• Published 11th Aug 2017
  • 2,258 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 7

Emboldened by successful first contact, Furious committed himself to further exploration of his new bride. There was a fine, fine line, he knew that, between curious exploration and unwanted groping. The line’s location was unknown so he was forced to fall back on everything his mother and his aunt had told him about respecting mares. It seemed to be working and so far, Crop Duster didn’t seem to be offended or repulsed by him.

So far, her most notable trait seemed to be that she was given to fits of laughter, and this suited him fine. He didn’t know what she saw in him, but it was obvious that she saw something, something worthwhile, something meaningful. She seemed to like how he talked, and that was a relief because Furious knew that his manner of speech was considered a bit funny.

“So, you wanted an older stallion,” he said while he walked beside her and together they headed towards a pavilion where a small army of student photographers were taking pictures. “Mind you, I ain’t complaining about my luck, but it just seems strange to me, that’s all.”

“I think I did the right thing,” she replied as she gave her mate a sidelong glance out of the corner of her eye. “You’ve had a remarkable maturity about… well, everything and that’s just what I was hoping for. I get the feeling that for most stallions my age, the wild ones just want a pretty mare to have a fling with, and the ones that do want to settle down are full of all of the folly of youth, as my mother calls it. They only want to settle down with the most perfect, most pretty mares… she calls them trophies.”

“Yer ma is wise.”

“She’ll be overjoyed to hear you say that, because she and I butted heads for years before I settled down and actually listened to what my mother had to say. I hate to admit it, but my mother was right.”

“How so?” Furious was curious, he was a curious—if sometimes furious—pony.

“Well… by the looks of it, about everything.” Crop Duster sighed and her smile became a bittersweet one. “I wanted good looks and perfection too,” she confessed. “I suppose I was a confused filly, because I wanted other ponies to overlook my imperfections… my little… problem… but I also had some impossibly high standards for a time. I was foolish, and stupid, and had my head in the clouds, or maybe even up my own backside. I wanted that handsome, perfect prince to come and sweep me off of my hooves. When I realised I wasn’t ever going to get that, it crushed me…”

“I’d imagine that it did,” Furious interjected, feeling that this was the right time to say something.

“Like any foal that can’t get their way, I might have decided that if I couldn’t get what I wanted, then I didn’t want it at all. I had to grow up and mature real quick. It hurt a lot, and it was painful, and I didn’t like it, and my mother, she didn’t give up on me and she was real hard on me sometimes… but I suppose I needed it. Once I sorted myself out and got my priorities straight, things still felt impossible, but at least they didn’t feel so bad.

With a sweep of his eye, Furious looked down and watched her hooves. They walked well together, she had shorter legs, but had a light, quick step. He had longer legs, but limped on one and that slowed him down. It was hard to put into words, or to even organise his thoughts, but they each had a good pace for one another. Even though he was a pegasus, he liked walking and did it often. How else was he supposed to get into trouble with Braeburn or spend time with the earth ponies of Appleloosa?

Of course, Furious didn’t walk or trot so much as he did mosey.

“It was a long journey for me, getting to where I am now.” Crop Duster’s voice was soft, subdued, almost sad, but her eyes were filled with joy. “I really am very happy to have met you, Mister Mustache. I’ve only known you a short time, but I have already grown quite fond of you. Every second, every moment of this day just feels right, and I didn’t think this would be possible. Thank you for being patient with me and hearing me out.”

Now it was Furious’ turn. “Oh, I done reckon I could listen to you talk all day.” These words got his bride to giggle and he cherished the sound of her happiness, which seemed to be so much more important than his own. He found himself tongue tied just thinking about it and realised that he was falling for her… hard. No doubt, he was about to have himself a tumble, and he was okay with that.

With a watchful eye, Furious watched with great interest as his new wife filled out her address on the form for the photos. Her address? Their address? Yes, he had a home now. An aerie. Her aerie. For whatever reason, all of his thoughts on this matter were awkward. While she scribbled away, he took off his hat, slicked back his mane with his foreleg, and took a moment to adjust his eyepatch.

His mustache was already perfect.

A flashbulb popped and some mare whickered in surprise. Furious’ eye wandered and he had himself a look around. The photographers were students, foals of all ages and sizes. Most had cutie marks with some of kind camera, but there was a surprising variety of marks that all related to the same subject. Something about the atmosphere here was magical and Furious, though not a smart one, figured that the foals might have something to do with it. Photographers could be fussy, annoying types, always trying to get that ‘perfect’ shot. He’d dealt with quite a few when they came out trying to get a picture of him. But the foals seemed far more laid back than their grownup counterparts. Everypony seemed far more at ease because of this.

“Right this way,” an older mare said when Crop Duster was finished.

A painted blue background of sky was behind them and a long legged filly was in front of them, fussing with the camera that was mounted on a tripod. She had thick glasses with tortoiseshell frames, braces, and wore a clamp to straighten out a crooked, misshapen ear. This filly was confident, bubbly, and friendly. Her happiness seemed infectious and Furious found himself smiling, even though it was impossible to see because of his heavy handlebar mustache.


