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Apple and Sunbow 
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Post Apple and Sunbow
Here's a new story that does NOT feature the Cake Sisters, but is in the same universe. See what you think!







Apple and Sunbow







“Welcome to your new home, folks!” said the real estate agent as the Core family stepped out of their car and looked at the house.

“It’s beautiful!” said Mrs. Core.

“Yes—and we’re getting a great deal on it!” said Mr. Core.

Apple, their Dalmatian, said nothing. It wasn’t their home. Their home was back in the old neighborhood, where Vanilla Cake had lived. Apple was glad that she and Vanilla had patched things up before they had to move, but she was still sorry that they couldn’t be friends anymore. Now Apple had no friends at all—she didn’t know anyone in this new neighborhood, and after the way she treated Vanilla once, she doubted she would make any. She doubted she even deserved any real friends.

To be sure, Vanilla had told her about Officer Yogurt, a policeman in the Cake family’s neighborhood, and Mr. and Mrs. Core had called him about finding a therapist for Apple, but Apple still doubted that she could change. She still thought she was a bad dog, and that she always would be.

“Come on, Apple, let’s go inside!” said Mrs. Core, taking her dog by the paw.

Apple cringed, but nodded. “Okay….”

Out the corner of her eye, Apple saw another dog in the front yard of the house next to theirs. This dog was a border collie about her age. She was wearing a yellow sports jersey and matching shorts, and her headfur was tied back in a ponytail with a yellow scrunchie. She was playing with a soccer ball, kicking it back and forth from one knee to another—she was surprisingly good at it, never letting it fall and never letting it bounce off the same knee twice in a row. Apple was impressed.

But that wasn’t why Apple looked at her—indeed, Apple’s first impulse was to quickly turn away in case the border collie saw her. It was the border collie’s tag—she was wearing a red collar, not unlike Vanilla’s, but her tag…what WAS it? It looked kind of like a rainbow—a half-circle, with a cloud at each end—but where were all the colors? There was only one color, yellow, which matched her outfit. Apple had never seen anything like it.

Just then the border collie saw Apple. She smiled and waved. Instinctively Apple turned her head, pulled the hood of her white jacket over her face, and ducked quickly into the house. It didn’t occur to her that she had been unfriendly, although she did doubt that the other dog would like her.

* * * * *

Mr. Core was on the phone, writing a name down. “Dr. Potpourri. Okay, thank you, Officer Yogurt.” He hung up, then went back to where Mrs. Core was petting Apple.

“Don’t worry, Apple, Dr. Potpourri will help you,” said Mrs. Core.

Apple felt like crying. “No—No, it’s a waste of time, and money. I’m just a bad dog.”

“You’re NOT a bad dog, Apple,” said Mr. Core. “You made a mistake. It happens. We’ve all done it.”

Apple shook her head vigorously. “Not like I did.”

The doorbell rang.

“Must be neighbors come to greet the new kids on the block,” said Mr. Core.

Apple cringed, hoping they wouldn’t see her. She shut her eyes, but couldn’t shut her ears.

“Welcome to the neighborhood!” said a man in a jolly voice. “We’re the Pie family.”

“Nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Pie,” said Mrs. Core, who had left Apple to greet the new neighbors. “We’re the Core family. And who is this adorable little dog you have?”

“This is Cherry,” said a woman’s voice. “Say hello to Mr. and Mrs. Core, Cherry.”

“How do you do, Mr. and Mrs. Core?” said Cherry. “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. We’re so glad to have you in the neighborhood.”

“We have a dog too,” said Mrs. Core. “Her name’s Apple. Come on, Apple, and meet the neighbors.”

Apple really really really didn’t want to, but she obeyed.

She saw the Pie family. They looked nice enough, especially their Afghan hound, Cherry. Cherry was wearing a red dress and a white pinafore, and a red hat with a wide brim. She did indeed look adorable.

“What a beautiful Dalmatian you have!” said Cherry.

Apple turned her head, wondering who Cherry was talking about.

“You, mademoiselle!” said Cherry.

Apple looked at Cherry. “M-Me?”

“Of course you! How do you do? I’m Cherry Pie. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Cherry curtsied.

Apple looked embarrassed. She felt like she was being treated like royalty, and she didn’t feel up to the treatment.

“Uh…nice to meet you too.”

“I hope our dogs can be very good friends,” said Mrs. Pie. “Would you like that, Cherry?”

“Oh, I’d love that!” said Cherry. “Do you want to be friends, Miss Apple?”

“Er…okay, why not?”

“Wonderful!” said Mrs. Core.

* * * * *

“Apple Core, I’d like you to meet my friends!” said Cherry.

“Wow…you have a lot of friends….” said Apple as she saw the other dogs. One of them was the border collie she had seen when her family had first moved in. The border collie waved, but Apple turned her head.

Cherry went on to introduce them. There was a poodle named Milk, a Corgi named Brownie, an Akita named Sushi, and the border collie was named Sunbow. Now Apple knew what that tag was on her collar. She’d heard of rainbows, but she had never heard of a sunbow before.

