Shelter-Stories alicorn cameo castration questionable runts show_fluffy stillborn_foals vet worldbuilding

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Shelter Stories; Clara’s practice

By differential_Sloth


####

Clara pulled her car into the space between to Dimitri’s Ram and Kim’s Legacy. She grabbed her bag and the large travel mug of coffee and headed towards the main building. Clara didn’t see either of her main co-workers on the way in; at this time of day Kim would be head deep in emails and Dimitri would be in the barn.

Clara unlocked the door to her clinic room and walked through to the small attached office. She dumped her bag, drank a good part of her coffee, checked her appointments for the day by email, and went into the clinic to setup shop for the day. Her usual assistant Tony would be another hour, and she hoped that nothing life or death came happened before he did.

The thing about Clara’s job was that she could never tell what was going to come through the door.

####

‘Screeeee!’ The light red filly screamed as Clara slipped the needle through her skin. ‘Nu mowe nu mowe huhuhu!!’

‘It’s okay Holly.’ The filly’s owner, a woman in her 30s called Irene, stroked Holly’s mane. ‘Only a couple more needles and it’ll all be over, then mummah will get you some sketties at the store.’

Clara drew the next vaccine dose into a fresh syringe, then tapped it to knock out the air bubbles. Vaccine ready, she walked back to the table where Holly struggled in vain against the immobiliser. Clara uncapped the needle and positioned it above the fleshy part of the filly’s rump.

‘Okay, just a little sting-

‘SCREEEE! MUMMAH!!’

‘-and done. You’re being such a brave little fluffy’. Clara withdraw the needle and put it in the sharps bin.

‘HUHUHU WADY AM BIG MEANIE! HACHEW HUHUHU!’ Holly thrashed about, trying to loosen the straps holding her in place.

Yeah yeah, you’ll thank me later.

Clara wished she had videos of the diseases they were vaccinating again, but those were hard to come by outside of abuser circles. There was no way in hell Kim would let Clara use anything like that, even as a teaching aide.

‘How many more?’ Irene asked.

‘Just one’ Clara said taking the ampule out of the fridge, ‘it might sting more than the others though.’

‘That’s okay’ Irene said, ‘Holly’s a little drama queen.’

‘Alright sweetie’ Clara lined up the needle, ‘last one, then you can have a nice treat.’

‘SQUEEEEEEE!’

#

‘The injection sites will be sore for the next day or two’ Clara told Irene. Holly whimpered in her pet carrier, wrapped tight around a complementary comfort toy.

‘Ok. Are there any other side affects?’

‘She might get a sniffle or dry cough, that’s fairly normal. If you notice anything out of the ordinary bring her back. Other than that, give her plenty of hugs and attention.’ Clara handed her the bill to pay at the front desk and Irene left with the pet carrier.

With some time to spare before the next appointment, Clara grabbed a drink of water and ate a handful of almonds.

####

Clara’s next patient was perhaps the most beautiful, and expensive, fluffy she’d ever seen. Teresa, an alicorn with snow white fluff that shimmered gold in the light, lay on the exam table contently humming to herself. As Teresa was a show mare, a Tier 1 Clara guessed, she was in peak physical health. Teeth, gums, eyes, fluff, everything checked out. With the preliminaries out of the way, it was time for the main event.

‘Ok Teresa, I want you to roll on your back for me.’

The mare looked back at her owner, a well dressed man in his 50s who introduced himself as Lionel. ‘Do what the nice lady says honey.’ Without another word Teresa rolled over, with a bit of help from her owner. Clara put her stethoscope on and placed the head on Teresa's swollen abdomen above her teats-

‘Pwease be cawefuw nice wady, Tewesa am soon-mummah!’ As if the swollen belly and mummah songs she’d been humming hadn’t given it away.

‘Don’t worry I won’t hurt them, I’m just making sure your babies are healthy.’

‘Tank yu nice wady’ the Alicorn said politely, ‘Tewesa wan be bestest mummah fow bestest babies!’

‘I’m sure you will be honey, but I need you to be quite for a second.’ Teresa did as she was told, and Clara zeroed in on the sounds. Through the stethoscope, Clara counted the tiny heartbeats. ‘She’s pregnant alright’ Clara told Lionel, ‘I can’t tell for sure, but my guess is five or six foals.’

‘I see.’ The man said flatly.

Clara took off the stethoscope and gave Teresa a little scratch on the head. ‘All done. You were such a good fluffy.’

‘Tank yu nice wady!’ The alicorn said as Lionel helped her roll back over. ‘Am babbehs otay? Day gun gwow up big an stwong an pwetty?’

‘I think so’ Clara told Teresa, mindful of the look on her owner’s face.

‘Tank yu nice wady! Tank yu!!’ The mare cheered. ‘Tewesa gun be bestest mummah! Gun make mummah an daddeh bestest babbehs!’

