TextDownload“Don't Let the Headbugs Bite” Part 01 a one-shot story in the Hobby Horse universe written by: skettiswipuw Father was in his den, having a beer. Only Mother and Clementine could bear to sit in the living room anymore, now that they had Rufus the little fluffy unicorn to contend with. He had been so sweet in the beginning. Where had it all gone wrong? Maybe the family had been too acquiescent to the fluffy's wants. Maybe he had learned this behavior from ferals roaming through the back yard. Maybe (as Father had suggested) he was just a shitrat that was destined to be a pain in the ass. No matter what the root cause was, Rufus was an absolute terror. “DUMMEH MUMMEH! IT TIEM FO SKETTIES WITE NAO!” Clem glanced up at her mother, who sighed and tossed the TV remote onto the couch and left the room quietly grateful to have something....ANYTHING else to do than to listen to Rufus boast about himself as he pissed and shit literally everywhere in the house. And right on cue he's squatting down to relieve himself yet again. “Tuwn da channew, Dummeh. Woofus wunna wutch FwuffTeeBee!” Clem missed the early halcyon days when the little orange unicorn used to run and play for hours before asking for treats and petties, or curling up in her lap to sleep. Now all Rufus ever did was issue demands from one end, or issue poopies from the other end, in an effort to get what he wanted. Dejectedly she picked up the discarded remote and keyed in Channel 45 FluffTV always seemed to have more colors, and be louder than any other channel. And naturally it was in the middle of a commercial. “we are now able to restore weggies to your beloved fluffs who have lost their originals in accidents or by mistaken choices. Using advanced bio-printing methods we can allow fluffies the chance to run, and play and hug again! And this technology is surprisingly affordable! On......” “Dis am dummeh commuhshuw fo dummeh fwuffies. Ib dem dummies got no weggies den dey iz poopie-enfie bebbehs foweba an ebah. Ebwuhbudy knu dat!” “Rufus, why do you have to be so mean?” Rufus snorts derisively as his 'widdwe mummeh' “Yu am wucky tu hab Bestes Fwuffy Woofus wibbing heew! Woofus cud hab WHOOOOWE hewd aww fo himsewf but Woofus wike tu stay hewe so yu am stiww Woofususus dummeh mummeh.” A new commercial began to play This one showed a brilliantly colored fluffy charging though the house, knocking lamps and vases off of tables. “Has This ever happened to you?” The next scene showed the fluffy hunching and grunting to drop a turd into an open shoe “Uuwwww, dat am gud ideaw! Woofus wunduh wewe Daddah shoesies am!” “NO, RUFUS! Daddy said if you mess with any of his things he'll kill you!” “Daddeh nu am scawe Woofus. Him am nu do nuffin to bestes fwuffeh.” The commercial narrator continued “Do you wish you could have the sweet, complacent, obedient fluffy you once had?” A hazy scene showed a similarly brilliant foal cuddling with his mummeh Well worry yourselves no more! Here at Smarty Conversion Services we pride ourselves in having a 100% success rate‡ We guarantee your smarty fluffy will be as good as new or maybe even better! And best of all, out patent-pending conversion service never once requires the use of a sorry-stick. So call us at Smarty Conversion Services! We'll help you love your fluffy again.” Clementine's jaw fell open and she scrambled to find paper and a pencil as the announcer called off the address and phone number for this service. Seconds later she ran to show her father what she had heard. By that time Rufus was watching his favoritest show in the world: “Babbehs!” “Stoopie dummeh babbehs. Yu shud do wut Woofus duz. Woofus teww dem hoomins to gib tings an dey jus gib dem aww tu Woofus.” -------------- Big Daddy was unusually chipper today. He was whistling as he showered, got dressed, and brought the Fluffy Carrier to the living room. Rufus was immediately on guard. “Wuh, wuh dat am fow, Daddeh?” “This? Rufus you know this is your special seat when we go on exciting adventures. And today we're going on the most exciting adventure of all! Doubt turned to excitement in the fluffy's head “WEAWWY! WEAWWY?!?!!” Rufus danced around in glee “Wewe we goin Daddeh!? Am we goin to pawk? Owh owh owh am we goin tuuuuuuu da ICE CWEEM PAWWUH! WOOFUS jus WUB ice cweem! Wewe am we goin!?!” “Calm down. No, we're not going to any of those places. We're going to a brand new place! We're going to CAMP!” Rufus tilted his head to the side “Cehmp? Wut am cehmp?” “Oh! Ohhh poor little Rufus doesn't even know what incredible