Lilith-and-Nigel RIP-AND-TEAR abuse alicorn author:differential_Sloth betrayal explicit fatted_up manipulation psychological-abuse text

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The Family; Part Two

By differential_Sloth


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In the days that followed, the shell shocked family tried and mostly failed to come to terms with what the blue colt had done. Any illusion or hope it was a mistake was crushed when the filly recovered enough to say what happened.

‘*Sob* B-babbeh was hewpin Bwudda find st-*sob*-uffie fwend, so cud make huwties go w-way,' she choked out. 'Bud, b-bud nu cud find. S-so, *Sob* B-babbeh say Bwudda cud, c-cud… Uhhuhuuu!'

The stallion walked around in a daze; how did this happen? How could everything have go so wrong? How could one of his babbies, his favourite baby, hurt his sister in such a horrible way?! How could the stallion make such a mistake and raise such a, '*gulp*' bad fluffy? That thought gave him the deepest feeling of dread. How would Nigel react? What would he do to the stallion and the his family?

The garage, already a tense place, went cold as ice and thick as syrup whenever Nigel arrived to feed the fluffies and clean the litter box. Though desperate to know the blue colt’s fate, the stallion and mare dared not ask. They knew he was furious and any questions could make things worse. In return Nigel didn't say anything either, much less look at any of them. Except for the grey filly. Somehow, she out of all of them attracted his favour. That gave the stallion felt some relief, but also sparked anger.

How could the grey filly, who’d never received the same care and attention from her parents and done so little, gain so much favour in Nigel’s eyes? Still, despite the pain, heartache and sprinkle of anger, the stallion tried not to dwell. He had to keep his family safe and deal with the guilt of what happened. What he let happen.

One morning, as usual, Nigel came in to feed and water the fluffies and clean their litter box. Unlike the past few days, though, he spoke; ‘Everyone look here, now.’ Each member of the family stopped what they were doing and turned to face Nigel. He stood next to a milk crate, on which sat a box the size of an old cassette player. On top was a prominent switch, with a red military-style cover.

‘When you came here,’ Nigel started, you promised you were good fluffies.’

‘Yes nice Mistah, fwuffies am-’

Nigel silenced the mare with a sharp look and continued. 'So far, one of you turned out very bad,' The filly shivered at the mention of her brother. ‘And, where there’s one bad fluffy, there’s usually more. That brings me to this,’ Nigel pointed at the small black box.

‘W-wat am id?’

‘A special machine that finds bad fluffies.’

There were a few moments of tense silence before the grey filly spoke up; 'Wat id du?'

‘It has special powers,’ Nigel told her. ‘The most important one, is stopping bad fluffies’ tricks from working.’

‘Tw-twicks?’ The grey filly asked.

‘Oh yes, bad fluffies play lots of tricks,’ Nigel said. ‘They can make other fluffies see things that aren’t real, or,’ he glanced at the twins as he spoke, 'even trick them into thinking there's more than one of them.'

‘Bud, fwuffies nu am bad,’ the stallion weakly protested.

‘Your blue colt was bad,' Nigel retorted. 'Another of you might be bad as well.' The grey filly stole a glance at her family. None of them noticed, but Nigel did. 'We'll find out after I turn this on.' He made a show of reaching down, flipping the red cover and throwing the switch. On the front of the small black box, a green light flashed on then off. An amber light did the same, moments later. The family sat ram rob stiff, breaths held as the lights blinked on and off. Long, tense seconds ticked by, and nothing happened.

The family looked at each other with expressions of relief. ‘See nice Mistah,’ the stallion said, ’nu mowe bad fwuffies am hewe!’

‘No so fast,’ Nigel held up a finger. ‘The box can take a while to find bad fluffies and stop their tricks working,’ The family’s faces fell. ‘Sometimes, it can take an entire day.’ He looked at the family; 'We'll know for sure if any more of you are bad fluffies by tomorrow.'

‘O-otay nice Mistah,’ the stallion said, uneasy.

‘Good,’ Nigel turned and walked to the door. ‘I’ll see you in the evening.’

For the rest of the day, the family carried out their business as usual, or rather, what passed for usual after the blue colt’s actions. The pink filly stayed close to her mother, and the twins did their best to move past the event. The grey filly seemed the least affected and kept playing with her blocks. Nigel gave her some more for a reward, and she spent her time experimenting with advanced forms of block tower.

As for the stallion, his gaze kept moving back to the box, quietly working away with its strange powers. He tried not to worry too much; the stallion knew he was a good fluffy, and his special friend was a good fluffy. They were all good fluffies! But, he’d thought that before his colt turned out to be bad. That splinter of doubt stuck in his mind, and couldn’t be knocked loose.

Still, the afternoon and evening passed without incident. Nigel even commented as such when he returned to feed them. ‘I’m leaving this on until the morning, though. It might not be done yet,’ he reminded them. Still, the stallion and his family tried to comfort themselves; they, at least, were good fluffies, and the machine hadn’t managed to prove otherwise all day. Plus, it had been a long day. No longer than any other, but all days were long. If any of them were bad fluffies, surely the machine could have figured it out by now.

Surely.

