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One Shots: Legacies
By The WestMesaFluffCollector

Albuquerque in the summer was a relentless place, for both humans and animals alike, Triple digit heat, combined with a lack of rain, made for a miserable time for everyone. For the most part, the focus remained on keeping cool, staying indoors, and trying to do what you needed to do early in the day, in order to avoid the overbearing heat of the summer sun.

For ferals, this meant something different. In New Mexico, there were two times where herds attempted to survive. There was the 'cowd times' where herds and strays tried to avoid the cold weather and snow. But during the 'hot times', there was a different tact: to try and find a safe place that was safe and secure enough, with enough food and water to ride out these worst parts.

Herds that sent out 'wookie fwuffehs' had to be prepared to lose some due to the heat. Mothers were encouraged not to have babies, as the heat could prove deadly to young foals and soon mummahs alike. And tawkie babbehs were encouraged not to stray too far from the nest, lest they bake in the cruel New Mexico sun. There were many stories and talents of competent smarties that were able to find ways to survive.

This is not one of those stories.

#####

A feral herd trotted in the hot July New Mexico sun, feeling the brutal, hot rays beat down on them. The Smarty, who now only referred to himself as Smarty, trotted doggedly along the side of the road, leading the hot, tired members of the herd towards what he assumed to be was a safe place. The smarty had only been smarty recently, after his father, the previous Smarty, a good and just white pegasus named July, had gone 'fowebbah sweepies.' July had been a competent smarty, who after having lead much of the early herd out from a boutique fluffy mill, had more or less created a sort of productive, safe community in the desert hills alongside the Rio Grande, near Los Lunas, New Mexico.

However, his bestest babbeh, the current dark red unicorn that was at the front of the herd, resented what he assumed was his father denying him his legacy, to be the Smarty of the herd. His father was young, and the bestest babbeh knew that if he didn't make a move, he would never take over the herd. And his own chance to put his stamp on the herd would be gone, in a flash.

That was why, one day, when looking for 'nummies', the bestest babbeh made his moving, pushing his father into a nearby pool of water, where he watched in glee as his father tried valiantly to swim to shore, only to drown. After summoning some crocodile tears, he was able to convince the toughies that July had accidentally gone too far in, and was now 'fowebbah sweepies.'

However, the Smarty wasn't his father.

Unlike July, Smarty couldn't plan ahead, or even conceive of the need to store food for the summer, not have babies during the hottest part, and rewarded the toughies that supported him with mares, extra rations, and even allowed them to name subordinates to go do their toughie duties.

A small contingent of toughies did continue on their normal duties, lead by a black earthy stallion, whose name Smarty had been quick to revoke, as no other fluffy needed a name other than he.

One day in June, disaster struck, as the 'nummie fwuffeh' ran out of the 'nummie howe' to say "Smawty! Da nummies! Dey aww gone." The herd had been horrified, having never known any sort of want under the stewardship of July.

Smarty too, had had no idea about what to do. He had never NOT had food given to him, and this immediate disaster was foreign to him. Sending nummie finders in over 100 degree heat, Smarty would grow angrier in the evening when the nummie finders that did make it back had no food with them, only asking for 'wawas', and were sun blinded, dehydrated, and ready to trade in their raisin souls for a cool drink.

The bestest toughie, who had adjusted his loyal group to night patrols, would occasionally bring back desert flowers, small pecans, and other roots for the herd to eat. Smarty would disperse the nummies after eating his fill, in spite of calling them 'poopeh nummies' and allowing his loyalists and harem to eat. Eventually, though, even these meager lifelines were gone.

After another round of nummie finders came back sun beaten and borderline mad, Smarty made a decision. Getting up to the highest point, he yelled out "Smawty's daddeh wuz a dummeh. Fin' da wowstest pwace fow a safe pwace. It am time fow Smawty tu find da bestest safe pwace fow hewd! Pwomise dat aww da soon mummahs, babbehs, and spechuw fwends wiww haf aww da nummies dey can num!" This brought a hungry cheer from the majority of the herd, at least those that were strong enough to do so.

In the back, the Black Stallion gave some of the toughies his dried portion of pecans. The toughies shook their heads. "'Ou need dose mowe. An knu dat yu no haf dawk time nummies tu."

The black stallion shook his head. "Nu haf tummeh huwties. Pwease, num dose." The toughies sighed, and then ate.

The black stallion trotted over to a burrow, where a green pegasus lay away from the hot sun. Opening his mouth, the black stallion dropped the remaining pecans he had saved. The lethargic pegasus, upon seeing food, eagerly went over and gobbled them up, not caring that they were slightly coated in drool. The pegasus looked at the stallion. "Fank yu, fwend. It be so wong since haf nummies."

The black stallion shook his head. "Nee' make suwe hewd haf nummies. Nu wan mowe fwuffehs tu go fowebbah sweepies."

Since the stocks had depleted, things had gotten a tad dire for the herd. Since the fluffies were allowed to mate without restraint, many of the mares impregnated with this unexpected summer foals had died, their bodies unable to produce sufficient nutrients, or unable to produce adequate milk. Some of the more desperate fluffies had eaten the dead, rather than go hungry. It was a condition that the black stallion was unwilling to see continue. If he could keep as many going under the provision of his 'night patwows', he'd do see, even at personal cost.

The green pegasus found he had some energy to move. He stood up and went to the front of the burrow. "Wat am happening?"

The black stallion narrowed his eyes at the Smarty. "Smawty wan tu wook fow nyu safe pwace. He nu am wong. Dewe am nu mowe nummies fow huwd hewe. Bu, owd Smawty had nuff nummies fow da 'hot times', and da dummeh nummed dem aww. Hewd nee' weab tu nu go 'fowebbah sweepies.'"

The green pegasus was suddenly scared. "Bu...bu...it am tu wawmsie tu go."

The black stallion nodded. "Fwuffeh knu, fwend. Bu' nu am smawty. Am Smawty am goin' tu du wat smawty wan. Ebbeh if it am bad fow hewd."

#####

The move was definitely bad for the herd, the black stallion thought as he walked in the summer heat. Smarty had left the safeplace about “fow an’ tu bwight times’ ago. In that time span, they had lost about half of their number. The last of the unexpected chirpies, and the summer ‘soon mummahs’ died the day before, the mare giving birth eight near mummified foals after her death. Smarty was determined to find a place of his own, and was borderline fanatic in his quest. He ignored any sort of advice, even though the black stallion had advised him, as bestest toughie, that traveling at night would be easier on the herd. The Smarty dismissed it, saying dat ‘night time wawkies wiww onwy bwing munstahs.’ The last of the lookie fluffies had died this morning, the herd having to pass his desiccated carcass in the middle of the road.

Many hard, bright times passed, as the herd continued to grow smaller, by exhaustion, by attrition, by the hard, long walk ahead. Stallions felt rivers of sweat fall from under their fluff. Chirpies and tawkies all complained of ‘weggie owwies’, but couldn’t be placed on top of their mothers, due to the slickness of their coats, causing them to fall off. Calls for rest were few and far between, and those that fell behind were never seen again.

