Your name is Rebecca, and you are seriously worried about your sister.
She didn’t pick up the phone Monday evening when you called her. You have called her every Monday at the same time for the last three years, and she has never once missed your call.
You were willing to brush it off until she stood you up for your Tuesday brunch reservation at the diner. The longer you sat alone in that booth—staring at the clock, texting your sister (to no avail), and delaying the waitress—the more nervous you got. After an hour, you couldn’t take it anymore.
So you threw a few dollars onto the table to cover the cost of your coffee(s), stick your keys in the ignition and drive the forty-five minutes to your sister’s apartment.
You knock at the front door and shout her name a few times. You call her phone for the 43rd time, and this time, it goes straight to voicemail.
That’s it! you think to yourself.
You take a few steps back, steel yourself, and then you ram your shoulder into the door as hard as you can. It hurts more than you expect it to, and the door doesn’t budge. Shifting gears, you opt to kick the door with the flat of your foot, right in the middle near the doorknob. After a few deliberate strikes, the door swings open, slamming into the wall behind it with a startling BANG.
As you step into the entryway, a sudden sense of foreboding washes over you. You call out your sister’s name, and there is no response.
As you creep into the living room, you begin to hear some faint, high-pitched, childish chit-chat from deeper inside the house. You assume that’s Ellie, the fluffy that your sister has told you so much about. You make a mental note to check on her later; right now, your first priority is locating your sister.
Crossing into the dining room, you see the light is on in the kitchen, As you begin to approach the archway that leads into the room, the sense of dread starts to crescendo. As you creep closer and closer, you can feel your heart beginning to beat faster.
You finally reach the threshold to the room, and you scream at the top of your lungs. Clapping your hand over your mouth in horror, you pull out your phone and call 911.
The sight of your sister’s dead body lying on the cold linoleum floor of her kitchen, a pool of dried, crusted blood surrounding her head, is permanently etched into your brain.
The paramedics tell you that she’s been dead for three days. That she’d tripped and fallen, hitting her head on the corner of the counter and knocking herself out. The trauma had caused her brain to hemorrhage, and she’d bled out in less than twenty minutes.
You’re numb from crying. You’ve already called your parents, and they are getting on the soonest flight they can manage.
Wiping away your tears, you stand in front of the door to the safe room. You’ve never met Ellie before, and you hate for this to have to be your first introduction, but it can’t be helped.
Steeling yourself, you open the door, slipping into the safe room before closing the door behind you. You take a moment to take in the sight before you—the padded furniture, the toys, the nests, the TV, the platforms along the walls…
It’s all just so surprising for your sister. She’d never been the most loving or motherly type, and she’d never been particularly fond of animals. She’d never wanted a pet, and had certainly never mentioned anything about liking fluffies either. So to see this room, to hear the way that she talks about Ellie when you speak on the phone…
It all just feels so out of character for her.
Regardless, you shake off those feelings and look around the room for Ellie. You spot her quickly enough; she is chowing down at the automatic food and water dispenser on the other side of the room. Her back is to you and her face is buried deep in the bowl; you can hear the last few pieces of kibble rattling around inside as she scoops them around.
“Hello Ellie,” you call out to her, and she lets out a little “Screee!” She whirls around and immediately starts running toward you.
“Mummah, Mummah!” she yells. “Yu am finawwy back!! Wai did yu weave fow su many fowebahs?!!? Ewwy did miss—!” She pulls up short a few inches away from you. She backs up a few paces and looks up at your face. “Yu nu am Mummah,” she accuses.
Much to your surprise, you hear another voice speak up. “Stay ‘way fwom speshew fwend!” it hollars. “Am comin’, Ewwy! Be cawefuw!” You turn to see a sunny yellow pegasus racing down the enclosed ramps along the wall.
Your sister never mentioned having another fluffy; you’ve only ever heard of Ellie. You assume he must be new, otherwise she would have mentioned him to you. After all, you speak every week—you tell each other everything.
“It’s okay guys,” you assure them. “I’m a friend. I know your Mummah! She’s my sister!”
The yellow fluffy comes to stand in front of Ellie, who squeals upon hearing your words. “Whewe am Mummah, nice wady? We nu see hew fow su many fowebahs! Ewwy an Way du miss Mummah su much!”
You clear your throat. “She’s, uh…busy…right now…” you stammer. “And she’s going to be busy for a while longer, so I am going to take care of you two for a while, okay? My name is Rebecca.”