‘Yes honey’ Her owner said stroking her mane. He looked at Clara. ‘Is there anyway we can talk privately?’

‘Of course.’ Clara picked up the phone and dialled the training rooms. ‘Dimitri can you look after a fluffy for a bit? No, just keep her in her box. Ok.’ A few moments later Dimitri walked in.

‘I’ll take care of her while you two talk.’

‘Alright’ he said, carefully putting his prised mare in her carry cage. ‘Please be careful with her.’

‘Don’t worry sir.’ Dimitri lifted the box and took it back to his office, leaving Clara and Lionel alone.

‘So,’ Clara locked the door, ‘I can guess why you don’t want Teresa here for this, but-’

‘No, you’re correct’ Lionel interrupted. ‘I *cough* I need to have Teresa’s litter terminated.’

‘I understand’ Clara said. ‘What’s the reason, If you don’t mind me asking.’

Lionel took a moment. ‘Are you familiar with the term gene theft?’

‘It rings a bell’ Clara said.

‘The short version is people will try to have a high grade stud impregnate a mare without the owners consent, or knowledge. Then once the foals are born-’

Clara held up a hand. ‘You don’t have to tell me everything.’

‘Yes, sorry. The short version is Teresa snuck off with another alicorn during a show society meeting and, well here we are. I’ve managed to keep it under wraps for now, but if the stallion’s owner finds out, *sigh* I hate to admit it, but we can be a very vindictive crowd. The foals have to go.’ Lionel grimaced. ‘I, I wish I didn’t have to do this to her but-’

‘I understand’ Clara said. ‘The good news, if you want to call it that, is Teresa is still at a stage of her pregnancy where we can perform a chemical abortion.’

There was a silence. ‘How do we do it?’ The owner asked.

‘Well, the problem with performing terminations on fluffy mares is the damage to trust; it sounds grim, but we have to make it look like an accident.’

‘Well, I’m not having it done here; I need to be there for her when, it happens.’Lionel took a deep breath. ‘What *cough* what can give her?’

Clara unlocked a cabinet and pulled out small cardboard box. ‘There’s one ampule in this’ Clara opened the box and showed Lionel the small amber bottle inside. ‘Break it, and mix the liquid with her food; wet food is best, it’ll mask the flavour.’ She repackaged the box and handed it to him.

‘How does it work?’

‘The drug will induce labour around an hour after she eats.’ Clara said. ‘At this stage of pregnancy, Teresa’s foals won’t be able to survive outside the womb.’

Lionel was silent for a few moments. ‘What happens then?’

‘I’m not to lie, it’s going to be ugly. Teresa will know something is wrong. She’ll know her babies shouldn’t be coming so soon. She’ll panic, beg you to help, beg her foals to stay in,’ Clara shrugged, ‘like I said; ugly.’

Lionel’s face went pale. ‘What should I do?’

‘You act like it’s a normal birth, and assure Teresa everything is fine. When it’s over, tell her the foals didn’t make it. And yes, you have to let her see them. She’ll cry, a lot, and be depressed for a few weeks. You’ll need to be there for her. Whatever you do, do not leave her alone through the night.

Lionel looked at the box like it was a grenade. Clara could read him like a book; he didn’t want to put Teresa through this, and she was sure he’d regret it when the time came. But her place wasn’t to judge; at least he wasn’t asking Clara to pillow Teresa. ‘When should I do it?’

‘Do it tonight’ Clara said right away. ‘Waiting any longer will only make things worse, for Teresa and the foals. If you want to go through with this, get it done now. The sooner you get on to helping Teresa recover, the better.’

‘I understand’ Lionel said. ‘Thank you. I’ll be going now.’

‘Ok’ Clara picked up the phone. ‘Can you bring Teresa back please? Thanks.’ Moments later Dimitri returned with the pet carrier. Before Clara let Lionel go, she gave Teresa a treat and a couple of comfort toys; ‘Here you go sweetie’ she said. ‘These are for being such a good fluffy today.’

‘Tank yu nice wady!’ Teresa said. ‘Tewesa wub yu! Pwomise bwing babbehs fow yu tu see dem!’

Clara thanked who ever might be listening she was so hardened to tragedy. ‘Thanks Teresa, I’m looking forward to it. You be a good fluffy for your daddy ok?’

‘Nu wowwie nice wady, Tewesa am bestest fluffy fow daddeh!’

‘Alright sweetie’ Lionel said, ‘it’s time we got you home.’

‘Otay daddeh. Gud bye nice wady! Tewesa wub hew soon-babbehs, soon-babbehs cumin soon’ the alicorn sung as her owner carried her away

Thank fuck I don’t have to clean up the mess Clara thought.

She’d have liked to slip outside for a quick smoke, but she was running late for her next appointment.

####

‘Okay Trinket, I want you to try and walk over to me.’

