES BABBEHS IN AN GIB SKETTIES, PWEASE!”
Keith got ready to shut the door, but he paused. He looked down at the family before him.
A mare- Ambrette, apparently- and three foals. The mare was a soft peach-pink, and her mane was amber. She might’ve been pretty had it not been for the dirt caking her fur.
The four foals are in the same state as the mare- covered in mud.
There’s a large- not fat, just large- earthie. It’s fur is a gaudy rich purple, and its mane is green.
Another is a scrawny pegasus, with a yellow coat and mane.
The third is a sight to behold. So fat it can barely waddle up- it’s spent the whole time Keith had the door open trying to crawl up to it’s mother’s hooves. It’s a bright pink, with a rich purple mane.
The fat foal looks up at you and puffs its cheeks.
“WET FAMWY IN HOUSIE NAO!” It stomps its pathetically tubby hoof on the ground.
“Nu! Beshtesh babbeh nu shouties at nices mistah!” The mare panics, “Su sowwy! Su sowwy! Dat am bestesh babbeh! Nee’ bestesh fingies! Pwease gib!”
“Pwease be nyu daddeh!” the gaudy purple earthie whines.
“Wook! Wook! Am dancie babbeh! Dancie fow 'ou! Dancie fow nyu daddeh!” The yellow pegasus chirps as it raises itself up onto its hindlegs and shambles around in it’s best approximation of a dance.
“You guys wan’t a new daddy, right…?” Keith sighs.
“YES! BABBES NEE’ NYU HOUSIE AN DADDEH!” Ambrette grins. “Pwease be nyu daddeh! Fwuffy famwy can gib wots of wub!”
Keith stayed silence for a second, before having his train of thought broken by a quiet sound.
“Hu… Pwease gib nummies… Su hungwy…” A quiet voice speaks. It seems to be coming from behind the mare.
Keith stretched his neck to try and see over the fluffy, only to be greeted with a pitiful sight. A scrawny brown fluffy, limping behind the group, only just catching up. It looks up at you with sadness in its eyes.
“NU!!” Comes the voice of the mare. “POOPIE BABBEH NU DESEWVE NUMMIESH!” She crows. The brown foal recoils at her voice.
Just then, Keith made a decision.
“Well, I’ve only got one room in my house that a fluffy can live in… So I can only take you and one of your foals.”
Ambrette gasps, and without hesitation, pushes three of her babies away, leaving just her favourite- The fat pink foal.
“Take mummah an bestesh!” She smiles happily, much to her other foals’ distress.
The yellow pegasus and the purple earthie begin crying, pathetically hugging eachother in desperation. The brown foal just curls into a ball. It already seems resigned to its fate.
“Hm…” Keith pretended to contemplate for a second. “Actually, i’ve decided on something else.” He shrugs.
“Wah? Wha mistah meen?” The mare coos.
“Mista nu be nyu daddeh?” The pink foal whines. “Nee nyu daddeh! Dummeh mumma bwing babbesh nyu housie!”
“I’m only taking one of you, and that one is…”
Keith leans over the group, and quickly scoops up the little brown foal.
“This one!” He smiles. “That’s all. Bye-Bye!”
Keith steps back, and slams the door on the fluffies. He could just barely hear the crying from the other side of his door.
He walked into the kitchen, and pulled out some tissues, which he gently placed the trembling foal onto.
“Hu… Nice mista pwease nu huwt poopie babbeh… Babbeh am sowwy…” It whines, not even looking Keith in the eye.
As he approached the foal once more, it tried to curl back into an even tighter ball than before.
Keith gently picked it up, cradling it in his hands.
“Shhh, it’s alright, little fluffy. I won’t hurt you.”
The underfed foal whimpered, but quickly melted into his hands. It cooed, and reached out its tiny hooves to grab his thumb. It began to suckle on the thumb, it’s little ears flicking as it found the first comfort in it’s life.
“Hu… Bu’ mummah say… wawa am bad fow’ fwuffies…” The small foal whined in fear as it watched the sink fill up with warm water.
“Your mother said a lot of nasty things that weren’t true. Really, just wait. It’ll be nice.” Keith smiled, causing the foal to nod quietly.
As the foal was lowered into the water, it flinched and clung on to Keith’s hand with its tiny legs. As it settled in, the water began to work its way into its mud-matted fur. The foal cooed, feeling the gentle warmth of the water. The water wasn’t as bad as it thought it would be.
After the bath, Keith got a small hand-towel out of the drawer, and dried the foal off. With the barrier of mud removed, the foal had much nicer fur than the rest of its family- At least in Keith’s opinion. Its fur was a soft mocha brown, fading to a warm beige at the hooves, and it’s mane was a hazel brown. Such pleasant colors- Not an assault to the eyes like its family had been. Again, due to the absence of mud caked on to its body, Keith found out that the foal was a filly. Just a little baby- One that was raised with no love, and no care.
Now that the filly was dry, she seems to have regained some of her lost spark. Even her hair puffed up into loose curls.
“Hm… Stay here, little one. Don’t move, okay?”