“Namsie am Ewwy,” she introduces herself. “Dis am speshew fwend Way.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet the two of you,” you sniffle, quickly swiping away a stray tear before they can notice. “I’m going to take the two of you back to my house until your Mummah is ready to take you back,” you tell them, and they look both excited and concerned.
Looking around the room, you retrieve a large pet carrier—with a built-in litter box; this must have been expensive—and place their food and water dishes inside before loading the fluffies themselves. The case is designed to be as open as is safely possible, so as to not feel like a sorry box.
You load the carrier into the back seat of your car and try not to cry on the long drive home.
Your parents arrive the next morning and the three of you spend all day planning the funeral, which takes place the next day. You leave the fluffies in your new safe room at home, and you’re hoping they take the time to get used to the new space.
The funeral is a somber occasion. You don’t have a large family, and not everyone showed up, so it was a small occasion too. You try your hardest not to cry, and you fail at that right in the middle of your speech.
After she’s lowered into the ground, most of you head to a nearby restaurant where you’ve booked a room for a private party. As food and drinks are passed around, so too are stories and memories, laughter, tears and chuckles as you celebrate the life that your sister had lived.
At the end of the night, you get a ride home since you’ve been drinking. Stumbling through your apartment, you take a moment to check in on your new fluffies, who are sleeping soundly, huddled up in a fluffpile.
Your heart melts a little at their cuteness, and then you close the door, heading to your bedroom; you fall asleep almost as soon as your head hits the pillow.
The next morning, there’s still more work to be done. You check on the fluffies again before you leave—they are still sleeping soundly, and you hope you’ll be home in time to get to spend some time with them today.
You have a quick cup of coffee and then jump back in your car, driving the long drive yet again back to your sisters house. You arrive at 8:45 am, and your parents and two of your cousins are already there.
Your task for today is cleaning out the apartment. You all split up to make the work easier. You start with the safe-room, collecting everything that will fit in the one at your house into a box to bring home; you figure that by using your sister’s stuff, you’ll not only save money, but help with the adjustment for your fluffies as well.
Once that room is cleaned out and the boxes loaded into your car, you move on to her bedroom.
On the other side of the house, your cousin James is cleaning out the kitchen. As he begins to clear out the freezer, he comes across something surprising.
It’s a fluffy.
It’s lying on its back, both hind legs missing. He is mostly bald save for a few sparse patches of light purple fur, and he is covered in scars. His face is disfigured, and he is horribly deformed; his body is oddly cylindrical, his front legs—sticking up stiff in the cold—are crooked as if the bones had grown pressed against something, and his skull is flat on the sides.
James glances around, making sure there’s nobody else around. The poor creature is clearly dead—he’s cold to the touch, completely unmoving, and has been in the freezer for three days straight.
He realizes that his cousin must have done this to that poor fluffy, and he feels queasy. He grabs the frozen creature reluctantly by the tail with just his thumb and forefinger, not particularly wanting to touch it, and then throws it into the trash bag with most of the rest of the contents of the freezer.
He decides to keep the secret to himself, not wanting to taint her memory for everyone by knowing that she had done such terrible things to an innocent animal.
By dusk, the house is cleared out and everyone has driven home.
Sitting near the curb is a variety of trash bags and furniture, waiting to be taken away by the garbage truck when it rolls its way around in a few days.
Unbeknownst to anybody, one of the trash bags begins to rustle.
Inside squirms a stunted purple earthie fluffy. As it wriggles its body around, it pushes against the half-melted boxes of frozen food around him. A stray front hoof sends the weight of three frozen pizzas to come crashing down on him, and he can feel every one of his ribs break.
He lets out a reedy scream, but there’s no one around to hear.
“Wan die,” he mumbles to himself, delirious with pain. “Wan die, wan die. Wan die, wan die, wan…”
He writhes in pain for only a few short minutes before his broken ribs pierce his lungs. In a few seconds, his suffering finally comes to an end.
Two days later, the bag with his body is thrown into the back of a garbage truck, and is crushed to dust by the grinding teeth inside.
A/N: And that’s the end of Tiny Lives! This isn’t how I originally planned on ending this story, but everybody wants the owner to pay for her crimes, so I finally caved in. I hope that it doesn’t seem rushed—I know that it may seem very sudden, but I really felt like this was a great point to end the story on. Dummy gets a much more pleasant end than he would have at Mummah’s hands, and Ellie and Ray are going off to live a happy life together with hugboxer Rebecca.
I’ll most likely be writing a hugbox story about Ellie and her babies, so keep an eye out for that. I really hope you enjoyed the story!
With love, emo_trash.