The green 3 legged colt sat at his owner’s feet, ears flat against his head. Trinket looked up at her. ‘It’s ok Trinket, you can do it.’ The colt looked back at Clara and stood on his legs. He took an awkward first step and nearly tripped over, but managed to find his balance and slowly walk forwards. Trinket was doing well, but a few feet short he slipped.

‘Eeee!’ Trinket squealed and cashed to the floor. ‘Huhuhu nu can du it huhuhu!’ he cried. ‘Dummeh weggies nu wowk!’

‘Shh shh it’s okay honey’ his owner picked him up, ‘you did a really good job!’

‘*Sniff* w-weawy?’ The colt said.

‘Yes trinket, you’re doing fine’ his owner said. You take a rest now okay?’ The woman put him back in the pet carrier and stood aside so she could talk to Clara.

‘He’s making progress’ Clara said. ‘Slowly, but he is getting there.’

‘Are you sure?’ The owner said. ‘It’s stressing him out; Snow and Jewel have been understanding but Ruby,’ the owner shook her head. ‘Well, it’s nothing the sorry box can’t fix. But I’m worried he’ll never be happy.’

‘You have to give it time’ Clara said. ‘Trinket will learn how to balance on three legs eventually. He’ll never run as well as other fluffies, but he’ll get by. The best thing you can do is encourage-

*Beep beep beep beep*

‘Shit. Miss I need to go now, Tony will take care of you.’ Clara handed Trinket’s owner the pet carrier and rushed her to the door.

‘What’s going on?’

‘Scawies!’ Trinket cried.

‘Emergency. I’m sorry but I need the room.’ Boy did she ever need the room.

‘Owwies huhuhu wowstest wowstest owwies huhuhu!! Wai meanie wingies nu wowk!?’ The pegasus lay bundle in a towel on the exam bench. ‘SCREEEEEE!!!’

‘It’s okay boy it’s okay’ Clara pealed the towel away, ‘I need to get a better look at your hurties. What happened?’ She asked the distraught woman who brought him in.

‘I don’t know! I took my eyes of him for second to go get something and the next thing I knew-’

‘Uuuuhuhuhuhu wai meanie wingies nu wowk huhuhu! Stanwey jus wan fwy an see mummah!! Owwies!!’

With the towel gone the full extent of the damage was revealed; Stanley’s front legs were destroyed, bloody splintered bones pierced the flesh. His rear legs weren’t much better, both broken and at odd angles. A lot of Stanley’s teeth were missing teeth and it looked like he couldn’t move his hindquarters. It was a mess, and that was only what Clara could see; there was no telling how bad the internal injuries-

*Cough* Cough-urk* Uhuhu boo-boo juice nu taste pwetty *cough*

Clara stared at the broken pegasus; there was no point in doing an exam. Whatever had happened, balcony, stairs, kitchen counter, there was no way in hell she could-

‘Uuuhhuhuhu mummah! Wan mummah huhuhu!’

‘I’m sorry’ Clara said, ‘there’s nothing I can do.’

‘You have to!’ The woman yelled, ‘you have to do something! I got Stanley for my daughter after her father died! She couldn't-’

‘Miss I understand, but there’s nothing I can do. Even if I tried, Stanley would die under anaesthesia. All I can do for him is end his suffering.’

‘Put him down? I, I have to Angie out of school, I need to let her say-’

‘Miss, that’s not going to happen’ Clara said evenly.

‘Why not?!’

‘Stanley doesn’t have long, 20 minutes tops. If I gave him pain killers it would kill him anyway. Besides, your daughter doesn’t want to see him like his.’

The woman tried to say something else, but reality seemed to break through at last. She nodded.

Clara went to one of the cabiantes and retrieved a bottle with red skull and cross bones and filled a syringe.

‘Uuuhuhuhu wai mummah-mummah nu make owwies gu way huhuhu! Whewe mummah? Wan be wif mummah huhuhu!’

‘It’s okay Stanley.’ the woman’s voice shook as she stroked Stanley’s head, the only place that wouldn’t hurt him. ‘The nice lady’s going to make you all better. Then *sob* you’ll get to see mummah.’ Clara positioned the needle.

‘It won’t take long’ she said. ‘Nod when you’re ready.’

The woman nodded. ‘Stanley,’ Stanley shifted his head. ‘You’ve been a very good fluffy,’ she stroked his mane as Clara slipped the needle in. With all the pain from his broken body, Stanley didn’t even noticed the sting. ‘You’ve been such a good fluffy for your mummah, she *sob* she loves you so much Stanley.’

‘O-otay mummah-mummah.’ Stanley’s face started to relax as the poison blocked the pain. ‘Nu hav huwti...’ Stanley fell silent. A small shudder and a soft wheeze heralded the end.

