• Published 11th Aug 2017
  • 2,244 Views, 420 Comments

Princess Cadance's Lonely Hearts Club Land - kudzuhaiku

Look at all of the lonely ponies, where do they all come from? Furious Funnel comes from Appleloosa, and he's looking for somepony to be with him when he's sixty four.

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Chapter 1

Today, Appleloosa was gritty. Yesterday was a bit gritty as well, and tomorrow's outlook was also expected to be… gritty. Looking out over the vast expanse of desert, Furious Funnel saw the distant swirling storm of ash clouds over Mount Maud and knew that he needed a change. Something different. More than just a change of scenery. The days had been bleeding together here for quite some time and his job had lost its thrill.

Working as a tornado wrangler for the city of Appleloosa was his life and Furious held some small worry over the fact that his job brought no satisfaction. The danger held no thrill and this was a hazard. As it was, he was the rootinest, tootinest, meanest tornado wrangler in these parts, and he had come to be this way by being cautious, a habit that he had been failing to keep in practice with for quite some time.

Far in the distance, the hint of thunder—the soft-whispered suggestion of thunder—rumbled. Furious’ hackles knew it was from the heat, and they did nothing to rise. The heat-shimmers that rose from the sands were hypnotic and a hot, dry, gritty wind blew in from the west, the direction of Mount Maud. Furious’ sole surviving eye lost focus and he drifted off, lost to daydreams, which some said were the experimental efforts of Princess Celestia herself.

The one room schoolhouse of Ponyville was a prison cell of boredom for young Furious Frown. Hot tempered, prone to fits of anger, little Furious had trouble sitting still and this got him in no end of trouble. Not one for smiling, the hot-tempered colt was the perfect example of why pegasus ponies were considered brutes. It wasn’t that he was mean to his classmates, no, he spared them his ire while he sat there and scowled in relative silence. He wasn’t too awful to his teacher, a young Miss Cherilee, but he wasn’t keen on answering her complicated questions.

Furious’ problem was that he didn’t smile and due to this, he had no friends. Oh, there were ponies who sort of liked him—the little scrapper of a colt enjoyed beating up the pair of schoolhouse bullies as a pastime—but this got him detention after school and a stern lecture from Miss Cheerilee, which he was patient enough to endure without giving her no sass.

Beside Furious, a colt named Big Mac sat running his mouth, talking to no end about how smart he was and how he was going to be a successful business tycoon. It was the same old talk every day and Furious had almost reached the point where he could recite it word for word. A filly named Pinny Lane was chewing gum again, he could smell it, but her face showed no visible signs of her illicit actions. She was big, that filly, all legs and neck, and most of the class teased her about being part giraffe. Big Mac wasn’t so big when he stood next to Pinny Lane.

“I don’t wanna be here,” she whined, wafting a cloud of fruity, bubblegum scented air in Furious’ direction. “I’d rather be bowling. I don’t need to learn this stuff.”

In response, the scowling little colt rolled his eyes.

“I’m gonna be the Princess of Strikes,” Pinny Lane announced in a somewhat snotty, haughty voice. “I’m gonna be such a good bowler that Princess Celestia will give me a crown.”

“Yeah, you already sit on the throne in the bowling alley, dropping bowling balls in the thundermug,” a filly named Fauna said while she turned around to face the filly behind him.

“Oh, shut up!” Pinny snapped while she brushed her mane out of her face with her foreleg. “I do not!”

“Class…” Cheerilee’s one word of warning was enough to make everypony go silent, even Big Mac. The patient mare stood smiling at the front of the class and she gestured at the chalkboard where a series of arithmetic equations awaited answers. She cleared her throat, nodded her head, and just as she was about to say something, a ringing bell could be heard outside.

Ears sinking like over-saturated newspaper boats left in a pond, Cheerilee’s head swiveled around, looking out the windows. Outside, shouts of panic could be heard, and then there was a sound so faint that it almost couldn’t be heard, a distant rumble like a train coming into the station. Outside, a shrill, panicked voice cried, “TWISTER!”

“Class!” Miss Cheerilee, young Miss Cheerilee who was almost the same age as some of her oldest students, was not quite an adult yet and had trouble in panic-inducing situations, she had trouble holding herself together. She pranced in place, her hooves clattering against the wooden floorboards. “Class, we must go to the storm cellar! Hurry! Stick together, just like we do in the drills, and gather up the littlest ones! Make sure they’re safe!”

