Disney really did a great job with Bolt; one of their best pieces in years. Which is why I'm sure there'll be an attempt to keep the story alive via sequel, series, ice show, etc.. I personally wish they wouldn't, but thinking about it made me wonder just how you COULD continue the story. And I mean in a respectable way, not forcedly like some other shameless franchises do. In this brainstorming, I conceived this.
Bolt is owned by The Walt Disney Company. Although honestly, is a disclaimer really necessary. Everyone knows who produced the movie, and what'll happen if I DON'T say it?
Nay, just kidding; due credit where credit is due.
Chapter 1: Fire and Marshmallows
The fall air was crisp and cool, blowing a sweet wind across the grassy hills. Hundreds of stars shone in the nighttime sky, stretching from one end of the horizon to the other, and seeming to go on forever. For miles around, there was nothing to break the peaceful nature of the unspoiled landscape, save for the unseen sounds of the nature around.
Nestled in this country scenery was a farmhouse, where a small campfire was burning beautifully in the nearby yard, kept in place by a circle of rocks and stones. The flickering lights danced and crackled around the many sticks that gave it energy, sending sparks into the sky that were softly blown away by the winding wind.
The firelight illuminated the faces seated comfortably around the flames, all of them soothed by the radiating heat and the company of each other. A little girl, with short brown hair that fluttered in the wind, cradled a strong white dog in her arms sleepily. A black cat snuggled next to the two, while a fat little hamster lay on her back, caught in a dream that made his leg twitch sporadically into the air.
A near empty bag of marshmallows was resting near the group, with a few left at the bottom. The rest had been shared between the four, with a few even being lost into the fire after being roasted a bit too long. The sweet flavor had tasted delicious in the autumn air, mixed with the aroma of burning firewood and hill grass floating gently around the secluded spot of serenity.
"Penny", called a woman's voice from the backdoor, "time to get ready for bed sweetie".
Opening her eyes from the drowsy firelight, the little girl called back to her mother. "OK mom. I'll be right there". The four friends all stretched to get up from their resting spots, still feeling content from the warm and comforting atmosphere.
Mittens extended her paws in a long stretch, then stood up straight in a stretch that made her fur stand up. Rhino, too late to get off, fell toward the ground and landed inside a plastic ball that was luckily open for him to fall through. He had left the security of his mobile home to sit with his friends, but wouldn't dare leave it out of sight. Having fallen off of his feline pal, he was glad that it was there to catch him.
"Whoops. Hehehe, sorry there Rhino", Mittens politely responded. But the plump little hamster simply shook his head and stood back up, apparently unfazed by the fall. "Never worry, young Mittens. For I, the invincible super hamster, can not be defeated so easily!" Mittens just shook her head and smiled at the slightly overdramatic rodent.
With Penny now standing up, Bolt let out a large yawn from being woken up. His tongue fell to the side of his canine mouth, tasting the remnants of some marshmallow that had stuck to his fur. He tried to lick it off, but his tongue couldn't quite get to it, leaving the sweet treat out of his reach.
"Hmhmhm", chuckled Penny kindly, "you're just the funniest little dog, aren't you Bolt?". Grabbing a napkin from her pocket, the little girl wiped the mess off of her dog's face, leaving it clean and no longer sticky. Bolt graciously licked his person on the nose, making her giggle and pull her puppy into a warm hug. His tail wagged softly on the ground.
While Penny ventured into the house to get ready for bed, the three animals lingered around the campfire for a bit, still enjoying the glowing heat in the nighttime air. Bolt and Mittens found a spot on a sitting log to soak in the fire's shine together, but Rhino seemed to still be hungry for another marshmallow. Rolling over to the plastic bag, he opened his ball again to pull one of the sticky morsels out.
Unfortunately, the heat from the fire had stuck the few remaining treats together, making it impossible for Rhino's small paws to rip them apart. "Ha! You think you can defeat me, do you, mighty marshmallows of mightyness? Well, you have no idea who you're dealing with! No idea!" He tugged and tugged, but there was only a mess of confection that he couldn't tear, no matter how hard he tried.
"Hey, Bolt, check out Rhino over there", said Mittens, noticing their friend's futile attempts. The two observed in amusement together, knowing that they should probably help out, but watching was just too much fun. "That's right, you show 'em who's the boss Rhino", called out Bolt jokingly.
Eventually, the hamster became too exhausted to try any harder, much to Bolt and Mittens' entertainment. They then noticed that Rhino's foot was stuck in a sticky glob, and he couldn't pull himself out.