“I just know we’re going to be great friends!” said Cherry. “We do everything together. Everyone wants to be in our little group!”

“Well…thank you…for accepting me….” said Apple shyly.

“You’re welcome!” said Sunbow. “Nice to have you.”

“Say, I’ve got a great idea!” said Cherry. “Let’s introduce Apple to your families!”

Sunbow looked uncomfortable. “Are you sure that’s a good idea? Maybe—”

“Nonsense! Apple’s new in the neighborhood, what could be better than to make a good first impression on everyone?”

Apple hung her head. Sunbow didn’t like her already. She knew it.

“Come on, Apple, let’s introduce you to Sunbow’s family!”

Both Apple and Sunbow looked like they were dreading this.

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Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:57 am
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Great to see Apple got a limelight. Funny how the new neighborhood still have punny naming and pets wearing civilian clothings.

I wonder about the fate of the other dogs who bullied Vanilla.

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Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:11 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
this new start is really interesting! Can't wait to see how Apple will redeem herself.

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Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:25 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Such names! You are making me hungry here~ :roll:

The clothing thing is off putting, but I can get used to it.

Well, this is an interesting story. I hope Apple becomes a good dog who can love herself

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Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:37 am
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Here's Chapter 2!







“Um…Dad? Mom? This is…Apple. Apple Core. She’s new in the neighborhood,” said Sunbow, looking uncomfortable.

Sunbow, Cherry, and Apple were at the door of the Sky household. Cherry was smiling politely, but Sunbow and Apple were not.

“H-Hello…Mr. and Mrs. Sky….” said Apple.

“Why, hello, Apple,” said Mrs. Sky. “I hope you’ll forgive us, but we’re trying to find my jewelry box. It’s missing.”

“We’ll help you, Mrs. Sky,” said Cherry. “We’re dogs—we have a good sense of smell. Just let us smell your hands, and we’ll locate the jewelry box in no time!”

Apple’s ears perked up. She didn’t expect to be conscripted into such a job. She only hoped that she would be able to do what was expected of her.

“Well…all right,” said Mrs. Sky. “Sunbow can’t help—she’s olfaction impaired.”

“Uh…I’m sorry?” said Apple, who didn’t know what that meant.

Sunbow sighed. “It means I can’t smell very well. I’m not completely blind, scent-wise, but I can’t smell well enough to help out.”

“What a good thing for you that we came, then!” said Cherry. “Come on, Apple, let’s go help Mrs. Sky find her jewelry box.”

Apple looked very nervous, but said “O-Okay….”

Cherry and Apple sniffed Mrs. Sky’s hands, and then sniffed around for an identical scent to be found elsewhere.

“You check the bedroom, I’ll check the bathroom,” said Cherry.

“Okay,” said Apple, going into the bedroom. She sniffed around, but could not find anything. She even tried checking under the bed, behind the dresser, places most people might not think to look. Apple had low self-esteem, but she was intelligent.

She had searched for a few minutes when she heard a “Pst!”

Her ears perked up. Cherry. “Did you find it?”

“Shh! Shh! Yes and no,” said Cherry.

Apple cocked her head in confusion.

Cherry sighed. “It’s found, yes, but I thought it would be better if you gave it to Mrs. Sky yourself. What better way to make a good first impression? Maybe then you’ll be more confident, too, you think?”

Apple looked uncomfortable. That made sense, yes. And since Sunbow didn’t seem to like her, it might help if she did make a good first impression with her parents.

“O-Okay then,” said Apple. “Let me have it.”

Cherry shook her head. “Someone might see me. It’s in the bathroom. Go pretend you found it yourself.”

“Oh—um, okay….” said Apple, heading into the bathroom as Cherry went elsewhere.

Sure enough, there was the jewelry box. Apple was confused. It wasn’t even hidden—it was right out in the open. And why was the window open? She half-thought of shutting it, but then thought it might be presumptuous and left it open. She ignored the strange but familiar sounds that seemed to be coming from outside.

* * * * *

“Apple, there you are!” said Cherry, wagging her tail. “Did you find it?”

“Um…yes…. Here it is, Mrs. Sky.”

“Oh, thank you so much, Apple! Where was it?”

“On the bathroom floor.”

Mrs. Sky looked perplexed. “I checked there before, and it wasn’t there.”

She opened the jewelry box. “But…where’s my jewelry?”

Apple’s ears perked up. She hadn’t thought to open the box because it was someone else’s property. “Isn’t it in there…?”

“No! Apple, did you take my jewelry out?”

“N-No, ma’am!”

“Wait a minute, let’s not jump to conclusions,” said Cherry. “I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for all this. Here, I’ll check her pockets.”

Cherry reached into one of Apple’s pockets, then gasped loudly. “Apple, what’s this?”

“Huh? What’s what?”

Cherry held up an earring.

“That’s my earring!” said Mrs. Sky. “Where’s the other one? And where are my necklaces?”