Only at night was there any sort of rest, and even that was dedicated to finding food, first for the smarty and his harem, then for his loyal toughies, and then for everyone else. By the time that moon came overhead, fluffies had to figure out whether or not they had to sleep, or find food for themselves. Most chose sleep, and never returned.

Some attempted to find a way, a better way. Occasional acts of kindness were had. The green pegasus would carry tired foals by the scruff of their necks, while the black stallion and his group would keep an eye out for anything edible, in order to help ease the gnawing hunger in their bellies. Even fake sightings of ‘munstahs’ were occasionally created where there was water and shade near, in order to provide the herd rest.

Still, Smarty was relentless. He was determined to find a new safe place. A new legacy to call his own.

#####

That night, at a highway rest stop, the herd had gotten a break. There was a small pool of water that had remained from a recent summer rain shower, and there was enough trash nearby in order to provide some food for the herd, even after the Smarty took his cut.

The green pegasus began to settle down to munch on his dinner, a discarded watermelon slice, when he felt a nudge to his side. He turned to see his friend, the black stallion, who simply told him “Bwing nummies. Nu make noisey.”

The green pegasus nodded, and picked up his slice to head over towards a gathering. It was of the remaining toughies loyal to the black stallion, and a few mares. The stallion stepped into the center of the gathering, and said “Fank yu fow be hewe. Nee’ teww yu sumfing. Smawty am goin’ tu gif us aww fowebbah sweepies if nu west and nu fin’ safe pwace soon.”

There was a murmuring of agreement among the fluffies. Many of them nursed nagging injuries, such as cracked hoof pads, scraps, and sunburns. At least one of the stallions was blind, and only survived because his ‘spechuw fwend’ had him hold onto her tail as they walked.

The stallion continued. “Su, am goin’ tu haf tu sey dis. Nee’ weab hewd. Nu can fowwow Smawty nu mowe.”

The fluffies looked uneasy. The herd was all they had. Their life. Their sense of well being. Their safety. What would happen to them outside of the herd? It wasn’t great, but it was still home.

One of the stallions stepped up towards the black stallion. “Wai shud fwuffeh wisten tu yu? Haf spechuw fwend, and wastest babbeh. Smawty nu am gud, bu...bu nu wan babbeh ow spehuw fwend tu go fowebbah sweepies. Dis nu am gud idea. Wai shud fwuffeh wisten?”

Several other stallions agreed with him. Why should they risk leaving the only family they knew, for a chance? For something possibly fated to fail.

That’s when the stallion had some unknown support. Someone not invited to the meeting. A pretty yellow filly walked into the middle of the herd, her mane a beautiful red, just as July’s had been. He was her daughter, Firebird, the younger sister of the Smarty.

“Daddeh wouwd sey da same fing as fwuffeh fwend. Dat it am time tu weab. Daddeh haf tu du dat when he hewped fwuffehs weab ebil hoomin pwace to stawt hewd. Bwuddah Smawty nu am gud smawty. He poopie smawty. Daddeh wouwd sey da same fing. Dat it am time tu du wat best fow hewd. An’ dat am tu weab.”

The black stallion looked over at the Firebird, smiled, and nodded a thank you. Firebird beamed a smile and trotted back into the crowd. The stallion looked back at the herd. “Fwuffeh hab tu see wots of fowebbah sweepies babbehs, aww cawse dewe am nu nummies. Ow nu wawas. Fwuffeh hab tu see fwuffehs num dose babbehs, su nu haf tummeh huwties. Nebbah wan see dat again.”

There was silence among the crowd, as the trials of the past few days came back to memories. Lost friends. Babies. Spechuw fwends. Everything.

The green pegasus trotted into the middle of the circle. He looked at his friend and said, “Bwackie fwuffeh fwend am awways a gud fwend tu aww fwuffehs. Pwomise tu gu wif yu, when yu wan.”

Other fluffies agreed, and one by one, joined the crowd inside the circle. The black stallion had to tell them to keep their voices down, lest Smarty find out what was about to happen.

“Otay.” The black stallion replied as soon as all were quiet. “Nao wisten….”

#####

The next morning, the herd continued down the road, feeling tired, hot, and exhausted. All of them were feeling horrible, as dehydration set in, making them feel dizzy and ill. At the front, the black stallion found himself side to side with the Smarty, who had resolved to keep a closer eye on the ‘bestest toughie.’ His father had always been fond of the stallion, having liberated him when he was a colt when he first left the mill. The smarty regarded him with suspicion.

“Su, wewe am yu dummeh gweenie wingie fwend?” The smarty asked slyly.

The black stallion stared straight ahead. “He am fowebbah sweepies. Tuu wawmies. Haf many heawt huwties.” The stallion said sadly. He turned to the Smarty. “Hewd nee’ west. Nee’ stop wawkies. Pwease Smawty, hewd nu can take mowe of dis.”

The Smarty clocked him with a calloused hoof. “Smawty sey dat hewd wawkies mowe! Nee’ be able tu haf nummies and safe pwace an...an…”

The pair stopped on the side of the road. Spread out on their side was a beautiful vineyard, acres and acres of grapes, shade trees, and sprinklers, all laid out in front of them. Smarty felt his mouth salivate, seeing all the rows and rows of grapes, just waiting for the picking. In the distance, four buildings stood in a silent vigil. And to their front of the fence, was a hole, large enough for a feral to make their way in.

“It am...it am safe pwace! Dis am id!” Smarty said with happiness.

The black stallion was much more apprehensive. “Dat am hoomin pwace. Hoomins nu be happeh if gu dewe. Wiww gif huwties. It nu am safe.”

The Smarty rounded on the stallion and puffed out his cheeks. “Shuddup! Yu just am jeawous. Smawty foun’ id fiwst. Smawty am da bestest Smawty. Ebben better den Smawty daddeh!”

The black stallion scowled. “Nu tawk about Owd Smawty wike dat.”

The Smarty leaned in and sneered. “Am da Smawty nao.” Then, he yelled out to the remaining fluffies, “Smawty foun’ da safe pwace! Dis am id!”

The black stallion looked at the Smarty with a look of fear. He also didn't like the look of the other fluffies, gathering and staring hungrily at the grapes on the other side. "Smawty, pwease, dis an bad finkie fing. Pwease, nu gu in dewe."

Angrily, the Smarty shoved him aside. "Wen we weabed owd poopie safe pwace, pwomise tu fin' ebben better pwace. Wook in dewe, am bewwy nummies, twee pwaces, an ebben hoomin howsie tu wib." He grinned. "Am da bestest smawty."

Some of the other stallions looked anxious. The smarty scoffed at their anxiety. More than likely, they were just overcome with the sight of all those nummies. Besides, from the looks of it, most of the herd was willing to go in. Smarty smiled, then turned to the black stallion. "Towd yu, am bestest smawty." Then, eager to eat himself, the Smarty scrambled inside the hole, clearing it with ease.

