Birth of a Big Apple

(Cubed Cinder)

NOTE from author: Let me reiterate for those of you who don't know... Princess Apple, the princess of Giant Land, is NOT in any Mario game. She's a character I made up. This story only exists because of a huge demand by many of the site's visitors to see a story detailing the giant princess's past.

Present day

The news reporter from Diamond City, Ken the Reporter, walked very slowly up to the gigantic doors of the Giant Palace. He obviously was in awe of how big the place was.
"Woof! This place sure has high standards!" Ken said. He looked at the very bottom of the door and noticed something interesting to him. There was a button, and above it was a speaker and then a sign that read, RESERVED FOR VISITORS OUTSIDE GIANT LAND.
"Hmmm... I guess that means me. I better press the button and see what it does." Ken said. Ken pressed the button and heard a beautiful female voice coming from the speaker.
"Yes, who is it?" the voice said.
"Ummmm... Ken the Reporter, Diamond City. I'm here for an interview with Princess Apple, who turns 23 years old today." Ken said. There was no response. Instead, the doors slowly opened up, and Ken was now looking all the way up at the giant Princess Apple.
"Oh man... and I thought the dog food I ate for breakfast this morning was fascinating." Ken said. She was definitely a sight to see as he looked over her short red dress, brown hair wrapped in a pony tail, the tiara on her forehead with an apple seed, the golden bracelet her mother gave her as a teenager, and the fact that she now wears golden sandals instead of knee-high boots.
"Ah, Mr. Ken, I'm glad you made it. Please, let me help you!" Apple said. She kneeled down and held a hand out, allowing Ken to jump onboard.
"Whew! Thank you, Princess Apple. It would've been a long walk for my little dog legs to reach you." Ken said.
"Yeah, I can tell. Come on, we can talk in the throne room." Apple said.

After a walk that lasted only about a minute, Ken was now sitting on a large pedestal, looking up at Apple as she sat down on her throne, next to the one Prince Hugo the Huge, her husband, normally sits in.
"Say, where is your husband, Prince Hugo the Huge?" Ken asked.
"Oh, I'm afraid he has an important meeting with some of the rulers in Sky Land. He asked me to stay behind and watch over Giant Land until tonight." Apple said.
"So I see. I hope this isn't a bad time then for our interview." Ken said.
"Nonsense! I would do anything for Prince Hugo. I love him that much. And now's a perfect time to talk about my birthday today." Apple said.
"Well, it's not just that, your highness... you see, since you were born in the predecessor to Diamond City, Jewel Town I believe it was called, it would seem appropriate in your sixth year as the princess of this land and wife of the great Prince Hugo the Huge that I tell the readers of the Diamond City News Tribune of your legacy." Ken said.
"Hmmm... yeah. That does sound good. Gosh, it's been so long since I've been to Diamond City. I gotta remember to pay them a visit, like I do most times with Princess Peach. How much should I tell?" Apple asked.
"You tell me whatever you want, princess. But I'd like for you to focus on your rise to royalty, if you don't mind." Ken said.
"Yes, of course. And besides, nothing really special happened during the first thirteen years of my life. I was as normal as you and most other citizens of that city are." Apple said.
"The first thirteen years of your life, you say?" Ken asked.
"Yes, as far as royalty went. That all changed though when I was 14 years old. It has to do with my older sister..." Apple said, pausing for a second or two.
"Older sister?" Ken asked. Apple nodded.
"Aska. I wonder how she's doing... I haven't checked on her in so long. But anyway, nine years ago, in Jewel Town, before this was Diamond City as you said, I was watching my sister give it her all in this tournament. She was destined, as I was at one time, to be the princess of Jewel Town, but her passion was in martial arts..." Apple started. Ken listened very closely to the story she was about to tell, ready to ask questions where necessary.

Nine years ago
Mushroom Arena

14-year-old Apple sat in the Mushroom Arena grandstands with her parents, King Askew and Queen Pineapple, both rulers of Jewel Town, cheering her 19-year-old sister Aska on as loudly as she could.
"Come on, Aska! You can do it!" Apple shouted
"Apple, my dear, you must lower your tone! There are people around you that can hear us." King Askew said.
"Oh, for pete's sake, dear... she's just showing her support for our strong little princess out there!" Queen Pineapple said.
"Yes, you are right. Do forgive me, darling." King Askew said.
"Oh, I just hope Aska will be alright. Her opponent looks pretty strong." Queen Pineapple, pointing to the fighting ring where Aska and Hookbill the Koopa were trading blows.

Aska looked really worn down judging by all the bruise marks on her body, especially her face. Who could blame her? Hookbill was a very formidable opponent. He wasn't the most graceful of fighters, but his immense size (he looked three times bigger than Aska) meant that he could deliver blows like no Koopa Troopa ever could.
"Duh, I'm gonna light out your lights! Wait... did I say that right?" Hookbill said. Aska, wiping a bit of sweat from her forehead, looked right in Hookbill's eyes.
"You are strong, Hookbill, but always remember. The bigger they are, the harder they fall!" Aska said as she got a running start towards Hookbill. The big Koopa Troopa was ready to deliver a harsh blow, but Aska slid right between his legs, quickly stood up, and delivered a swift kick to Hookbill's shell. Hookbill clearly was losing his balance, something he was known for doing in his matches. Aska made a huge leap right over Hookbill and then turned around, hair flying in her face, to make her move.
"Kochou no Mai!!!" Aska shouted as she delivered her flying uppercut to Hookbill's face, knocking him back on his back. Hookbill slowly got back on his feet.
"Duh... you make me soooooo mad!!!" Hookbill shouted. He retreated into his shell and started spinning it in its place. The crowd gasped as everyone knew what was coming.
"Look out folks! Here comes Hookbill's deadliest attack, the spinnaker!" the announcer shouted over the intercom. King Askew jumped out of his seat.
"The spinnaker! I dare say all it takes is one hit to be finished!" King Askew said.
"Oh my stars! Be careful, Aska!" Queen Pineapple shouted.
"You can do it, sis!" Apple shouted, remaining as excited as ever.