Furious did not listen. His eyes, both of them, were focused on the window. His barrel rose and fell while his nostrils flared in defiance. Angry little snorts began to escape from the pegasus foal, who had seen the ancient enemy of his kind. Already, the wind was making the schoolhouse shudder and every other foal had crowded around Miss Cheerilee, many of them bleating in terror.

This would not stand. His stubby wings shooting out from his sides, little Furious snarled as he prepared to do battle with the most dangerous of beasts. The whole town was threatened: not just the ponies, but the buildings, the farms, everything the town required to thrive and survive. Furious had reached his breaking point, and he was sick to death of storms come to bully.

“Furious, no!” Miss Cheerilee commanded when the foal bolted from his seat and went shooting off through the open window. “Furious! FURIOUS! Furious, that is a week, no a MONTH of detention!” Knowing that she had other lives to save, Miss Cheerilee could do nothing and she began to herd others out of the schoolhouse and into the storm cellar.

Meanwhile, little Furious Frown followed the Ponyville Weather Team into battle…

Blinking, Furious Funnel remembered that day all too well. He had lost an eye, but had gained a cutie mark, an angry looking dust devil with a fierce, furious frowning face. It was also the day that he had quit school, because there was no way that he was going to face all of that detention. Looking back on a life well lived, Furious had no regrets, but couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.

No, he had one regret that he could think of. He had never asked Pinny Lane out on a date to go bowling. Not that he found her pretty or anything, but the idea of hitting something with something else that was hard was appealing to his nature. He hadn’t seen the old gang in years, not that he had ever really been a part of it. Reaching up with his foreleg, he stroked his mustache, his magnificent soup strainer, and he decided that he was done with this life of being alone. It was time to do something about it.

Spreading his wings, the one-eyed pegasus took off to speak with his old pal Braeburn.

“You sonuvabitch, what?” Braeburn pounded his hoof down on the wooden table with enough force to rattle the two mugs of foamy cherry-apple cider. “Of all the no good, low down, dirty pranks you’ve done, this is the worst! You had me going there for a moment.”

“I ain’t kidding, Braeburn, I’m quitting.” Furious leaned back in his rickety wooden chair and there was something that was almost a smile on his somewhat scarred, weatherbeaten face. “I done saw me a thing in the paper about one of the blindfold weddings that Princess Cadance does. I ain’t no good at dating, in fact, to be honest, I ain’t no good at anything but having myself a tussle with a twister, and that ain’t good. I can’t even figure out how to talk to a mare—”

“Talking to a mare is easy,” Braeburn said, cutting in and leaning forward. “Yer problem is, yer ugly and you scare them mares away when ya goes to say hello to ‘em.”

Throwing back his head, Furious chuckled while he wiped his sweaty, greasy mane out of his eye. Braeburn lifted up his mug, took a swallow, and then held it close while his friend had a laugh. Already, Furious was recovering and the grizzled pegasus reached out for his own mug so he could wet his whistle.

“The way I see it,” Furious began, “is that if I do this, I can skip past all of the trouble of finding a mare and getting her to settle down. Princess Cadance’s program will pair me up with a mare I’m fit to be with. My hoof’ll be in the door, so to speak. The hardest part’ll be done and then… and then… well…”

“You don’t know what to do next?” Braeburn finished off his friend’s sentence in an effort to be helpful.

“I’m in my thirties, Braeburn, and I ain’t got a damn thing to show for my life.” Furious cuddled up with his mug of cherry-apple cider and couldn’t look his friend in the eye. “I ain’t got no house. I don’t own land. I don’t own anything of meaning or value. All I’ve done with all of my years of living is whoopass up on twisters and wear a few barstools shiny with my backside.”

“Living the dream, Furious, living the dream.” Braeburn’s words were filled with well meaning humour, but there was a noticeable, poignant sadness to them. “So, the Pinto Pummeller is gonna retire?”

“I dunno.” Furious shrugged and shook his head. He took a long drink of his cider, swished it around inside of his dry mouth, and swallowed with a loud gulp. “It’s like rodeo, Braeburn, you can only do it for so long before something gives. My bones ache when I get out of bed now and there is a crick in my spine that won’t go away. I’ve had a good long run at this, Braeburn, I’ve done this far, far longer than any pony has a right to.”

“Yer the undefeated champeen.” Braeburn’s smile faded into a sad, mournful expression. “Yer the prizefighter. Little whippersnappers come and ask you for your autograph. Reporters start their careers by coming out to interview ya. You’ve had a good run, I’ll give ya that.”