The herd followed, a rainbow of color dashing inside the hole in the fence. The first stallions set upon the grapes, tearing them from the vines, and muttering "Am su gud. Taste wike bewwy nummies." The herd poured into the hole, widening it, as they began to tear at the grapes, pulling them down, uprooting the plants, trampling new growth on the bottom, as they commenced the feast.

Soon, all the worries and cares were gone. Smarty had kept his word.

This was a good place.

A safe place.

#####

The black stallion looked over the remaining herd, the ones that cared to listen to him the night before. He was pleasantly surprised. There were eight stallions, half of whom were the older toughies that still remembered July. There were ten mares, none of whom were soon mummahs, or any of the Smarty's favorites and whom he had their loyalty. And there ten 'tawkie babbehs', evenly split between colts and fillies. The black stallion felt some happiness, that not all of the herd had fallen into the Smarty's mindset. He also felt overjoyed when one of the mares trotted over to reveal herself to be Firebird, the daughter of the old Smarty. With that, they could move on to better things to come.

"Fwend!" The black stallion looked over to see not at all ‘fowebbah sweepies’ green pegasus running over, panting in the heat.

The black stallion greeted him. "Hewwo fwend. Yu fin da pwace?"

The pegasus nodded. "It nu am faw. Haf twees and wawas and nummies tu!"

The black stallion closed his eyes and thanked the sketti gods. He had seen the nearby grove when passing by it earlier that day. Smarty had ignored it, as it was not directly on the side of the road, but rather near an irrigation canal. Now, it would be their salvation. The black stallion trotted in front of the remnant of the herd and said "Fank yu fow wistenin. Nao, dewe am a safe pwace wewe fwuffehs can west fow a whiwe. Den, wen it am dawk times, fwuffehs can wawkies tu wook fow nyu safe pwace, wewe hewd can be safe and babbehs can be happeh!"

The remaining herd muttered in agreement.

One of the younger stallions began to ask the black stallion, "Am...am...fwend nyu smawty."

The black stallion shook his head. "Smawty nu am gud wowd nu mowe. Owd smawty was a gud smawty. It wuz gud fing den. Nyu smawty wuined it."

The colts and fillies were confused. "Den, wat can we caww yu?"

The stallion thought, before turning to them. "Fwend haf namsie, but smawty nebbah wan fwuffeh tu use id. Can use id again." The herd began to mutter, wondering what it could be.

The black stallion cut the discussion short. The heat was starting to come down, and soon would be unbearable. "Fwuffeh name am Auguwst. It am gud namsie. We gu wif dat."

The herd cheered, "Yay! Auguwst am nyu weadah!"

August nodded, then took the position at the front. He turned to the green pegasus. "Yu am gud fwend and wookie fwuffeh, gween fwend. Am goin' tu gif yu nyu name tu. Yu am Scouwt. Otay?"

The green pegasus smiled and nodded, happy with his new name. "Scouwt wub nyu namsie."

August smiled. "Am happies. Nao, wets gu fin' dis safe pwace. Scouwt wiww go wook to make suwe dewe am nu munstahs ow hoomins?"

Scout nodded, and, with a new found energy and purpose, burst forward to go ahead.

August turned to the herd. "Hewd, wets gu!" The small colored mass began to advance, heading away from the Vineyard.

#####

The herd was engorging themselves on a grape filled orgy across the grove. Smarty, however, had his eyes on a bigger prize. There was a much bigger 'hoomin howsie' that was nearby the smaller 'hoomin howsie.' Smarty looked towards his 'spechuw fwends' and his toughies and yelled 'In dewe! Dewe am bestest hoomin nummies! Wets gu!"

The small group ran inside the open wine cellar and tap house, which had been left open. Had the herd been able to read, they would have read "Heritage Valley Vineyards 10th annual Fourth of July Celebration" on the banner that was draped above. Once inside, the group began to root around, looking for food. "Teww yu, dewe am gud nummies in hewe. Smawty am suwe of id." The stallion replied as he rooted around. "Smawty, foun' dem!" The group ran over to where the toughies had gathered. Several bags of expensive cheese, bread, fruits, and other good things to eat were left near the refrigerator, waiting to be put away. Smarty pushed his way to the front, declaring, "Smawty and spechuw fwends haf bestest nummies fiwst." Then, the greedy stallion dove head first into the shopping bag, lapping up cherry infused brie cheese, and expensive preserves.

The mares engorged themselves on other cheeses and sweetened breads. Discipline broke down amongst the toughies, where they began to tear open bags holding baguettes, brioche rolls, and other fine dining. The tap house was filled with the sounds of loud, frantic eating, and mutterings of 'su gud, wub nummies.'

One of the toughies tried to get a piece of fruit that Smarty was eating. Smarty glared at the toughie and socked him in the face, shouting "Nu! Am Smawty's nummies!"

The stallion fell backward, hitting one of the stands that held a cask of ten year old burgundy, one of the only remaining casks from the first ever crop grown at the Vineyard. It teetered, briefly considered staying upright, before coming down with a loud crash, cracking the cask open and sending aged burgundy wine gushing from the crack, like a gunshot wound.

The ferals let out a 'scree', sending shit flying across the room, before one of the toughies decided to sniff the liquid coming from the cask. "Smeww wike....fwuity nummies...an maybe sum fine cheeses and chewwies....maybe pwums….wif da finest chacoww notes...."

Smarty shoved the toughie out of the way. "Dis wawa am fow smawty onwy!" The smarty began to lap up as much of the wine possible, his fwuff staining itself crimson, as the expensive wine flowed into his gullet.

Other toughies and mares soon followed, trampling over the food further in order to get at the wine. The ferals lapped up as much of the liquid as possible. From a distance, they resembled chirpie babies again, lapping up the sweet milk of their mothers to grow big and strong.

#####

Inside the main house, James Anderson walked out with his wife, Kara, who was slightly tipsy on one of the bottles of Merlot that they had opened up with the rest of the staff after they finished making the decorations and gift bags for the event tomorrow. The Fourth of July Festival was one of the biggest events the vineyard would put on each year, charging a hefty price for the opportunity to try out expensive wines at the tap room. The biggest draw of the event was the opportunity to try out a couple of casks of burgundy from the first year the Heritage Valley Ranch first went full time into wine production.

The decision had been a sound one, and ten years later, they were now financially successful, and able to provide for their young children, the oldest of which was their daughter Mason, a tall, athletic blonde who was home for the summer from Texas Tech, where she played volleyball. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, Leon Cazares, a tall, handsome young man who was an engineering student at UT-Odessa.

"It's a beautiful night." James said. Kara nodded, smiling. "It sure is, honey. It's nice to sit back and appreciate all that we've worked for. To see that this little silly dream we had finally become a reality."

James nodded. When Kara had first become pregnant at fifteen, he had dropped out of high school to work in the oil fields to provide for Kara and later, Mason. It was there, outside of Lubbock, that he first fell in love with wine. He had dreamed about one day having enough money to create his own vineyard, and Kara, to her credit, had believed in him. Now, eighteen years later, from their original, shotgun wedding, to now, they had done it.