“Yeah, darlin’?” This response caused the mare beside him to giggle like a sugar-addled squirrel and he made the bold move of sliding his wing over her back.

She shook with the giggles and moved a little closer so she could lean up against her husband’s side. “I’ve never been happier than this in my whole life. Meeting you was the greatest thing to have ever happened to me. I mean that, I really do, and I am so glad that I did this.”

“Hey!” the filly said in a chirpy, syrupy voice. “The two of you make a really cute couple. Now move a little closer together, and you, don’t look at me, look up at him, but keep your nose pointed at the camera. That’s right, it’s all in the eyes. I want those eyes looking up! Now look sweet.” The filly cleared her throat and then continued, “Pull her a little closer. That’s right, give her a squeeze. Keep your head high at a proud angle, chin up, muzzle level. I want that mustache to be visible. Equestria was built on mighty mustaches!”

Reaching out her foreleg, Crop Duster wrapped it around her husbands, then pulled herself as close as possible. Doing as she was told, she focused her nose towards the camera, but looked up with her eyes, never once realising how cute she was in this position. Furious too, adjusted his pose and turned the good side of his face towards the camera.

“Now, everypony say, ‘marital mustache rodeo!’” the filly shouted.

Crop Duster exploded with laughter when the flashbulb exploded and the picture was… perfect.

Like so many others, Furious Funnel and Crop Duster walked the streets of the Crystal Empire, taking in the many sights, sounds, and smells that the city had to offer. All around them, ponies were falling in love and the evidence of heavy infatuation was everywhere to be seen. Long drawn out gazes with eyes locked on one another, searing blushes, and euphoric laughter was everywhere.

“I have a confession, Furious.”

“Ya do?”

“I’ve fallen in love with your mustache. Later, I am going to talk to him and see if I can get him to tell me his secrets.” While she walked beside her husband, she leaned her head over against his neck, and to any onlooker that observed her, it was obvious that she was happy to be with her new husband, just like so many other mares at this moment.

“Now, if’n you could grow a mustache, mine would have someone to settle down with—”

“Furious! Oh my gosh!” Crop Duster whooped with laughter and she had to cover her mouth with one wing to try and remain polite. “A mare shouldn’t have a mustache, that’s terrible!”

“I think you’d be right pretty with a mustache—”

“Furious, stop! You’re going to kill me!” Now, Crop Duster was laughing so hard that she had some trouble walking. She stopped mid-step, squeezed her eyes shut, threw her head back, and let everything come out, holding nothing back. With both wings extended, she wrapped them around Furious’ neck and held on for dear life while she whooped and hooted.

“My mustache could get with your cute little mustache, and they could settle down, and maybe raise themselves a whole passel of little eyebrows or something.” Grinning, Furious stood still while Crop Duster stomped her hooves against the road and hollered with laughter.

“Oh my gosh, I’m dying!” she wheezed, and then she sucked in more wind to sustain her heaving guffaws. Her wings drew tight around her husband’s neck and her hind legs squeezed together while her tail tucked down tight. “I need to pee! Quick! Potty emergency! Furious, stop making me laugh!”

“So now would be a bad time to find out if yer ticklish?” Furious asked with mischief in his eye.

“Yes!” was Crop Duster’s breathy reply as she struggled to swallow the wild, reckless peals of laughter that threatened her very dignity. “Help me, Mister Mustache!”

“There’s an ice cream parlour,” he said as he began to pull her along and she walked with her hind legs held tight against one another. “I hope it ain’t too crowded. Come on, girly, and let’s get you sorted out.”

“Feel better?” Furious asked while the pegasus mare that he had married approached him. “I took the liberty of ordering you some ice cream. They’ve only got one flavour but ice cream is ice cream, as far as I’m concerned.” He gestured at the empty chair across from him and his ears perked from the noise all around him. A hot red blush appeared on Crop Duster’s face.

She moved with an almost shy slowness now, biting her lip, and her sides were still heaving with the laughter that she kept corralled up inside her. At this moment, she was perfect, too perfect, and Furious found himself smitten. Mindful of her wild curly tail, she sat down and rested her elbows against the flat edge of the table.

“I shouldn’t eat ice cream,” she murmured.

“‘Cause it’ll make your backside big?” he asked.

Tittering, Crop Duster gazed at her husband with half-closed eyes and one raised eyebrow. “I like listening to you talk,” she said in a coy whisper.

“To hear Silverstar tell it, a mare should be big enough and stout enough to keep her husband warm in the winter, and her foals well shaded in the summer.” Beneath his mustache, Furious grinned, revealing his broken down picket fence smile. “Of course, every mare that has half a brain in her head runs away from Silverstar, not just ‘cause of what he says, but because that feller lives on nothing but baked beans and black coffee.”