Hookbill, after gathering enough steam in his spin cycle, launched himself towards Aska, who just stood in her place and kept her focus.
"Focus, Aska... focus!" Aska said. As soon as she said that, she made a high leap into the air, just getting her right foot on top of Hookbill's shell, and then she flipped side-over-side and end-over-end, landing on her feet with a bit of a wobbly landing. But nevertheless, she stood up, and the crowd cheered wildly.
"Oh my mushrooms!!! I can't believe what I just saw! Aska actually was able to dodge the spinnaker with a tricky manuever! And look out! Hookbill is going to fly out of the ring if he is not careful!" the announcer shouted. Indeed, Hookbill could see he was headed for out of bounds if he didn't take evasive action, and this was something he never had to do in all his fights in this tournament! He turned to the right and bounced off the corner of the ring, knocking him on his back again and shaking up the ring quite a bit. This time, he was a bit slow to get up as he was dizzy from the spin.
"Now's my chance!" Aska said as she turned around and noticed Hookbill in his trance. By the time he realized where he was, he saw Aska charging right for him and then she went into her own spin cycle.
"Hip Shot!!!" Aska shouted as she pressed her spinning body against Hookbill, drilling him with multiple hits and then finally finishing him off with a flying uppercut. Hookbill went sailing into the air before indeed he finally crashed outside of the fighting ring.
"Ring Out!!! This game's winner and the champion is Aska!!!" the announcer shouted. Aska let out a huge sigh of relief and then waved to the crowd that was cheering her name like crazy now. Then she looked at the other side of the ring to see her family running towards her. Apple was the first to hug Aska as the two got together.
"You did it, sis! You won!!!" Apple shouted.
"Yes, little sister... I did it." Aska said.
"Splendid show, my dearest... even if I continue to insist that this should not be your career choice!" King Askew said.
"You made us so proud, Aska!" Queen Pineapple said. The family then looked to see Princess Peach entering the ring.
"Congratulations, Aska. As winner of this year's Mushroom Smash Tournament, I hereby present to you this trophy. Hold it with the honor and courage that led you to this fine victory today." Peach said with a smile. Even as Aska shook Peach's hand and took the trophy, Apple was clearly focused on Princess Peach.
"Wow... Princess Peach. So she's the princess of all the Mushroom Kingdom..." Apple said. Soon, she took herself out of her trance and got back to congratulating her older sister on her victory.

Jewel Town

Many hours later, back inside Crystal Clear Castle, everyone soon forgot about Aska's impressive victory as she had just made a very important announcement.
"You what, I say!?!?!?!??!!??!?" King Askew said.
"That's right, father. It is time for me to move on and set my own destiny." Aska said.
"So... you're leaving Jewel Town? But where will you go, sis?" Apple asked.
"I've decided to head for the planet Earth, located in what the Mushroom Kingdom citizens call the real world. I feel like there is where I will find my next challenge. I cannot rest until I have become the best martial artist there ever was." Aska said. Queen Pineapple simply smiled as she placed a hand on Aska's shoulder.
"I understand, Aska. If this is what you want to do, then we will support your decision. You can do anything as long as you set your mind towards the goal." Queen Pineapple said.
"Well, I still insist that this martial artist thingy is a bunch of bologna." King Askew said.
"Daddy... I'm just not a girl to rule a kingdom. My little sister is." Aska said.
"Huh? Really?" Apple asked. Aska put her hands on Apple's shoulders.
"Apple. This is my last wish before I leave. I want you to learn to be a princess well, because I feel someday... whether it's this kingdom or somewhere else, you will be an important influence. Maybe even the biggest influence!" Aska said. Of course, she had no idea how ironically true those words would ring three years later. Apple just smiled. She had always listened to Aska since the day she was born.
"Okay, Aska. I promise I will be a great princess!" Apple said.
"Good girl." Aska said. She then picked up her briefcase full of personal belongings that she would bring to Earth.
"Well, it's time to head for the warp pipe." Aska said.
"Take care of yourself, my daughter." King Askew said.
"Please come back and visit us soon!" Queen Pineapple said.
"See you later, sis!" Apple said.
"So long... future princess Apple." Aska said before she turned around and walked out of the front doors, getting her last look at her family before she left.

Present day

"Hmmm... fascinating, woof woof! So where is Aska now? Is she still on Earth?" Ken asked.
"Yeah, she's living a peaceful life now. Last I heard, she's been training a group of new students for martial arts. Before that she entered this big tournament in a place called New York City." Apple said.
"Really?" Ken asked.
"Oh yeah! And what's interesting is the group of fighters she met... there were these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a mutated shark, a talking giant bat... all kinds of creatures. She at first thought this was just for TV!" Apple said.
"And how did she do?" Ken asked.
"Oh, I think she lost in the first round of the main event. But she had no regrets. She says the fight is more important than winning or losing." Apple said.
"Hmmm... okay? And you say that was the day you strengthened your resolve to become a princess?" Ken said.
"Absolutely. I was the only one left in the family to essentially carry the torch, and I was willing to do it for my sister." Apple said.
"Alrighty, so what can you tell me about Prince Hugo? Like, maybe, how you met him." Ken asked.
"Oh wow... I would love to share that story! It was two years after that tournament, when I was now sixteen. I was a little over a year away from officially becoming princess of Jewel Town. We were taking a vacation right here in Giant Land." Apple said.
"As a normal-sized person? That must've been dangerous given how big everything and everyone is here!" Ken said.
"Yeah, you would think so, but there's this really important law that we still have today... always look down where you step! Even so, Giant Land doesn't have much of a population. Giant people are hard to come by, after all!" Apple said.
"Ah... makes sense." Ken said.
"Yeah. So we were out on a picnic when I catch a glimpse of the man of my life..." Apple said.