Mason soon joined them, wiping a way a thin mist of sweat that had gathered on her brow. "Gift bags are all done, Dad. Do you want us to start on the tap room?"

James nodded. "I'll order some pizza from Valley, and then we'll go ahead and get started." He turned back inside. "Jimba, did you put the groceries away, like I told you?"

James Jr.'s eyes suddenly widened, and Mr. Anderson suddenly felt annoyance creeping into the back of his mind. "Oh shit, Dad, I'm sorry. I..." Jimba began.

Kara stepped in between them. "It's my fault, James. I had asked him to help me with Grandma. You know how hard it is for her to get around."

James nodded, and felt his annoyance go away. "It's fine. Let's just go in there. Hopefully, none of the cheeses spoiled."

The family ran over, with Leon, having played a game of tags with the three younger Anderson children, joining in. "Oh man, we left the door open." Jimba said.

"My electric bill isn't going to be fun. Mason, go back and get the rest of the staff over, so we can start putting the rest of the casks into place."

Then the family entered. And the scene before them was horrific. The groceries had been stomped flat, with the remains of cheese, fruits, breads, and spreads scattered across the tap room. Fecal matter was strewn all over the place, from where the drunk fluffies had shit over the cobblestone floor. And in the center, the worst part of the whole thing...

"James...." Kara said horrified.

James felt anger well up into his heart. The casks, one of the first ones they had ever made, lay cracked open on the floor.

Kara began to sob, sinking to the floor, remembering how she had been pregnant with the twins when they first harvested, pressed, and stored that wine. Mason was already eight, and Jimba five, but they had helped as much as they could. Carved into the cask was the names of the family, and the date, August of 2009. And near that cask, was a burgundy stained feral, loudly snoring.

James felt rage welling up into his heart, as he saw the work of his family, all made into shit by the ferals. "Fucking fluffies...." He ran over and grabbed the stallion. "You little bastard! He yelled, forgetting the presence of his family inside. "Do you know what you've just done!?"

The smarty woke up groggily. "Wha...huu....am yu...dummeh?" He slurred.

James punched the feral in the mouth, sobering him up slightly. "Beshtesh tuffish....gif...sowwy poopish....." The toughies go on their feet, but it was Leon that moved first. Grabbing a nearby empty wine crate, he seized the two drunk toughies, and chucked them inside.

Mason nodded, and soon, the whole family began to grab and toss in the ferals, until all twelve were inside the cask.

The smarty weakly moved his legs. "Wet....hewd gu...dummeish...." He slurred.

James suddenly felt a rock fall into his stomach. "Herd? Oh fuck." He tossed in the smarty, and began to shout towards the rest of the staff, now gathered. If a herd was in the grove, there was no telling how bad the damage could be. "We've got ferals in the grapes! We need to move. Crate them all! I want them alive." James said.

The men and women of Heritage Valley grabbed nearby wine crates, and, getting into farm equipment, went into the fields. The fluffies, having feasted on grapes had been resting amongst the grove. They were easy pickings for the now extremely angry humans. Mares and stallions tried to make an escape, only to be roughly snatched and crated by the angry staff. "Nu! Wet mummah gu! NU BABBEHS!" One yellow mare yelled as her children were separated.

Another stallion made a break for it, carrying his bestest babbeh on his back, running towards the hole in the fence. "Awmost dewe, babbeh!" The stallion yelled.

The baby cheeped "Wewe mummah?"

The stallion shook his head. "Haf tu keep safe."

Jimba, fueled by rage and adrenaline, soon caught up to the stallion and tackled it, sending the baby flying head first into the fence, the impact breaking its neck.

The baby soon looked around, and felt fear come into his body. "Daddeh? Daddeh! Wai nu can feww weggies?"

The stallion tried to get to the baby. "Wet daddeh gu! Nee' gif babbeh huggies and wub. Huggies make ebewyfing bettah!"

Jimba was angry, and soon had both foal and stallion. "You guys fucked with the wrong family." Tears streamed down his face. Jimba felt angry and depressed. This was all his fault.

#####

James looked down at the faces of his staff. It was now nine o clock, and everyone looked shades of horrified and saddened. He couldn’t blame them.

After the ferals had been caught, a quick count was made of the damage done to the Vineyard. About twenty percent of the field had been ruined, by consumption and by damage done by the fluffies as they invaded the grove. He thanked God that he had had an earlier stock, but still, this was a financial hit.

But more importantly, and most pressingly, was the question of the celebration.

“It’s ruined.” Kara sobbed, being consoled by Mason. “It’s all ruined.”

James ran a hand through his hair. The loss of food was one. The cask, though. That was one of only a small number that they had. It was priceless. And while he could take down another one, with the amount of time to clean the tap house, repair the damage to the grove, dispose of the ferals, buy new items, many of which were special ordered, it would be too late.

James sighed. He would have to cancel. There was no time. No time to come up with something else.

And that’s when Leon put a hand to his shoulder.

“Mr. Anderson? I might know someone who can help.”

James looked over at him. “What do you mean?”

Leon motioned for him to come outside. James, confused, did so, leaving the devastated family and staff inside. Leon, once they were clear, looked over at him and said, “Mr. Anderson, Mason and I have been together for a couple of years now. And your family has been great for me. It’s time I did something for you.”

Leon pulled out his phone, and scrolling down, he dialed a number.

The ringtone sounded loudly, before a voice came on.

“Don Thompson.” A flat voice sounded from the speaker.

Leon raised the phone to his ear. “Dad, it’s Leon. I need a favor.”

#####

It was eleven o'clock. Don Thompson sat in front of James and Leon in his office, looking a bit tired from the drive. Still, he had to come. Family was involved.

When Leon had first contacted Don around Christmas, Don had been skeptical at first, but the DNA results proved that the young man was indeed his son, the result of a college era romance that went south as soon as Don had decided to study culinary. Leon's mother had never told him about the pregnancy, and when Leon's mother had died the year before after an auto accident, the young man had been looking for any parental figure possible. And had found him.

Don had been trying to make up for lost time with him, and truth be told, was fond of the upstanding young man seated next to Mr. Anderson, who was currently dealing with the shock of what had just been told. "So you cook...fluffies?" Anderson repeated, almost from shock.

Don nodded. "I do. It's a secret I keep from everyone, except for my closest staff, and of course, you."

Anderson was stunned. "But, the Hugboxing Laws...."

"Are inadequate to be enforced on a broad scale. And besides, who is going to miss them?"

Anderson nodded. It was a fair point. "So, you could be able to..."

Don nodded. "Absolutely. We can make your deadline. I'll even charge you just my usual rate. Normally, for something like this, I add a rush charge, but since family is involved..." He looked over at Leon, "...I'll make an exception."

James thought about it, then nodded. "Okay. What do I have to do?"

Don slid over a contract. "This is just for my protection. It's that you promise not to disclose any information about my methods, or you will be held legally responsible for any damage."

Leon looked over at him. "Dad, is this really necessary?"

Don nodded. "It is. I have to be careful, son. I've worked hard to get this far."