“I—I…I-I don’t know!” cried Apple, starting to tear up. How had that earring gotten in her pocket?

“Apple, if you have her jewelry, shouldn’t you give it back?” said Cherry.

“But—but I didn’t take it! I-I don’t know how that got there, honest!”

“I’m not angry with you, Apple,” said Mrs. Sky. “I believe everyone’s innocent until proven guilty. And if I get my jewelry back I won’t ask any questions or talk to your parents about this. But I want my jewelry back.”

“I….” Apple started to burst into tears.

* * * * *

“I-I’m so sorry, Sunbow….” said Apple after they had left the Sky house and Apple had had a long cry. “I really don’t know how that earring got in my pocket. I didn’t take it—honest!”

“I believe you,” said Sunbow.

“You—You do?”

“Apple…you don’t have any…problems, do you?” said Cherry.

Apple sniffed. “Wh-What do you mean?”

“Kleptomania, somnambulism, you know?”

Apple hung her head. “I…I did sleepwalk once or twice as a puppy, but not since….”

“Do you think maybe it’s coming back?”

“I—I don’t KNOW!”

Sunbow put a paw on Apple’s shoulder. She tried to smile, but her expression was clearly pained.

“Well, we’ll get to the bottom of this,” said Cherry. “Maybe you shouldn’t meet other people until it’s solved, though, you think?”

Apple sniffed. “O-Okay….”

“Aren’t you glad for friends like us?” said Cherry.

Apple nodded, shutting her eyes.

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:15 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Okay.
I remember wishing hard that karm came back and bite Apple with a vengeance...but wow, talk about fast service!

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:28 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Hmm, bad friends, bad dogs, and bad personalities all around! This might turn out to be a bit dark. :?

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Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:38 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
@valerio: I don't know what you mean.... :?

@copper: Don't worry, it won't be that dark.

Anyway, here's Chapter 3!







Apple talked to her parents about the situation. They didn’t believe Apple was guilty of taking anything—they knew their dog better than that. But this failed to console Apple, and so they felt that she needed therapy as soon as possible. Apple was not looking forward to this. She knew what to expect. The therapist would tell her some nonsense about how just because you did something bad doesn’t mean you’re bad yourself, and how society is to blame, and blah blah blah. Not to mention charging money for it.

Apple knew better. She had laughed when her best friend Vanilla Cake was being hurt by some of her other friends—LAUGHED. A good dog does not laugh when her best friend is being treated that way, and to blame society is to absolve oneself of responsibility.

Apple was waiting until it was time for her to go to see the therapist. She didn’t bother to spend the time doing anything fun, or anything at all, to make the time go by faster. She simply wallowed in her own guilt and self-loathing.

Suddenly the phone rang.

“AHH!”

Apple clutched her heart. It was just the phone. “Mom? Dad?”

No answer. The phone rang again. Apple winced. She really did not want to answer it herself, especially since she had no idea who it was.

The phone rang a third time.

Finally Apple couldn’t stop herself. What if it was important, and what if her failure to answer resulting in things getting even worse than they already were? She picked up the phone, trembling as if fully expecting it to be the pound coming to take her away.

“H-Hello…?”

A whistle on the other end, then silence.

Apple’s ears perked up in confusion. Okay, she wasn’t expecting that.

She hung up, and then noticed something out the corner of her eye, out the window. She saw a border collie waving at her—not in a friendly manner, but in an urgent manner.

Sunbow.

Apple cringed. The dog who didn’t like her. She tried to look away, but then the phone rang again. Apple noticed that Sunbow was on her phone, and reasoned that it was she who had called before. Apple really didn’t want to talk to her, but at the same time, Sunbow knew Apple was there, so there was no point in not picking up.

“Y-Yes…?” said Apple very timidly.

“Can’t talk. We might be heard. May I come over?”

To say that Apple was stunned would be an understatement. What did Sunbow want at her house? At least Mr. and Mrs. Core were there to protect her.

“I-I don’t know…. I’m going to be leaving soon, and Mom and Dad are here….”

“It’s kind of important,” said Sunbow.

“Um…I-I guess I can ask….”

Sunbow nodded and hung up.

* * * * *

Mr. and Mrs. Core gave their permission to let Sunbow come over, once they knew that Sunbow was a friend. Sunbow asked for permission to speak to Apple alone, which made Apple extremely uncomfortable, especially when Mr. and Mrs. Core said it was okay. Sunbow went into Apple’s room.

“Wh-What did you want?” asked Apple.

Sunbow looked around, and listened. She looked out the window, in both directions.

“Do you have some CDs, or something?”

Apple cocked her head in confusion. “You want to listen to music?”

“No, I don’t—I want something to drown out our voices in case someone’s listening,” whispered Sunbow.

“Wh-Who might be listening?” said Apple, lowering her voice.

Sunbow shook her head so vigorously that her ponytail hit her in the face several times.