Seven years ago
Outside Giant Palace grounds

King Askew, Queen Pineapple, and now Princess Apple were sitting peacefully underneath the biggest oak tree they could find in Giant Land. But then again, everything was big there except for the blades of grass. Not too far from where they were sitting was Giant Palace itself, where Prince Hugo lived.
"I say, isn't this a lovely picnic today?" King Askew said.
"Yes it is, my love. And certainly such fine weather today for this huge kingdom." Queen Pineapple said.
"You know what's strange? We haven't run into very many giant people here." Apple said.
"Well, I guess there aren't that many giant people to speak of in the world. Yet Princess Peach and Prince Hugo I guess went through the trouble to give these people their own land." Queen Pineapple said, smiling.
"But of course there is still Prince Hugo. Why, I hear it will almost be 10 years since he has become ruler!" King Askew said. Suddenly, the trio could hear some horns going off in the background.
"Why that must be him now!" King Askew said.
"Ah, good... you get to see a really big person of royalty, Apple." Queen Pineapple said. Indeed, all three looked to see a small group of giant mushroom people gathering alongside the front doors to Giant Palace. One of the mushroom guards first came out.
"Hear ye! Hear ye! Presenting his royal highness, literally of course, Prince Hugo the Huge!" the guard shouted. Another one came out, and behind this guard was Prince Hugo himself. Sitting on his shoulder was his talking parrot, Squawks.

As Prince Hugo started talking about the past of Giant Land and what the future holds, Askew and Pineapple were listening in.
"I say, he is quite something, isn't he? Planning out everything like it's a map!" King Askew said.
"I would certainly agree, my love. What about you, Apple? What do you think? Apple?" Queen Pineapple said. When she didn't hear any kind of response from her daughter for a few seconds, she looked at her face. Apple took one look at the giant prince and was immediately bedazzled.
"Apple, say something!" Queen Pineapple shouted.
"Wow... he's... he's... he's so dreamy..." Apple said as she continued to stare at the big ruler of Giant Land.
"Apple, my dearest! Snap out of it, why don't you?" King Askew said.
"Oh... what? What just happened?" Apple said, looking around and then checking her boots.
"Oh thank goodness. You really were zoned out looking at Prince Hugo!" Queen Pineapple said.
"I was?" Apple said. She then took one more look over at Prince Hugo as he continued with his speech. Finally, Apple got on her feet.
"Excuse me, I'll be right back!" Apple said as she started running towards Giant Palace.
"Wait, Princess Apple! Come back here!" Queen Pineapple shouted.

Apple slowly approached the giant-sized crowd and made her way around everyone and towards Prince Hugo the Huge. The closer she got to him, the bigger he seemed to be, even though he and everyone else in Giant Land were just over 50 feet tall. Just as she was finally standing near Hugo's feet, he was ending his speech.
"Thank you, everyone, and have a wonderful day!" Prince Hugo said before the crowd applauded for him and then went back for their homes. Prince Hugo was talking with one of his guards when Apple felt now was the time to make her move.
"Prince Hugo! Prince Hugo!!!" Apple shouted. Hugo looked all around before looking down at his feet.
"Oh? What do we have here?" Hugo said.
"Rawwwwwk!!! Shrimp underfoot! Shrimp underfoot!" Squawks shouted.
"Now now, Squawks, mind your manners! She must've come a long ways from home, and such bravery too. You know you could've easily been stepped on in that crowd." Hugo said as he now kneeled down in front of Apple.
"That's okay... I would do anything for you, Prince Hugo. I'm a... well, huge fan of you." Apple said.
"Hmmm... so I see. What's your name, little girl?" Hugo asked.
"Apple, Princess Apple. I'm from Jewel Town." Apple said.
"Jewel Town? That's pretty far away, I think. What brings you here?" Hugo said.
"My family and I are on vacation. I... I came to see you." Apple said.
"Well now, that is very generous of you." Hugo said.
"Princess Apple!" Queen Pineapple shouted. Apple looked behind to see both her parents running for her.
"Well, it's been nice meeting you, Princess Apple, but I must be going now. Got a big kingdom to run, you know." Hugo said as he stood back up and walked back for his castle.
"Yes, I can see that. Take care, your highness! Maybe one day I'll be big enough to talk to you properly!" Apple shouted happily. Hugo smiled back at Apple and waved at her before walking into the castle. Apple waved up at him for the last time of the day as her parents approached her.

"Good gracious, that was most impolite of you to run off like that on us!" King Askew said.
"Yes, Apple, don't ever do that again!" Queen Pineapple shouted.
"I'm sorry, mother and father. I just got carried away there... Prince Hugo is sooooo handsome..." Apple said.
"Well, I'm sure he is, but he's far too big for you! I'm sure you'll find someone just your height in Jewel Town. Now come on, let's finish up with the picnic." Queen Pineapple said. As Apple walked back alongside her parents, she looked one more time back at Giant Palace.
"That's the problem, mother... I have found the perfect man." Apple said to herself.

Present day

"Ah ha. So it was love at first sight, wasn't it?" Ken the Reporter said.
"You bet. I didn't listen to a single word my mother was telling me about dating young boys after that. I knew right then and there that Prince Hugo was my man, even if he was some 45 feet taller than I was at the time." Apple said.
"So I guess we now know how you first met Prince Hugo the Huge." Ken said as he wrote down on his notepad.
"Yeah... oh, I gotta tell you about this one talk I had with Princess Peach." Apple said.
"Really?" Ken asked.
"Yeah. I knew my parents could never understand my feelings, so a couple weeks later when I was helping Princess Peach as an assistant, I asked her some questions." Apple said.
"What kind of questions, if I'm allowed to ask?" Ken said.
"Well, I can't really say, but I still remember what Peach told me that day..." Apple said, thinking back to that time when she was in Peach's Castle, probably the last time she would be able to walk inside it.