#

‘*Yawn*’ The stallion blinked the tears and crud out of his eyes, stood and stretched. Like each morning, the stallion looked over his family, feeling a pang of sadness and guilt at the absence of the blue colt. He pushed the feelings aside and moved on, looking at his special friend and their pink filly curled up tight near her; their orange pegasus colt a litter further out; and finally, the grey filly further out as usu-

‘W-wah?' The stallion returned his gaze to where the twins slept, but didn't see twins. He opened and closed his eyes over and over and shook his head furiously. Not matter what he did, though, what he only saw one pegasus. The stallion shot a glance at the litter box, then the water dishes; the fleeting hope the other twin might be at either were dashed.

‘Babbeh? Babbeh!' The family stirred at his call.

‘Speciaw fwend?' The mare asked. 'Speciaw fwend, wat-

‘Babbeh!!’ The stallion trotted away from the bed and looked around. ‘Babbeh, whewe am yu?!’

The mare was about to ask again what was wrong when the pegasus spoke up. 'Bwudda? Bwudda?!' The orange colt looked around the bedding, fear overtaking his face and body. 'Bwudda nu am hewe!!' He screamed, getting up and running to search. ‘Bwudda!! BWUDDA!!!’

‘Fwuffy wook ovah dewe!’ the grey filly announced, concerned but without a hint of fear in her voice. She trotted to a section of the garage no one was searching yet and looked around.

‘BABBEH!!’ The mare, terror growing by the second, dashed up and down the length of the garage. ‘BABBEH WHEWE AM YU!?!’ The stallion and remaining pegasus looked and called into every nook and cranny they could find. Mere moments after the search began,

‘What is going on in here!?’ Nigel’s voice boomed through the garage. Far from striking more fear into them, the family turned and ran to the door.

‘Nice Mistah!!’ The stallion yelled as he ran. ‘Babbeh am wost! Babbeh am wost!!’

‘Nu can find Babbeh!!!’ The Mare added. ‘Nee find!! Munstah take Babbeh!! Nee find Babbeh!!!’ The remaining pegasus and pink filly went to add their voices, but Nigel held up a hand.

‘One at a time!' His loud, commanding tone managed to shut the fluffies up. After a few seconds of silence, he said, 'Now, what's happened?'

‘Babbeh am wost!!’ The stallion yelled without hesitation. ‘Fwuffy wake up, an nu cud see Babbeh!!’

‘Which one?’ Nigel asked.

‘Bwudda!!!’ The pegasus stepped forward. ‘Bwudda am wost!! Nu can find Bwudda!!!’

‘Brother?’

‘Yes, nice Mistah!!’ The stallion confirmed. ‘Babbehs bwudda am wost!!! Pwease, nee find him!!’

Nigel looked at the family; ‘Really? That’s what you think happened?’ Before the fluffies could speak, Nigel walked to the milk crate, picked up the small black box and held it out towards the family. ‘What did I say this would do?’

‘Nice mist-’

‘What did I say this would do?’ Nigel repeated, louder.

‘Id stahp bad fwuffies’ twicks,’ the grey filly said.

‘Very good.’

‘Nice Mistah, Fwuffy nu undewstan!!’ The stallion pleaded. ‘Nu undewstan wat-’

‘Think! For five seconds, think!’ Nigel cut him off. ‘I put this here in case there were more bad fluffies. It stops bad fluffies’ tricks from working.’ Nigel looked the stallion in the eyes. ‘It’s been on for almost a day, and now there’s only one orange pegasus here. What do you think that means?’

‘Nice-’

‘Answer me.’

The stallion flinched, and forced himself to do as Nigel said; if it let them get back to searching for the lost colt, so be it. He tossed the information around his mind, more to say he had than to figure anything out. As he did though, something clicked together and sent a wave of mortal dread through the stallion's body. He shook his head as if he could physically knock the thought out of his mind. The damage was done, though; even with the limited reasoning ability of a fluffy-

‘So, figured it out yet?’

The stallion met Nigel’s gaze; the fluffy opened his mouth in a desperate attempt to deny what Nigel suggested and defend his orange colt. But, his throat seized; nothing came out.

‘Boxie stahp bad fwuffies makin twicks,’ the grey filly’s flat voice drew the attention of her family. They watched as her gaze drifted from the box to the family’s bed. ‘If nu can find oda wingie Bwudda nao, dat mean,’ her eyes fell upon her orange brother, and her expression turned hard as the concrete floor, ‘dewe nu am oda wingie Bwudda. Wingie Bwudda am bad fwuffy!’

A tense silence filled the garage for the next few seconds. ‘*Sob*’ The family turned to the pink filly; the young fluffy shook uncontrollably, eyes wide and locked on her orange brother.

‘Sissie?’

‘S-stay way, stay way!!’ The pink filly backed away, tears streaming down her face. ‘Wingie Bwudda am bad fwuffy! Bwudda was bad fwuffy,' she started to hyperventilate, 'giv Babbeh huwties!! *Haffhaff* Wingie Bwudda give huwties tuu!!!’

‘Sissie, wait!’ The pegasus took a step forwards. ‘Babbeh nu am bad-’

‘SCREEEEEEEEEEE!!!!’ The pink filly turned and bolted for a space between two boxes. ‘STAY WAY!!!’