The woman finally broke, sobbing uncontrollably over Stanley’s body. Clara sat down next to her and wrapped one arm around the woman, letting her have all the time she needed.

#
Once the woman recovered Dimitri took over, giving her advice about how to break the news to her daughter. As for Stanley, he was packed in a box and sent to the local crematorium, and his ashes would be back by the next day. The shelter would absorb the cost.

Clara took the opportunity to step outside for a smoke, or four as it became. After a while Kim came out; ‘Sorry to interrupt, but your next appointment is waiting.’

‘*Sigh,* I’ll be right with them.’

####

After a couple of routine appointments, Clara got a walk in; a man with two foals that looked about an hour old.

‘She wouldn’t feed them’ the man explained as Clara examined the two newborns, wriggling in the small tissue lined box the man put them in. ‘I told her I’d get the sorry stick out ,but she kept telling me that they were bad.’

‘I see.’ Clara prodded one of the foals with her finger.

‘Cheep cheep cheep!’ The foal, an off white colt, grasped at her finger, thinking it was it’s mothers teat; given the time since his birth, he had to have been desperately hungry. His sibling, a tiny amber filly, was more lethargic, though she brightened up a little when Clara prodded her.

‘Sir could I get you to go back to the waiting room for a moment?’ Clara said. ‘I’ll come get you when I’m finished.’

‘Ah, sure ok.’ Once the man left the room Clara picked up her phone.

‘Can you bring one of our attendants in? Thanks.’While she waited for Dmitri to arrive, Clara carefully lifted the foals out of the box and placed them on a towel. It was about then Dimitri walked into the exam room carrying Florence, the shelter’s bright red earthie. ‘Florence, can you at these babies for me real quick?’

‘Otay Cwahwa.’ Dimitri put Florence on the exam and the mare walked over to the towel where the two foals chirped and wriggled, desperate to find their mother. As Florence came close her face scrunched up, but she persisted and licked both of the foals. The touch elicited a new round of loud cheeps form the colt, thinking his mother was finally back.

Florence sat back on her haunches and looked at Clara; ‘Day am dummeh babbehs’ she said sadly.

‘Thanks sweetie.’ Clara scratched her behind the ear and handed her back to Dimitri.

‘CHEEP CHEEP!’ The colt called out, desperate for his mother’s warmth and milk.

‘Shh it’s okay little guy’ Clara gently stroked the foal’s belly, and the colt grabbed at her fingers.. Clara walked to the fridge, pulled out two small bottles of formula and heated them in water from the zip boiler. Once the bottles were warm, she walked back to the bench and carefully pushed the nipples of both bottles against the foals’ mouths. The newborns latched on at once, greedily sucking down the formula; the colt roughly needed the rubber teat with his hooves.

As Clara fed the foals Dimitri returned. ‘Another owner who doesn’t know what runts are?’ He asked.

‘Yup.’

‘You think people would have learned by now.’ Dimitri said

‘My cousin gets a half dozen people each week asking for antibiotics when they’ve got the flu.’ Clara said. ‘People are fucking idiots.’

The foals finished drinking and pushed the bottles away. ‘Cheep cheep cheep.’ The sibblings rolled over and searched for each other to form a fluff pile. Clara put them together, then she and Dimitri watched them, waiting for what they expected to happen.

*Cough hack Hwurrk*

The white colt threw up the entirety of the formula. ‘*Kaff kaff* cheep cheep cheep!’ It launched right back into it’s hunger cheeps, the horrible empty feeling in it’s stomach having returned.

‘I’ll do it.’ Dimitri carefully picked up the foal and walked into the corner of the room.

‘Cheep cheep cheep! Cheep cheep!’ The colt waved his legs around, desperate to be fed again despite the fact his digestive system was fatally flawed.

‘Easy little fella.’ Dimitri stroked the colt on the head with his finger, which calmed the foal. ‘It’s okay, you’re a good fluffy. You did your best.’ Dimitri put his thumb under the foal’s chin.

Back at the table Clara didn’t even hear the soft pop sound of the colt’s skull getting pulled away from it’s spine. She narrowed her focus on the remaining foal, but couldn’t help but glance over as Dimitri left the room, one hand held close to his chest.

Clara went back to the cabinets and pulled a foal size comfort toy out a bag and put it near the filly; even though it was weak, the foal managed to pull the toy close. ‘Looks like you might make it.’

#

‘When newborns have a major defect they emit the runt scent’ Clara explained to the owner. The filly slept soundly under a heat lamp on the table next to them, cuddling it’s comfort toy. ‘It’s apparently very bitter, like if you chewed on a handful of coffee beans.’

‘So that’s why she wouldn't feed them?’ The owner asked, looking at the foal.

‘Correct. It’s a remnant of the hasbio days, meant to stop breeding stock investing effort in non-viable offspring.’

‘Oh.’ The owner clearly regretted threatening to punish his mare for not feeding the two.