Feeling sympathy over amusement, Bolt, stretching his legs and letting out a small yawn, got up from his resting place to help his rodent friend un-stick himself. "Better get you out of here lil buddy", Bolt said, "there's nothing worse then sticky fur".
Once Bolt had said this, the two immediately paused for a second, giving each other a small grin. They both knew what the other one was thinking.
"Just like when the Green Eyed Man created a giant mud monster!" exclaimed the two pets together in unison. Bolt, recalling one of his many adventures, began narrating the tale. "On a secret island, the Green Eyed Man designs a biological weapon like no other, one that can bring soil and water to life. But when combined, it brings life to an unstoppable monster of mud!"
The recollections of Bolt's television escapades got Rhino really excited. "And you had to go undercover as a champion show dog", the hamster struck a noble pose, "Lord Bolt de la Bierre: award winning purebred of the royal Transylvanian family".
"While stealth-fully remaining ahead in the show", Bolt continued boastfully, "Bolt snoops around the island, searching for the hidden lab".
"When all of a sudden, out of an oasis in the middle of the island, BAM! The giant mud monster arises, destroying EVERYTHING in it's path!"
"But even this beast was no match for my SUPER-SPEED. Only by running rapidly around the fiendish creature and forming a tornado can I hope to destroy it".
"And just when it's been weakened, you finish it off with a tremendous SUPER-BARK! Mud flies everywhere, covering all the bad guys and ruining the secret lab".
"And in the end, still arrive back in time to grandly win the show!" The two pets collapsed in laughter at their own overdramatic monologue. Even Mittens, still seated by the fire, couldn't help but giggle at the over-the-top reenactment. Despite her more easy going nature, it was impossible for the cat to not find the humor in the moment.
Amidst the laughter, Rhino had gotten even more stuck in the globs of marshmallow fluff. Bolt knew that he could always lick away the mess, but that would subject Rhino to a mess of dog slobber, and that wouldn't be nice at all. It'd be better to cut the hamster out, but his claws were too large to do the job delicately. What they needed were smaller, more razor-like claws. Like the ones on a…
"Hey Mittens!" Bolt called out, "could you lend us a paw here". The black-furred cat eyed Bolt with confusion. "What for? Got a…sticky situation or somethin'", she joked from her resting spot. Her canine companion smirked back.
"I just need help in getting Rhino unstuck here, and my claws can't do the trick. Do you think that you could use your cla…"
Bolt immediately stopped in his tracks. He quickly looked over at the sad look that had formed on Mitten's face, and it filled him with remorse. "Mittens, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…uh…"
A small tear came into Mitten's eye. She sniffled a little and wiped the tear away, trying not to look concerned. "It's, um, it's alright Bolt", she softly responded. It was a well known fact to the animals that Mittens had been de-clawed by her previous owners, and then abandoned to fend for herself. The memory still lingered in her mind, even though she tried not to let it bother her, especially after Penny had been so nice in accepting her.
"Eh, forget about it", Mittens said firmly, again in her tough New York style dialect.
The fact was, Bolt couldn't just 'forget about it'. The two had become very good friends since they met, and ever since he'd learned that Mitten's had had such a terrible experience, he couldn't help but wonder exactly what happened. Just what had led to this innocent feline being treated so badly? He didn't know exactly what happened, but like any good friend, he really wanted to know.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the others, Rhino had managed to use his teeth to cut through most of the marshmallow that was sticking to him. His right paw was still stuck to the side of the bag, making his tug hard to attempt freeing himself. Tugging and pulling as hard as the little hamster could, he began to stretch the sticky globs, trying to break his imprisonment.
Taking notice, Mittens jumped down from her position and walked over to where her two companions were. "Alright Mister, let's get you out of this mess, and back into that ball of yours". Gently grabbing Rhino by his free paw with her own paws, she gave a quick jerk. And just like that, the hamster was free again, running right back into his plastic sphere with gleeful pleasure.
"Thank you very much, my good cat. I am, indeed, completely in your debt", Rhino stated while spinning around in the ball, where he spent most of his time. Mittens just chuckled at how happy he looked in there. In all her days, she'd never been seen a creature so constantly hyperactive and energetic. She'd grown pretty used to it by now, but it was still kind of funny to watch, as she walked along next to the fire.
While Mittens settled back into her spot on the log, and Rhino found a nice place to rest, Bolt just laid down with his head on his paws. He couldn't help but feel very foolish at bringing up Mitten's de-clawment; it made him very sad. The more he thought about it, the more he wanted to know what actually happened to Mittens, perhaps to help make the memory not hurt so much.