Leon frowned. "Dad, you can trust Mr. Anderson, he's..."

Anderson stopped him. "It's alright, Leon. I get it." He took the contract and signed it. "I know what it means to work hard for a dream. And to fight to keep it."

Don nodded, then took the contract. "Thank you." He stuck out his hand. "We will be here at five to set up. Keep the fluffies in a secure location. I would also like to request that barn in order to work. You know, trade secrets."

Anderson nodded. "You'll have it. Thank you again."

Don nodded and then flashed a smile. "And it's nice to finally meet you. Leon has told me a lot about you. I just wish it were under more...elegant circumstances."

James smiled. "Likewise."

#####

Don was almost to his Audi when Leon ran over to him. "Dad!"

Don stopped, and turned to see his son. The teen was breathless, having sprinted after him. He looked at him, his green eyes a mirror of his own. "I just wanted to say...."

Don smiled, and shook his head. "You don't have to." He got behind the wheel. "I'll see you in the morning. See to the family. They look like good people."

Leon grinned. "They are."

Don nodded, satisfied that his rediscovered son had found his way into a good situation. "Then this will be worth it. Besides, I usually take the fourth off anyway, so I wasn't doing anything. And if it all works off, I might have a new patron and a business connection. Plus, I get to meet your lady. It's a fair trade."

Leon nodded, and then awkwardly hugged his father. "Thank you so much."

Don clapped his son on the arm, and said "I have to go. Now I have a job to do." Leon let go, and waved as he watched his father set off on the road towards the highway.

Meanwhile, Don was already at work, and after his bluetooth connected, he voice dialed the number on the screen.

"Boss?" A sleepy feminine voice said on the other line.

Don hit the gas, wanting to head back to Santa Fe in a hurry. "Jessie, call up Ramon and Savannah. We got a job to do tomorrow."

#####

Don and his crew had arrived at Heritage Valley at around 5:30 the next morning, bringing their truck and a moving truck that held four large smokers, all of which had been custom built. They set up shop in the Anderson’s barn, where the herd had been sealed off, according to Don’s instructions.

The rest of the vineyard staff had been told to not interrupt them, and to leave them to work. The staff wouldn’t have a chance to even spy. Having to clean up the vineyard, set up tables, and catalog the inventory would be more than enough for them to do.

As Don’s three apprentice chefs, Ramon Villareal, Savannah Josefs, and Jessie Mendoza began to set up the makeshift preparation room, Don went over and looked inside the crate that contained the foals. There were at least twenty older colts and fillies, and about twenty five smaller 'chirpie babbehs.' The older colts and fillies were trying to comfort the little ones saying nonsense like 'It otay, babbeh, mummah am goin' tu be hewe soon." He smiled. How sweet.

Don picked up one of the crates, taking it to the prep area, where the penned up stallions, mares, and the immobilized smarty now all watched in wonder at what was happening. The mothers all pushed against the pens, and began to say "Nice mistah? Pwease gif babbeh back! Nee gud miwkies and huggies! Gif babbeh! Am tu widdwe tu gu awai fwom mummah! Babbehs! Cum back! It am time fow miwkies! Babbehs am onwy widdwe babbehs! Babbehs am tu widdwe! Pwease, nu gif huwties!"

Don placed the first crate down at the end of the floor. "Everything ready?"

Savannah nodded, as she finished tying her strawberry blonde hair into a bun. "Yes sir, considering how early it is."

Don shrugged. "It doesn't matter. I need you all's A game. Me and thee are getting paid quite a bit for this particular gig."

Ramon nodded. "We got you, boss."

Jessie, meanwhile, had already taken the initiative of bringing over the other crates. "I'm ready tu go, if only to shut these little mouthy bastards up."

Don nodded, then pulled out his knife. Jessie was his best apprentice, and shared a lot of his opinions of fluffies. She'd be a great successor, if he ever decided to retire early. "Then let's begin." Each of them reached in and pulled out a random foal, filly, or colt.

The mothers were now at a fever pitch, screaming "Wet babbeh gu! Nu, babbeh! Nu gif huwties! Am onwy widdwe babbeh!"

The smarty began to struggle in his drunken stupor against his restraints. "Wet smawty gu! Wiww safe babbehs!"

It was to no avail. The foals soon found blades sink into their bellies, where the softer, baggier skin soon gave way to the blade. From there, the necessary cuts were made to slowly skin the foals, their high pitched screams sending their mothers into a frenzy. The other foals, now aware of what their fate was, began to beat against the crates, yelling, "Meanie boxie, wet babbeh ou'! Nu wan huwties!" Savannah, the more sadistic, threw in one of the colts' entrails into the crate, causing them to scream in further frenzy.

Once gutted, the still living foals found themselves being dusted with assorted peppers, salt, cheyenne, and other spices, causing their final moments to be even more excruciating. Then, they were brought over towards the portable fridge, where they were set into different tupperwares, placed in a bath of buttermilk brine, and plunged into darkness. The process continued, with the mothers watching in horror as their children, their pride and joy, were slowly skinned, gutted, the colts castrated, their severed 'no no sticks' and 'spechuw wumps' collected, and finally, placed into the darkness of the freezer.

The final colt, the Smarty's bestest babbeh, an attractive white and peach spotted colt, looked up at Don and pleaded "Pwease....wet bestest babbeh gu! Nu du anyfing wong? Just wan huggies an nummies." The smarty looked over at Don, tears in his eyes, too drunk and distraught to say anything.

Don was unmoved. "I know. Cruel world, though." Then, the smarty watched, tears in his eyes, as he saw his legacy, his bestest babbeh, skinned, his screams echoing in the barn, gutted, castrated, and finally, spiced to perfection. Then, he too went into the brine.

The mares and stallions were inconsolable, holding each other in their respective pens, reaching out as if by reflex, to try and pull back their children from the grasp of the reaper. "Huu huu, nu mowe babbehs. Babbehs am aww gone."

Ramon left to go check the smokers, while Savannah and Jessie began to sharpen the knives again for the next round. "How long are we going to chill the foals, Don?" Savannah asked.

"Till at least three hours before the event. It doesn't take that long to prep Nashville Hot Sandwiches." Don said as he prepped the surface for the next round. Nearby, a stack of technicolor hides, each one having been washed after slaughter, sat, ready to be sent for tanning. "Everything else, though, we need to get done soon, if the smokers are going to do their work." Ramon came back in, and gave a thumbs up. They had started to go. Don smiled in relief. "Alright, we're in business. Let's get the rubs ready, and we'll get started."

#####

Nearby, Ramon began working on the rub for his specialty, Puerco Pibil, combining various amounts of annatto seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, cumin seed, allspice, orange juice, white vinegar, lemons, garlic, salt, tequila and habanero peppers. Meanwhile, Savannah was working on a dry rub, prepping brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt, bourbon and pepper.

