TextDownloadShelter Stories; Lost investment By differential_Sloth #### Kim glanced at her phone, then at the empty lobby. So far, it had been a slow day. They had two adoptions since the shelter opened, and less than half a dozen people in for vet services. With nothing better to do, Kim decided to do a quick check of the foal and young fluffy adoption room. She walked to the door, unlocked it with her swipe card and went inside; the sounds of a few dozen fluffies met her. In their pens the young fluffies played or slept; some noticed the sound of the door and rushed to the sides. ‘Nyu Mummah?!’ ‘Babbeh get nyu housie nao?!’ When they saw it was Kim most went back to what they were doing, disappointed but not crushed. A few stayed where they were. ‘Nice Kim wady!’ A colt yelled. ‘Hey little fella,’ Kim gave the foal a scratch on the head. ‘You guys ok?’ ‘Yes nice Kim wady, babbehs hav bestest bwight-time! Babbeh make two an one bwockie towah!!’ ‘Wow, great work!’ The colt beamed with pride, but before he could say anything else Kim heard the door tone. ‘Sorry guys, I have to go.’ ‘Bai nice Kim wady!’ Some of the foals said as Kim left the adoption room. In the lobby she was met by a middle aged woman with a towel covered box. ‘Hi, welcome to second chance,’ Kim said. ‘How can I help you?’ ‘I found this fluffy hiding behind my husband’s tool shed,’ The woman rested the box on the counter. ‘Ok,’ Kim tried to temper her expectations as she walked around the other side of the counter. ‘Do you think it’s a feral or-’ ‘No, someone owns her.’ The woman interrupted. Again, Kim reminded herself to check her optimism; the chance after all these weeks… ‘Ok, let’s take a look,’ Kim lifted off the towel and looked inside. When she saw the white fluff, the little spark of hope it was Kerry was extinguished. As for the fluffy itself, it was curled in a tight ball. It shivered, probably in fear, and faint sobs escaped it’s mouth. ‘Alright,’ Kim replaced the towel and put the box behind the counter. ‘Thanks for bringing it in.’ ‘No problem.’ The woman left without another word. Once she was alone, Kim crouched down behind the counter and took the towel off the box again. ‘Hey there, you ok?’ ‘Huuuuuu...’ The fluffy stirred, but refused to uncurl herself. ‘Are you ok sweetie?’ Kim asked again. ‘Do you have any hurties?’ ‘Huuhuhuuu *sniff* uuhuhuu.’ Kim stood, picked up the phone and pressed the quick dial for Clara’s office. ‘Busy?’ ‘No,’ Clara said. ‘Got something for me to do?’ ‘Check up on a fluffy that was brought in, nothing special.’ ‘Bring it in.’ Kim hung up and carried the box to the exam room where Clara waited. ‘Right.’ Clara carefully lifted the fluffy out of the box; it cried, but didn’t struggle. ‘Wow,’ Clara set the mare on her exam table, ‘I’ve never seen one of these before.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘She’s an MLP edition, Rarity I think.’ Clara explained while she checked the fluffy’s gums, eyes and other injury prone areas. The fluffy was visibly distressed but didn’t resist. ‘These are super rare, even more than normal alicorns.’ ‘So, do you think she’s a runaway?’ Kim had a passing knowledge of the “special” fluffy colour patterns out there, but it wasn’t something she obsessed over; her concern was training fluffies that people wanted to keep. ‘No doubt,’ Clara slipped on some gloves and began her exam. ‘Nine times out of ten they are; someone out there is desperate to get her back.’ ‘Huuuuu!’ The fluffy shuddered, but Kim and Clara assumed it was nervousness from a few scary nights outside. Domestics who run away usually did it once, assuming they lived long enough to be found. Kim fetched the scanner from a nearby table and held it over the back of the fluffy’s neck. *beep* ‘Yep, she registered.’ Kim looked at the details on the screen. ‘We’ll be able to get her back to owner-’ ‘Nuuu!’ The fluffy pulled away from Clara and curled in a ball. ‘Nu Daddeh! Nu Daddeh!! Opaw nu wan huhuhuuu!’ Kim looked at Clara. ‘Any sighs of-’ ‘If he’s abusing her it’s not physical,’ Clara’s voice tensed up. ‘The only injuries she has are from being outside, but...’ she trailed off. ‘What?’ Clara paused. ‘For my own sake I don’t want to speculate, but she’s pregnant.’ # ‘Here you go darlin.’ Dimitri put Opal into one of the barn’s empty pens. The mare walked to one corner and curled into a tight ball. ‘So, this one’s pregnant?’ Dimitri closed the gate. ‘Yeah. Clara thinks a litter of five.’ ‘And you think she came from an Abuser?’ Dimitri asked softly. Kim nodded. ‘She has no injuries, not that it means anything. He could be getting her pregnant over and over, and...’ she trailed off. Dimitri looked at Opal for a few moments. ‘I don’t think so.’ ‘Why?’ ‘I don’t think you’d do that to a fluffy worth what she is.’ He said. ‘I think something else is going on.’ ‘Like what?’ ‘Don’t know,’ Dimitri shrugged. ‘But I’ll put an attendant in with her, see what they find out.’ Fluffies wouldn’t stop telling each other about what bothered them, once you got them going. It was a good tactic on trouble cases. ‘Come on Florence,’ Dimitri opened the red mare’s pen, ‘got a job for you.’ The attendant followed Dimitri to Opal's pen and walked inside. ‘Hewwo nyu fwend, fwuffy name am Fwowans.’ Opal didn’t answer, but didn’t pull away when Florence cuddled up next to her. ‘Have you told the owner yet?’ Dimitri asked. Kim shrugged. ‘We’ve got until the end of the day.’ ‘Alright,’ Dimitri walked toward the barn door, ‘I’ve got some guys to meet.’ # A few hours later, Dimitri returned to the shelter with a dozen foals and one dam. Until a few hours ago they were members of a herd camped out in town parkland, until fluff control got them. Dimitri knew many of the fluff control agents and hunters personally, and worked out a deal to take any foals and dams they recovered alive. It kept the shelter’s stock numbers up, and allowed something to be salvaged from the herd in question. ‘Peep peep! Mummah! Mummah huhuhuuu!!’ ‘Scawies!! Peeeep!!’ ‘Wai munstahs make Mummah an Daddeh gu fowewa sweepies!?! Wai huhuhuuu!!!’ The down side was they were more work. Dimitri put them in a cooling off pen with Harold and plenty of comfort toys. As for the dam, Dimitri put her in one of their family pens instead of the main barn. Dimitri didn’t want the terrified fluffy exposed to the others just yet, though he intended to put an attendant with her at night given how close she was to foaling. He set the towel covered pet carrier in the pen and opened the door, but left the room right after. It was best to let the dam leave the carrier in her own time. Job done, Dimitri went back to the barn to see if Florence had any information on Opal. When he got outside, the adults had been let out for their daily play time; they ran about playing with each other or the toys left out for them. ‘Hey Florence,’ The red mare looked up from the blocks and galloped over. ‘Yes big mistah?’ ‘How’d you go with the new fluffy?’ ‘Otay big mistah, bud she nu tawkies much.’ Florence told him. ‘She hav biggest saddies an scawdies.’ ‘Did she say why?’ Dimitri asked. ‘She say dat hewe Daddeh keep makin hew hav babbehs, bud nu wet hew keep dem. Su she wun way.’ ‘Runway so she could keep them?’ ‘Nu, jus wun way.’ Dimitri nodded. ‘Ok, thanks Flow.’ ‘Otay big mistah!’ Florence ran back and joined in a game of huggie tag that was starting up. Dimitri stood in place for a moment; gears turned in his head and processed what he’d been told, then fitted it with what he already knew. He turned and walked back to the shelter, meaning to call someone. # ‘What was the name again?’ ‘Opal.’ ‘Oh yeah yeah, I know who you mean.’ Tom said. ‘She’s owned by this day trader kid. He’s been coming too me for the past few months to put her in foal with my best studs.’ ‘The Alicorns?’ ‘Yup.’ Dimitri did a quick sum in his head. ‘That can’t be cheap.’ ‘Dimitri, this guy pretty much paid off the rest of my truck.’ Tom said. ‘But why are you asking me this? You on one of your damn Crusades again?’ Dimitri laughed. ‘Gotta do something to fill the time.’ ‘Alright I’ll indulge you. What are you trying to find out?’ ‘Why she ran away.’ ‘I’m pretty sure I know why.’ Tom said. ‘Go on.’ ‘I think this kid’s a princess chaser.’ ‘*Sigh* one of those huh?’ ‘Mhmm.’ ‘Well, I guess I know where all her other litters went.’ Dimitri said. ‘So what’s your plan? You going to talk him out of it?’ Dimitri thought. ‘I might point out how much he’ll burn before he gets what he wants, maybe convince him to give her a break.’ ‘Right. Well, word of warning,’ Tom said. ‘This guy has a serious temper.’ ‘How serious’ Dimitri rested a hand on the holster under his jacket. ‘Pretty bad; screamed at one of my studs when he wouldn't mount his mare the last time he was here. Told him not to come back.’ ‘I see. Thanks for the warning.’ ‘No problem Dimitri. Take it easy.’ ‘Thanks Tom.’ Dimitri hung up. # ‘Princess chaser?’ Kim asked. Dimitri nodded. ‘Think it explains things pretty well.’ ‘Sure does.’ Kim felt a knot or two tighten in her gut. Images of what Opal’s owner had put her through flashed through her mind; litter after litter that didn’t fit the bill tossed in a freezer bag, or a toilet bowl, or a bucket of- ‘So, what’s the plan boss?’ Kim snapped out of it. ‘Well, if you think we can talk him down we’ll go with that.’ She shrugged. ‘Not like I have a better plan, at least a legal plan.’ Dimitri nodded again. ‘We’ll have to call him today though. If he’s looking for her, he’s bound to find out someone brought her here.’ ‘True.’ Nice as it would be to give Opal more time to settle and recover, it was a luxury they couldn't afford. ‘I’ll call him. You get Opal ready as best you can.’ ‘Got it.’ # Kim dialled the number on Opal’s Registration form; one ring was all it took. ‘Yes, who is this?!’ ‘Hi is this Claudio Miller?’ ‘Yes, what do you want?!’ ‘Mr Miller My name is Kim Howard from Second chance, I’m calling to let you know-’ ‘From where? Lady would you stop wasting-’ ‘We have your fluffy.’ Kim said forcefully. ‘We’re holding Opal for-’ ‘Don’t move her!!’ Kim pulled the phone way from her ear. ‘I’ll be right there!!’ The line went dead. ‘Ok,’ Kim got up from her desk. ‘Now we wait.’ They weren't waiting long. Around ten or so minutes after the phone call, Kim heard tire screech from the car park. Moments later a well dressed man in his late 20s or early 30s rushed into the lobby and marched straight to the desk. ‘Where is she?!’ ‘Name please?’ ‘Are you fucking kidding me!?!’ The man yelled. ‘I swear to fuck, if you’re the same brain dead-’ ‘Is there a problem here?’ Kim and the man looked to the door where Dimitri had entered the lobby. The sight of the six foot plus barrel chested shelter worker dampened the man’s anger. ‘I’m Claudio Miller,’ he said tensely. ‘I’m here or my fluffy, Opal.’ ‘Ok Mr Miller,’ Kim said in her best customer voice, ‘just show me some id and we’ll take you right to her.’ Claudio tore a licence from his wallet and slammed it on the desk. Kim picked it up, unperturbed, and confirmed what she already knew. ‘Ok,’ she handed the licence back. ‘Right this way sir.’ Kim led Claudio past Dimitri, who followed the two through the hall and out of the main building to the barn. ‘Are you a breeder by any chance?’ Kim asked. ‘Something like that.’ Claudio said tensely. ‘Why?’ ‘Just asking,’ Kim said. ‘We’ve taken good care of Opal while she’s been here, and her litter sounds healthy- ‘It damn well better be.’ Claudio interrupted. ‘Spent a bit on stud fees huh?’ Dimitri asked. ‘None of your,’ Claudio toned down when he remembered who spoke. ‘It’s none of your business.’ The trio crossed the grassy space between the main building and the barn. Dimitri stepped in front to unlock the door, but turned to face Claudio before he did. ‘We’ve got a lot of fluffies in here, some of them from pretty rough places,’ he looked the man right in the eyes. ‘They don’t like it when people yell; inside voices only. Understand?’ ‘Yes.’ Claudio said through clenched teeth. ‘Good.’ Dimitri unlocked the door and led Claudio and Kim inside. ‘Big mistah am back!’ ‘Hewwo nice Kim wady!’ Some of the fluffies ran to the side of their pens to great the shelter workers; some turned their attention to Claudio. ‘Who am dat? Nice Kim wady who am dat?’ ‘Hewwo nyu mistah! Wan huggies?’ Some of the fluffies, however, backed away and retreated to the far corners. One look at Claudio told them he was like the ones who’d made them, their friends, their mates, and their foals suffer in the past. Kim led Claudio down the row of pens to Opal’s. Inside, the white and purple dam huddled in one corner, with Florence cuddled up next to her. ‘Hey sweetie,’ Kim said, ‘you’re daddy’s here to-’ ‘Opal!’ Claudio spoke over Kim. At the sound of the voice, the white mare started to shake. ‘Easy, don’t-’ ‘Opal you look at me right now!!’ Slowly the mare lifted her head; tears streamed from her eyes, and she shook with fear. ‘What did I say about-’ What the hell were you thinking running away, huh?!’ Claudio continued, his temper rose with each passing second. ‘Do you have any idea how much it cost me to fly you out to that last stud? Do you, you little idiot?!!’ Claudio stepped forward, but Kim put an arm out to block him. ‘Don’t go in the-’ ‘Pwease Daddeh!’ Opal yelled. ‘Opaw sowwies! Nu mean be bad! Jus nu wan babbies gu fowewa sweepies gain! Day gud babbehs! Day nu mean-’ ‘Shut up you shitrat! I paid for those foals, and I’ll damn well-’ ‘Buddy, if you don’t calm down I’ll-’ Claudio rounded on Dimitri; any fear he had of the big man was drowned by his anger. ‘Shut the fuck up Texas!! What the fuck do you expect me to do with a bunch of worthless foals?!’ ‘Uuuhuhu pwease stahp!! Nu wan!!’ ‘I said-’ ‘Would you cut it out!?’ Kim tried not to yell. ‘Nu wike woud tawkies!’ ‘Shud up meanie!!’ A stallion a few pens over yelled. ‘Nu make speciaw fwend scawdies!!’ ‘What did you say to me you little-’ ‘Stahp! Stahp!!’ ‘Giv dat meanie fowewa sowwie stick wike giv tu biwdy munstah Big Mistah!!!’ ‘Pwease staph!! Opa-EEEE!’ Everyone looked as Opal’s pleading turned to a high pitch scream. ‘Oh fuck.’ Kim rushed forward. ‘What? Whats happening?!’ Claudio tried to follow, but Dimitri’s hand clamped down on his arm like a vice. ‘Stay out of the damn pe- ‘BIGGEST POOPIES!!!!’ Opal screamed. ‘BIGGEEEEEE!!!!’ ‘No,’ Claudio said, trying to break free. ‘No no no NO!!!!’ IT’S TOO FUCKING EARLY!! FUCKING STOP HER!!!’ ‘You can’t stop labour you idiot!!’ Kim yelled. It’s okay Opal, everything’s fine. Just keep push-’ ‘DON’T MAKE HER GIVE BIRTH YOU FUCKING-’ ‘COOL. IT.’ Dimitri growled at Claudio, and managed to shut him up. ‘SCREEEE HUHUUHUUUU REEEEEEEEEEE!’ A premature foal was pushed out of Opal’s birth canal and landed in the soft mulch; the slimy hairless lump was perfectly still. Moments later it was joined by another. It made a feeble attempt to vocalise, but though the mouth moved the lungs were no where near ready. Second later it went still. Claudio looked on in fear and rage as his fluffy’s labour continued. Under developed foals emerged one after another from their mother and dropped into the mulch. When it was over, Opal curled up yet again, and started to cry. ‘Uuuhuhuhuhuuuu! *Sob* Huuhuhhuhu!!!’ ‘I’m so sorry Opal,’ Kim picked up the devastated mare and cradled Opal in her arms. While she did, Claudio broke free from Dimitri’s grip and rushed for the pile of foals. ‘Hey!’ ‘Leave him’ Kim said. ‘Bigger problems right now.’ Kim stoked Opal's mane. ‘It’s okay girl, it’s okay. You tried your best.’ Neither Kim nor Dimitri paid attention to Claudio, who dug through the pile of premature foals. If they did, they’d have seen him find one foal in particular. When he saw it, Claudio grew still for a few moments. ‘Huuhuuu Opaw am bad Mummah huhuhuuu!’ ‘Shh it’s okay girl,’ Kim said gently. ‘It’s not your-’ ‘SCREEEE!’ Opal screamed as her owner violently wrenched her out of Kim's grip. ‘YOU LITTLE FUCKING BITCH!!!!!’ Claudio shook the mare. ‘SCREEEE!!’ ‘YOU SEE THIS? SEE THIS!!??!’ He shoved a foal in Opal’s face; on its smooth underdeveloped body, one could just make out the bumps were a horn and wings would- ‘YOU JUST COST ME A FUCKING ALICORN YOU CUNT!!!!!’ Claudio screamed in Opal’s face. ‘IF THIS WAS LUNA OR CELESTA I’LL RIP YOUR FUCKING LEGS-’ ‘STOP IT!’ Kim grabbed Claudio’s arm. ‘WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK-’ Kim saw Claudio’s arm shift, but not much afterwards. She didn’t see anything rush toward her face, didn’t feel the impact, didn’t notice the fall. The next thing she knew, Kim was in a crumpled heap on the floor half inside one of the pens. ‘Nice Kim Wady hav huwties!!’ Kim’s mind was too blurry to tell who it was. ‘Nee give huggies fow-’ ‘THAT IS ENOUGH!’ The booming voice filled the barn. ‘WHAT FUCKER?!!!! YOU GONNA-’ Claudio’s voice was cut mid sentence. Seconds later, ‘Whoa man, take it-’ ‘Shut up asshole.’ Kim recognised Dimitri’s voice. The tone was lethal, almost as lethal as what he was pointing at Claudio. The young man stared at the .44 pointed at his chest; neither the gun or the man who held it wavered. Claudio held his hands up, forgetting for the moment he still held Opal in one. ‘Put the fluffy down.’ Dimitri’s voice had no room for argument. Claudio put Opal back in the pen, where Florence wrapped herself around her as best she could. ‘Walk.’ Dimitri motioned with one hand. Claudio backed down the walk way to the barn’s side door. Dimitri herded the man out of the barn and up to the main building. He’d find a place for Claudio to cool his heals until the police arrived. Meanwhile, Kim’s senses were coming back; among them was pain. ‘Uhhhh!’ There was the hot sting on her face, the tight throbbing pain in her head, and the taste of blood in her mouth. She managed to pull herself out of the pen, but couldn’t muster the energy or coordination to stand. Kim propped herself on the pen wall and breathed, desperate to gather her senses. She heard open of the doors open. ‘Kim? Holy shit.’ Kim recognised Clara’s voice and heard her rush down the walkway. Clara crouched in front of Kim. ‘Are you ok? Can you hear me?’ Kim managed to nod and tried to stand, but Clara stopped her. ‘Hey hey hey, you’re not going anywhere ok?’ Clara did her best to check for any serious injures; fluffies were her speciality but she knew enough to handle things until the ambulance arrived. At least she hopped so. ‘Uh, ok. What’s your name?’ ‘Huh?’ ‘Your name,’ Clara repeated, ‘tell me your-’ ‘It’s Kim,’ Kim groaned. ‘Your name’s Clara and we’re at the shelter. The bastard hit my jaw, not my brain.’ More and more pain was making itself known, but Kim ignored it as best she could. ‘Where’s Opal?’ ‘Who?’ ‘The fluffy you looked at earlier; would you check on her already?!’ Clara turned her attention to the pen; Florence was hugging Opal as hard as she could, but the mare didn’t respond. She was curled in a tight ball and seemed utterly unresponsive. Clara didn’t need an up close exam to know what was wrong. ‘She’s gone.’ Clara reported. ‘Catatonic, nothing I can do.’ ‘You have to-’ ‘Kim, she’s gone. You can’t save fluffies when they’re catatonic, you know that.’ Clara held Kim by the shoulders, ‘Just focus on me okay? We don’t know what that knock did to you.’ Kim tried to protest, but the pain was too much; her face and jaw throbbed, and she had the mother of all headaches. Fortunately, an ambulance crew came through the barn doors. ‘We’ll take it from here,’ one of the paramedics said to Clara as his partner did a proper assessment; not long after they had Kim in the back of the ambulance. With their boss on the way to the hospital, and Opal’s owner on the way to lock up, it was up to Dimitri and Clara to run the ship. # Clara waved her torch back and forth past Opal’s face; the mare’s eyes were wide open, but unfocused and didn’t track anything. Clara sighed in defeat; Opal’s brain was fried. What happened in the barn had pushed the poor thing past her breaking point. The fluffy was for all practical purposes dead; even if Opal was still in there, somewhere, no one would ever get her back. If Clara could she’d put Opal down, but wasn’t an option unless the owner gave his consent. Until then, ‘*sigh* At least you’re not here for any of this.’ Clara carried the limp fluffy to the recovery cages and set her up with a saline and nutrient drip; she’d stay like that until the owner gave consent to end her suffering, or more likely had her collected. The unfortunate truth was even in this state Opal was fully capable of reproducing. Clara stared at the catatonic mare; she wondered if she could get away with poising Opal and claiming natural causes for longer than she should have. But, Kim would never let Clara put the shelter at risk like that, even in cases like this. ‘*Sigh*’ Clara shut the cage door and left the recovery room; she stepped outside and went around the side of the building. She needed a smoke, or however many she had left in the pack. # *Knock knock* ‘Come in.’ Dimitri walked into Clara’s office and sat down. ‘Got some news.’ ‘Hmm?’ ‘The doc says Kim’s jaw is fine, but she’ll need some teeth out. Had a pretty nasty cut on the inside of her mouth too and a lot of bruising.’ Dimitri shrugged. ‘At least her brain’s fine.’ Clara nodded. ‘Good. When will she be out?’ ‘They think she can go home the day after next, but told her not to work for about two weeks.’ Clara stifled a laugh. ‘Like that’s going to happen.’ ‘Yeah.’ Dimitri said with a grin. ‘She’s also pressing charges, no surprise there.’ ‘Shouldn’t be a problem winning.’ Dimitri snorted. ‘Wouldn’t be so sure; he’ll hire some big shot attorney, assuming he doesn’t have one already, and spin some big sob story about how Daddy abused him and Mommy didn’t love him enough, and that’s why he can’t stop himself\ back handing someone as hard as he can.’ Dimitri shook his head. ‘It’s always the same shit. Anyway, word on what to do with Opal?’ Clara shook her head. ‘None yet.’ ‘How’s she doing?’ ‘*Sigh* She’s gone,’ Clara stared at the desk, ‘fully catatonic. There’s no getting her back now.’ Dimitri shook his head. ‘What is wrong with people? How much money would he have made flipping the foals he did get?’ ‘Well, hopefully he’ll get get enough time in a cell to think about it.’ Clara stood. ‘Come on, let’s get this place set for the night.’ *BZZZT-BZZZT* ‘Be right with you,’ Clara picked up her phone, ‘Second Chance Fluffy Shelter and Vet Services, Clara speaking.’ ‘Good afternoon, my name is Louis Gonzales, I’m calling on behalf of my client Mr Claudio Miller.’ A knot tightened in Clara’s gut. ‘I see. How can I help you?’ ‘My Client has asked me to retrieve his property. I understand his fluffy Opal is still in your custody, correct?’ ‘Yes, but she, Opal, has suffered a catatonic episode.’ ‘Meaning?’ ‘She’s unresponsive to any stimuli; basically, she’s a vegetable.’ ‘I see,’ the attorney said. ‘However, my client has not relinquished any claim to ownership and he wants her back.’ God fucking dammit ‘Ok. Well, I hope you understand but we currently have a restraining order against your client.’ ‘I’m aware of that, yes,’ Louis said. ‘I’ll cut to the chase; when can I or another agent of ours collect my client's property?’ Clara paused. ‘We’re about to close, but you can collect Opal tomorrow after 9 in the morning. I’d also ask you call ahead; the, events of the last few days have made us a little nervous.’ ‘I understand. Thank you very much, I’ll be in touch soon.’ Clara hung up, and had to fight the erg to punch something. # Kim adjusted the potion of the ice pack; she winced as a bolt of pain shot from the bruised area of her face. Since Claudio backed-handed her, Kim was confined to her house with ice-packs and prescription pain meds, plus antibiotics for the pulled teeth. The swelling had thankfully gone down, but the area was still an ugly collage of purple green bruises. Not to mention, it still hurt like a bitch. Kim had taken a painkiller about 20 minutes ago, and begged it to work already. *knock knock* ‘*Groan*’ Kim pulled herself off the couch and trudged to the front door. If she could, Kim would have yelled from where she was to go away. As it was, her mouth wouldn’t put up with the strain. However, her annoyance faded when she looked through the peep hole and saw who was on the other side. Kim opened the door. ‘Hey.’ ‘Damn,’ Alfred exclaimed, ‘Dimitri wasn’t kidding.’ ‘No,’ Kim croaked. She stepped aside to let Alfred in. ‘Zoe made some soup for you,’ Alfred lifted the basket he was carrying. ‘She wanted to come to but something came up at work.’ Kim nodded. ‘That’s fine. Tell her I said thanks.’ ‘Sure. I’ll put this in the kitchen.’ Alfred took the basket to the kitchen and put it down on the counter. ‘Mind if I sit down?’ Kim nodded and the two sat down on the couch. ‘Sorry for asking but, are you feeling any better?’ ‘I can talk more.’ Kim said. ‘Not much else.’ ‘Well, that’s progress. When do think you’ll be back at work?’ ‘No idea. Wish I could be back now. Stop the jerk getting his fluffy back.’ Kim felt a bolt of anger. Clara had kept her in the loop about Opal, how she’d been taken back by her owner even though she was nothing but a vegetable. The bastard was still going to get his damn princess fluffy, or kill the poor thing trying. ‘Why didn’t you put her down and claim she died?’ Alfred asked. ‘If we could get away with it,’ Kim shrugged. ‘But we can’t.’ With no way to make an argument on animal welfare grounds, their hand was forced. Kim hunched over a bit; she felt defeated, even though Claudio was the one looking down the barrel of a prison sentence. She wanted to change the subject, but there was only one thing she really wanted to tell Alfred. ‘Listen,’ she said, ‘Dimitri was thinking of putting together another search party.’ Kim waited for a response, but Alfred stayed quite. ‘Al?’ ‘*Sigh* Tell him not to bother. No, I’ll tell him,’ Alfred said. ‘It’s been way too long Kim, we’re never going to find Kerry, especially not...’ he cleared his throat and started again. ‘You guys know how bad domestics do out in the wild, and that’s when they aren’t pregnant.’ Alfred shook his head. ‘She’s gone. The best I can hope for is that, it was quick.’ Alfred slummed forward. Km wanted to say something, but nothing came to mind. ‘Well, alright.’ The two sat in silence for a moment until Alfred stood. ‘I better keep moving. Zoe’s still coming over tonight, and she forgot her key.’ ‘Ok. See you Al.’ The two friends waved goodbye to each other and Alfred saw himself out. Alone again, Kim replaced the ice pack and switched the TV on. She hopped it wouldn’t be much longer until she could return to work. Uploader differential_Sloth, December 4, 2018; 14:37 Tags abuse author:differential_Sloth bad-owner catatonia explicit miscarriage premature_birth sadbox shelter Shelter-Stories violence Source Unknown Locked No Parent None Rating Unknown Comments December 4, 2018; 15:06 - Reply RQ: I enjoyed that. Poor Opal. December 4, 2018; 18:00 - Reply CwinicawDepwession: Always a good day when you post a story my dood December 4, 2018; 18:24 - Reply Anonymous1: I kind of hope at some point there's a reunion between Kerry and Alfred. Wasn't expecting to see this tonight, good work. December 4, 2018; 18:51 - Reply ElCuCuyfeo: I enjoyed the story too, even though I want to see the fluffy shelter firebombed... December 4, 2018; 23:11 - Reply babbehteef: Poor Opal :( December 5, 2018; 06:08 - Reply Dhylec: soooooooooooooooooooooo guy points a gun at him and thats that? They are holding his property, that is pretty fucking valuable AND is registered, and he's just going to leave it there?? December 5, 2018; 06:56 - Reply Dhylec: @Dhylec: annnnd just saw I skipped the lawyer part because a client arrived, my bad. She's a vegetable but can still breed. December 5, 2018; 07:39 - Reply Anonymous2: A genuine pleasure to read your story, as always. December 5, 2018; 09:08 - Reply Anonymous3: Insufficient cruelty. My murderboner remains flaccid. December 5, 2018; 15:54 - Reply Nocturn: I hope opals owner drops the soap repeatedly and gets ass raped in prison till he pukes cum......don't get me wrong I still hope opal gets sodomized as well but her owner should not have hit a woman. December 5, 2018; 18:43 - Reply Feyascia: I'll need to go back and check out your other stories. December 6, 2018; 11:06 - Reply Anonymous4: love it ~ bin barbarian December 7, 2018; 10:43 - Reply jujuteux: kinda good but i'd like to say this if it's catathonic just feed it by IV and tubes and the thing is basically your normal milkbag that can spawn valuable shits December 9, 2018; 05:56 - Reply minoy: Yay Als back :D December 9, 2018; 13:33 - Reply SmawtySpewmatozoon: How come people in these stories always want Luna or Celestia but not Cadence or Twilight? :P December 13, 2018; 08:24 - Reply FluffyTorturer97: This is what happens when you with hold someone's property. December 28, 2018; 09:10 - Reply sadbag: I don't think I really like the catatonia concept, good story though as usual. April 6, 2019; 15:17 - Reply Anonymous5: Why the hell did they lead an obviously psychotic man to the barn? You shouldn't allow even normal people to the back. Should've just retrieved his property and dealt with it. Why did they let him in!? What the hell? April 6, 2019; 15:39 - Reply differential_Sloth: @Anonymous: Would it have made any difference if the confrontation took place in the lobby?