Not understanding, Apple took out a Huey Lewis CD, and showed Sunbow how to play it. Once Huey Lewis was blaring away, Sunbow finally felt safe to talk to Apple.

“You didn’t take Mom’s earring.”

“B-But it was in my pocket! I don’t remember taking it, but—”

Sunbow put up a paw. “I know what happened. I’ve been wanting to tell you ever since Cherry invited you to my house, but I didn’t have the courage until now. You were set up.”

“I-I beg your pardon?”

“No, I beg yours,” said Sunbow, hanging her head. “I should have told you this before. This isn’t the first time Cherry has done this to a new dog. She did it to me when I first moved into the neighborhood.”

“I-I don’t understand….”

Sunbow sighed. “Cherry and the others are the ones who stole the jewelry box. Cherry was trying to frame you for it so that Mom wouldn’t suspect them. That’s why she suggested that it be you who showed Mom the jewelry box when it was ‘found’.”

Apple shook her head. “No…that’s not true. Cherry wouldn’t do that—who does that?!”

Now it was Sunbow’s turn to look bewildered. “You were so ready to believe it of yourself even though you didn’t remember it and didn’t mean to, but you can’t believe that Cherry would do it on purpose?”

“NO!” said Apple, then cringed and covered her mouth. “No…Cherry’s…not like that….”

“Trust me, I’ve known her a lot longer than you have,” said Sunbow. “She’s a bully.”

Apple winced. “That’s a horrible thing to say about anyone!”

“I don’t say she can’t change,” said Sunbow. “But for now, that’s what she is. I’ve tried talking to her about it, but…I can’t.”

“If that were true, why don’t you stop being friends with her?”

Sunbow opened her mouth, then shut it. She didn’t have a good reason.

Apple didn’t realize it at the time, but her own question would haunt her for a long time afterward.

* * * * *

“If that were true, why don’t you stop being friends with her?”

“If that were true, why don’t you stop being friends with her?”

“If that were true, why don’t you stop--?”

“I’m sorry?” said Dr. Potpourri.

“Huh?” said Apple, snapping back to reality.

“You were saying something to yourself just now. May I ask what?”

“Oh…n-nothing.”

“Well, I won’t force you, but you never know what insights might come of what you think is nothing.”

At first Apple took the doctor up on his offer to let her keep her secret. But when the question wouldn’t go away, she finally spoke up.

“Dr. Potpourri?”

“Yes, Apple?”

“Um…say there’s this dog….”

“Yes?”

“And….” Nervously sweating, Apple scratched the back of her head. “And let’s say that…that she’s friends with other dogs who….”

She gulped, feeling like she was about to do another terrible thing typical of Apple Core.

“…who…who do mean things….”

“Mm-hmm?”

Apple was honestly surprised that this was the only reaction she got out of her therapist, but she went on.

“Why would she be friends with them…and if she knows what they do and can’t stop them…why wouldn’t she stop being friends with them?”

After a long pause, the therapist spoke up.

“I noticed you used the pronoun ‘she’ there—so this hypothetical dog of whom you speak is female?”

Apple suddenly felt exposed, and instinctively covered herself.

“Y-Yes…. I guess….”

“May I ask whether her hypothetical friends are also female?”

“Y-Yes…some of them….”

Apple gritted her teeth, but was careful to cover them with her lips. She really didn’t want the therapist to inquire further. Much to her surprise, he didn’t.

“Apple, have you ever heard of a phenomenon called ‘female bullying’?”

“Huh?”

It was clear Apple had never heard of such a thing. She listened silently as Dr. Potpourri explained.

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Last edited by ChewyChewy on Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:33 am
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Seems things are about to get interesting here. Apple is going to turn from bully to hero by the end and find her redemption in the process! :roll:

This should be a good story

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Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:28 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Um...no. Apple has never been a bully. I thought I made that painfully clear....

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Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:31 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Sorry about the double post, but here's Chapter 4!







Apple tried desperately not to fall asleep as Dr. Potpourri gave his explanation, which Apple honestly found rather boring, and hard to keep up with, as she wasn’t sure what it had to do with her. He said something about how mothers have more invested in each individual child than fathers do, and that was why it’s traditionally mothers who take care of their children, and in the wild mothers and their children got together for safety in numbers. Then he said something about this resulting in a circle of friends being more important for females than for males, and it was only what he said after this that really got Apple’s attention.

“…and because of that, it’s often the case that girls, especially if they have low self-esteem, are likely to stay with their circle of friends even if the other girls are not real friends but bullies who take advantage of them in that way, manipulating them.”

Apple’s ears perked up. This sounded a lot like what was going on with Sunbow. She knew that Sunbow couldn’t smell very well, and wondered if perhaps she might have low self-esteem. This made her feel very sorry for Sunbow, especially as this seemed to play right into what Dr. Potpourri said—Sunbow knew what Cherry and the others were like, so it seemed, but she was still friends with them. Why was that, unless it was that Sunbow had low self-esteem from her nose problems?

“Do you have any questions, Apple?” asked Dr. Potpourri.