‘It’s a fairly tough thing for a mare to experience.’ Clara wanted to make sure the owner understood what his pet had felt. ‘Fluffy mares have an extreme attachment to their young, and being subconsciously compelled to reject them can be very traumatic.’

‘I guess I owe her an apology. But this one’s okay now?’ The owner pointed at the filly.

‘She managed to keep the formula down unlike her brother. If she wakes up she’ll stand a good chance.’

‘Can I keep it?’

‘Of course, it’s your foal.’ Clara told the man. ‘But I don’t recommend you take it home now; runts require a lot of care, much more than healthy foals’ Clara explained. ‘We’ll keep it here for a week, and if she survives you can collect her. You may have to bottle feed her if your mare won’t let her nurse. If she reaches weaning age she’ll be in the clear.’

‘Ok then. Well, I think I’ll do it like that.’ The owner said. ‘But, what happened to the white one?’

‘He had a bad digestive system,’ Clara explained. ‘He would have starved to death, so we-’

‘I get it’ The owner said. ‘Beth wouldn't have wanted him to suffer.’

####

After the runts there was a string of easy patients, both walk-ins and appointments. The most serious was a colt who bruised his leg playing with a remote control car. Clara knew it was too calm to last; she was waiting for the emergency that would bring the streak to an end. About 2 in the afternoon, after neutering a pair of brothers, Clara was met by a panic stricken man with a screaming mare wrapped in a towel.

[I]Jesus not another one![/i] Clara’s mind flashed back to Stanley, but as it turned out-

‘PWEASE CUM OUD BABBEHS! SAWA AM GUD MUMMAH!’

The owner set his mare on he exam table and Clara tossed the towel on the floor. The problem was obvious; a red foal was lodged in the mare’s birth canal, and it wasn’t moving.

‘She started foaling half an hour ago!’ The man explained as Clara went for a set of forceps. ‘I saw the first foal come out but, but it stopped moving and-

‘SCREEEE!!!! DADDEH!!! SABE BABBEHS!! SABE SAWA HUHUHU!!!

Clara positioned the forceps; This one’s toast, but if the cords on the others haven’t snapped. The fit was tight, but she got the blades around the foal; one swift tug freed it.

‘SCREEEEE!’

Clara set the foal on the bench and rolled the mare onto her side. ‘Get over here!’ Clara pointed to a spot above the Sara’s teats. ‘Push down here as hard as you can and don’t stop unless I say say so!’

‘O-okay’ The man pushed down on his mare’s belly.

‘SCREEEE! NU DADDEH!!’

‘Keep your hands where they are!’ Clara ordered, eyeing the birth canal as the second foal emerged. Kim, hearing the commotion, ran in and helped hold the mare still. The second foal proceeded but got stuck like the first; Clara didn’t waste time with the forceps, instead she slipped her finger around the side of the foal and levered it out.

‘SCREEEE! EEEE! HEWP DADDEH! WOWSTEST OWWIES!!’

‘It’s okay Sara, daddy’s here! We’re going to save your babies!’

Clara grimaced; the second foal, a light blue filly, was dead like the first. The next, an orange colt, was the same.

‘Move over’ Kim pushed the owner aside, ‘you hold her down!’ Kim adjusted her hands and pushed up and back, putting as much pressure on the mare’s womb as she dared.

‘SCREEEEEE!! REEEEE!!!’ Sara thrashed around in pain but Kim’s technique worked; Sara’s last two foals emerged without getting stuck; they were followed soon after by what remained of the placenta. Clara checked both, and her heart sank. She set them with the others and did a post birth exam; no major bleeding, no evidence of tearing, and no more foals.

‘It’s okay Sara, it’s over now’ Sara’s owner. ‘Daddy’s here.’

‘*Haf haf* o-otay daddeh *haf haf*.’ Sara breathed heavily for a few more moments, then looked back at her owner. ‘W-whewe babbehs? Wai babbehs nu make chiwpies?’ The owner looked at Clara, who shook her head; all five were dead.

Clara’s worst fears had come true; their cords snapped and the foals perished trying to breath inside the womb. Their faces were contorted in pained expressions.

‘Sweetie’ the owner said. ‘Your babbies...’ the words caught in his throat, but before he could try again Sara tried to get up. ‘Sara wait’

‘Sawa hav tu see babbehs!’ The mare struggled against her owners grip. ’ Nee giv cweanies an miwkies!’

‘Sara-’

‘Let her go’ Kim said. ‘She needs to see.’

Sara ‘s owner relented and let her up. The mare stood on shaky legs and turned to face her-

‘Babbehs? Babbehs mummah am hewe! Hav miwkies an huggies fow yu!’ She stumbled forward onto her front legs, licking the closest foal clean. ‘B-babbeh? Wai nu chiwpies?’ The look of confusion on her face turned to panic. ‘Babbeh!? Babbeh pwease! Pwease make chiwpies fow mummah!!’