Seven years ago
Princess Peach's castle

Apple walked up the stairs from the basement, holding a finicky yellow rabbit in her hands. She noticed Peach and quickly approached her.
"Hey, Peach! I found this rabbit running around downstairs." Apple said.
"Oh dear... Mips sure likes to run around the castle these days. Thank you, Apple. You've been a lot of help around here." Peach said.
"Hey, anything for a friend of my family!" Apple said. She watched as Peach led Mips outside the front doors of the castle, watching as it ran off to play with Toad in the front lawn. Peach then walked back towards Apple.
"Say, Peach. Can I ask you something?" Apple asked.
"Anything!" Peach said.
"What do you feel like when you feel you met the man of your life?" Apple asked.
"Well... I haven't gotten that feeling right down on the nose, but I would think your heart gets going with excitement and you can hardly contain yourself when you are feeling so happy. But if you are feeling extremely happy, then that's good." Peach said.
"I see. Because that's how I felt a couple weeks ago in Giant Land." Apple said.
"In Giant Land?" Peach said.
"Yes. Oh, Peach. That Prince Hugo the Huge. He's just so dashing... so charming, and so... so..." Apple said.
"Gigantic, right?" Peach said.
"Well, yeah. But still, I think he's perfect!" Apple said. Any other princess would perhaps call Apple a lunatic, but Peach just wasn't like that. Always one to look out for others, she carefully thought about her answer.
"Apple, you are a truly gifted princess ruling Jewel Town with your parents as young as you are. I have no doubt you can accomplish anything as long as you set your mind to it." Peach said.
"Yeah, that's what my mother always tells me. I really do believe Prince Hugo is the man for me. But yeah, you are right. He's gigantic and I'm not." Apple said.
"Oh, don't give up! I'm sure something will happen that will allow the two of you to see each other more often. I'm sure of it!" Peach said.
"Oh thank you, Princess Peach! You've been a delightful friend!" Apple said as she hugged Peach.
"You're welcome. You should get home now and rest. You've done enough for today." Peach said.
"Okay. See you tomorrow!" Apple said as she too walked out the front doors.

As Peach watched Apple leave, she began to think of something that Hugo had told her a couple weeks ago.
"Hmmmm... Apple must be the one. That one girl who Hugo said bravely walked up to his feet and saluted him. Perhaps those two are meant for each other." Peach said to herself.

Present day

"Those were the same words echoed by my mother before Aska left. And since Peach said those exact same words, I kept them close to my heart until the next time I would meet Prince Hugo." Apple said.
"Fascinating. So was there another meeting with him afterwards?" Ken asked.
"Nope, that was it. I was so busy ruling Jewel Town that it wouldn't be until our next family vacation when we came back here. We originally wanted to go to Water Land, but I think Bowser and his Koopa Kids were stirring up trouble at the time, and my daddy didn't really like any of the other lands too much. I kinda had to convince him to take us back to Giant Land." Apple said.
"Okay, so this is the next year?" Ken asked.
"Yes... I was seventeen years old. My love for Prince Hugo had never been stronger, and so I had planned to sneak into Giant Palace again to see him once more. That night changed everything for me..." Apple said, thinking back to that very special day.

Six years ago
Giant Palace at night

The sky was full of stars as well as the bright light from the moon, and that made Apple's journey to Giant Palace a little easier. She waited and waited for her parents to finally go to sleep, and when they did, that's when she snuck out of the house they were sleeping in and headed for the palace. Apple looked way up at the Giant Palace front doors and took a deep breath.
"Well, here I am. Now how am I going to get inside?" Apple said to herself. Just as she thought that, she noticed the front doors slowly swinging open. Out came one of the mushroom guards as well as one of the female mushroom citizens of the land. Apple quickly ran to the side in case they were to come walking her way.
"Never fear, young lady, we will make sure your concerns are relayed to the prince as quickly as possible." the guard said.
"Oh thank you. I wish I knew how I could repay you." the lady said.
"No need to, ma'am. The prince is willing to do anything for his people." the guard said. Apple admired how big the two were for a short while, once again dreaming what life would be like if she were that tall, but then she snapped back to reality when she noticed the doors were still wide open.
"Here's my chance!" Apple said as she ran inside the palace. As soon as she was inside Giant Palace, the front doors closed behind her and the mushroom guard was walking down one of the long hallways. And it certainly was a long hallway, but then again... it only looked long because she was so small. But if she didn't find Prince Hugo now, who knows when she would see him again given how King Askew continued to show hostility for coming back here as a family vacation spot?
"Well, might as well begin the search." Apple said as she began her walk, sticking close to the walls in case any of the giant guards would come walking down the hallway, though that didn't happen often. Little did Apple realize until much later on that there was only a handful of guards in the whole castle.

30 minutes later, Apple still has had no luck finding the throne room after scanning quite a few hallways. She clearly was showing signs of fatigue.
"Whew... sheesh! This castle is so huge!" Apple shouted. She then looked to her right and noticed an open door that she didn't seem to notice.
"Hmmm... maybe there's a shortcut to the throne room somewhere out there. I guess it doesn't hurt to try." Apple said as she walked for this open door. When she made it through, she noticed she was back outside again, but she looked to be in some sort of garden. There were all sorts of fruits and vegetables, all obviously much bigger than anyone can imagine. One item, in particular, located at the very back of the garden caught Apple's attention.
"Huh? What is that thing?" Apple asked herself. She walked towards it and recognized it to be a mushroom. Unlike the red Super Mushrooms, the green Revival Mushrooms (more commonly known as 1-Ups), or the purple Poison Mushrooms, this mushroom looked to have a mix of colors, mostly red and green. It was also much bigger than any of those mushrooms, almost as big as the Mega Mushroom that is a bit more common today. Apple looked the mushroom over from top to bottom.
"Well, I am kinda hungry... I'm sure Prince Hugo wouldn't mind." Apple said, and that's when she bit into the mushroom, eating as much of it as she could before she sat against it. But she couldn't rest for long as she could feel her body pulsing every now and then.
"What? What was that?" Apple said. She then looked down at her right hand and noticed it was getting larger.
"What the... what's happening to me?" Apple asked. Then she could feel her head bumping against the mushroom. She turned around to see it was a bit smaller than it was before, and it was still shrinking. In fact, the whole garden looked to be shrinking!
"What... no way!" Apple shouted. Indeed, Princess Apple was growing.

After a few seconds, the growth stopped, and Apple looked around the garden once more. It certainly looked more like a normal-sized garden now from her perspective, including the mushroom that she bit into not too long ago. Princess Apple was now just as big as everyone else in Giant Land, including Prince Hugo. Apple gulped nervously and was now working up a sweat, planting her boots into the soil as she stood up. She looked at the door that led her to this place and thought about going back out, but the guards would surely catch her now that she was as big as them, and the wall that protected the garden was too high for her to climb. So there was only one way out of this mess.
"HELLLLLP!!!!!" Apple shouted, screaming as loud as she could.

Present day

Apple re-enacted that scream just for Ken the Reporter, which made him leap up over the pedestal he has been sitting on since the interview began.
"Great dear old Augie Doggie!" Ken shouted. He crawled back to his feet, picking up his notepad and pen.
"Oh, sorry... I guess I forgot you were there." Apple said.
"Whew... quite alright, your highness. So what happened? Were you punished by Prince Hugo now that you were as big as he was? What did you think of how you were able to look right into his eyes?" Ken asked.
"Well, I didn't really think of that at the time. I mean... in just a few short seconds, I had gone from being one of this land's tiny visitors to suddenly being as big as every one of them! But anyway, I let out that scream because I knew I would get caught eventually, even if it were a week from now. As the guards took me to Prince Hugo's throne room, I just held my tongue, waiting for whatever punishment they deemed suitable." Apple said.
"Yeah? And was there a punishment?" Ken asked.
"Nope, and that really surprised me at first. But I can remember the look in Prince Hugo's eyes. It was like he not only recognized me, but he too sensed something special. And that was probably why he was so extremely lenient..." Apple said.

Apple walked with the guards into Prince Hugo's throne room, cooperating with them all the way through. The guards kneeled down before Prince Hugo, as did Apple so that she wouldn't disgrace someone as royal as he was. The fact that she was as tall as him was the last thing on her mind right now.
"Your royal highness! We caught this intruder in the garden." the guard said.
"I'll say you did. This lady sure put out quite the scream, I must say." Prince Hugo said. Apple blushed a tiny bit, slightly embarrassed that her scream for help reached all the way into this room. Prince Hugo stood up from his throne and approached the two guards and Apple.
"You may rise now." Hugo said. He then looked into Apple's eyes.
"Hmmm... you look very familiar for some reason." Hugo said.
"Um... I'm Princess Apple, sir. I... well... I met you last year." Apple said.
"Yes, I thought that's who you were. You've certainly... well, grown up, to say the least." Hugo said.
"Rawk!!! Stupid pun alert!" Squawks shouted.
"Sir, there's something you should know. We found several chunks of the Ultra Mushroom bitten off." the guard said.
"The Ultra Mushroom? Oh dear... that would explain everything." Hugo said.
"Ultra Mushroom?" Apple asked. The guards slightly jerked her arms, signaling she shouldn't have talked.
"Guards, please leave us." Hugo said, waving off the two guards. They bowed and then left the room, leaving Hugo and Apple to themselves.

"I'm terribly sorry, Prince Hugo... I had no idea there was a mushroom in your garden that could make me as big as you. I know I said I would be as big as you one day, but I didn't mean it literally!" Apple shouted.
"Oh, it's quite alright, my dear. How could you know about such a thing as the Ultra Mushroom anyway? It's been a long kept secret of Giant Land... well, until now that is." Hugo said.
"Yeah, I figured that." Apple said.
"The Ultra Mushroom is a powerful kind of mushroom, one that only grows here in Giant Land. Where they grow must remain a very close secret, but we save one here in the castle for the next ruler of Giant Land. The mushroom is many times more powerful than a Super Mushroom, making people as big as the two of us." Hugo said.
"Obviously." Apple said, scanning herself from her new height.
"There is one catch though... the effects of the Ultra Mushroom do not wear off. They are permanent, so once you've grown, there is no turning back. Not even with a Poison Mushroom." Hugo said. Apple gulped nervously again.
"No going back?" Apple said.
"Yes, and that is why the Ultra Mushrooms are kept very much secret. I thought the one I hid in the garden was well hidden enough, but obviously I was wrong." Hugo said, showing a smile.

"So... I'm stuck like this?" Apple said.
"Yes, I am afraid so." Hugo said. Apple sighed.
"So... does this mean I'm in big trouble?" Apple asked.
"Rawk! Pretty lady has stupid puns too!" Squawks said. Hugo walked over to Squawks's cage and pulled down the curtain, which is what he normally does when it's bedtime.
"Rawk!!! Hey, who turned out the lights!?" Squawks shouted.
"Forgive me for my parrot's attitude. He doesn't really get along well with new people." Hugo said.
"I understand, your highness." Apple said.
"Actually, you can call me your majesty since you are as tall as I am now." Hugo said with a smile. Apple was confused with what she was seeing. Hugo seemed to be happy instead of upset that one of Giant Land's most secretive of secrets was discovered by her.
"Well, you are free to go now. I don't think you deserve any punishment given how lucky you are tonight. I think you being this big is punishment enough for you." Prince Hugo said.
"R...R...Really?" Apple said.
"Yes indeed." Hugo said, nodding his head.
"Gee... thank you, um... your majesty. But where am I going to sleep? The house my parents and I are staying in was meant for small people on vacation." Apple said.
"Hmmm... yes, that is a predicament. I know... guards!" Hugo said. Two of his mushroom guards, the same ones in fact that led Apple to the throne room, entered the room.
"Prepare the guest room for Princess Apple. She will be sleeping with us tonight." Hugo said.
"Yes, sir. Please follow us, young lady." one of the guards said. Apple took one last look at Hugo before she walked with the guards to the guest room.