“Huh? Oh, uh—no, I don’t think so. I think I’ve learned what I need to.”

But the fact was, Apple was scared. She was still scared of Mr. and Mrs. Sky, because she still thought that they didn’t like her, that they thought she had stolen from them. So how was she going to get in touch with Sunbow?

Then she remembered—the window. She could see through Sunbow’s window through her own. Maybe she could get her attention through there…if her parents didn’t think Apple was some kind of spy, or vandal, or whatever….

Apple felt sick to her stomach.

* * * * *

Apple wished she had curtains or blinds on her window—why hadn’t her parents bought some by now?—because there was no way to look across the way and see if Sunbow was in her room without being seen. For a split second Apple wished that Sunbow really did have visual problems—then she quickly caught herself and chastised herself for several minutes.

Apple tried to be casual, to look as though she were only doing everyday stuff inside her room and only occasionally glancing at the window, as though it simply happened to be in the way of her line of vision rather than being something she was trying to pay attention to. She thought of the idea of playing some music—if she bobbed her head to the music then it wouldn’t be all that strange to see her head moving around. However, it didn’t make sense to turn it up too, too loud, because then she might forget what she was trying to do.

It turned out she didn’t have to, as she soon saw Sunbow come into her room.

Immediately Apple jumped to attention—then winced, as she feared she might have given herself away.

No need to have worried. Sunbow wasn’t looking in her direction.

Apple began to panic now. It hadn’t even occurred to her to panic until just now, but now she did. What would happen? How would Sunbow respond? Might things go horribly, horribly wrong as they seemed to do for Apple so many times before? It had happened with Vanilla Cake, and it had happened with Sunbow’s parents….

Apple somehow managed to put it out of her mind. She was doing this for Sunbow’s sake, to try to help her. Before she knew what she was about, she dialed the telephone—it was only after she had finished dialing that it occurred to her that someone other than Sunbow might answer the phone, as this was not her private line. Apple cringed….

“Hello?”

False alarm. It was Sunbow.

IT WAS SUNBOW!

“Uh…uh—um….”

“Apple? That you?”

Apple nodded vigorously.

“Apple, you’re lucky I can see through your window because I can’t hear you nodding.”

Apple’s ears perked up. She had completely forgotten about the window!

“I—I’m sorry—I’m sorry…I….”

“Hey, are you okay, Apple?” Sunbow looked worried. “Do you want to come over and talk?”

“NO! I mean—no, thank you, but your parents still don’t like me.”

“They don’t not like you, Apple, but if you’re not comfortable, I can ask to come over there—if your parents wouldn’t mind.”

“No—I mean yes! I mean—oh, I don’t know what I mean! I need to talk!”

“Okay, okay, I’ll ask if I can come over, and you can ask your folks.”

Apple nodded again, then facepalmed herself. She was so bad at this.

“See you in a bit,” said Sunbow.

* * * * *

“Okay, I’m here, what’s the problem?” said Sunbow.

Apple had felt like a tapeworm had been gnawing away at her insides ever since the phone conversation had ended. Sunbow’s attempts to create a relaxed atmosphere weren’t working.

“S-Sunbow….”

“Yeah?”

“Um…. Oh, how do I put this??? Do you…do you have any friends…other than Cherry and the others, I mean?”

Sunbow cocked her head. “Why do you ask?”

Apple cringed. She hadn’t anticipated this direction, and she didn’t like it.

“Well, you—you told me that Cherry’s a bully…and when I asked why you didn’t stop being friends with her, you didn’t answer….”

Sunbow’s neck fur began to bristle, and Apple felt even more uncomfortable than she had already been.

“Is that why you wanted to talk to me?”

“Well…I’m just worried about you, because—”

“Don’t be. I don’t need your pity, okay? Things are what they are, I can’t change that. If you didn’t have anything else you wanted to talk about, I think this conversation is over.”

Apple’s eyes began to water. “I—I’m sorry…I’m sorry….”

“So am I, Apple. I thought you were different.”

Those last words cut Apple more deeply than anything. She now thought she might have a slight idea of how Vanilla Cake felt when she had laughed.

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Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:39 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Awesome updates, as per standard! :D
Also, your ficcies are making me hungry :mrgreen:

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Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:57 am
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Well that could have gone better. At least Sunbow gave her a chance. :?

Maybe Apple will be better at conversations by the end of this. She needs a good confidence boost.

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Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:49 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
@valerio: Thanks! :D :lol: :roll:

@copper: True.

Anyway, here's Chapter 5!







Apple didn’t retain anything Dr. Potpourri said in her next session. Sometimes she tried, sometimes she didn’t bother. She was too busy being miserable. She had done it again. She spent the whole time imagining herself in Vanilla Cake’s place and seeing herself laughing at herself. How could Vanilla have forgiven her for that? She didn’t deserve it.