“Otay, nice mistah!” The filly smiled, dilligently sitting down on the hand towel, waiting for Keith’s return.
Keith spent a few minutes rummaging in the kitchen, before he brought out an old baby bottle- One that he had bought to nurse a fluffy he was babysitting a few years ago. He filled it with warm milk- Regular milk would have to do for now, he didn’t have enough time to get fluffy milk formula.
He walked back into the bathroom, greeted by the foal’s happy squeal.
“Nice mistah am bak! Yay!” The filly smiles, jumping at and running in a circle in excitement.
“You know, you don’t have to call me that.” Keith sighs, reaching his hand down and scratching behind the filly’s ear. “I’m your dad now, so you can call me that.”
The filly pauses, her face lights up in surprise.
“Nice mistah am… Nyu daddeh?” She mumbles.
“Yeah!” Keith smiles.
“Tank 'ou! Tank 'ou su mush!” The filly leaps up, jumping up and down in excitement. “Poopie babbeh wub nyu daddeh su mush! Wub!”
Keith frowned- The foal seemed to have been conditioned to call herself ‘poopie’. Well, that could be dealt with later. Now, she needs to eat.
Keith reached out and scooped up the filly gently, turning her onto her back. She giggles, turning her head and nuzzling into his hand, before turning back and being greeted with the sight of the baby bottle. Instinctively, she latched on and began feeding- Her ears twitching as she suckled again. Her tiny hooves began to knead on the tip of the bottle, and her tail began to wag in joy.
After she finished her meal, she detatched from the bottle and let out a satisfied burp. The first good meal of her little life. She cooed, turning over and nuzzling her face into Keith’s hand once again.
“Do you feel better, now?” Keith smiled.
“Yes… Tank 'ou!” The filly mumbled, too enraptured in her own joy from her finally full belly. “Babbeh wub daddeh su mush… Wub…” She yawned.
“Don’t fall asleep just yet, okay? I still have to give you a name, after all!”
“Babbeh am get namesie?” The filly gasped, wriggling gleefully until she shuffled into a sitting position so she could look up at Keith.
“Of course!” Keith said, scratching the filly behind her ear again. “Let me think… How about… Novella?”
“Nnn-Nuh…” The fluffy thinks carefully about each letter in her new name. “Nuh-bewwa? Babbeh name am Nuh-bewwa!”
Tears well up in little Novella’s eyes. She’s so full of joy she can barely contain it.
“Do you like your new name?” Keith asks
“Yes! Nuh-bewwa wub new namesie! Am best namesie eba! An’ wub daddeh, tu! Nuh-bewwa am su happies!”
Keith smiles, lifting the little foal up to his face and giving it a kiss on the forehead, causing her to giggle joyfully. He walked out of the bathroom with little Novella in his arms.
“I always needed a writing partner…” He said, quietly.
A few months later…
“Daddeh, daddeh! Nuh-bewwa hab maiwies fow 'ou!” Novella trots into Keith’s study, standing dilligently at his feet. After getting the hang of navigating Keith’s ‘boring’ home, she got into the habit of picking up the mail. Usually it’s just bills and rejection letters from publishers, but recently, they’ve turned into something much more appealing.
Keith leant down and took the letters from Novella’s mouth, giving her a thankful pet on the head.
“Thanks, girl! There’s my favourite writing pal!” Keith grinned. He looks down and glances at the letters.
There’s two of them, both with hand-written addresses.
He opens the first letter- It’s a small, childlike drawing of a sunrise- It seems to be drawn by whoever sent the letter.
As best as he could tell, this is what the letter reads-
"Hello, Mr Keith Greenbay
Thank you so much for writing the unicorn Super Hero. It is my favourite book in the whole world and my mum told me to write this to you. She says that a fluffy helped write your book is that true? I love fluffies and i hope you write more books about unicorns because they are very pretty.
PS: I have a fluffy too his name is Cupcake Bean but he doesnt help me write he just eats my drawings some times"
Keith smiles. He had never thought about writing childrens books until Novella’s arrival. In fact, until she showed up, he was trying his best to write a YA fiction book. But after taking in the joyful little beast, she flooded his head with sickly sweet, happy, childish imagery. She was the perfect inspiration for everything he wrote- And the best beta-reader. Even though she couldn’t read, Keith would read out his stories to her, and she would respond with apt criticism- Usually something along the lines of “Nuh-bewwa wike pawt abou’ kittehs, bu’ stowy nee’ mow wobots!” Which was usually taken into great consideration.
The second letter was much the same, from another child- This time written much clearer, obviously a parent had scriped for him. The letter talked about the sender’s love for the afformentioned robot story that Novella had requested.
“It seems kids love your ideas, Novella!” Keith grinned.
“Nuh-bewwa awweady knu dat, daddeh!” She giggles. “Nuh-bewwa hab bes’ bookie ideas!”
“You sure do, little one.”
Meaningless hugbox for the soul (or not, considering the original cut for this story detailed the torture of the rest of the foal’s family, but i decided that im bad at describing violence so i just cut to the sweetness.)