Present day

"As I went to bed that night, I first thought I had gotten off real lucky, but I remembered the look that Hugo gave me in his eyes. I could easily tell they were eyes of sincerity. As I said, I felt perhaps that was the first time we started to see eye-to-eye. And I didn't mean that literally, of course..." Apple said.
"Oh, of course not. So... what was your reaction from your parents?" Ken said.
"Oh yes... well, Prince Hugo was nice enough to call them to the palace that morning. When they were delivered to the room I was sleeping in, my mom was just floored and fainted. Even after she woke up, she thought for sure she was dreaming. I couldn't help but laugh, but she did say she was so glad the bracelet she gave me when I was 13 as a reminder of how much I mean to the family. My father, of course, was unhappy... but he came around a couple days later when we went back to Jewel Town." Apple said, showing her golden bracelet around her right wrist.
"Hmmm... I imagine that must've been tough as big as you were." Ken said.
"Absolutely... the whole town was in a panic when they saw me. You gotta remember... back then, there were no multi-story buildings or corporate offices in what is now Diamond City. I could've easily crushed all of the houses and other buildings there at my size. I had to sleep in an old abandoned hangar not too far from the castle. I was most fortunate that Dr. Crygor was able to build supersized versions of some of my most important items, like my toothbrush, though there was still the issue of finding privacy at the waterfalls to take a shower and wash my red dress." Apple said.
"Yes, I do understand." Ken said.
"Anyway, my parents reassured everyone that I would not cause any harm. But still, many people were far too skeptical. More and more people demanded I leave the kingdom, saying that I was too big for them. My father stood up for me, though that made him angrier each day, and I could sense the trouble brewing." Apple said.
"Oh... the divorce between the two. It's okay, you don't have to tell me about that. I don't think I want to write anything about that, especially with all that was already said." Ken said.
"No, it's okay. Once in a while I need to let that memory go. It was three weeks after I grew. We're still living in Jewel Town despite most of the people continually demanding I leave the kingdom. My father is getting more and more violent with the citizens. He even started sentencing them to the dungeon for longer periods of time than he should have. Finally, though, came the incident which led to them seperating..." Apple said.

Three weeks later
Jewel Town

Apple crawled out of the hangar after brushing her teeth to the same old chin music. The chanting from many of the normal-sized Jewel Town citizens demanding that Princess Apple leave at once. Naturally, she just ignored these chants and carefully stepped over this crowd to make her way towards town.

She walked towards the castle as carefully as she could. There she could see King Askew and Queen Pineapple trying to plead their cases once again to the big crowd of people. Apple could see from above that King Askew was more furious than ever before.
"I dare say! You are all acting like spoiled children, treating my daughter like that!" King Askew said.
"Yeah!? Well you can tell that spoiled bimbo of yours to stop stealing all our food and water!" one man said.
"That's right! We need this stuff to survive too, you know!" a woman said.
"You watch your tongue!" King Askew shouted, winding up a fist towards this couple.
"Darling, please! Your blood pressure!" Queen Pineapple shouted.
"SHUT UP, YOU!!!" King Askew shouted, throwing his fist right into Pineapple's face instead of the citizen! Apple was stunned... her gasp was picked up by everyone in the area.
"Mother!!!" Apple said. She walked over to where her parents were standing, almost forgetting about the tiny people that were surrounding them. She kneeled down and gently helped her mother back to her feet. Queen Pineapple quickly checked her face for any blood dripping, but thankfully that was not the case. Just a bruise on her cheek it looked like. Still, she looked over at a very shocked King Askew.
"My... my lady! Are you alright? I did not mean for that to happen..." King Askew said. As he lowered his hand to help his wife up, however, Queen Pineapple slapped it away and got up herself.

"Don't you touch me, you brute!!!" Queen Pineapple shouted.
"What? But I..." King Askew said.
"No, you listen to me! You have allowed your mind to be consumed by all this hate! You're pushing away the people you care most about... even me." Queen Pineapple said.
"But Pineapple, sweetie! Don't you understand? It's for the good of our daughter!" King Askew said.
"Our daughter doesn't deserve this. She deserves much better." Queen Pineapple said.
"Well then, you have a better idea? Like maybe finding a shrinking potion to fix up our giantess of a daughter!?" King Askew shouted. Apple tried not to let these words bother... but they truly did.
"We're going to do as the people wish." Queen Pineapple said.
"Huh? What do you mean?" King Askew said. Queen Pineapple then took off her engagement ring and threw it down at King Askew's feet.
"Apple, my dear, pick me up. We're gonna stay as far away from this place as we can." Pineapple said. Apple hesitated for a little bit, but then she reached down and picked up her mother.
"Mother, are you sure you want to do this? Maybe Dad is right, maybe there is a way we can convince these people of my place in this town." Apple said.
"I wish we could, but I fear only time can heal this place and the wounds these people have brought onto themselves." Queen Pineapple said.
"But what about Father?" Apple asked.
"Our relationship is over. Now let's go! I think we need to talk to Princess Peach about this." Queen Pineapple said. Apple, with her mother in her hands, indeed walked away from the place she called home since she was born. Some of the tiny citizens cheered for the giantess leaving and their so-called peace returning to the town, while others stood in shock over what just transpired. The straw on King Askew's back was broken, however, as he continued to lob threats at his now ex-wife. He kicked the ring away as he shook his fist in the air.
"Fine! Go ahead and leave! I'll make certain the two of you don't come back!!!" King Askew shouted. One of the citizens walked right by the king and summed up his behavior perfectly.
"Loser." He quietly muttered.

On her way to Peach's Castle, Princess Apple carefully watched where she was walking. She wasn't worried about her mother, Queen Pineapple, now that she was sitting on her shoulder. But still, she couldn't shake out the events of what just happened.
"Mother, I'm so sorry. This is all my fault. If I hadn't been so foolish and eaten that mushroom, none of this would've happened." Apple said.
"Apple, please. You can't blame the past for what has happened. Fate simply changed for the two of us." Pineapple said.
"But... what will we do now? Where will we go? What about Father?" Apple said.
"Shhhhhh... don't worry, my big girl. These are things you don't need to worry about now. Right now, we're going to see if Peach can find you a place to stay." Pineapple said.
"Gee, I wonder what Peach will think of seeing me so huge?" Apple asked.
"I'm sure she won't mind. She's probably seen it all as the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom." Pineapple said.
"You're right. She's my best friend. Surely she will understand." Apple said.

Mushroom Kingdom
Peach's Castle

(NOTE from author: I first created Princess Apple way back in 1999 even though VGGTS World wasn't introduced to her until late 2003, hence why the Millennium Cup.)