The pegasus lifted up his mug and then did his best to drown his sorrows. He guzzled down the entirety of its contents, and when he pulled it away, his mustache was covered in foam. The mug was set down on the table with a sharp thump, and then Furious licked away the foam on his mustache, which like the rest of his pinto pelt, was a mix of ruddy brown and stark white.

“When I was a colt, a storm took my eye,” Furious said as he strained to hold back what was sure to be a ferocious belch. “Storm ain’t taken nothing from me since.” Pounding on his barrel, the pegasus let go his fury, and the resulting burp was a resonating, epic ‘BRAP!’ Several of the other saloon patrons turned to have a look, but he ignored them and remained focused on his friend. “This is goodbye, Braeburn, I don’t reckon I’ll be back. Whatever mare I get saddled with, I figure I’ll settle down with her.”

“Daggumit, Furious!” For just a moment, anger could be seen in Braeburn’s eyes, and then it faded away, leaving behind regret. “The least you could do is get hitched and bring that mare back with you. Why can’t you do that?”

“‘Cause I ain’t one for that polyamory stuff. That… threesome massage a twat fantasy don’t appeal to me.” Furious began to tap against the side of his mug with the hard edge of his hoof. “I ain’t a smart pony and I ain’t got the attention span. I’m a pony that can only have one love, and if I stayed here, I’d end up cheatin’ on my new wife with whatever floozy Mount Maud sends my way.”

“Consarnit, there ain’t nothing wrong with a little something on the side—”

“I can’t do it, Braeburn.” Furious’ voice went hard and his one remaining amber eye focused on his friend. “If’n I go through the trouble of getting hitched, settling down, and maybe having a youngin, what happens if I go off a storm chasing and get myself killed? Or worse? What sort of husband would I be? What sort of father?” Furious bared his teeth, revealing a few gaps, a prizefighter’s smile. “That’d make me a sumbitch, Braeburn, and I won’t be a sumbitch.”

“Shit.” Closing his eyes, Braeburn rested his forelegs against the table and his head drooped down close to his mug. “You leaving makes you a contemptible bastard—”

“Sorry, Brae.” Furious’ cauliflowered ears attempted to droop, but the hardened, gristle-bound, many-times-broken cartilage was too stiff to relax. “It’s been great fun, Braeburn Apple. These years have been good ones. The storm fighting, the occasional bit of deputy work, keeping this here town safe from all threats, these have been good, meaningful years for me.”

When Braeburn lifted his head and opened his eyes, they were misty. “Good luck going north, Furious. I hope you find whatever you are looking for. You deserve it, ol’ friend.” Struggling to smile, Braeburn extended his hoof to his friend.

Returning the gesture, Furious also extended his hoof, and his right foreleg was crooked just past the elbow, bent at an odd, cringe-inducing angle. A single, simple hoof-bump held more meaning between the two long time friends than any words could say, and they looked one another in the eye.

“Wherever it is you’ll go, I’ll come and visit, so you don’t have to come back here and be tempted, you cranky, crotchety sidewinder.” Somehow, Braeburn smiled through the pain of saying goodbye.

“Keep these ponies honest, Braeburn.” Furious pulled his hoof away, and he too, somehow managed to smile, but his mustache quivered, betraying him. “I’ll keep an eye out for ya so I can introduce ya to the missus—”

“That’s a terrible joke, you one-eyed bastard.” The earth pony began to chortle and his extended foreleg fell down to the table. “Goodbye, Furious Funnel. May the skies be ever in your favour.”

“Goodbye, Braeburn Apple. May the road rise to meet your hooves.”

With a slow turn of his head, Furious slipped out of his chair, landed on his hooves, shook himself a bit, and then with a few stiff steps, he left his friend behind as he began his journey. He did not look back, though his ears did prick when he heard Braeburn’s hitching, shuddering—gasps, they were gasps, not sobs. Braeburn was too tough to cry. Turning to look back now would be folly, and he knew that being stallions, they would only embarrass one another.

Gritting his teeth, he strode in silence to the batwing doors of the saloon…

Author's Note:

This story will not be for the faint of heart. There will be pegasus ponies that invade birdbaths and perform lewd, even downright graphic plumage displays. Consider yourself warned. Bail out now! :trollestia:

Have a thought? Feelings? I’d love to hear it!