Sara looked at her other foals; she tried licking another but got the same response as the first. Clara was treated to a front row seat as Sara’s panic turned to soul crushing sadness.

‘Uuuuhuhuhuhu wai babbehs fowewa sweepies?! Sawa am gud mummah huhuhu!!’ She collapsed on the table and grabbed one of the foals, clutching it to her chest. ‘Pwease wake up babbeh! Pwease huhuhuhu! Pwease wake up!!’

#

‘How did this happen?’ The shell-shocked owner asked Clara in the small meeting room.

‘Huuuhuhu *sob* uuuhuhu.’ Sara cried in her pet carrier, a comfort toy clutched close to her chest.

‘It’s hard to say’ Clara said. ‘Is this her first litter?’

‘Yes’ the man said. ‘I didn’t plan for her to get pregnant, but I figured there wouldn’t be any harm letting her keep them until they were weaned.’

‘How old is she?’

‘I *cough* I-I’m not sure. I got Sara from a breeder when she was little.’ The owner said. ‘It’s might have been two, maybe two and a half months ago.’

‘I see. That could be our answer; birth complications like this are common in younger mares.’

‘*Sigh* I should have gotten her checked, or something!’ the owner said, ‘I let her down.’

‘Mr Andrews it’s okay’ Clara said. ‘Sara’s going to be fine; the next few days will be rough, but she’ll recover. For now though she needs plenty of hugs and attention. Don’t leave her alone tonight.’

‘Ok’ the man nodded. ‘Got it. Thank you for trying.’

‘You’re welcome’ Clara said. ‘We’ll email our bill to you; you take Sara home now.’

####

One of the quirks of Clara’s job was tragedy came in threes; after the broken pegasus and catastrophic birth, she’d been waiting for the 3rd to come through the door.

‘Eeeehehe peep! Cheep! Geehehehe!’ The filly, straw yellow with a vibrant red mane, babbled and wriggled as Clara did a basic physical exam. She flipped the young fluffy onto her back, checking the teats and genital area. The filly waved her legs at Clara’s, indicating it wanted a bottle or her mother’s teat. Next came a check of the mouth, revealing all her adult teeth. That and her other physical characteristics told Clara the filly had to be four to five weeks old, but she acted exactly the same as a two days old foal.

‘How old did you say she was?’ Clara asked.

‘She’ll be six weeks old this Friday.’

Well then. Clara ended the exam and pulled of her gloves. ‘There’s no question; Lindsey is a forever chirpy.’

‘Are, are you sure?’ The owner said. ‘I mean, she still young-’

‘Miss, Lindsey should have started talking by 10 days at the very most, and she should have been walking by 2 weeks maximum.’ Clara paused to let the information sink in. ‘If she was going to progress, it would have happened weeks ago.’

‘Peep peep! Huuuu! Peep!’ Lindsey waved her legs at her owner, who caved and picked the filly up. Nestled in her owners arms, the filly made happy chirps and dozed off.

‘Is there anything we can give her? Something that would force her to grow?’

‘I’m afraid not’ Clara said. ‘She’ll be locked in this stage of development for her entire life; that means no walking or no toilet training, she’ll constantly try to feed from her mother or any mare she sees, and if she were to get pregnant,’ Clara trailed off.

The owner looked at Lindsey. ‘It’ll be that hard?’

‘Very.’ Clara said. ‘She’ll need constant attention to keep her safe and happy.’

The owner was silent for a for moments. ‘Are there shelters or sanctuaries that will take her?’

‘Not in this state no, or in any close by. The condition is too rare. And before you ask, we can’t take her either.’

‘So that’s it? I’ll be stuck with an adult sized foal for the next, however many years?’

‘Yes. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth of it.’

The owner looked down at the filly dozing in her arms. ‘*Sigh* I can’t. I’ve had enough problems dealing with Katie’s normal foals.’

‘I understand.’ Clara said. ‘We can take care of this now, or if you’d like some more time to-’

‘No.’ The owner said softly. ‘Lindsey’s had a good life, even if it’s been short. God knows there are fluffies out there who don’t get as much love in five years as Lindsey’s had.’

Clara let her finish before she went to the phone. ‘Tell Tony to handle anything that comes in the door; I’ve got a sensitive matter to deal with.’ Clara hung up and turned to the owner; ‘If you’re ready, put her back on the table.’ The owner cradled Lindsey for a while longer, then put the filly on the exam table.

‘Chirp! Huuhuhu peep!’

‘Shhh it’s okay Lindsey, mummah-mummah’s here.’ The owner calmed the cranky filly by stroking her mane; Lindsey settled down immediately, cooing at her owner’s touch. Clara took little notice as she primed a syringe and walked back to the table.