Out in the front lawn of Peach's Castle, Mario and Luigi were busy tinkering away at Mario's go-kart in preparation for the first round of the upcoming Millennium Cup. Sure, Mario and Luigi were competitors in that race, but the brothers agreed to help with each other's karts to make sure they were evenly matched. Mario was sitting in the seat making adjustments behind the wheel.
"Wrench..." Mario said.
"Wrench." Luigi said as he grabbed the wrench and handed it to Mario, "You know, Mario, I'm excited for this new Millennium Cup, aren't you?"
"Oh, for sure. It's Princess Peach's way of welcoming the new millennium, after all. Screw driver..." Mario said.
"Screw driver." Luigi said as he took the wrench out of Mario's hands and handed him the screw driver, "You think Daisy might show up for this race to see me?" Luigi said.
"Who knows? She might be too busy running Sarasaland." Mario said. Just then, the sunlight that was beaming down  on the two brothers went away. Mario stood up after leaning into his kart.
"Whew... thank goodness for that cloud cover. It's been..." Mario said until he looked up to see it wasn't a big cloud blocking the sunlight, but the 50-foot-tall Princess Apple instead.
"Holy macro!!!" Mario shouted as he ducked behind his kart.
"I thought it was Holly Macro?" Luigi said, but then he looked up to see Apple as well.
"Yikes!" Luigi said as he ducked behind the kart as well, dropping the wrench onto his foot in the process.
"Um... excuse me, but is Princess Peach around here?" Apple asked. Almost on cue, Peach came running out of the castle.
"Princess Apple!" Peach shouted.
"Ah, hello down there!" Apple said as she carefully took a couple more steps and then reached for her mother, Queen Pineapple, on her right shoulder. Once she was in her hand, Pineapple waited until Apple set her hand on the ground before she leapt off.

"Princess Peach, it's good to see you again." Pineapple said as she shook hands with Peach. While all this was going on, Apple was getting her first look at Peach's Castle from her new height. It was almost scary to see her almost as tall as the famous castle.
"You too, Queen Pineapple, and the same to your daughter. I'm sorry for what happened in Giant Land. Prince Hugo told me everything." Peach said.
"Oh, it's perfectly okay. Apple's gotten used to her new size, even though it's been kinda tough adjusting." Pineapple said. Peach then noticed Mario and Luigi looking dumbfounded.
"Oh! Mario. Luigi. This is Queen Pineapple and her giant-sized daughter, Princess Apple." Peach said. Apple waved lightly down at the two brothers.
"It's nice to meet the two of you." Apple said.
"Anyway, they are both rulers of a far away place known as Jewel Town." Peach said.
"Actually, we used to be, but not anymore." Pineapple said.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Peach said.
"Well, as I said, it's been tough adjusting life for Apple's new height. Many of the Jewel Town citizens balked at the idea of my daughter ruling the kingdom at such a large size, so they have been demanding for her to leave. Obviously, my husband and I stood up for her, but eventually King Askew became more and more angry with his own people, going as far as imprisoning these people indefinitely. Finally, today, when I told him to calm down because of his high blood pressure, he snapped lose and struck me in the face." Pineapple said, rubbing her face where she got punched by King Askew."
"Oh my... I was just going to ask what that bruise mark on your cheek was about." Peach said.
"So we finally decided to comply with the people's wishes by moving out of Jewel Town. I am done with King Askew, after he treated his own people like he did, especially myself, just for the sake of my daughter." Pineapple said. Peach looked to see Pineapple's engagement ring missing.

"Hmmm... yes. This is serious. We better set up an emergency dethroning meeting as quickly as possible." Peach said.
"That would be nice. But what about us? Surely he will try to arrest us if we try to go back to town even if we do manage to dethrone him. Maybe we should move somewhere like Desert Land..." Pineapple said.
"Oh, please... no way. For all you've been through, you don't deserve to live there. Let me talk with Prince Hugo. Maybe he can help the two of you out, especially Princess Apple." Peach said.
"Thank you, Princess Peach. You have been such a good friend to the two of us, even if we forever owe you with these debts." Pineapple said.
"Oh, it's okay. Why don't you let Apple take a walk around the kingdom? I can have Mario and Luigi give her a tour." Peach said.
"That would be nice. You two can ride on my shoulders." Apple said. She picked up Mario and Luigi and placed them on her right shoulder.
"Whew... quite a view, isn't it Mario?" Luigi said.
"Of course. What else could it be?" Mario said.
"Will you be okay, Mother?" Apple said.
"Of course, my dear. You go and have some fun. Peach and I will decide what we're going to do with King Askew." Pineapple said. Apple nodded and then walked away from Peach's Castle.

Present day

"So I see. What was that like walking around the Mushroom Kingdom?" Ken asked.
"Well, it was like when I tried to live in Jewel Town at this size, but luckily Mario and Luigi are well known names in the Mushroom Kingdom. Whatever they said, the mushroom people listened, and they made sure I meant no harm and soon many of the people took a liking to me. I can remember this one young girl begging to her mom that she wanted to be as big as me one day." Apple said, giggling a little bit.
"So, um... what ever became of your father? I just remembered... he wouldn't be the same Mr. Askew that once lived in the Diamond City Retirement House, would he?" Ken asked.
"Yep, that's him. It took a few days, but Peach and Mother were able to strip my father of my rights as king of Jewel Town. They sentenced him to one year in his own dungeon, and then as you said, he lived in the retirement home until he passed away a couple years ago from heartache. He never could recover emotionally from losing both of us. I wished I could see him one more time before he died, but my memory of him simply faded the longer I was princess of Giant Land." Apple said.
"Hmmm... yes, I remember him announcing his illness just before Jewel Town was officially renamed to Diamond City. And what about your mother?" Ken asked.
"Yes, she lived with me for a few more months after I moved into Giant Palace thanks to help from Peach and Hugo. She too had trouble recovering emotionally, and who could blame her? She had been married to him for so many years. But luckily she recovered after she decided to move to Earth and live with Aska. She's just fine now." Apple said.
"Excellent, I'm glad to hear that." Ken said.
"Yeah. In fact, she and Aska were nice enough to come to our wedding." Apple said, looking down at her engagement ring.
"Yeah, it must've been a special day." Ken said.
"It was, though I feel nothing was more special than the day Hugo proposed to me... it was a couple of days after my father was dethroned." Apple said.