Don walked over to the Smarty, who was now drunkenly weeping in mourning over the loss of the herd's babies. "Kids are something else, aren't they?" He said as he picked up the Smarty to move him to his next vantage point. "They come into this world, screaming and helpless, and they tear your whole life apart. Then, when they're gone, they tear your whole life apart again. Hell of a thing." He said with a grin. "Then again, I've only been in the parenting game for a few months, so what do I know?"

Don set the Smarty down, where the red stallion began to plead "Pwease, bwing ovah spechuw fwend. Nee' haf spechuw huggies su can haf nyu babbehs."

Don darkly chuckled. "Sorry buddy, but there won't be any more babies when I'm done with you."

He turned to Jessie, who was walking in from checking the smokers. She gave him a thumbs up. "We're golden, boss. But we gotta move fast if we're going to meet that deadline."

Don nodded, then turned to Ramon. "Listo?"

Ramon sampled the rub, gave a quick cough from the spice, and nodded. "Yeah, I'm good to go, Mr. Thompson."

Don turned the Smarty's attention towards the mare pen. "Now it's time for round two. It's time to reunite the 'mummahs' with their babies. Sort of."

Savannah brought a struggling orange mare to the table. The mare moved frantically, saying "Wewe am babbeh? Yu say mummah am goin' tu be wif babbeh?"

Savannah smiled, and held up her knife to the mare’s stomach. "Silly me. I forgot to mention the last part. You'll be FOREVER SLEEPIES with your baby."

The mare suddenly screamed, setting off the mares inside the pen. "Nu! Nu wan gu fowebbah sweep-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" The mare found Savannah's knife in her chest, and soon, the process of skinning the mare began, with the mare squirming and moving as Savannah did her work. Don admired her work. Of his three closest apprentices, Savannah had sadism along with her cooking skill. The fact that she was able to do all of this without the use of an immobilizer was impressive...and slightly frightening.

Savannah, meanwhile, after making the last necessary cuts, quickly gripped and ripped the pelt off nearly intact, sending the bloody and raw mare flat on the surface. The feeling of air against raw flesh was enough to usually paralyze a fluffy. Savannah then turned the mare over, still shrilly screaming, as she gutted her. Then, after a few brief chops, the legs were clear of the mare, and soon passed over to Ramon.

Ramon quickly seasoned the dying mare, sending a new set of screams as the spice mixture stung her open wounds, before she was placed on a car, where the mare's final moments were of pure, blazing, white hot agony. The process repeated, as mare after mare was skinned, cut apart, and seasoned. Once the first cartful was full, Ramon took the cart to the first smoker, where he placed the seasoned mares into the smoker, then covered in banana leaves to keep the juices in.

In the back, the stallions all stood still, beating against the pen, screaming "Munstahs! Wet spechuw fwend gu! Wai yu du dis? Fwuffeh did nuffin wong!"

Don turned towards them. "Yes you did. You followed your Smarty. Your Smarty was the one that brought you here. Your Smarty was the one that let you attack a human's place. We aren't the monsters. The real monster is the one that brought you here." The stallions turned to each other, horrified, as their hamster minds began to struggle to process what Don had said.

Don brought the point home. “If you hadn’t listened to Smarty, your babies and your special friends would all still be here.” He smiled. “So tell me, who should you really be mad at?”

The stallions broke. A dirty yellow stallion cried out “BWING US DA SMAWTY!” The stallions too began to yell, calling “GIF SMAWTY HUWTIES! GIF HIM POOPIES! MAKE HIM NUM AWW DA POOPIES! GIF HIM HUWTIE ENFIES!!! BWING US SMAWTY!”

Savannah smiled, then after getting a nod from Don, walked over to the immobilizer, grabbed it, and carried the weeping Smarty in it. He passed by the last of his harem, a pretty pink mare that was openly screaming, holding out one exposed limb out towards him as Jessie pulled the last of her fluff over her jaw, allowing the smarty to see the quivering, jerking motions of flesh and muscle. The Smarty vomited, letting loose a jet of half digested cheese and bread onto the hay below. Then, The Smarty suddenly found himself lowered into the bin. The stallions, all angry and looking at him with expressions of hatred, were waiting.

As soon as Savannah moved her arms away, the stallions all attacked, beating the smarty, headbutting him, showering with feces, all while the Smarty tried to weakly defend himself, saying "Fout wuz a safe pwace. Nu mean tu gif huwt-OOOFF!!!"

One of the stallions mounted the stallion from the front, shoving his 'no-no' stick in his mouth and furiously humping it. Another mounted him from the side and managed to find purchase in one of his ears. And a line of stallions awaited the chance to abuse the stallion’s asshole, the largest stallion of the group already furiously pumping him, muttering “Dis ENF am fow ENF ENF spechuw fwend! ENF ENF ENF ENF….”

The fluffy mob soon enveloped the Smarty, causing him to temporarily disappear. The chefs didn’t care. It allowed for them to be able to finish processing the mares, the last few of which had reached the ‘wan die’ mode, from the screaming, and the violent sexual sounds of the Smarty getting his ‘cum’uppance.

After the last of the mares was prepped and put in the second smoker, Don did a quick count of the stallions, recalled the size of the remaining two smokers, and nodded. This should work, he thought. He looked over to his staff. "We got to finish soon, if we're going to make our deadline. Minimum smoke time is eight hours, ten if it's going to be our standard. You guys ready?"

Jessie, Savannah, and Ramon nodded. "Bring the horny fuckers over." Ramon said. Don nodded, and motioned for the three to follow him. Don kicked aside the angry stallions, leaving the three apprentices to grab their own to butcher, before rescuing the now cum and fecal stained smarty from the fray.

An angry unicorn bellowed at him, "Gif enfie smawty back nao! Nee' mowe angwy enfies!"

"Shut up." Don said, kicking the stallion in the dick, causing him to howl in pain. "I need his ass alive for the finale." He took a closer look at the smarty. Half of his teeth were gone, and his asshole was probably the size of Carlsbad Caverns. At least one of his ears was gone, and some sort of blockage was inside of it, which Don realized with disgust was crusted semen. Repulsive, he thought. He carried the immobilizer outside of the pen, while the first of the stallions began to scream as Ramon cut off his pecker, and slowly began to make an incision from the hole to remove the flesh. The Smarty's eyes rolled lazily backward. "Su many huwties. Su much enfie jooce in Smawty. Am goin' tu be a soon mummah?"

Don snickered. "Not likely, although judging by the amount of shit you all are made from, I wouldn't dismiss the possibility." He placed the carrier down, where the Smarty lazily watched Don and his crew get to work, cutting apart the last of his herd to turn into memphis style barbecue. He gradually succumbed to his hangover, his mind temporarily shutting out the horrors that had come.

#####

Leon approached his father and his crew as they all enjoyed a cigarette outside of the barn. From what he could see, a set of pelts now was stacked in the different crates that were inside, and the smokers were already working. He could hear, faintly, a sound like a bull.

Almost as if to answer his question, Don answered. "It's a modified brazen bull. Figured that it would be more appropriate, and secretive."

