Margaret stared at the devastation in front of her. She had lived through the Dustbowls in Kansas, and even that didn’t compare to the agricultural devastation in front of her now.
Margaret’s garden, formerly voted as the small towns “Best Maintained Garden” for 14 years running, had been destroyed. The neat rows of peonies had been gnawed down to stems. Her herb garden, once a pristine and shining example of a true passion for gardening, had been ravaged to the point the only identifying features left were the woody, feces caked stems of her rosemary bushes. Her small vegetable field was almost completely uprooted, half gnawed beets and carrots rotting in the hot Midwestern sun, heirloom tomatoes had been pulled from their trellises and been stripped of fruit. The only plant that hadn’t been entirely destroyed was her favorite heritage roses, but those had been almost entirely covered in a pile of feces.
All around the garden lay piles of feces, rotting produce, and multicolored creatures who cowered at her appearance as she walked out into her garden.
She had heard of these creatures. Affronts to the gods of any religion, these “Fluffies” as they were known are one of the biggest pests on the East Coast since the introduction of the Japanese beetle. While most were dumber than the average pet rock, they bred fast, had large litters, and would eat almost anything they could fit in their grubby little mouths.
Margaret had taken extra precautions to fluffy proof her yard two years ago when she read about the hardships that gardeners in the Carolinas were going through, but had secretly hoped that the Missouri river would have acted as barrier enough to prevent them from crossing into Kansas, and the cold winter would have killed off any that did make it through, but obviously for naught.
Looking around for the source of the invasion, her eyes settling on the gate she had left open before leaving to visit her grandkids the week prior. She calmly walked over and closed the gate, the fluffies staring in silence as their only method of escape was closed off. Margaret marveled at the fact these little shits had managed to entirely ruin her garden in less than a fraction of the time it took her to plant, grow, prune, and nurture it to life.
Sighing, she walked over to the back porch of her house and took a seat on the deck, staring at the garishly colored herd that stared right back at her. “Nyu mummah?” A pregnant blue mare asked hopefully. Margaret just turned a stony glance towards the mare, who didn’t seem to get the message, staring back at her with a blindly optimistic smile on her face.
“So,” Margaret spoke finally, “Who’s the one in charge here?” A black coated, yellow maned unicorn walked forward, its cheeks puffing arrogantly. “ Dummeh hoomin, Bumbwr is smarteh weada ow hewd! GIF NUMMIES OW GET SOWWY POOPIES!” the stallion turned around and raised his tail in a weak attempt at threatening the 89 year old.
Margaret sighed again and walked inside, being sure to close the door after hearing a chorus of “NYU HOUSIES!” behind her and retrieved her late husband’s double-barrel shotgun. Grabbing a handful of random shells, she loaded two in the chamber and walked back outside.
Due to her living in an old remote farmhouse, the closest neighbor over 4 miles away, she fired a round into the air without worry. The report of the shot gun echoed for a few seconds as she was immediately met with a new wave of revulsion as the herd of eight fluffies screamed “Scawdy poopies!” as they promptly voided their bowels where they stood.
Margaret had no intentions of shooting them, at least for now, but she also had no intentions of letting them go scot free after they ruined her garden. No, she would have them work to replace what they destroyed.
Margaret walked over to the smarty of the group, Bumbler, who at the current moment was attempting to hide behind his hooves. Bending down to the level of the trembling creature, she gripped the back of his head and wrenched his head back to face her with strength unexpected of a person her age. “Now dearie,” Margaret spoke with a deadly edge in her voice “you will speak to me with respect, or you won’t speak at all. Am I understood?”
The fluffy, its authority as herd leader being challenged, surged with rage. “Dummeh hoomin nu weada ow hewd, Bwumbwr gif sowwy hoofsi-” His words were cut short as he was suddenly lifted and placed stomach down on Margaret’s knee. “Wut dummeh hoomin doin? Wet Bwumbwr dow NAO!” he wriggled in Margaret’s grip as she reached down, set the shotgun on the deck, and picked up a quarter inch thick wooden stake that would have been the support for the eggplant seedlings she had planted had they not been eaten by the fluffies.
She tested its weight, choked up on the length, and then brought it swiftly down against its rear. He screamed loudly and shat on Margaret’s leg. “POOPIE PWACE HUWTIES!” he screamed as Margaret continued to beat him with the stick.