One week later
Giant Palace

Apple slowly walked into the dining room, where she saw Hugo preparing many of the dishes at the far end of the table. Hugo looked to see Apple walking in.
"Ah, Princess Apple. Thank you for coming." Hugo said.
"Of course, Prince Hugo. Sorry I am late, I was busy doing my hair." Apple said.
"No problem. I don't have anywhere to go tonight." Hugo said. Apple then walked to the end of the table where Hugo was standing behind a chair. He pulled it back and then pushed it forward as Apple sat down.
"Well, thank you... I didn't get this big a royal treatment when I was back in Jewel Town." Apple said.
"I'm glad you feel happy." Hugo said. He soon sat down and the two began eating the many different types of food on the table. As they were eating, they started a conversation.

"So, how have you been these past few days?" Hugo said.
"Fine, thanks. I'm very thankful for all that you have done for me. I'm just sorry my mother couldn't stay." Apple said.
"Well, I don't blame her. I'd probably be nervous too living in a land of giants such as the two of us. Visiting the place alone might be stressful enough. But I have full confidence your sister will take good care of her." Hugo said.
"Yeah, me too. She's very strong, as you saw. And she has a good spirit too. She told me before she left, didn't I tell you that one day you would be doing big things? I'm sure she didn't mean it literally!" Apple said, prompting a laugh from both.
"So, what will you do? Why don't you go back to being princess of Jewel Town now that the mess with your father has been straightened out?" Hugo said.
"I wish it were that easy, but those words were hard to take in from those people. They're understandable, sure, but at the same time, I wish people were that forgiving." Apple said.
"I'm sure we all do." Hugo said.
"The fact is... I'm not as good a princess as I should be. I'm not sure all my education with you and with Peach is helping any. I feel like I have failed my people. I don't deserve to be their princess." Apple said. Hugo took that phrase into his mind for a few seconds and then came back with a response that surely surprised Apple.

"You know what? You are right. You don't deserve to be the princess of Jewel Town. You deserve to be my princess." Hugo said.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Apple asked.
"Tell me something, Apple. When you first got to see me one year ago as a normal-sized person, what did you think?" Hugo asked.
"Well, of course I was madly in love with you. Even if you were my size, I just looked at you and I thought you'd be the perfect man, because there was almost no such thing where I came from. I looked into your eyes and I saw nothing but love at first sight." Apple said.
"I'm very happy to hear that, because that's what I felt too looking at you. And I feel stronger about that tonight." Hugo said.
"Huh? You really mean it?" Apple asked.
"Without a shade of doubt, my lady. I could see it in your eyes, your passion for me. I'll be perfectly honest, I felt those same vibes when I saw you. It is like we were meant for each other." Hugo said.
"I... I don't know what to say." Apple said.
"And you are the fitting image of a powerful young woman. Just one look at your brown hair, your red dress... even your boots..." Hugo said. He finally couldn't hide it anymore. He reached underneath the table and pulled out a tiny black case. He opened it up, and there was an engagement ring.
"No, wait... I mean... I'm only 17, and you're... what? Over 40 years old?" Apple asked.
"41 to be exact. But none of that matters to me." Hugo said. Apple truly was speechless, but she kept on looking at the ring and then into Hugo's eyes. Suddenly, this feeling she had one year was coming back. Her heart was beating so fast she was sure it was going to fly out of her chest.
"Princess Apple, will you marry me and become the first ever Official Princess of Giant Land?" Hugo said.
"Oh my god... I'm getting married!" Apple shouted to herself. Then she cleared her throat and gave Hugo the eternal answer.
"Yes." Apple said. She held out her hand and allowed Hugo to slip the ring on her finger. Then the two got up from their chairs and hugged and kissed.

Present day

"Awwww... that was a touching story." Ken said.
"It sure was, wasn't it? So we both went to Peach's Castle the next day and gave her the good news. She quickly agreed to be the bridesmaid, and as I said, Aska and Mom were there as well for the ceremony. Mario and Luigi made sure those dreaded Koopas didn't interfere, of course." Apple said.
"Ah yes. Fascinating." Ken said.
"Yeah. The first thing he did was buy me as many red dresses as he could, and then he got me many pairs of golden sandals so that I didn't have to wear those boots all the time any more!" Apple said happily, resting both her sandaled feet on the pedestal but of course keeping them away from Ken.
"Yes, I see." Ken said.
"The longer our marriage has lasted, the better it's gone. Our love can never be broken by anything." Apple said.
"Well, I must congratulate you on that. Maybe someday I should get some tips on getting married myself!" Ken said.
"Yeah, maybe you should!" Apple said, laughing.
"Oh... one last question. Do you miss being at normal size and would you ever want to return to your normal size?" Ken said. Apple quickly shook her head.
"No. After I met Hugo and could see eye-to-eye with him, I decided I wanted to be this big forever. Actually, about a year after I became princess, there was finally an antidote invented for the Ultra Mushroom. Hugo asked me if I wanted to return to my normal size and go back to living a normal life, but I flat out said no. After falling in love with the man I love, this was my normal life now. I wanted to stick with it until the end." Apple said.
"Ah, makes sense. Can't break up love when it's that big!" Ken said. Apple laughed as she nodded.

"Indeed, I think this is much more than I needed, but I do appreciate you taking the time to tell me this story." Ken said.
"No problem, Mr. Ken! The rest is history, anyway. Please say hello to everyone in Diamond City. I'm sure some people there miss me from the Jewel Town days." Apple said.
"Sure, I can do that, as long as they aren't too busy using products from WarioWare, Inc.! You really should visit us one day. Maybe everyone there will forgive you given how much society has changed from the Jewel Town days." Ken said.
"Yes, I've been thinking that. Perhaps one day I will visit. I'll have to talk with my husband about that." Apple said.
"Of course. You do what you have to. We are in no hurry, your royal highness." Ken said, bowing before Princess Apple. She smiled and then got up from her throne, taking Ken in her hands.

Soon, Princess Apple was standing outside the Giant Palace front doors, looking down at Ken.
"You sure you can get home just fine?" Apple asked.
"Absolutely, your highness. I still got a lot of life left in these old dog legs!" Ken said.
"Well, that's good to hear. Good luck with the story!" Apple said.
"You are most welcome. I'll make sure you see the first copy before I publish the story!" Ken shouted as he walked away.
"I appreciate that!" Apple shouted, waving Ken off before she finally walked back inside her home. She took in a breath of fresh air, because it was nice to relive the past every now and then, no matter how up and down it was.