But he didn't want to hurt her feelings by bringing it up again. So he just laid there, silently, as the warmth from the fire heated his snow white fur.
"Somethin' buggin' ya, super dog?" asked Mittens after a silent minute. She'd noticed Bolt's sudden quietness, making the dog decide to at least ask the question on his mind.
"Well, actually, I was wondering Mittens", he replied faintly, " even though I know it must hurt to talk about. But, what happened with you and your persons?" There was no immediate response, only silence in the nighttime air. Upon hearing Bolt's request, the feline stared into the flames of the campfire, thinking about how she'd reply to such a question. It was indeed a very tough subject to revisit, and Mittens wasn't really sure if she could.
When she looked back at Bolt, the canine was giving her a wide eyed look with his head tilted slightly and both his ears dropped. It was an irresistibly cute look. "Oh, now that's just not fair", stated Mittens. Pulling the "dog face" on her was the ultimate sign of pleading. And to think, she was the one who'd taught him to use it in the first place. Turning away to not let him see her laugh, she saw Rhino, copying Bolt and giving her the exact same look. It was all too much.
"OK, alright already," she laughed, feeling at least a bit more at ease. Looking back at Rhino, she got an idea. "Tell you what; I'll tell you MY story, if Rhino here tells us how he came to be so…Rhino-y. I'm just curious, y'know, especially as to why you're so attached to that ball of yours".
Mittens grinned at seeing the rodent's reaction. He looked like he was about ready to burst in excitement. All he could do was stand there, squeaking in speechlessness, while considering how to best tell his own story. Both Mittens and Bolt (who had climbed up onto a spot next to the two) could only describe Rhino's reaction as outrageously frenzied.
He then straightened up, trying to sound more distinguished. "Well, my dear Miss Mittens, I'd be more then happy to fill you in on my life's great journey. After all", he said as he rubbed his knuckles against his chest, "it is one of great peril, drama, and excitement". Bolt smiled at the slight monologue.
"But, in exchange for revealing this epic tale", Rhino continued, "I'D like to hear about how Bolt the Super Dog, became… Bolt, the Super Dog". He wheeled himself over a bit closer, now going back to his hyperactive state. "Your great rise to fame, adventures in the world of television, and many brushes with the dangers of…so many adoring fans".
Bolt looked flattered, but Mittens looked like she didn't think that was a good idea. "Um, Rhino. I'm sorry to have to remind you, but being the nice cat I am, I'll do it anyways. Bolt wouldn't KNOW how he became a TV star, remember? He thought the whole thing was real, he wouldn't be able to tell us what really brought him and Penny to television".
Rhino looked disappointed, but Bolt couldn't help but snigger. "Actually, I DO know the truth about how I became a TV dog Mittens. Well, I do NOW". His two friends stared at him in a surprised manner, waiting for an explanation. "You both remember the black cat who worked for the Green-Eyed Man on the show?" Rhino nodded his head rapidly, while Mittens just replied 'yeah'. "Well, while we were all preparing to leave Hollywood, he came up to me one day and told me everything, which he used to have to keep secret from me".
Bolt thought back to a few months ago, when the family was packing up for the move to the country… While everyone else was loading up the car, his former feline co-star came over to say goodbye, and fill him in on all he still didn't understand. It took a while, but he soon told Bolt all that he knew about the entire TV show production, which was quite a lot to take in. With that resolved, the family finally drove off to their new home. Bolt waved good-bye to his former enemy, and shouted an apology for all those episodes of thinking he was evil.
His mind returned to the present. "Awesome! Now I can finally learn the true inside story to the greatest of the great!" squealed Rhino in joyous admiration. He continued to run circles for a bit, while Mittens expressed her own interest. "So, we actually get to hear the true story behind Bolt, the Super Dog?"
Bolt smiled. "Only if we get to hear your story too". Mittens returned the smile, indicating that she was willing to tell her two best friends about her rather unfortunate past. Rhino finally stopped running circles and sat down with the two, more than ready for the story to begin.
"You know", said Rhino, very casually, "I've always wanted to tell stories around the campfire". Bolt nodded in agreement. Mittens, taking a steady breath, nodded as well.
As the campfire continued to give off it's warmth and light, Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino assembled in their own place to both talk and listen. Even though the sun had gone down, it was still early in the evening. The night was young, the air was sweet, and everyone was prepared to hear the past tales of each other.
The soothing fall wind continued to glide past the fire, ruffling the fur of the three storytellers.
I think readers usually leave a 'review' or something at this point. I don't know much about reviewing myself. But if you could find it in your kindness to do so, I think it'd make all of us so much happier.