‘Babbeh!!’ The mare galloped after the filly. The pegasus also tried to join her but didn't make it more than a few steps before his grey sister pinned him down.

‘Stay dewe!’ The filly growled. ‘Bad Bwudda nu gun huwt Sissie!!’

‘Nu!! Babbeh nu am bad fwuffy!! Nu du anyting!!’ The pegasus struggled. ‘Nu am bad!! Nee find bwu- *Smack* Eeeee!!’

‘Shud up!!’

‘Babbeh, stahp!!’ The stallion pleased with the grey filly. ‘Wet Bwudda up!! He nu am bad fwu-’

The grey filly turned and fixed her father with a look so harsh it managed to shut him up for a few moments. 'Bwudda am bad fwuffy! Nice Mistah say boxie find bad fwuffies, an dat wat happen!!'

The stallion stared at his grey filly, too shocked to even think about intervening. It was all so… It couldn’t be right!! His wingie baby, wingie babbies couldn’t be bad fluffies!! They’d been good their whole lives!! It couldn’t be right!! It, it just couldn’t…

‘The sooner you accept it,’ Nigel told the shell-shocked stallion, ‘the better off you’ll be.’

‘Wai dummeh du id!?’ The grey filly yelled at her brother. ‘Wai twick famiwy? Wai twick gud fwuffies!?’

‘I imagine,’ Nigel said before the pegasus or anyone else could speak, ‘it’s jealousy.’

‘W-wa-ah?’

‘Fwuffy nu knu wat dat am.’

‘It means your brother was angry he wasn’t as big as you and your other sibblings,’ Nigel told the grey filly. ‘In fact, he probably hated you for it.’

‘Nu am twue!!’ The pegasus protested. ‘Babbeh an Bwudda wub-’

‘So, he played a trick to make you, your parents, sibblings and everyone else think there were two of him. That way, he could get twice as much milk and food.’

‘NUU!! NU AM TWUE!!!’

‘Shud up!’

‘I imagine once he was strong enough,’ Nigel continued, ‘he would have done, well, lots of bad things.’

‘NUU!!!’ The pegasus screamed. ‘DADDEH HEWP!! BABBEH NU AM BAD FWUFFY!! NU AM BAD!! BABBEH NEWA DU BAD TINGS!!!’ He pleaded. ‘HEWP!!!’

The stallion wanted to help, wanted to defend his colt, end this nonsense and find his twin brother. Most of him did, anyway. Another part or him, small as it was, couldn't get past the logic of it. Nigel, who clearly knew more than any fluffy, used the box to stop tricks used by bad fluffies and expose them. Now there was only one pegasus, and Nigel's reasoning was sound. But the stallion remembered there were always two of them!! There were!! He remembered!! But, but what if the tricks started right at the…

‘Well, I don’t see any reason to keep this bad fluffy here,’ Nigel crouched near the pegasus and grey filly, ‘I’ll make sure to deal with him.’

‘Otay,’ The grey filly stepped away and let Nigel grab her brother.

‘SCREE!!! NU!! NUUU!!!!’ The pegasus struggled desperately in Nigel's grasp. 'DADDEH!! MUMMAH!! BABBEH NU AM BAD FWUFFY!!! NU AM BAD!!!' He screamed. 'BWUDDA AM WEAW!!! AWWAYS WEAW!!! HEWP!! HEWWWPP!!!' Neither his father or mother made any attempt to help. The mare was busy coaxing the pink filly out of hiding, and the stallion was paralysed by doubt. As for the grey filly, she did as she always did; return to her blocks. The door to the garage closed on them, with a resounding thud.

‘WET BABBEH GO!! WET GO!! SCREEEEE!!!’

Nigel carried the screaming pegasus from the garage, down the hall to his workshop.

‘NU AM BAD FWUFFY!! NU AM BAD!!! BABBEH HAV BWUDDA!! NU TWICK FAMIWY!!!!’ He yelled defiantly. ‘MEANIE HOOMIN WIE!!!’

At that, Nigel stopped, held the colt out in front of him, and smiled; ‘Yes, I did.’ The colt’s eyes went so wide, Nigel was a little surprised they didn’t fall out.

‘W… W-wah?’

‘I lied.' Nigel said to the colt, who now shook in his grasp. 'I lied about you and your brother because you're so easy to manipulate.' The colt didn't respond, couldn't answer. He couldn't process what he was hearing. 'But enough of that; would you like to see your brother?' Dumbfounded and shell-shocked, the orange pegasus nodded. 'Alright.' Nigel kept walking to his workshop. 'He's in here.' Nigel opened the door, and stepped inside; even before the lights came on, the colt knew Nigel wasn't lying; the pegasus could smell his brother! He was here!!

‘Bwudda? Bwudda!!’ The pegasus craned his ears, desperate to hear a response, any response. All he got, was a faint, distant and pained grunt.

‘Here we go,’ Nigel hit the lights and carried the colt to a stand by the far wall. ‘Your brother.’

‘Bwu…. Bwudda?’

‘Mmmph!!’