“Just what is it that you ponies do out on the prairie?” Crop Duster asked, and then she bit her lower lip again while her eyes looked down at her ice cream.

“Oh, we make sport on who can blow a tumbleweed the farthest. That’d be Braeburn of course, after too much apple pie and cider. Why, one day, after a pie eating contest, Brae, he done blew off the back wall of the shit shack. He kept trying to say it was shoddy work that caused it, but we all knew the truth and we done razzed him good for a month at least.”

Try as she might, Crop Duster could not contain her giggles and her wings slapped against her sides. “If I eat any kind of dairy, it does bad things to me. It reacts badly to my hindgut fermentation problem. I love ice cream and I love sweet creamy butter, but it doesn’t like me very much. It leaves me cramped, bloated, and…” Her unfinished sentence hung in the air in much the same way that anvils did, and once more, she nibbled on her bottom lip, looking shy and insecure.

“Tell me something about you that don’t have nothing to do with the wind you blow out yer backside,” Furious said while his ice cream began to soften in his little waxed cardboard bowl. “How’d you get your name?”

Crop Duster’s lip stretched taut while she pulled it free from her tight teeth and then she replied, “I started out as Dizzy Duster when I was little. I was a little neat freak, and I still am. I like for things to be clean. I’d go buzzing around the aerie keeping everything clean and doing battle with the cobwebs in the corners.”

“That sounds cute.”

“When I got my spray tank cutie mark, it was a proud moment for my parents. It meant that I’d continue their legacy, working in the sky while the earth ponies tilled the ground. I might not look it, but I’m strong… a spray tank is heavy and I was just a little filly the first I time I flew with one. It was summer, school was out, and I was determined to help somehow. It was a proud moment for everypony, now that I think about it, and I had a lot of ponies congratulate me.”

“So it’s hard work?” Furious asked, his brows furrowing in concentration as his attention became focused.

“It’s hard, smart work,” she replied and she began to tap her hoof against the tabletop. “You also have to be an expert flier. While you’re out working the field, you have to keep track of everything around you. Wind, humidity, temperature, everything. All of this affects how much you spray. If you spray too little, you don’t maximise your yields. Spray too much and the plants will burn and wither. The soil will go sour for a time. Do that and a farm might go under. So the farmers have to trust that you’re good at what you do, and I am good at what I do. There’s a small flock of us that work the skies, and we’re all well respected. In fact, that is just about the only respect I get.”

Furious nodded to show that he was listening, and then he ducked his head down into his ice cream bowl. She did the same and he watched as her orange tongue lapped against the melting chocolate ice cream. A few licks later, and she lifted her head to keep speaking.

“I like my job and I like what I do. I’m proud of my work. But it is awful, stinky work. Depending on what I am working with that day, I end up smelling pretty bad. Stink is something that defines my life, now that I think about it. Some days, I stink like liquified fish, which is used as a fertiliser. Other days I spray with highly refined growth formula made from earth pony dung. And some of the pesticides are just awful.”

“It’s a thankless, dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.” Furious licked the chocolate ice cream from his mustache and then leaned over the table. “Earth pony dung is how we get things to grow out of the desert and it is the most valuable resource in all of Appleloosa.” He gave his mustache another lick and was rewarded with the rich taste of chocolate. She was lapping up more ice cream now and something about the way she did it left him feeling squirmy and excited. “See, I understand thankless, dirty jobs, ‘cause I’ve done them just about all my life. When twisters aren’t threatening the town and things are boring, I did all sorts of work doing all sorts of things. I’ve made fences, built outhouses, laid out irrigation, herded cattle, watched over sheep, and more than a few times I’ve worked as a deputy. Almost all of these jobs are awful, awful work, but somepony has gots to do them.”

Raising her head, Crop Duster smacked her chocolate coated lips together and looked Furious in the eye. “You know, we could use a new sheriff. Ours is getting on in her years with no replacement in sight. She can’t see so good anymore but nopony wants to complain because she’s been so good at her job for so long.”

“I dunno if I’m cut out for something like that,” Furious drawled. “I only got deputised to whoopass up on something. I ain’t so good at the negotiating and peacekeeping part. When conflict happens, I tend to be as friendly as a constipated razorback with whatchamacallit... a burning hemorrhoidal itch is how Silverstar described it, I think.”

“Mister Mustache, you are a funny pony.” Crop Duster smiled, her lips still coated in chocolate ice cream, and then she pushed her muzzle back into her cold, creamy treat.

Almost shivering, Furious watched with great fascination while she lapped her ice cream, and each flick of her orange tongue was almost hypnotic. She was a perfect, beautiful creature, and with each passing second, his feeling for her grew stronger and stronger. The thought crossed his mind of kissing her, and the urge to do so was almost overpowering. But that would have to come later, perhaps, when the time was right.

For now, Furious finished his ice cream.

Author's Note:

Alcohol? They'll be getting into that awful stuff pretty soon.
:trollestia: :heart: