Descent character detail, not too many inconsequential actors/parts and each scene felt focused on its particular stage. The show and its acts played out to my satisfaction.
Im not sure if im forgetting or not. Since Vanilla was one of the turned over foals, did their fate ever get discussed by those in the know?
ie - They think they’re giving children to good people. As events play out it becomes apparent that their children can end up in a situation of abuse/neglect. Do they reconsider their process? Or is it simply within regretfully, ‘acceptable parameters’ if you consider how many seemed to have good fates in comparison?
I showed it getting discussed between Bark and Jade right at the end. They had a white baby (Vanilla), a purple one (missing), an orange and pink (haven’t seen, families probably moved). The old way to deal with them was to kill the foals.
“How wong did yu knu?” Bark asked, wrapping his legs around her.
“Vaniwwa wuz wast babbeh hewe…”
“Jay-duh wike dat name. Vaniwwa.”
“Bawk wundah how owange babbeh an’ pink babbeh du?”
“Jay-duh dunno… but dew wuz gud babbehs. Gud house-fwuffies.”
“Bawk miss puw-pul cowt.”
Jade pulled tightly against Bark’s leg. “Wai dis hab su hawd?”
“Cause Jay-duh iz good fwuffy an’ good smawty… now wike da oldesht way ob gibin’ pwetteh babbies fowebah sweepies.”
“Suuu heawt huwties.”
“Dees pwetteh babies,” she said, looking at the sky. “Wike fai-ah-woks… su pwetteh, but go so fas’… no stay…”
“What hoomins caww woudest night?”
Oof. This was really, really well done, kudos to you. Jade’s one of if not the best smarty friends I’ve ever read, and she’s damn smart and hard for a fluffy. Making the forest herd a bad and scary place so the babies won’t want to run away and come back, scouting out human homes ahead of time to find candidates, sheltering the rest of the herd from the trauma of the whole process. No wonder sometimes Smarty doesn’t want to come back. That’s a lot for a fluffy to shoulder. I wonder if she’s foal-less by choice, rather than a loss of fertility. How much harder to abuse your own pretty babies so they can have a better life?
At this point it’s by choice. She’s had four pretty babies with Bark, and they’re at the point where they’ve just found other ways to be intimate or have “gud feews” (yay imagination) that don’t result in pregnancy.
She is being hardheaded about it by shouldering so much alone, though.
Almost a shame, the fluffy population at large could use her brains. All of a sudden though, I wonder if she’s somehow related to Coco. Both cautious, level-headed, smart fluffs of muted colour.
They have an author in common!
A lot of the stories I’ve read involving successful ferals or strays had them being a bit smarter than house fluffies. But I think it’s safe to say that fluffies win Darwin Awards by the truck-load, so natural and artificial selection eventually get to play in.
Not going to lie, they’re a bit easier and more interesting to write as well.
What an interesting story. Everything melded together nicely in the end. I appreciate how the title emerged in the narrative, without the usual fireworks sendoff that one would expect from a Fourth of July story.
There is a certain deviousness to fluffies traumatizing their own for the sympathy points that I jive with too. Invoke sadbox tropes for hugbox ends.
Now, the questions since I’m pretty sure you’re not filling in gaps knowing what I’m like as a writer:
- How was the pacing?
- When all was said and done, did you feel information given out fairly?
- Looking back, did things make sense once you had the whole picture(ish)?
- Any parts that, looking back, you have to assume or guess more than conclude?
I’ve been pretty open to feedback on this series, and have gotten a LOT of good feedback on it. Including on things I got wrong, so feel free to express
As a whole I didn’t mind the pacing, but I felt some parts could have been consolidated into larger overall chapters.
I felt that the information was given without obfuscation and the foreshadowing of key events was handled skillfully.
I don’t have questions about the plot or how the story resolved itself, so I’d say it’s pretty airtight!
I will ponder this and how I could work it next time
There’s a ton of comments so not going to expect you to read through them. My idea was its essentially trying to train them to be “good” house fluffies, not good outdoor fluffies. I felt that the things that would trigger humans ought be easily found out if you’re willing to listen.
What I found amusing was how it mirrored what you’d find in many industrial stories. That was accidental, honestly, but I do like industrial stories so it makes sense.
That makes sense.
And tossing Vanilla in the hole was convenient for an unplanned burial!
Because of reading this story, I went ahead and revived a story that I had given up on back on the subreddit. I will continue it in yours and Boop’s honor, since I feel you two would be the ones to appreciate it the most.
You can find it, OVERHAUL in my library
I’ll check it tonight when I get home
Yeah, poor Jade having to do that to her son. But she didn’t end up being smarty friend by putting her personal feelings ahead of the herd’s.
I knew it. Vanilla was Jade’s. Great story, a bunch of different, unique characters. Great depth with Jade, made her stand out as an incredibly complex character. Love it.
She was interesting to write. The “two faces” of her was important. I think we’re all used to the horrible smarty, but a few other writers let on the reasoning (and even dislike) of their actions in the role.
Loved this series so much! That plot reveal was not what I expected at all. It’s so interesting to see a fluffy become a smarty out of necessity rather than a sense of entitlement.
She’s more the “smarty friend” practically. glad you enjoyed it! I think this is still the best thing I’ve written.
I’m looking forward to reading your other works!