The pegasus stared in wide-eyed shock and horror; in the middle of a strange, scary contraption was his brother. The second pegasus was held by clamps and leather straps, blindfolded and a mask over most of his face. In to the mask went a rubber tube, hooked to some device. As the pegasus looked closer, he saw his brother's wings was missing. Moments later, he noticed the blood stains under his brother's eyes and the missing legs.

‘What’s the matter?’ Nigel said. ‘Not going to say hello? Don’t want to tell him how happy you are that he’s safe?’

The pegasus didn’t answer; he shook and stared in mortal dread, losing control over his bowels and bladder. Nigel deftly avoided getting the waste on his hands.

‘Right, let’s get this over with.’ Nigel carried the near-catatonic pegasus to the workbench and strapped him into a restraint harness, the same that held his brother last night. Only when he felt the tight restraints did the colt speak up.

‘W-wat… Wat Mistah duin?'

Nigel turned the colt to face the stand; ‘Getting you ready for that.’ He pointed out another restraint system next to the one holding the colt’s twin brother; it was empty. Nigel stepped away and donned some disposable scrubs. ‘There is a recipe I want to try, but it requires very particular ingredients.’ He pulled on some gloves with a sharp snap. ‘Twin fluffies, restraint fattened for at least three months. The prices they command are a little steep for me, considering I can do it myself for less.’

The colt stared at his brother in the contraption, stared at his fate. ‘N-nu, nu...’

Nigel laid out his tools and turned the restraint back to face him. 'You can blame your father if it makes you feel better. He did bring you here, after all.’ He raised a small gas mask and looked at it a moment. 'Then again, it’s all just accident and coincidence. Creation, yours and mine, the events that brought us here, existence itself.’ Nigel looked back at the colt. ‘But that’s a little beyond you, isn’t it.’ he brought the mask to the colt’s face. Before the pegasus had the sense to hold his breath or turn away, the anaesthetic gas knocked him out.

Nigel held the mask in place for a few moments, then put it aside and picked up a specialised scalpel. He held colt’s eye open and with steady, practised hands worked the sharp blade around the back of the colt’s eyeball.

#

The mood in the garage was tense, had been since Nigel’s box revealed the “truth” behind the twins. For the first few days after the event, the stallion walked around in a daze. It wasn’t that the revelation about his pegasus didn’t make sense, it did; everything Nigel said made sense. Back when he lived with other fluffies, he’d heard stories of milk thieves and their devious tricks. Sometimes, many times actually, they were the smaller babbies in the litter. Small, like the pegasus, had been.

As he pieced his shattered mind back together, the stallion became more and more confident of Nigel's words; there was no other explanation. Somehow, he'd raised two bad colts. He was horrified and deeply ashamed of himself, but from that, a new even stronger determination sprouted. Though he failed with his colts, the stallion wouldn't fail the fillies. They would be good fluffies, the best, most obedient fluffies ever. It would leave Nigel in no doubt that the stallion and his special friend were also good fluffies.

To that end, the stallion stayed on top of his remaining foals at all times; neither the pink filly or grey filly could do anything without their father’s notice. It made little difference to the grey filly, she kept to her simple routine of quiet block play, unperturbed by the added attention. For the pink filly though, it turned into hell. The events with her brother shattered her bright, outgoing personality, and she spent every moment afterwards looking over her shoulder.

The stallion’s intentions were noble; the execution, though, only compounded the pink filly’s problems. Her father's near-constant presence and attention, scrutinising every action put her on edge and made it near impossible for the pink filly to relax. When she did anything that had the hint of being bad, ‘Babbeh, nu!’ the stallion would be there. ‘Nu du dat, Babbeh! Babbeh nee be gud!’

‘A-am sowwies, Daddeh *sniff* ‘N-nu mean be-’

‘Nu be bad fwuffy, Babbeh!’ The stallion spoke over her, no matter what. ‘Nu be bad wike bwuddas! Be gud! Babbeh nee be gud!’

‘Speciaw fwend!’ The mare tried to intervene whenever the stallion scolded their filly. ‘Pwease, nu be so meanies! Babbeh am-’

‘Babbeh nee be gud!' The stallion spun on her. 'If Babbeh nu be gud, den she go way wike oda bad babbehs!!'

‘Babbeh am gud Speciaw fwend!’ The mare argued back. ‘She awways am gud!’

‘Fwuffy nee make suwe!!’ The stallion yelled. ‘Nee make suwe Babbeh am newa bad!!’

The mare wanted to argue further, but she could see the pink filly was on the verge of complete breakdown. For her sake, the mare stood down. ‘O-otay, Speciaw fwend. Fwuffy undewstan…’ The stallion looked at his mate for a while, offering no reply or concession. Once he walked away, the mare went to the pink filly and hugged her close. ‘Shh, id am otay babbeh.’

‘*Sob* Huuhuuu *sob* N-nu am bad babbeh huhuu.’

‘Shh, id am otay Babbeh, id am otay.' The mare looked over her shoulder and saw her mate looking at her. She tensed, but the stallion remained silent. He turned then, and went to the water dish. Later that night, the three were huddled close on the rug bed as usual, tense as the atmosphere had become. The pink filly's nightmares had been near-constant since the incident, and only being close to her parents eased the problem.