fun he's going to have at CAMP yet!” Daddy's smile was a bit....unsettling “Nu, Woofus am smawty! Woofus knu wossa fings! Woofus knu wut cehmp am!” The fluffy chuckles and saunters closer to the travel cage “Cehmp am wewe fwuffies.....wewe da BESTES fwuffies.....dey gu an dey hab wossa fun.....an..........an......” Daddy was kind enough to pick up from here “And the fluffy stays there for a whole week! They stay with other fluffies like them, and they learn all kinds of new things! They learn all new ways to have fun!” Rufus' eyes couldn't get any wider without his eyeballs falling out of his head. “YUH! YUH! CEHMP AM DA BESTES PWACE FO BESTES BABBEH TU GU!” “That's exactly right! So I bet you're ready to get going!” Daddy opened the door to the cage and Rufus felt a twinge of worry again. “D-daddeh nu am twyin tu pway twicksies awn fwuffy, wite?” Daddy huffed and slammed the door closed “Look, if you're really going to be this ungrateful then lets just call the whole thing off, okay? I'll call the Camp and tell them you're going to just stay here and watch TV all Summer.” The big man stood up and picked up the travel cage. But before he reached the door Rufus shouted “NUUU! Woofus am wanna gu tu cehmp! Woofus wanna pway wif uvvuh fwuffies an wuwn nyu fingies! Woofus am be gud fwuffy, pwomise!!!” Daddy looked back and gave Rufus a warm smile. He put the pet carrier down on the floor. When he opened the door this time, Rufus leapt inside without any hesitation. -------------- It took about an hour and a half of travel in the Vroomy munstah before Daddeh and Rufus reached the camp. The guards at the shack that flanked the driveway looked into the car “Have you got a Smarty for us to save?” “Oh fuck yes I do. This is Rufus and he needs a lot of help.” “Okay. No worries. We can handle him.” The guard glances at his partner and jerks his chin upward. A buzzer sounds and the gates begin to part. Rufus watches all of this happen, incredibly confused by the whole situation, and yet still enamored by the idea that Conversion Camp was going to be his best experience ever! -------------- A different guard meets Daddy at the door, and escorts both him and the fluffy inside the building. The floors are clean linoleum. The walls are tile about halfway up. Above that they're painted a pale shade of green that Rufus would later learn was called “Institutional Green” The place was peaceful, and yet something still didn't seem right. A man wearing a lab coat and glasses came up the hall and met Daddy halfway, extending his hand “Mr. Abernathy I presume?” “Yeah, and you must be Doctor Ludovico. It's a pleasure to meet you.” “Not at all my friend. I'm here to help.” Dr. Ludovico leans back to peer into the cage. He speaks kindly and firmly “And you my little fluffy fellow must be Rufus! Your dad-deh has told us so much about you!” The fluffy wipes tears away from his eyes as though he hadn't been crying, and speaks “Yuh....yussuh. Fwuffy am Woofus. Wen am Woofus gunna git tu pway wif uvvuh cehmp fwuffies?” “Oh I'm sure you'll meet them all in good time, Rufus. You little scamp.” The doctor turned to his assistant “Reggie, can you take Rufus to processing please?” Processing, as it turned out, was a small room with a single table against one wall. On the table sat a sorry box. A very particular sorry box, indeed. The floor of this box had four large leg holes, and a smaller one near the back. There was no top or front to the box. Only sides, the leg-hole floor, a sloped steel base, and a back wall. At the back of the box there was an opening that pointed downward. It seemed like the box had been recently cleaned, but there was still a bit of fluff clinging to the leg holes, and the wide velcro strap. The whole assembly smelled like fear and anguish to Rufus, and his little leggies began to tremble. “W-wut am dat?” “That, my little friend, is going to be your new home for the next week.” “Buh....buh hao am Woofus gunna wun an pway wif ubbuh fwuffies den?” The lab assistant seemed to stifle a laugh “Don't worry too much about that. I'll show you how it works.” Reggie opened the carrier and took Rufus out, lifting him carefully and turning him to face outward from the box. Now Rufus' fear was overridden by a need to escape. “NU! NU! DIS NOT WITE! WOOFUS NO WIKE DUMMEH SOWWY BOXIE!” The fluffy started struggling and twisting in Reggie's hands, but the lab assistant had expected this. He shoved the fluffy down into the contraption, forcing Rufus' legs into the holes where they wiggled furiously, trying to find