Trading Riches for Rags

by RarestRarity1779

Chapter 1

The beautiful Fleur de Lis breathed a heavy sigh as she walked the streets of Downtown Canterlot. She just felt so lonely recently, and deep in the back of her mind she had a feeling that her new marriage (coming fast on four months) with Fancy was about to be cut short. She had to take a walk, she just had to get some fresh air after the argument with him she had just been through. It had been like the usual morning at Fancy’s mansion, a nice, filling breakfast and some casual conversation coupled with a kiss before work. But this morning, was it so wrong of her to throw a little something extra in? Was it so wrong of her to ask when they may be able to do something together, when he would make time for her? Fancy yelled first, so she yelled back. A constant torrent of yelling, that’s all that her marriage seemed to be.

She sighed once more as she came to the same conclusion that she did every time, “My marriage is falling apart,” she whispered to herself. “Why do I keep letting him do this to me?” she thought. Fancy had cost her so much, but she never wanted to leave him. She thought it best if she just let the marriage run its course, let time iron all the kinks out. It wasn’t as bad when they were dating, but now that they were married, it seemed as though he had turned into a monster. There were so many examples to go by too! Not but a week into the marriage, Fancy had come home drunk after an “important business meeting”, which she strongly suspected to be disloyalty if not some other form of lying. As if that weren’t bad enough, she had lost several modeling jobs while in the marriage, all as a result of her becoming too thin. Fancy didn’t like it when she put on too much weight, and the modeling companies didn’t like it when she lost too much weight. It had even gotten so bad that she considered just giving up modeling and doing something menial like working in a salon, her passion having always been beauty and giving it to others, thought Fancy would never approve of it. He couldn’t bear to be married to a lowly worker, it was simply bad for his image. Their sex even lacked meaning now. That had burnt out three or four weeks into the marriage with those same suspicions of disloyalty on his part. Most of the time he would just finish up with her, take a sip of something from the bar, and go out.

Fleur stopped and noticed a poster on a wall advertising his new clothing line. The poster featured himself wearing a blue suit jacket, a beige undershirt, and a patterned tie along with the typical friendly smile that he wore in public. She shuddered and looked away from the poster as she thought about how he practically lied to the public; he was nothing like he made himself out to be. Her sadness grew to anger as she clenched her teeth and swiped her hoof across the poster, effectively tearing it down. As she watched the poster fly away with the blowing wind, her temperament changed once more, only to self pity and sadness. “This is not what a marriage is supposed to be like,” she thought, “this isn’t what I’ve always dreamed of, I... I’m sorry,” she apologized to the fluttering poster as if it were her own husband which she had struck.

She glanced up at the clock tower and decided that she had better finish her walk. Fancy would be returning home soon and he would come to look for her if she wasn’t home at least fifteen minutes after his arrival. As far as he knew, she was at a photoshoot at a nearby agency right now. She shuddered to think of what the repercussions would be like if she was caught lying to him like this.

There was a roundabout just up the street from her, so she would walk there, turn around, and walk the mile or so back home. As she walked slowly on, her head hung as it seemed to always be now, she didn’t notice the pony come walking out in front of her from a side street. She bumped into him with such force that they were both knocked onto their rumps. “Gosh, I sure am sorry,” she heard a male’s voice with a country drawl say. He reached a hoof down to help her up.

She took it graciously and replied, “Oh, I’m the one who should be apologizing. It was me who ran into you,” she said as she pulled herself up and dusted herself off. She got her first good look at the run-down pony. She knew she had seen him before, and she knew that he wasn’t from here, but she just couldn’t seem to put her hoof on it.

“Gosh, ya’ll sure is pretty,” he said unintellegently, prompting a blush from Fleur. It had been quite some time since she had been sincerely complimented.

“Thank you,” she said and looked away from him. She knew she should be on her way, but there was really no reason to just rudely trot away from somepony who had helped you up. She walked closer to him and began dusting him off. “I truly am sorry,” she apologized once more, “I guess I was just lost in my own thoughts.” She cleared her throat and switched the subject, “I’m sorry, have we met? My name is Fleur de Lis,” she smiled and shook his greasy hoof, frowning as she noticed some of the residue rubbed off on her, “I have a feeling that I’ve seen you somewhere before, though I can’t quite remember where.”

The pony plopped down on his rump, closed one eye, and thought hard. “Hmm,” he said aloud and wiped his foreleg across his muzzle. After a good minute or so of standing there and scratching his head, he replied, “Nope. Can’t say I remember neither. Oh, and I’m Hayseed Turniptruck,” he laughed through his bucked teeth.

Fleur thought a moment. She knew she had heard that name somewhere and she just had to figure out where. She was an inquisitive mare, one of those that wouldn’t stop thinking about a problem until it was solved. She noticed the turnip on his hat, paired it with his name, and soon it hit her. “Hey, I know,” she smiled politely as he stood back up, “You’re that window washing stallion. I think you fell off a piece of equipment in the dining district?” she said.

“Hey, yeah! That’s me,” he reached out to shake her hoof once more. She couldn’t help but giggle as she took it and shook. “What’s so funny?” he cluelessly asked as he began to observe the environment around them.

“You’re very funny,” she said with a gentle smile, “and charming too.” She was the first to notice that they were still holding hoofs. Hayseed made his first smart move and quickly dropped her hoof.

“Why thank ya’,” he said. “Well ma’am, sorry if I hurt you. I guess I’ll let you get on your way,” he said politely began to trot away, still with the mindset that he had caused the collision.

“Oh, wait! Mr. Turniptruck!” she called the strange name out.

“Yesum?” he turned around with a stupid smile on his face.

She trotted up to him, “Here, I want you to have this,” she turned her head around and began to muzzle around in her saddlebag until she eventually found her coin purse, “as a token of my appreciation and apologies.”

“Shucks, it ain’t nothin’ but a thang,” he replied, pushing the levitatiating bits away. “Uhh...” he began, “what’d I do for the ‘preciation’ part again?” he asked.

“You... helped me up like a gentlecolt,” she refreshed his memory and sighed, “there really aren’t many stallions like that left in this city.”

“Oh that? Shoot, I always think yer supposed to help a pretty mare up, ‘specially if you knock her down,” he replied.

“You’re very sweet,” she smiled. “You’re absolutely sure you don’t want this?” she held the bits out to him once more.

“Naw, I always work for my money. I mean, what good’s money if you don’t earn it?” he said. He may have been stupid (to a certain degree anyway), but he certainly had ethics.

“That’s very noble of you,” she smiled and slid the bits back into the purse. “Well, it was nice meeting you again. I suppose I should make my way home though. I’m sorry once more for running into you like that. I really should have been paying attention,” she giggled lightheartedly about the incident, “So... until next time Mr. Turniptruck. Goodbye.” She smiled and began to walk off. “Until next time?” she thought to herself. “Why did I end it like that?” she looked back at the clumsily waving pony. She shook it off and glanced up at the clock tower once more and broke off into a run home once she noticed it was fairly close to the time that Fancy would be returning. As she ran through the crowd, all she could do was hope that she got back in time. She really didn’t want to fight with him, not today.