That night, though, thanks to the scolding from her father the dreams were far worse, and the closeness of her parents did nothing. Both the stallion and mare felt the filly shifting about in her sleep, wriggling and kicking out her legs. The mare drifted out of sleep and heard the filly's whimpers and panic breathing. Before she could wake up fully and hug the filly close,

‘*Haff-haffhaff* Eeep, Eeee! Screee!!!' She woke with a start and screamed as the nightmare playing in her mind reached its climax. 'SCREEEE!! MUMMAH!!!' She flailed about searching for her mother, soiling herself as she did.

‘Babbeh!! Babbeh Mummah am hewe!!’ The mare grabbed the filly and pulled her close, ignoring the urine and shit that stained both her coat. ‘Id am otay Babbeh, Mummah am hewe! Ewyting am otay!!’

‘Mummah, Mummah sabe babbeh!! Sabe babbeh!!!’

‘Mummah am hewe nao babbeh!! Babbeh am-’

‘Babbeh!!' Her mate's voice made he mare's stomach lurch, but before she could tell him to stop 'Babbeh make bad pee-pees an poopies!!!' The stallion yelled, but the filly didn't respond, still absorbed by her post nightmare terror. The mare hugged the filly tighter, trying to shield her from her father's anger, hoping it would fade. It didn't. The mare heard the stallion step close; before she could do anything, the stallion gripped the filly's scruff with his teeth and pulled her away.

‘SCREEEEE!!!’ The filly struggled madly, thinking one of the horrors from her nightmare followed her out. When her father let go the pink filly collapsed, curling into a ball to protect herself. The stallion was unconcerned.

‘Bad Babbeh!! Bad Babbeh!!!’ The stallion screamed. ‘Daddeh say Babbeh had be gud!! Babbeh make bad pee pees an poopies!!! Dat make yu bad BABBEH!!!’

‘SPECIAW FWEND!!’ The mare screamed. The stallion turned to face her, but the mare spoke before he could. ‘Babbeh am tuu scawdies!!! Stahp bein meanie!!!’

‘Babbeh was bad babbeh!!!’ The stallion yelled back. ‘Did bad ting aftah Daddeh say-’

‘BABBEH HAV BAD SWEEPIE PICTUWE DUMMEH!!!’ The mare screamed, stepping up close to her mate. ‘SHE NU MEAN BE BAD!!’

‘NU CAWW FWUFFY DUMMEH!!!!’ The stallion screamed back, frayed nerves starting to give. ‘FWUFFY TWYIN KEEP FAMIWY SAFE!! TWYIN MAKE BABBEHS BE GUD BABBEHS!!!’

The mare struck her mate in the face. ‘DUMMEH NU DUIN DAT!!’ She screamed. ‘DUMMEH BWING FAMIWY TU SCAWY PWACE.’ Suspicions that bubbled away in her mind came to the surface. ‘BABBEHS NU WHEWE BAD BEFOWE!! DAY ONWY DU BAD TINGS HEWE!!! DIS PWACE AM BAD, AN SPECIAW FWEND BWING FAMIWY HEWE!!’ The mare looked her mate in the eye. ‘SPECIAW FWEND AM DUMMEH!! AM BAD FWUFFY!! HACHEW!!!’

The stallion stared at the mare for a moment, then lunged. 'AIEEE!!!!' The stallion struck wildly with his hooves, aiming each blow at the mare. She leapt back, narrowly avoiding the flurry of strikes. The stallion didn't relent though; something had snapped and many weeks worth of stress and fear turned to blind fury in an instant. Soon, he landed a blow.

‘SCREEE!!’ The mare stumbled back, but couldn’t escape.

‘REEEEE!!!!’ The stallion jumped at his mate, landing more blows and forcing the mare to the floor. She tried to scramble back up, but the stallion kicked her hard in the chest, knocking the air from her body. The mare looked up at her mate with fearful pleading eyes. With every shred of strength she had left, the mare tried to apologise and talk some sense into the stallion, but he’d already reared up.

The stallion brought his hooves down square on the mare's chest. The blow violently compressed the area, and the ribs underneath snapped and popped in multiple places. Searing pain exploded through the mare's body, and her mouth opened in a silent scream. The stallion reared up again and brought down another blow on the mare's chest. His hooves sunk further, and there were more, wetter snaps. Another powerful stomp expelled a spurt of blood from the mare's mouth.

Lost to his frenzy, the stallion stomped and stomped and stomped, until his beloved special friend’s chest was nothing but a mushed area of pulverised bones, punctured lungs and leaking blood. At the limit of his physical endurance, the stallion got off the mare's chest and stepped away. The mare lay still on the concrete floor; her mouth hung open limply, and thick blood slowly oozed from it. Thanks in part to the physical excursion, the red mist lifted from the stallion and his senses returned.

‘Speciaw fwend…’

There was no response; the mare was well and truly dead. The stallion gazed at her, at what he'd done. His mind went hazy, both from exhaustion and disbelief at what he saw. He couldn't have just done that. No, he loved his special friend; he’d never hurt her. But he just did, and he’d also-

‘Stay way,’

The stallion turned to face the voice. Near the pink filly, whimpering and shaking in a tight ball, stood her grey sister. She met her father with unblinking eyes and stood ready to fight. 'B… B-babbeh…'

‘Stay way,’ The grey filly’s voice was calm and even, but as hard and unyielding as the concrete floor. ‘Stay way. Nu huwt sissie.’