Coming home, Apple saw Sunbow walking down the sidewalk. At first Apple wondered why Sunbow didn’t seem to notice she was there, and thought she was ignoring her. Then she remembered: Sunbow couldn’t smell very well. How stupid it was to bring it up—of course Sunbow would be sensitive about that! She now believed she would never have any real friends, just the kind of users that Bruno and Cherry were—she was Apple Core. She wasn’t capable of keeping a real friendship.

For an instant—only for an instant—she considered going up to talk to Sunbow. But no, no—Sunbow would probably chew her head off for using the fact that she couldn’t smell and sneaking up on her. Better just to avoid her.

Apple spent most of the rest of the day in her room, and now she really wished she had curtains or blinds so the window wouldn’t be staring at her. She turned away from it, as that was the best she could do.

The phone rang.

Apple cringed.

“Mom or Dad’ll get it,” she though.

The phone rang again.

Apple tried to ignore it.

The phone did not ring a third time.

Apple cried into her pillow.

* * * * *

The phone rang again about half an hour later.

Apple tried to ignore it. She didn’t feel private even in her own room. She wanted to shut out the world entirely. But no, that must have been too good for the likes of Apple Core. Better just to take her medicine, maybe.

A sideways glance out the window and a sign caught her eye: it was hung up in Sunbow’s window.

“PLEASE PICK UP THE PHONE”, it read, and there was a picture of a sad Sunbow below the words, with the phone to her ears.

Apple felt like crying. She knew why Sunbow was sad. It was all her fault.

She reached out a trembling paw and picked up the phone. Her throat was so choked she couldn’t even say anything.

“Apple…?”

Apple was so neck-deep in self-loathing that she failed to notice the tone in Sunbow’s voice. It actually sounded…timid.

Apple nodded, once again forgetting that she was on the phone.

“Apple…I’m sorry.”

Apple’s ears perked up. Had she just said…?

“F-F-For what?”

“For being too sensitive,” said Sunbow. “And for saying what I said. Can you forgive me?”

Apple couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“F-Forgive…? Th-There’s nothing to forgive, I’m the bad one.”

“You’re NOT bad, Apple. You cared enough about me not to want me to be bullied. I should have realized that and appreciated it, and I didn’t, and I’m sorry.”

Apple felt like a giant had picked her up, turned her upside down, and was now shaking her. She cared.

Apple cared.

Apple CARED!!!

She began to cry again.

“Apple, what’s wrong?”

“Y-Y-You don’t know the real me, Sunbow! I’m a horrible dog! You don’t KNOW!!!”

“I don’t have to know,” said Sunbow, keeping her voice even. “If you really were a horrible dog, why would you care that you were a horrible dog?”

Apple couldn’t stop the tears from flowing, but she found she had no answer to that question. Now the bootie was on the other paw. Why WOULD a bad dog care that she was a bad dog? Now that she was forced to think about it, it didn’t make sense. Either she ought not to care at all—perish the thought!—or…perhaps Sunbow was right? Perhaps she wasn’t really so bad after all?

“If you want to tell me what happened, I promise not to judge you—not over the phone, though. If not, I understand and I’ll drop the subject. But you’ll never convince me you’re a horrible dog no matter how hard you try. You made a mistake, whatever you did. You’re sorry. You can live it down.”

Apple sniffled. “I don’t deserve to know someone as nice as you.”

“Whether you deserve me or not, you’ve got me,” said Sunbow, trying to make it a joke, but the sentiment was sincere. “We’re two peas in a pod, you and I. Each of us missing something, we can make each other whole.”

“R-Really?”

“If you want. I think I would very much like to be friends with you, Apple Core—if you want me. I promise I won’t use you, or laugh at you, or do anything rotten. I’ll be a real friend.”

Apple couldn’t say anything. She simply nodded.

“Apple? You there?”

“Yes! I mean—i-if you don’t mind, I suppose….”

Apple couldn’t see Sunbow but could tell she was smiling.

“Glad to hear it.”

Apple smiled. She didn’t know when she had smiled so much. Sunbow was her friend. A REAL friend.

This basking in her newfound happiness lasted a mere minute and a half before Apple realized something. It wasn’t a good thing at all! Sunbow was still friends with Cherry and the others. For that matter, Apple herself hadn’t broken off relations with them. Things were still bound to go wrong. Apple was miserable again.

“N-No. I won’t let it happen…not again. I-If I’m not a bad dog…then I’m a good dog! Or—at least, I could be…. I-I can change. I can do the right thing.”

She just wished she knew what that was.

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Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:01 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
yay for growing friendship! :D :D :D

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Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:30 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Lots of angst, but if her name indicate, she will become a new dog and the cycle won't end in betrayal again. Just a symbolism.

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Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:26 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Well, that's good! They can make each other strong now! Let us hope they stand up to bullying.

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Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:08 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Last chapter!







One day Apple was called to the same alley where she had met Cherry’s friends. She was not looking forward to it, as she did not feel strong enough to resist any more bullying. Sunbow was already there.

“Apple, hello!” said Cherry, smiling and taking Apple by the paws. “You’re just in time—we were just about to go to Milk’s house to meet her family!”