some kind of traction. Rufus made all the sorry poopies he could, but they just splashed against the back wall of the box without much effect. Even his sorry peepees dripped ineffectually down the steel slope and out the downward-facing window. Once Reggie had fastened the velcro belt across Rufus' back, he huffed and stepped away. “I really wish they'd let us anesthetize you little shitrats for this procedure. But if we did then I guess this next part wouldn't have as much of an effect.” When Reggie came back to the table he was carrying a small clear vial with something inside. It looked like a bean. The lab assistant slipped his left hand into a thick leather glove, and opened the vial, extracting the bean with a long pair of hemostats. Rufus couldn't look away from the tiny bean. “Wut am dat suppose tu be?” “Hmm? Oh This. This is what we call a Babel-Fish. This is the real secret to our success here” Rufus began to suspect that this wasn't really a camp at all. “Wut am da babbwe-fishy thingy fo doin?” Reggie layed the bean on the table, and picked it up with his bare hand, before laying the leather glove against the side of Rufus' face “This goes in your ear.” Before the fluffy could protest Reggie began shoving it down into his ear-canal, steadying the fluffy's head with the glove. Rufus tried to bite the assistant to get away but it was no use. Soon he could barely hear anything on one side of his head “DUMMEH! DUMMEH POOPIE HOOMIN! WOOFUS GON GIB YU WUWSTES SOWWY POOPES EBAH!” The shouts echoed around the room. They sounded so strange and muffled now, to the fluffy. A few tears leaked out of the fluff's eyes and his bottom lip trembled. Reggie now leaned down to look the trussed unicorn in the eyes. “Rufus, are you a Smarty?” “...Yuh. YUH. Woofus am bestes an smawdes fwuffy ebah!! YU WET WOOFUS GU WITE NAO!” the assistant continued the lines he had said so often before “Rufus, do you want to continue to be a Smarty?” The fluffy took a moment to consider this strange question “Yuh? Yuh! Woofus am AWWAYS gun be bestes smawdies fwuffy! Dummeh hoomin munstah! Gun gib yu sowwies hoofies tiww yu go fowebuh sweepies!” “Wrong answer my little friend. But that's alright. I think your tune will change in the next seven days.” -------------- Dr. Ludovico led Mr. Abernathy into a room that looked out on a line of struggling fluffies in similar sorry-boxes. “The wall here is entirely made up of one-way mirrors. The fluffies cannot see us. All they see are themselves, and their compatriots. All of these smarties have come in today. The ones that arrived yesterday are in the room just to the left of us, which is separated by a sound-proof wall. Mr. Abernathy pointed at one fluff that was violently thrashing his head around and yelling. “What's that one doing?” “Ah. It seems like that one is trying to dislodge the Babel-Fish from his ear.” “What the heck is a Babel-Fish?” “I'm afraid I cannot explain that particular piece of equipment to you as it's the proprietary equipment that makes our success rate possible. It will be removed from your fluffy's ear before he leaves here, I assure you.” Reggie was carrying Rufus' box in through the right-side door now. The fluffy was taking this new living arrangement about as well as Mr. Abernathy had expected him to. “If he leaves here, you mean. I have half a mind to leave him with you and get my daughter a pet hamster.” “I completely understand that sentiment, Mr. Abernathy. When I first developed this method of Smarty Conversion it was to cure my granddaughter's fluffy of his insufferable personality. I'd often thought to tell young Maya that her fluff had some sort of accident, and drop-kicking it off a bridge. But I assure you, our family is completely happy now....though the fluff doesn't much like it when I come to visit. He hides in his safe-room and whimpers until I leave. But apart from that, their family has had no complaints at all. Our results are guaranteed. If you ever see any hint of smarty behavior creeping back into little Rufus, all you'll need to do is mention him going back to Camp, and it will end.” Rufus' box was locked into the rail system and the fluffy puffed out his cheeks and blew his most vicious raspberry at the assistant. A number of the other fluffies echoed the sentiment from their confinement, with sorry-poopies splashing against the back walls of their cases. Reggie mimed the act of a clamshell closing through the mirrored glass, and lids to compliment the half-boxes dropped down from the ceiling on mechanical arms to