(with deepest apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien)
Copyright © 2002 by Adrian Hunter. All rights reserved. Please do not repost nor repurpose without permission.
"Stop it, Marie-Noëlle. That tickles!"
Spirella cantered ahead of her slender companion, who giggled as she bent forward and pretended to initiate another attack with the long feathers that adorned the harness of smooth white leather daintily padlocked around her head.
"Seriously! We have many miles yet to journey ere we take our rest."
"Yeah, enough with the pillow fights already," muttered Buttplug, still annoyed by the morning's revelation that he was down to a frightfully tiny portion of catnip at the bottom of his pouch. Accompanying two jejune ponygirls on a doomed quest across barren lands called for acres of potent snuff at his immediate disposal, and he was forever darting off the trail in search of fertile fields of unwanted male chronics to illicitly harvest.
Spirella snorted as she tried to stifle a laugh. Oh, she just loved Buttplug to pieces, she did! Of all the fabulous Furries they had met in Rivenmyst, she had immediately taken a shine to this morose male cat who appeared to be in perpetual need of a hug. Such kindred spirits, the Furries were... willfully adopting the ways and means of a favorite animal was certainly a higher calling to which frilly fillies could relate. And poor Buttplug certainly didn't make things easy for himself, given his name and species.
"Couldn't be helped," he had explained after rescuing Spirella and Marie-Noëlle from a particularly treacherous patch of muddy muck that were common to the province. "Some Furries choose brave and fearsome animals they imagine themselves to be, like lions and wolves and sports mascots. But true Furries know that one's animal self is discovered, not selected off the rack like a freakin' prom dress. And I'm a purple cat. Coulda been worse. Coulda been a poodle. Or a ladybug."
As for his name, he explained it as the whim of a previous owner who fancied herself a comedienne. "Beats Mittens, Fluffy or, ugh, Pussy," he had added thoughtfully, and not a little thankfully, Spirella had observed.
And thankful definitely described Spirella's mood as she pranced ahead of her attendants. Thankful she had been born a ponygirl. Thankful for her warm stall, her shiny tack, her comfortable bridle, her flexible harness, her adjustable clamps, her endless meadows and her dozens of dear friends like Marie-Noëlle.
But most of all, Spirella was thankful that she, among all the ponygirls in Snobbiton, had been selected for the undertaking upon which she and Marie-Noëlle had recently embarked.
Granted, epic adventure did not come naturally to her, nor her fellow former foals. Ponygirls much preferred to keep among themselves, having been the subject of much calumny over the years when strangers to Snobbiton had paused to scoff at their exquisite equestrian ways. Worst of all were those who would take advantage of the ponygirls' kind and trusting natures with uncouth manly efforts to defile, if not pillage, their hay-strewn sanctuaries. Spirella felt it was much better to steer clear of such unpleasantness and focus on more pressing concerns, like how to keep the brass rivets that adorned her beloved chastity strap from rusting.
But that was before the day when the elder mare known as Fanfic, a pony of much wisdom, poise, grace and a shimmering tail reportedly hewn from the hairs of a real-life princess who adopted a seriously short coiffure when she ran off with a member of a raucous troupe of ill-tempered and frightfully pierced musicians, had taken her aside with an urgent request.
"The ring," she had whispered as she nibbled Spirella's ear suggestively. "The dreaded ring must be returned to its place of origin and destroyed ere more harm befalls our happy corrals."
Hidden under Fanfic's rhinestone-peppered saddle was a strap of ancient leather with buckles on either end, and a large circle of tarnished silver in its center. When Spirella first took the device in her teeth, she felt a sensation of unfamiliar terrible warmth course through her silken loins. Suddenly, the malicious foreigners who visited Snobbiton did not seem so dangerous anymore. In fact, she quite fancied the idea of getting to know them better, preferably in a dark stall with the doors bolted shut, their cunning eyes blazing with unmistakable intent, their powerful fingers clutching raw flesh beneath her fetters, their sweat-crusty jerkins slithering off meaty shoulders, no possibility of escape...
"Enough!" the mare had whinnied as she knocked the device from the grip of Spirella's teeth. "You must never replace your bit with the ring, no matter how tempted you find yourself."