Hurt? Hurt his pink filly? No, no he’d never hurt-

‘Fwuffy say stay way!’

The stallion looked down; he'd taken a step without realising it. 'B-babbeh, pwease. Daddeh-'

‘Daddeh am bad fwuffy,’ the grey filly said evenly. ‘Daddeh jus giv Mummah fowewa sweepies.’ Hearing the words out loud hit the stallion like a hammer. He stumbled, nearly falling over. ‘If Daddeh nu stay way, Fwuffy giv yu fowewa sweepies.’ The stallion desperately tried to steady himself and plead his innocence or at least lack of fault. Try as he might though, words abandoned him. All the while, the grey filly never broke eye contact, determined to not let her father close to the pink filly.

‘She's right,' Nigel said, coldly. The stallion turned to the man, standing in the doorway. Nigel stepped into the garage, turning on the light. 'I should have known from the start; why would two fluffies form the same family turn out bad, and why would they both be colts?' Nigel stared at the stallion. 'The apple never falls far from the tree. You did well hiding what you really are so long. But,' he glanced at the corpse of the mare, 'I guess you couldn't hold it in any longer.'

The stallion’s mind was well and truly scrambled, and no coherent reply formed. Nigel stepped over to the mare's corpse and knelt down for a closer look. 'So, what did she do? Refuse to have special huggies?' He looked at the stallion. 'Did you try to have them with one of your fillies and she stopped you?'

The stallion’s mouth opened and closed like a fish’s; dozens of replies, denials and defences sprung up and crashed together in his mind, but none got out. The two stared at one another for a few moments before Nigel stood. ‘I suppose it doesn't matter,’ he bent down and yanked the stallion up by the scruff.

‘Screee!!’ the stallion finally came back to life, squirming in Nigel's grip. Nigel held the fluffy at arm's length, looking at him with mock contempt. Without another word, Nigel turned and left the garage with the stallion. The fluffy's struggle grew more desperate and he finally recovered his voice. 'Nu, nu!!! Fwuffy nu mean id!! Nu mean id!!!' His efforts reached fever pitch when they reached the door. 'NU!! FWUFFY AM GUD FWUFFY!!!! NU MEAN ID!!!!'

The door closed behind Nigel, and the stallions yelling and screams faded. All the while, the grey filly stayed put, standing guard over her sister until she was sure her father wasn’t coming back. When the grey filly was satisfied they were safe, she stepped away. ‘Sissie? Sissie, meanie Daddeh nu am hewe nu mowe. Fwuffy an sissie am safe. Sissie?’ The grey filly prodded the pink filly a few times and got no response. She looked closer; her sister was still, too still. There wasn’t even the small movement of her chest.

‘Sissie, am fowewa sweepies... The grey filly felt something start to hurt. It wasn’t an immense pain, but it was there. She looked back at her mother, still dead as dead got, and realised she was alone. Even if her family were never close, they’d been there. Now grey filly had no one, and she didn’t know how to feel or what to do. She was still trying to comprehend the wave of strange feelings when Nigel returned.

‘He won’t be bothering anyone again,’ Nigel said to no one in particular, then looked at the grey filly. ‘Is your sister okay?’

‘Nu.’ The grey filly said.

‘What’s wrong with her?’

The grey filly looked up; ‘Sissie am fow…. F-fowewa sweepies.’

Nigel bent down and looked for himself. He put a finger to the pink filly’s neck, searching for a pulse. ‘Yes, I’m afraid you’re right.’ Nigel looked at the grey filly. ‘I’m sorry.’

‘Am otay…’ The grey filly said flatly. She flinched when Nigel reached out and stroked her mane, but didn’t pull away.

‘I need to take her away now. Your mother too,’ Nigel told the grey filly. ‘Do you understand?’

‘Yes, nice Mistah. Fwuffy undewstan.’

‘Good.' Nigel nodded and stood up with the body of the pink filly. He placed it in a box and added the mare's body too. 'I can't clean up the rest of this mess now, and I don't want you to sleep in here when it's like this.

Follow me.' The grey filly followed Nigel out of the garage to the spare room. On the way, she picked up the scent of other fluffies; her father and brothers, and some she couldn't identify. 'Wait here,' Nigel left the filly in the spare room to dispose of the bodies.

A short while later, Nigel returned with some fresh towels, the filly’s blocks and a couple of the plush toys he’s made for Lilith. ‘Here you are,’ Nigel set everything up on the floor. ‘I’ll see you in the morning. We’ll talk about what happens next then.’

'Otay. Tank yu, nice Mistah.' The grey filly said in her flat tone, and Nigel left her in the spare room. Alone, the grey filly went to the towel pile and dragged one of the toys to the centre with her. Lying there, the filly felt scared for the first time in a little while. It wasn't the dark that scared her, or the revelation her father was a bad fluffy. It was uncertainty. She was alone and didn't know what Nigel had planned for her. The only thing that gave her any comfort was the fact she'd never drawn his ire. With that small scrap for support, the grey filly fell into a dreamless sleep.