completely close the boxes of the three fluffs that had dared to make poopies in their show of defiance against the lab assistant. -------------- “Rufus will almost certainly have his lid closed a few times before this procedure is over. It gives them time to think about their actions without the distraction of seeing the other fluffies in the mirror.” “So you really don't starve them or beat the devil out of them?” “No! No, nothing so barbaric as even a mild spanking. It wouldn't do them any good. The problem is not in their bodies, you see; The problem is in their minds. These fluffies have convinced themselves that there is no authority over them, and so their word is law. Here we show them that they're quite wrong. In fact, I would venture a bet that when you return to pick him up in seven days, Rufus will be incredibly glad to see you and excited to go back to running and playing kindly in your loving home.” Mr. Abernathy nodded and half a smile crept across his face “Alright, I'm convinced you know what you're doing, Doctor. Who do I see about paying for his treatment?” “The bursar's office is just to the right of the hallway when you head back toward the front door.” -------------- Wen the lab assistant had gone, Rufus turned his attention to the wall in front of him. In the reflection he could see a line of other fluffies in boxes just like his own. There were far too many for him to count, and many of them were loudly complaining. A bottle of water was lowered from the ceiling and into Rufus' box, and a conveyer belt in front of him carried a bowl of kibble to him, before sliding it roughly toward his face. “Woofus nu wan nu dummeh kibbwe, Woofus wan sketties, dummehs!” He heard other fluffy voices agreeing with him. One of them was the fluff in the box next to his own: A pale green no-horn. “YUH! Gib aww da fwuffys sketties NAO!” it shouted and thrashed against his restraints. Rufus looked at him in the mirror “Nyu fwiend?” The green one locked eyes with him and considered the offer. “Yah! Nyu fwiend! Fwuffy am cawwed Bowwis!” “Hi Bowwis. Fwuffy am cawwed Woofus.” “Hi Woofus. Wen we git oudda hewe we gon gib aww doze wab sistunts weawwy bad sowwy poopies tugevvuh, kay?” “Yeuh!” Rufus giggled mirthfully at the idea. Now he didn't have to do everything on his own. Now he had a helper. -------------- Rufus waited many forevers with nothing to do but look around at the other fluffies in the room. None of them could move. Some of them resorted to eating their kibble, but every time he looked at the bowl and sniffed it's hard pellets he sneered. “Dem kibbews nu am gud nummies fo bestes fwuffeh. Woofus nu am gunna eet dem nummies.” But after a lot of forevers of staring at them, Rufus gave in and ate the kibble. The sound of the kibble's crunch rumbled through is head, reminding him that those dummy humans had stuck their stupid fishy-bean in his ear. He had tried shaking it out, but the bean was firmly lodged way down deep in his head. And every once in a while it felt like the bean.....moved. -------------- A large, dark screen was lowered from the ceiling in front of the line of restrained smarties, and a monotone voice came through the speakers situated around the room. “Mandatory recreation time will consist of 30 minutes of a FluffTV Special Presentation.” “Fwuff Tee Bee? Woofus WUB Fwuff Tee Bee! Me wanna see da piwwowfwuff dummeh shuw wewe aww the dummeh piwwowfwuffs nu can wun an pway an....” A thought seemed to occur to Rufus, regarding how he was unable to run and play in his current predicament. Other fluffies were shouting for their favorite shows “Mawes Wun Bebbehs!” “Wunaway Fwuffs awn da Stweet!” “Wheew uv Nummies!” Red words came up on the screen and the typically saccharine-sweet announcer lady's voice was replaced with a deep daddeh voice. He didn't sound happy at all. “BAD SMARTY FLUFFS” A couple of the restrained smarties cheered and blew raspberries at the screen. Rufus heard a few others make sorry poopies as well. The scene opened with a small gang of fluffies milling about in an alley. The two big ones were trying to num on a greasy pizza box, but the dark yellow unicorn was watching the cars go by. Suddenly a frightened mummah carrying three babies on her back ran into the alley and crashed into the smarty. The two toughies come over to see what's happening, and help their leader to his feet. “Wewe yu goin aww wunnin wike dat?” the smarty asks haughtily as the mummah fluffy gathers her children together “Mummah fwuffy suuu sowwy! Fwuffy am wawst an scawed