She was unbothered by the shit on her leg and hands. Being the oldest of eight siblings, and the mother of six children, it was nothing new to her. Ten lashes later, she lifted the squealing stallion and carried him to the corner of the garden facing him towards the fence.
Fluffies screamed and scrambled to get out of her way as she walked the fifteen yards. “Sit here and don’t move until I say you can move. Understood?” she hissed in the sobbing fluffies ear.
Mustering up the remaining ounce of courage he had left, Bumbler wheeled around on Margaret and tried to give her “da wowstes ow sowwy hoofsies.” Even at 89 years old, Margaret was completely unaffected by the onslaught of marshmallowy hoofs. She let him go on for a full thirty seconds; by the end of it Bumbler was visibly exhausted and panting. “Done already?” Margaret asked the stallion. He looked up at her, eyes burning with a rage he wasn’t equipped to express, and was immediately met by a slap across the face.
Margaret had underestimated the fragility of fluffy anatomy, watching two of the fluffies teeth fly out of his mouth. Walking back to the porch she looked at the gathering of trembling biotoys. “Who’s second in command?” The fluffies hesitated, clearly afraid of the old woman, and confused as to her request.
With yet another sigh, she looked at the herd and picked out the largest stallion there, an abnormally large green and purple Pegasus. “You,” The stallion jumped at her voice. “What is your name?” he nervously he looked up at her. “Fwuffie no haf name.” he finally spoke.
Margaret pondered for a while before speaking again. “Come over here.” Understandably nervous the Pegasus walked towards the old woman. “Seeing as your leader is currently taking a nap, why don’t you tell me why you are here and why you decided to ruin twenty years of hard work?” Margaret gestured to the ruined garden.
Shaking, the stallion recounted the herd’s tale. “Hewd haf home in da twee pwace” he began. “Wa’ nice home unda twee woots, wive dewe many bwight times. Bu’ den hewd stawt goin’ fwoweba sweepies duwing dawk times wen goin’ to make gud poopies. Big fwyin munsta chase us ewey dawk time. Owd smarteh got nummed by wed bawky munsta, and Bwumbwe say he new hewd weadew, and den we weave fowest and wanda tiw found dis pwace.”
Margaret nodded. It’s only a matter of time before a wild fluffy herd is discovered by a predator, as neon and pastel colors aren’t the best camouflage for a deciduous forest. It was a wonder the foxes hadn’t cleared them out within a week. Underneath the disgust and rage she felt for the shit rats she felt some sympathy. She remembered being forced from her home during the Dustbowl many years ago. But she also remembered having to work to restore her life.
She stood up, and faced towards the crowd. “Listen up,” Margaret addressed the fluffies. “You have ruined my garden, and this is an unforgivable act. You will not be allowed to leave until my garden is restored to its former state. Until then, I will feed you, bathe you, and protect you from the ‘Munstas’ that killed the rest of your herd.”
She pointed to the corner of her yard with the compost pile “that is where you will poop and pee. I will bring food at sunrise and sunset. And I will introduce new rules as I see fit. You may consider me your mother. I do not mind.” She saw a couple of the fluffies shiver at the mention of monsters, but others look hopeful.
“NO WAN MUNSTA MUMMAH” suddenly screeched a heavily pregnant, teary eyed pink and black mare from the back. Margaret assumed that this was the mate of Bumbler. Walking towards the mare, Margaret bent down to take a look at the creature. The mare, so pregnant its feet no longer touched the ground, stared back at her with impotent rage. Margaret smiled warmly at the angry fluffy. “You don’t get a choice in the matter.”
She sniffed the air and grimaced. “First things first, you’re all getting baths, then names.” She walked inside, grabbing soap and an old wash basin. Walking back out, she shouted to the confused crowd. “Line up, Stallions first, then mares. I will feed you at sunset. And if you even THINK of eating any more of the garden, you will regret it.” She hissed as she flicked her impromptu ‘sorry stick’ against the ground. The herd fell into line after some more explanation of what a ‘line’ was, and the baths began.
First time making a textpost or any sort of post. If I left out any tags forgive me. This story will try to balance Hugbox, Neutralbox, and Abusebox, but will be weighted closer to neutral and hug than abuse.