#

Nigel came to see the grey filly when he got home from work. He found the her sitting by herself, intently focused on her blocks. Nigel cleared his throat, and the filly stopped what she was doing and turned to him. ‘How are you feeling?’ The filly looked at Nigel for a moment, at the ground, then back to him.

‘Nu knu,’

Nigel raised an eyebrow; you’re not upset about what happened? To your mother and sister?’

The grey filly considered the question. ‘Fwuffy am bit saddies,’ she said. ‘Sissie was nice, sumtimes. Bud,’ the filly tried to summon words for how she felt, but the emotions were far too complex for a fluffy to name. ‘Nu knu. Fwuffy nu knu...’ She said, defeated.

‘I know it’s hard,’ Nigel said gently. ‘Your family didn’t love you as much as they loved each other,’ the filly nodded in sad agreement. ‘It’s because you weren’t like them; you’re not a bad fluffy.’ Nigel’s words perked the grey filly up a little. She hopped Nigel thought that about her, but to hear it out loud… ‘You did everything I told you, and never did anything bad. That makes you a good fluffy; a very good fluffy.’

‘W-weawy?’

‘Yes, and I like good fluffies, especially brave ones like you,' The words brought a small smile to the grey filly's face. 'That's why I'll let you stay if you want.'

The filly’s eyes went a little wider; ‘Stay?’

‘That’s right; you can live here and help keep it safe from bad fluffies. You’re going to be very big and strong soon.’ Nigel smiled. ‘And, you’d have a new family that appreciates you.’

‘Huh?’

‘They’ll love you like your old family should have. They understand why fluffies like you are worth having,’ Nigel said. ‘Do you want to meet them?’ The grey filly sat up straighter and nodded firmly. ‘Ok,’ Nigel walked to the door and called out ‘Come on guys, meet your new friend.’ The grey filly sat with her eyes fixed to the door and watched intently as four strange fluffies entered the room. The leader, what looked like a pure red unicorn to the grey filly, walked over.

‘Hewwo nyu fwend, fwuffy am Wiwif, and dese am babbehs,' Lilith turned to introduce her babbies and missed the grey filly standing bolt upright. 'Dis babbeh am Peaw, dis am Abahdawn, an dis babbeh am Amahfes. Say hewwo, babbehs.'

‘Hewwo.’

‘Hewwo nyu fwend!’

‘H-hewwo.’

Lilith turned back to the grey filly. ‘Huh? Wat am wong nyu fwend?’ she asked, seeing the look on the young fluffy’s face.

'Yu... Yu am pointy fwuffies an wingie fwuffies!' The grey filly said. 'Dat, dat nu am wight. Dat am, am-'

‘Lilith,’ Nigel said, ‘she doesn’t know what alicorns are.’

'Oh. Otay Daddeh,' Lilith turned back to the filly. 'Id am otay fwend, Wiwif an babbehs nu am munstahs.'

The grey filly starred at Lilith, not even daring to blink. ‘Wiwif nu wie tu Fwuffy?’

‘Nu, Mummah nu wie!’ Pearl said. ‘Mummah an fwuffies nu am munstahs, ow bad fwuffies!’ Her face darkened, ‘Hate bad fwuffies! Peaw an Mummah an Bwudda an Sissie giv bad fwuffies big huwties!’

‘Dat am wight!!’ Abaddon added. ‘Hate bad fwuffies!! Give dem biggest, wowstest huwties in dah-’

‘Abaddon,’ Nigel warned, ‘inside voice.’

‘Sowwies, Big Daddeh.’

Meanwhile, Lilith kept looking at the grey filly, maintaining the friendly smile on her face. ‘Daddeh teww Wiwif an babbehs boud nyu fwend. He say dat nyu fwend am gud fwuffy.’

‘Weawy?’ The grey filly asked.

‘Uh-huh. He say dat yu stahp bad bwudda fwom givin sissie huwties, an keep hew safe fwom bad daddeh,’ Lilith’s expression saddened. ‘Am sowwies sissie go fowewa sweepies.’

‘Tank yu…’ Lilith’s word sounded genuine enough, but the grey filly wasn't letting her guard down.

Lilith’s expression brightened; ‘Am nyu fwend gun stay?’

‘Uh,’ the grey filly was taken aback, but before she could answer Lilith went on.

‘Wiwif wike id if nyu fwend stay,’ she said. ‘Wiwif knu owd famiwy nu wub nyu fwend,’ Lilith took a small step forward, careful not to spook the filly. But, the young fluffy was less concerned with Lilith's movements than she was with a sudden stab of pain in her chest. Nigel already said as much, but hearing the words and from another fluffy made it more real. Tears rolled down her face. ‘Nu cwy fwend, id am otay; day whewe bad fwuffies,’ Lilith said gently. ‘Day nu wub gud fwuffies, bud Wiwif an babbehs du.’

The grey filly looked up, eye wet. ‘W-weawy?’

‘Yes,’ Lilith nodded. ‘Wiwif an babbehs can be Fwuffy’s nyu famiwy. Den yu be wif gud fwuffies, an nu be awone. Du nyu fwend wan stay?’