an hab bigges tummeh huwties!” she looks at the trio of fluffs hopefully “Du yu fwuffies hab nummies fo mummah fwuffy? Nee tu maek miwkies fo aww deez widdwe babbehs!” *The smarty glances at his two toughies and smiles* “Yuh we gots *sumfin* tu gu in dummeh mummeh tummeh. Suwe. Bois, yu get da babbehs. Dis mummah am gonna be Camwun's spechuw fwien, fiwst.” You can tell that this is a high budget film because they cut to a scene from the mummah's point of view, as the two toughies approach her with malign smiles. The mummah grabs her bestest babbeh off her back and tucks it underneath her belly, cowering down and whimpering. Her lesser baby slides off her back and scurries to hide beneath her. But the boys knew this tactic well. The big red earthy fluff charged the mummah, hitting her from the side and knocking her onto her back. The blue earthy waited a moment and ran in to grab the babies. There was nary a sound from the boxed fluffs. They watched the scene with an obscene amount of attention. Nearly every one of them was smiling. They smiled even more when the mare began to scream at the top of her lungs. Rufus noticed that his no-no stick was sticking out and wanting attention. But underneath the sorry box there was nothing for it to enf on. No matter how much he thrashed around his no-no stick was just dangling in the cool breeze. The mare on the TV was screaming even louder now. And the camera cut to the two toughies giving the worstest of enfies to the babies. Rufus had no idea you could see this sort of thing on FluffTV. Special Presentation indeed. In the film, Cameron trotted up behind the mare and shoved her head into the filth of the alley. “Huuu! Nu huwt babbehs! Dey am gud babbehs! An mummah am gud mummah tuu!” The yellow unicorn laughs as derisively as he can, though it sounds a lot like a hamster on helium. “Ha-ha-ha! Camwun nu cawe! Yu jus pweddy mawe!” The angry daddeh voice seemed bigger when it spoke this time “BAD DUMMY FLUFFIES!” A well-dressed human with slicked-back hair appears on the screen, standing in front of the the unicorn mounting the mare. There were still little enfs and yelps to be heard, but all that is shown on the screen behind this human are a couple of intertwined leggies. “Hello. I'm Phil Hartman. And you're a smarty or a toughie fluffy.” Before now, only the fluffy squadron's no-no sticks had been standing at Attention. Now all of the fluffies lifted their heads in confusion. “Yes, you're all proud fluffies. You're big and strong. But strength is worthless if you're not using it for kind reasons.” *Insert Hartman's winning smile here* “There's no big secret to graduating from Smarty Camp” he continues “All you need to do is start thinking of others before yourself. Once you can do that, you become more than just a Smarty. You become a Smarty-Friend.” The screen goes dark and begins ascending into the ceiling. The fluffies all blink and shake their heads Before their eyes can acclimate to the darkness a voice calls out on the hidden speakers “Mandatory sleep period begins now.” But who could sleep at a time like this? What's a....smarty-friend? Rufus tried to lay his head down, but even when he was close to getting some sleep the little bean shoved way down deep in his ear... wiggled again.... -------------- -------------- ‡ A 100% conversion rate is the aggregate count. 80% of Smarties are converted without permanent harm, 13% converted with permanent hearing and/or leg damage, 5% with both permanent mental and hearing damage with some likely leg damage, and 2% result in death. In cases of smarty death the customer will be recompensed with any standard foal of their choice from the nearest Fluff-Mart. Uploader skettiswipuw, June 20, 2020; 06:04 Tags author_skettiswipuw digging_up_phil_hartman_and_making_him_my_puppet enfie_babbeh ludovico_technique rape smarty_camp smarty_conversion soon-mummah sorry_box Source Unknown Locked No Parent None Rating Explicit Comments June 20, 2020; 12:21 - Reply JimProfit: I have been eagerly looking forward to more of your writing for a while now, and I am so happy to see this. Love it and can't wait to see where it goes. Also, honored to see Wheel of Nummies making an appearance! June 20, 2020; 13:31 - Reply Anonymous1: Dude this sounds awesome please keep going June 20, 2020; 17:15 - Reply skettiswipuw: @JimProfit: Wheel of Nummies was a great story, and a natural fit for a shout-out. I'm always glad to have you reading my work. ^_^ June 21, 2020; 10:20 - Reply Anonymous2: You've got me hook line and sinker.