Fanfic explained the origins of the strange device in greater detail. How it had been forged by a tribe of evil spirits who lived many leagues beyond Snobbiton, in a land where males treated other living creatures with the same lack of respect a young boy pays to an insect under his magnifying lens. How it could cause even the most chaste ponygirl to fall under its spell, leading her to commit wild and wanton acts of such dire perversity that Fanfic was loath to discuss their particulars beyond a telling nudge with her well-etched hoof against Spirella's chastity belt. And especially how the ring worked, a description which made Spirella's nicely-toned tummy a little queasy, although she didn't necessarily feel sick.
"Very well, Fanfic," Spirella had said bravely as she placed the ring under her own saddle. "With the help of my bestest bud, Marie-Noëlle, I shall dispose of this artifact. Besides, I need a new bridle, and everybody's already seen this year's collection offered by the mange-riddled merchants of Snobbiton."
To date, their voyage had been fairly uneventful, with the exception of meeting Buttplug in the muddy muck, who afterwards insisted on accompanying them, mostly to avoid having to attend the Furries' annual gathering, an event which he described in grisly terms that made Spirella and Marie-Noëlle thankful that ponygirls didn't much care to parade their pride in public.
But Spirella knew that every puff of dust kicked up by the cloven heels of their crotch-high leather boots took them a step closer to their unknown fate. While Fanfic had been reticent to provide a detailed description of the nasty beasts who had forged the ring, Spirella entertained herself and Marie-Noëlle for hours in the evenings with fanciful thoughts that left both of them more than a little flushed and primed for the privacy of their sleeping rugs.
As they rambled down the road at a cheery pace promiscuously close to "skipping," Spirella allowed her mind to ponder the shape and size of her eventual foes, not to mention other fearsome and muscular creatures they might encounter in their travels.
"What the fuck is that?" cried Buttplug suddenly, his verging-on-violet fur standing on end. "Did you hear something?"
"Help! Oh please, won't someone help me?" called a pretty voice from somewhere along the side of the path.
"Come, Marie-Noëlle, we must investigate!" Spirella cried as she galloped down the embankment and into the woods.
It didn't take long before the threesome found a clearing between the trees where railroad tracks had been laid. Off in the distance, Spirella thought she heard the high, lonesome whistle of a southbound freighter coming their way.
"Look! Over there, on the tracks!" Buttplug exclaimed as his plastic claws clicked excitedly against the smooth steel of the rails. "Someone's in trouble!"
A few yards away, a young woman in a long flowing dress that was hiked up her legs, exposing multiple petticoats and a pair of adorably retro button boots, lay across the tracks, her body bound securely in vast quantities of thickly-braided rope.
"A damsel!" cried Spirella.
"In distress!" echoed Marie-Noëlle.
"What, no ripped bodice?" moaned Buttplug.
"Hurry, Buttplug, untie her," Spirella said, her ears twitching as they discerned the rumble of the fast-approaching express.
The woman gave them a sheepish look and batted her eyelashes demurely.
"Uh, that's okay," she said, suddenly calm. "I'm fine, really. Don't mind me."
"What? But there's a train approaching," exclaimed Spirella. "You'll surely be crushed, and your attractive dress shall be permanently soiled."
"Please, leave me be," the woman insisted. "Worry ye not about my apparent predicament."
"It's clear you are in need of immediate rescuing," Spirella asserted as she studied the layered coils and intricate knots surrounding the damsel's limbs with no small degree of admiration.
"Yes, but... well, it's a long story. Best you be on your way. Thanks for asking though. Good afternoon."
With that, the woman resumed her plaintive calls for aid, oblivious to the presence of the two ponygirls and their feline friend.
"Well, I never," huffed Spirella as they made their way back to the path. "She's going to be lunchmeat any minute now. Oh, we can't just leave her there. Buttplug, you must... wait, what's that I hear?"
Ahead of them, the unmistakable sound of another woman calling for help reverberated through the trees.
"Ohmigod, someone else is in trouble! Quickly!"
The trio rushed back into the woods to a second clearing where an equally-attractive woman, dressed in a parallel manner to the one they had previously encountered, was likewise trussed and squirming most appealingly on what looked like a continuation of the same set of train tracks.
.... There is more of this story ...