Leon nodded in shock. It was oddly horrible, but ingenious? He supposed it was a mixture of both. In any case, he had business to attend to. Catching Mason's attention, who was helping clean up the grove to make it look appropriate for the evening, the tall, athletic girl ran over, where she did a small curtsey and said, "I'm Mason, Mr. Thompson. Leon's told me a lot about you."

Don nodded and smiled, offering up his hand, which Mason took. He thanked God that he had washed up before he took his smoke break. "It's a pleasure to finally me you. I wish it were under better circumstances."

Mason smiled and shook her head. "No, this is appropriate enough. After all, this party, and you being here is all about making and protecting legacies, after all?"

Both Don and Leon looked at her. "What do you mean?" He asked.

Mason put an arm around Leon. "Your legacy is a chef, and your son. And you are helping to preserve the legacy and dream of my father. And maybe of both our families, if they are meant to be." She said, giving a loving smile towards Leon.

Don pondered this for a bit. When he had been working those long hours in a food truck, did he ever expect to one day have what he had today? A successful restaurant. A beautiful girlfriend. And a son? He supposed not.

Leon began to get nervous. "Well, maybe it's not the right word."

"No, it absolutely is." Don fired back. "She's right. I suppose, at the end of the day, we all wonder how we are going to leave our mark on this world. In the case of your father, Mason, it's his family in the vineyard. In my case, it's through the restaurant, my apprentices, and now, you son." Don said firmly. He clapped Leon on the shoulder. "It's been a wonderful time since you came into my life, son."

Leon smiled, tears in his eyes. "Thanks, Dad."

Mason grinned, then cleared her throat. "But I do have one final request to make of your, Mr. Thompson."

Don nodded. "Name it."

Mason smiled, her face twisting into a devilish grin. "Can Jimba and I have the Smarty? We have an idea to get some payback against that furry son of a bitch."

Don smiled. He liked Mason already....

#####

Don and his crew were as good as their word. After a quick run to go gather some last minute supplies, they returned to the fridge, where they prepared the peanut oil for frying. Opening the fridge, the foals had been well marinated enough that they should have absorbed the flavors from the spices. After taking them out, the last remaining evidence that they had once been fluffy ponies was removed. They were deboned, decapitated, and then after breading, deep fried. Soon, all that remained of the once beloved group of foals from the day before were several trays of Nashville Hot Sandwiches.

Ramon and Jessie went over to the smokers, and after a quick test, in which the flesh came off cleanly with a butterknife, they brought in the appropriate roasts to strip of the now tender flesh. Working quickly, the crew had a healthy pile of 'puerco pibil' from the mares, and 'brisket' from the stallions. After mixing and seasoning to perfection, the four began to prep the usual sides, such as mexican rice, beans, potato salad, green salad, and other things to enjoy.

The crew worked hard, and only finished the last of the dishes with just enough time for them to spare to shower, change clothing, and meet the guests. A who's who of the New Mexico wine community, and richer clients from Rio Rancho and Santa Fe arrived at the Vineyard, where they were met by the Andersons, a beautifully dressed Mason, and the rest of the family. Don frowned at the crowd. Missing from all of this was Leon. Where was his son?

A tap on the shoulder revealed the teen, dressed in a manner similar to his father's staff. "I've got this, Dad. There's plenty of people here that could probably help your business. You know, legacy and all that. Please, I insist."

Don considered it for a moment, nodded, and then handed his apron over to Leon. Then, turning to Jessie, he said, "Prep my son on the family business."

Jessie nodded, smiling as the young man tied the apron on. "Come on over, Junior. Try to keep up."

#####

The dinner had gone perfectly, with the guests raving about the food, and the remaining casks of the first year burgandy was served, to rave reviews. Anderson smiled, and felt a surge of relief. The event hadn't been a disaster, and was possibly even a wider success than he had expected. The yard invasion, ironically enough, had allowed for him to do something even better than the simple wine and cheese event he had originally planned.

As the band began to play a country ballad, Anderson found a pensive Don Thompson sitting near the end of the party, watching his staff serve out the remainder of the food. Anderson's own staff was taking wine orders, and bringing over the purchases towards the eager customers. Anderson took a bottle of merlot and two glasses from one of his staff members, telling them simply, "I need this. Just grab another one from the stock." The girl nodded, not wanting to disobey her boss.

"Howdy." Anderson greeted Don. "Mind if I take a load off?"

Don shook his head. "It's your party, Mr. Anderson."

Anderson shook his head as he sat. "No, it's not. Not after the ferals fucked it up. You saved it. And probably made this an even better event than before. For that, I thank you."

Don shook his head. "Don't. Again, family was involved."

Anderson chuckled as he worked the cork off the bottle of merlot. "Then maybe you'll accept a glass of this then, as a gesture of my gratitude."

Don nodded. "That I shall. I've been meaning to try your vineyard's wines for a while now. It's just been a matter of time and all that."

Anderson nodded. "I know what that's like." He poured out two glasses and handed a glass over to Don. "Cheers."

Don nodded, and clinked his glasses. Don sampled the wine and his eyes slightly widened. It was amazing.

"Meet your standards?' Anderson asked.

"And then some." Don replied.

The pair watched the dance floor as Mason and Leon, having finished with his duties, danced a slow, country ballad in the center. "They make a fine couple, don't they?" Don asked.

Anderson nodded. "Leon’s a good kid. He's taken care of Mason for the two years they've been dating. I couldn't have asked for a better kid to date my daughter. You're a lucky man."

Don shook his head. "No. You are. You've known him for longer than I have. Horrible thing for a father to say, isn't it?"

Anderson shook his head. "No. It's not the amount of time that we have, it's what we do with it to make it worthwhile." He placed a hand on Don's shoulder. "And I say that you've done a good job. He likes you, and talks highly of you. And he trusted you to help us. That's all the endorsement I need, Mr. Thompson."

Don nodded, then shook his hand. "I have an event in December that I'd like to invite you to. I tended to keep it exclusive for years. Before I had a family. Now, I'd like to share it with you."

Anderson chuckled and refilled their glasses. "Will fluffy be on the menu?"

Don smiled slyly. "Perhaps."

Anderson nodded in agreement. "We'll be there. I'll even bring a wine that we managed to make from most of the grapes we could save. I'm calling it 'Yard Invasion Pinot.'"

Don let out a roaring laugh. "Very appropriate."

Anderson grinned, and prepared to say a toast, before Mason and Jimba took the microphone and stopped the music.

Mason spoke first. “On behalf of the Heritage Valley Vineyards, I’d like to thank you all for coming. We here at Heritage Valley have worked hard to make the finest wine and the finest vineyard here in New Mexico. But, I’d like to put out a special thank you to Mr. Don Thompson, who went out of his way to help make this event a success.”

The crowd turned towards the back table, where Don was seated, and gave him a rousing ovation. Don greeted them with a modest wave before the applause died down.

Jimba took the stage. “As a sign of our appreciation, and in celebration of America’s independence, we’d like to salute our nation with a fireworks display. Enjoy.”

“This wasn’t on the agenda.” Anderson said, as he saw the guests taking a seat for the show.