‘Miss, can I have your attention for a moment?’ Clara siad. The owner looked up. ‘I’m going to use a spot behind Lindsey’s head. The only pain she’ll feel is from the needle breaking the skin. After that it will take ten or fifteen seconds for her to fall asleep.’ Clara paused. ‘I’ll start when you’re ready.’

‘Just a few more minutes. The owner gently brushed her hand over Lindsey's mane and the filly cooed happily; Clara figured the little fluffy would doze off on the table fairly soon. After a few moments the owner nodded. ‘Do it.’ Clara uncapped the needle and positioned it carefully, aiming for one of the major veins.

‘Scree! Peep peep peep peep peep!’ The Lindsey tried to wriggle away from pain and her scardie peeps filled the room.

‘Lindsey it’s okay, it’s okay little one.’ the owner stroked the crying filly’s back, determined to calm her down in the last seconds she had. ‘It’s okay, mummah-mummah’s here.’

‘Peep peep, chirp.’

‘It’s okay sweetie. Mummah and mummah-mummah love you.’

‘Chirp, chirr...’ The filly’s eyes closed, and she let out a final breath. Careful not to get in the owner’s way, Clara checked for a pulse.

‘It’s over.’ Clara put her hand on the owner’s shoulder.

‘I know. *Sob* I’m sorry Lindsey.’

#

‘If Katie asks where Lindsey is, tell her you gave her to some nice people who took Lindsey to a very happy place.’

‘Like, like that skettie-land place they like to talk about?’ The owner wiped a tear from her eye.

‘Yes, that’ll work perfectly.’

‘But, how I am I going to explain, I mean, Katie knows when-’

‘Tell her you’re sad because you miss Lindsey’ Clara said gently. ‘Katie won’t have any reason to doubt that. For good or bad, fluffies can’t tell if we’re lying to them.’

The owner nodded. ‘Ok. I-I’ll do that. Thank you. What about-’ her voice caught.

‘If you like we’ll send Lindsey to the crematorium.’

The owner thought for a moment. ‘I, I don’t know...’

‘We can hold the ashes here unilt you make a decision.’

There was another pause before the owner nodded. ‘Ok. *Sigh* I need to go now.’ Clara walked the owner to the front door.

####

The day ended without another tragedy, which was always a plus. There was however, one last job. The latest group of rescued foals were ready to go out front, and the colts had to be neutered as per state law. Clara and Tony set up their gear, immobilisers and stocks of gloves, scalpel blades, topical aesthetic and sutures. When they were ready Clara called Dimitri to bring the colts in. Dimitri walked in with 2 baskets full of colts chattering with excitement, curiosity and in a few cases fear. Clara and Tony took a basket each and set to work.

‘Weeee upsies! Babbeh fwyin!’ A teal and green pegasus cheered as Clara lifted him out of the basket. His cheery tone changed when Clara strapped him into the immobiliser. ‘Wai nice Cwahwa wady put babbeh in meanie huggie ting? Babbeh nu du bad tings!’

‘It’s alright little guy’ Clara scratched the colt behind the ear; we need to check a few things before you go find a new home.

‘O-otay nice wday, babbeh be gud.’

‘Good boy.’ Clara squeezed some topical anaesthetic onto her gloved finger and spread it on the colt’s ball sack.

‘Peep! Wat dat?!’

‘Don’t worry, that’s just your thinkie place playing a trick on you.’

‘Huu wai thinkie pwace be meanie tu babbeh?’ The cold whined. A few moments later Clara tested the area for sensation and got no response. She wiped the area with an alcohol swab, picked up a scalpel and made an incision along the bottom. Clara gently squeezed the top of the colt’s scrotum and his peanut size testicles popped out of the slit. She cut them loose, sewed up the wound and unstrapped the colt.

‘There we go,’ she said putting him in an empty basket, ‘all done. You’re ready to go look for a mommy and daddy tomorrow.’

‘Yay!’ the freshly gelded weanling cheered. ‘Babbeh su cited!’ He ran around the empty basked as Clara picked the up the next colt. 5 minutes later he was neutered and joined the pegasus in the basket. She and Tony worked fast, having done a few thousand of these operations by now. Part way through her group Clara paused to grab a second immobiliser. With it in place, she gabbed one of the last colts.

‘Huhuhu nu wan uppsies’ the light blue pegasus whined, ‘huu pwease put babbeh down nice Cwahwa wady!’

‘Shh it’s ok’ Clara comforted the colt by stroking his back, but strapping him into the immobiliser undid any progress she might have made.

‘Nuuhuhuh nu wike! Peep! Nu wike dis ting!’ The colt struggled against his bonds, twisting his head around trying to grab at the restrains. ‘Hewp! Babbeh nu wan huhuu!’

‘Come on don’t do that’ Clara stroked the colt’s back, I’ll let you out of that soon.’ She bent down and picked out another colt, a pure grey earthie.