Apple’s stomach churned. “Uh-huh….”

“Have you returned Mrs. Sky’s jewelry yet?” said Cherry.

“I, uh….”

Apple looked in Sunbow’s direction, with a look on her face that screamed “HELP ME!!” But she said nothing.

“You do know, of course, that you’ll have to return it if you want to get back on her good side,” said Cherry.

Apple hung her head. She didn’t know what to do. Dr. Potpourri had said that females often tended to stay in groups that were bad for them rather than leave the groups if they had low self-esteem, and Sunbow had said that she, Apple, was not a bad dog. Now Apple began to fear that maybe she did have low self-esteem. If that was the case, then neither she nor Sunbow could help each other.

“Cherry…?” said Sunbow.

“Yes?”

Sunbow opened her mouth, then shut it. “Nothing.”

Cherry shook her head, then took Apple aside. “Poor Sunbow. She’s embarrassed because she took some silverware from Sushi’s parents yesterday and she claims she doesn’t know what happened to them.”

“That’s not—” started Sunbow.

“Not what?” said Cherry, looking in her direction.

Sunbow sighed, but it sounded more like a groan than a sigh. “Never mind….”

“You didn’t take anything, did you, Sunbow?” said Apple before she realized what she was about.

“Of course she did,” said Cherry before Sunbow could open her mouth again.

“E-Excuse me,” said Apple, planting her feet firmly on the ground, “but I was talking to Sunbow, not to you.”

“Well!” said Cherry. “Thick as two thieves, I see.”

“W-We’re not thieves….” said Apple, and then she cringed.

Cherry sighed and shook her head. “Apple, Apple, Apple. No one’s saying you’re evil, just that you have a problem, that’s all. Like Sunbow with her nose. You can’t help that.”

“Cherry…l-leave Sunbow alone. …Please?”

Cherry frowned. It was the first time Apple had ever seen Cherry frown, but it frightened her to death.

“I am sure I don’t know what you’re talking about, and you’d best be careful, or you’re bound to make more bad impressions like you did with Sunbow’s parents.”

“I-I didn’t take any jewelry, and you know it….” said Apple, feeling more and more sick to her stomach the more she spoke. Sunbow’s ears perked up in surprise. Was Apple actually…talking back to Cherry?

“Then how do you explain the jewelry box being empty, or the earring in your pocket?” said Cherry condescendingly, as if explaining logic to a very small child.

“Y-You set me up.” Now Apple felt sicker than ever.

Cherry frowned again.

“I do not set people up to take the fall for crimes,” she said menacingly. “And if you don’t stop talking like that, you’re never going to make any more friends, and no one is going to like you. I’m sure you don’t want that any more than I do.”

“Y-Yes you do!” cried Apple, shocked at how loudly she said it. Cherry actually took a step back, then put her foot back where it was, trying to stand her ground.

“I’m sorry, WHAT did you say?”

“You don’t WANT me to make friends! You want to dominate me, like you dominate Sunbow! You’re a bully!”

Apple felt like bending over and throwing up, but she managed not to.

Cherry growled. “How DARE you!”

Apple began to hang her head, trembling, but then she smelled something. It smelled familiar, somehow, even though Cherry was wearing perfume that somewhat masked the scent.

“What is that?” said Apple.

“Don’t change the subject, you…you criminal!”

“Am I…?” said Apple in a low voice as she reached into the pocket of Cherry’s pinafore.

“HELP! I’M BEING ATTACKED BY A MAD DOG!!!” screamed Cherry.

Apple cringed. Her heart was pounding so hard it felt like it was trying to burst out of her chest. But sure enough, she found jewelry inside Cherry’s pocket, including an earring that looked exactly like the one she had found in her own.

“That’s Mom’s jewelry!” cried Sunbow, who actually sounded surprised.

“It is not! It’s MINE! You’re both thieves!” cried Cherry.

At this point Milk, Sushi, and Brownie tried to hold Apple back. They hadn’t bothered to act before now. Later on, Apple would wonder if perhaps Cherry had dominated them as she had dominated her and Sunbow.

“No, Cherry—you’re the thief,” said Apple, who by now was starting to get used to talking like this. She didn’t know if she liked it, though. “You tried to disguise the scent with perfume but I can smell Mrs. Sky on it. It’s definitely her jewelry.”

“Cherry…I can’t believe you would be so cruel,” said Sunbow. “You know I can’t smell.”

“I’M cruel?! I’m being attacked for no reason, and you say I’M cruel! I thought you two were good dogs! I thought you two were friends! Apparently there are some dogs you simply cannot be friends with! Come on, Milk, Brownie, Sushi, let’s go home! We don’t need this riffraff, do we?”

Milk, Brownie, and Sushi looked at each other, concerned expressions on their faces.

“WELL?”

“You don’t have to listen to her, you know,” said Sunbow. “You don’t have to let her boss you around.”