Don suddenly thought back to Mason’s earlier request. “I think I know what’s happening. Just, well, let’s the kids have their fun.”

The loudspeakers suddenly came aloud with the loud and furious opening of the “1812 Oveture.” Almost as if on cue, the different fireworks began to fly into the sky, bursting the blackness with color. The show lasted for fifteen minutes, until the final crescendo of the song began.

Tucked in behind the fireworks display that spelled out “1776” was the Smarty, now sober, now trying desperately to escape. “Nu! Wet Smawty gu! Nu wan buwnie huwties!”

It was too late.

On cue, the display lit up, sending fire, fireworks, and sparks flying out of it. Inside of the display, as the sparks flew, the Smarty suddenly lit up, turning into a burning, foul smelling, jizz covered fire of celebration. “Nu! NU! SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”

From his spot near the display, Jimba Anderson smiled. Alls well that ended well, he supposed.

#####

The night, as the herd moved from the small Pecan tree area near the irrigation canal, a sudden smattering of color in the sky began to burst in the sky. The herd stopped in their tracks to admire it. "Mummah, dat noisy am scawy..." one of the fillies said.

"Yus babbeh, bu' nu wowwy. Dose am pwetty cowows, and Auguwst an' da toughies wiww pwotect yu."

August, meanwhile, looked up at the colors of red, white and blue and smiled in relief. It had been a productive couple of days. The herd was rested, and had slept. And now, if Scout was to be believed, there were more 'twee pwaces' where they could rest ahead.

Speaking of Scout, the green pegasus was running up to him, a smile on his face. "It am aww cweaw. Scouwt see nu munstahs, an dewe am mowe of dose cwunchy nummies fow hewd." August nodded. "Fank yu, Scouwt. Yu am gud fwuffeh." He smiled, then ran up ahead.

Firebird walked over to August. “Auguwst fwend, Fiwebiwd haf question?” August looked over at her thoughtfully. The filly had been quiet since they had left, and had largely helped do her part in caring for the injured and bringing nummies. “Wat dat?”

Firebird hesitated, then asked, “Du...du Auguwst haf spechuw fwend? Wan tu knu if….”

August shook his head. “Nu. Nu can be spechuw fwends.”

Firebird looked crestfallen. “Bu...bu wai?”

August sighed. “Hewd nee’ be safe fiwst. Haf tu find nyu safe pwace.” Then he smiled. “Den, weww, maybes.”

Firebird smiled, gave him a quick nuzzle and said, “Otay. Fiwebiwd wiww wai.”

August smiled, then, trotting to the front of the herd, all of whom had pecans on their backs for the trip ahead. "Scouwt sey dat it am otay tu wawkies. Dewe wiww be mowe twee pwaces tu west soon. Wets gu, hewd." The fluffies nodded and moved their rested legs along the irrigation canal. August looked up to see a sudden, loud burst of color. He took it as a good omen. The herd would be safe, and with his last baby with them, July’s legacy was secure, now and forever, August hoped The small, but steady furry rainbow walked towards the grasslands near Albuquerque and Santa Fe, hope now in their hearts that a new home would be found soon.

- FIN

Comments


- Reply
Hugboxing_Faggot: Enfie smarties are always fun.
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WestMesaFluffCollector: @Hugboxing_Faggot: Glad you liked it. It was a bit different than my usual shtick. I did need to do something outside of the city, though.
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Anonymous1: @WestMesaFluffCollector: dammit, now I'm in the mood for some pulled pork bbq.
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The_Neutralist: @WestMesaFluffCollector: Well done! (Pun not intended) This was one of the more satisfying stories I have ever read. The description of the preparations make for a good argument for fluffies as food.
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Anonymous2: Since when is Mason a girl's name?

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RevMe: Great story! You have a real gift for characterization.
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Nocturn: Great story and some great well deserved misery
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Anonymous3: @Anonymous: ive known several female Masons. Also UT-Odessa lol. Good story overall I feel like its not as polished as your usual stuff though. I also think a relationship between the college students is unlikely, as they're a 2 hr drive apart. Leon should have been a student at South Plains College. It's a community college very close to Texas Tech. UT-Odessa is properly known as UTPB.
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Anonymous4: Hell yeah justified abuse good one another nice one dude keep the good ones goin
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Anonymous5: Very captivating story, also made me hungry as all hell.
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WestMesaFluffCollector: @Anonymous: Yeah, I admit, it was a tad rushed at parts. I actually started this late July 4th morning, hoping to have it done by that evening. However, things happened, and plus, I got the idea to incorporate Don Thompson, the Fluffy Chef, into the story. Of all my characters, he's probably the hardest to do, as he was a bit of a one trick pony.

The UT-Permian Basin was a mistake I only realized ten minutes after submission. Fucking hell.

As for the relationship, the distance thing did come to mind, which is why in the final draft, I made sure to at least have them dating for at least the past two years, as both are Freshmen in college. It's doable, especially if you have time in a relationship.
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WestMesaFluffCollector: @Anonymous: This tends to be the effect of these particular stories. The Christmas special had a lot of people craving tamales.

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DeepFwuff: I love the way you write dialog. Keep on keeping on man.
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Anonymous6: "...the small, but steady furry rainbow walked towards the grasslands near Albuquerque and Santa Fe, hope now in their hearts that a new home would be found soon. "

...and then they were all eaten by a pack of wild dogs, cause happy endings are not meant for fluffies
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Anonymous7: Very nice, I loved it, some of the most satisfying justice I've ever seen, and the stupid senseless pleads of some of the fluffies was glorious, you truly have some of the best stories on the booru, if not the best written of all.

But what's those "Hugbox laws"? Is it illegal to kill fluffies? I do not like that one bit.
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Anonymous8: @BurnFree: in WMFC's headcannon New Mexico has passed laws protecting fluffies.
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Anonymous9: I can just imagine abusers from Texas sitting near the state line waiting for fluffies to cross and hugboxers trying to herd shitrats away from the line.
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Sirulean: @Anonymous: This is New Mexico the state, not Mexico the country.
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Sirulean: @Sirulean: Never mind I'm dumb
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Anonymous10: From the leadership of Julius, to Augustus.
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WestMesaFluffCollector: @Anonymous: I was hoping someone would catch that little history nugget.
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Papa_Khorne: @WestMesaFluffCollector: I forgot to login, and forgot my login, go me. But yeah, I'm a sucker for historical tidbits. Surprised that July didn't call his little hellgremin of an heir Nero.
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Anonymous11: Please bring Pickle (stressball) back in another story.

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StickDude: FUCCKKK YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS

Also F for the Family
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Anonymous12: @Anonymous:
@WestMesaFluffCollector: wouldn't there be overpopulation problems in the state then?
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ayylmao499: i love this story, it reminds me of that one story DeathProofPony wrote about the two smarties
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Anonymous13: Love the effort you put into the non-fluffy aspects of your stories, as well as a deeper interpretation of fluffy intelligence/behavior. It’s a pretty good representation of how most people would react to a fluffy outbreak, instead of the straight psychopathy you see from most writers.