The grey filly looked at Lilith and the alicorns behind her. Despite their unsettling appearance, Lilith’s words, genuine and warm, spoke to something the grey filly had suppressed for a long time. With that, any hesitation melted away. ‘Y-yes. Yes! Fwuffy wan stay!’

‘Yay!!’

‘Fwuffies hav nyu fwend!’ Abaddon cheered. ‘Nyu sissie!!’

Lilith stepped closer and sat on her haunches; 'Nyu fwend wan huggies?' The grey filly, after a brief pause, leapt at Lilith and embraced her. The first genuine hug of the young fluffy’s life sent a whirlwind of emotions through her, and in seconds she was sobbing uncontrollably. Lilith's children gathered around and joined in the group hug.

Nigel watched from a distance, letting the fluffies have their moment. He wasn’t anywhere near as moved as they were, but he was pleased none the less. When he’d captured the family, Nigel had no intention of letting them leave alive, let along adopt any. The grey filly would be just another part of the great game to tear them apart. But somehow, she’d grown on him.

Lilith, you and your children are making me too soft he thought. Still, the grey filly had potential; given the right training and just a touch more enhancement, she'd make an excellent addition to the family. When the grey filly calmed down, Nigel walked over and crouched by the group. ‘So, you’re staying?’

‘*Sniff* Y-yes, nice Mistah. Fwuffy stay,’ The grey filly said.

‘Good. But if that's the case, you’ll need a new name; “Fluffy” just won’t do.’

‘Nyu namsie?’

‘Yes, and I think I have just the right one,’ Nigel said. ‘Aegis.’

‘Eh… Eh, E-jeh,’ The grey filly, Aegis, tried to wrap her mind and tongue around her new name. ‘Ejess? Fwuffy name am Ejess?’

‘Yes dear, that’s it.’

‘Ejess, Ejess…’ Aegis repeated her new name a few times, then looked back at Nigel. ‘Ejess wub nyu name, nice Mistah. Tank yu.’

‘You’re welcome,’ Nigel scratched Aegis on the head. ‘Now, everyone follow me; it’s time to celebrate.’ Nigel stood and lead his fluffies out of the spare room to the kitchen. Hugging upside down in the skinning rac was the stallion, Aegis’s father.

‘Huuuhuhu, nu wike dese upsies,’ he moaned. ‘Wan be down! Pwease, wan be down gain!’

Lilith and her children walked to the rack and sat down in front of it; Aegis followed their lead, unperturbed by her father's presence and unmoved by his predicament. The stallion opened his eyes and saw the four alicorns before him. 'Eee! Munstahs!! Stay way!! Hewp!! Hewp Fwuffy!!!' The stallion squirmed about in the restraints but froze at the sight of his grey filly. ‘B-babbeh? Babbeh!!’ A new wave of hope washed over the stallion. ‘Babbeh!! Hewp Daddeh!! Fwuffies nee scape and run way fwom munstahs an meanie housie!!’

The grey filly stared at her father coldly; ‘Nu.’

The stallion went still; ‘Huh? Wah? Wat Babbeh-’

‘Ejess nu gun hewp yu,’ she said in her usual flat tone. ‘Nu gun weave.’

‘B-bud, Babbeh-’

‘Shud up, dummeh bad fwuffy,’ the words hit the stallion like a boot in the gut. ‘Ejess nu gun hewp yu. Yu nu wub Ejess, famiwy newa wub Ejess.’ Aegis looked at Lilith and the other alicorns. ‘Ejess hav nyu famiwy nao; day nu am munstahs,’ he turned back to her father, staring him right in the eyes, ‘dummeh am munstah.’ The stallion stared at Aegis; tears started to roll down his face. The stallion's last foal and shred of hope abandoned him, throwing her lot in with their captors there and then.

‘Well,’ Nigel put on a long apron and pulled one of his knife sets from the drawer, ‘at least one of your family turned out good, despite your best efforts.’ Nigel approached the rack, knife in hand. ‘No wonder she never fit in. Never mind, she’s with fluffies who can appreciate who she is.’ Lilith and the other Alicorns smiled, a sight that sent more chills through the stallion. ‘As for you, this is the end of the line,' Nigel brought the knife to the stallion's hindquarters. The keen blade sliced cleanly through the skin, and separated it from the muscle underneath,

The stallion screamed.

Comments


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Ceron: That was a very good read. I love these stories where a group just completely falls apart one by one, gives me really strong Exodus vibes. The thing with the twins was a super creative idea, its like those stories where people convince mares their foals don't exist but with a nice twist. Also Aegis is great, its a nice little heartwarming conclusion. Really looking forward to seeing more of her.
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Anonymous1: This was great.
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Anonymous2: Jesus Christ. The gaslighting. So evil.
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Anonymous3: Aegis is great
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Anonymous4: Jesus Christ. Everything in this story are horrible things. If something ever happens to Nigel, I can’t say I would ever feel sorry for him. To do something like that, there must be something wrong with him in the head.
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Anonymous5: Ending reminded me of the ending of I am legend.
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Anonymous6: Am I the only one who wants Nigel to die?