‘Nu wowwie bwue fwend’ the grey colt said as Clara strapped him into the second immobiliser, ‘babbeh hewe nao!’

‘Huuu nu wike dis fwend! Babbeh nu wan!’

‘Nu cwy fwend! Dis mean babbehs am hav nyu mummah an daddeh soon!’ The grey colt said to his friend. ‘Babbehs gun fin bestest nyu mummah an daddeh an pway huggie tag an bwockies aww bwight time!’

‘*Sniff* dat, dat soun wike fun’ the pegasus said. Clara gently spread the anaesthetic on both colts, who failed to notice anything odd happening. ‘Wan pway wif fwend in nyu housie.’

Clara felt a little twinge; the pegasus and the earthie had been inseparable since they’d come here, which had done wonders for the pegasus. She hoped they’d be adopt together, but the chances of that weren't great. Pushing the thought to one side, Clara checked to see if the anaesthetic had worked. She neutered the pegasus and then the earthie as the pair continued to chatter about the exciting future they had to look forward to.

‘All done guys’ Clara unstrapped the freshly gelded fluffies.

‘Yay!’ The pegasus cheered, hugging his friend. ‘Nyu mummah! Nyu mummah!’ The other geldings in the basket joined in the celebration, totally oblivious to the absence of their ‘special lumps.’ Clara and Tony wrapped up their work and carried the geldings out to the front where they distributed them among the weanling pens. The current residents welcomed the new arrivals, and a few old friends reunited. Clara made sure to put the pegasus and earthie in the same pen.

####

It was nearly 7 when Clara got home; after eating and showering she checked over her appointments for the next day. There was nothing particularly hard, a few mares to be spayed, vaccinations, and a prenatal exam on a dam from a local boutique breeder. Clara put the phone down and picked up her remote. Looks like an easy da-

*Ding ding*

‘Fuck’ Clara picked up the phone.

>Kim: Just a heads up. Dimitri and I have been talking about the recused adults from the mill. We’re not sure we can save any of them. I’ll let you know.

Clara didn’t bother replying. She hadn’t wanted to think about that job until the time came. Still, it wasn’t anything she wasn’t used to in her line of work.

Comments


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differential_Sloth: An experiment with a vignette style, somewhat inspired by Swindle's fluffy hospital stories.
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Fluffnut: I like it. I like how the worst enemy the Fluffies have is themselves. While I'm sure abusers exist, this just emphasizes that even without abusers, Fluffies are still fucked.
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LORD: You could put a fluffy in a empty room with rubber foams on the walls and floor, and it will still find a way to hurt/kill itself. They are just a doomed to suffer no matter what.
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Stealthderp: Nice work.
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Nocturn: Excellent story telling

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Ceron: This is fantastic stuff. Really clean and well done, Clara is characterized in a super believable way.

I love stories like this that are about the sadness that comes with life rather than just senseless abuse. It's one of the most interesting things people can do with fluffies as a concept.

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Stardom: good.

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Deathcap: Very good. I don't know why, but Sara giving birth reminds of this (/post/view/42083) Juniper comic. I guess I can imagine her waving her marshmallow legs around in the air emitting a constant screech with her wide open drooling mouth, teeth bared as her eyes bulge out of her head.

If it was up to me, I'd make the process of putting down a foal (or potentially and adult fluffy) a bit more simple. It's as simple as placing them in a bag, decompressing it, and sticking them in a freezer. It's a lot more mundane, but I could see it happening realistically based on feeder rat farms. I also think the simplicity would make the causality of it seem a bit more disturbing.

I'm not sure the gene theft thing makes any realistic sense (as with most theories of fluffy traits being hereditary, such as if fluff color is passed down), but honestly, I keep holding fluffy stories to the standard of complete realism it's beginning make things less fun so I doubt it really matters.
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Anders_Breivik: too much hugboxing for my tastes, but good writing. Add some abuse, some pillowing and some rescued fluffies that were so abused and bronyslaved to force Clara to euthanize them. BTW, some critical failure when euthanizing would be fine to read.
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ElCuCuyfeo: I'm waiting for the story where Clara puts a .45 in her mouth when she realizes how futile running a fluffy clinic is....
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Nuuu: I enjoyed this story. Keep up the good work.

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differential_Sloth: @Deathcap: Cheers. I came up with gene theft because I wanted a plausible reason someone wouldn't want a litter from two show fluffies. I might try and develop the concept a bit more. I don't think the bag in the freezer method fits with how I've written this shelter, but it's a good story element; I'll put a pin in it for later.

@Ceron: Thank you. I think a vet clinic is a really good way to get a cross section of fluffy tragedy. BTW I love your A machine for foals story.

@Anders_Breivik: Good ideas. If/when I do a follow up to this, I'll incorporate some of them.