Milk, Brownie, and Sushi had worried looks on their faces, then shook their heads. They crossed over to where Cherry was.

“See? They’re REAL friends, not like SOME,” said Cherry, standing up and starting to regain her composure. “Come on, girls. If these two thieves want to continue their crime wave and be unloved by anyone, that’s their business. I tried to be nice, but it’s out of my hands now.”

They started off. But before they were entirely out of sight and earshot, Cherry shouted, “No one loves thieves! I’m reporting you two to the authorities!”

Apple and Sunbow were silent for a long time afterward.

* * * * *

“Apple…I can’t believe you did that!”

Apple couldn’t even talk, she felt so sick. Her eyes were watering and her face was turning green.

“Hey…it’s okay. We got Mom’s jewelry back, and Cherry’s not going to bully us anymore.”

“I feel HORRIBLE….” said Apple finally.

“Don’t,” said Sunbow. “Cherry finally got what she deserved. Maybe she’ll think twice before trying to bully a new dog again. And if she doesn’t, we can reach out to that new dog and make friends. Don’t listen to a word she says—you ARE a real friend. She’s the one who isn’t.”

“B-But…she said she’d report us to the authorities! What’s going to happen to us?”

“Nothing,” said Sunbow emphatically. “We’re innocent. That was an empty threat designed to scare us into submission. She won’t report us—if she did, they would find out she was the guilty one and might take her to the pound.”

Apple began to cry. “I don’t care how mean she was…I don’t want her to go to the POUND!”

Sunbow gave Apple a hug. “Don’t worry about it. No one’s going to the pound. I just hope Cherry gets the help she needs. Maybe Dr. Potpourri can help her—if she’s willing to condescend to see a therapist.”

“M-Maybe…but what about the others? They’re still letting her bully them,” said Apple.

Sunbow shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe they’re not ready yet—maybe they’re still not as brave as you are.”

“I don’t feel very brave….”

“Hey—no coward could have done what you did. Mom’s going to be very happy when she finds out about this.”

“No she isn’t….” whined Apple.

“Why not find out for yourself?” said Sunbow, smiling.

* * * * *

It was as Sunbow said. Mrs. Sky was very happy to get her jewelry back, and very impressed with Apple when Sunbow told her what had happened. While Apple still felt badly about the whole thing, it was clear by now that Mr. and Mrs. Sky did like her, and no longer thought she was a thief. Apple didn’t feel like a bad dog anymore. For once, she began to smile.

Over time, Apple began to become more confident, though only little by little, thanks to Dr. Potpourri and Sunbow. Eventually Milk came around and became friends with them instead of Cherry, although Brownie and Sushi never did. And then some months later a new dog moved into the neighborhood named Custard, and Cherry tried to bully her as well, but Apple, Sunbow, and Milk managed to protect her, and Custard became one of their friends too.

Not long after moving away, just in time for Christmas, Apple remembered Vanilla Cake, from the old neighborhood. Apple still felt guilty for laughing at her when she was being hurt, but there was nothing she could do about that anymore. Anyway, if it hadn’t been for Vanilla, the Cores wouldn’t have gotten in touch with Officer Yogurt, who wouldn’t have directed Apple to Dr. Potpourri, and were it not for the therapy sessions Apple might not have become so confident and made friends with Sunbow. Vanilla was a true friend.

Apple lamented the fact that she and Vanilla couldn’t have made up and become friends before Apple moved, but there was nothing to do about it now. But one thing Apple could do was let Vanilla know how much she had helped her, and to thank her. So Apple sent Vanilla a Christmas card. She had made it herself, and so she didn’t think it was very good, but there wasn’t one at the store that had what she was looking for. She had drawn a Christmas tree, and Santa Claus was leaving a turtle at the bottom of it. Inside the card was this simple message:

“Dear Vanila,

Thank you so much for teling Mister Yogert abowt me. I fownd a thereapist here and Im feeling a LOT happyer now. Ive even mad a new frend, Sunbow. (Dont worry, shes a REAL frend!) I dont expekt you to right back, but I wanted to let you know how much I apreshiate what youve done for me.

Apple Core.”

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Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:04 am
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
Awww, well isn't that a sweet ending! I am glad they all made friends and Cherry got a reality check!

Also, Custard? Wow, what a feast they would have if they all brought their namesakes to a potluck! :D

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Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:28 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
I'm glad you liked it--I wasn't sure on it.... :oops:

:lol: :roll:

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Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:42 pm
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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
DAWWWWWW!
Extramegadose of bravery and sweetness! Now, there's a good apple in the basket (sorry couldn't resist) :lol:
I loved especially her handwritten card, way too cute!
I surely hope them girls meet again, you can't leave us without such a special occasion! (Christmas is near, Christmas is near)

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Post Re: Apple and Sunbow
copper wrote:
what a feast they would have if they all brought their namesakes to a potluck! :D

An apple core would not be a good thing to bring to a potluck. :lol:

good ending. loved Cherry getting caught and the paw written card.

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Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:20 am
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