Classification: Behind-The-Scenes story. Universal rules for Dragonball apply.
Main Characters: Piccolo
NOTE: Piccolo is also known as Ma Junior in Dragon Ball. I don't really know why, just like the way it sounds.
A large, red ball bounced back and forth
on the playground. Happy children played in the afternoon sun during recess.
Their teacher dozed on a bench. A large boy stood at home plate.
"Yeah! Go Konishi!" Three children already on base cheered.
Konishi nodded and the boy on the pitcher's mound made a face and rolled the ball to him.
The children hollered as Konishi's ball flew above their heads. It hit the ground at the far end of the playground and rolled into the shrubs at the edge of the woods.
As Konishi rounded the bases, his classmates cheered him, but just as they were praising him, their tune changed.
'Hey, Konishi! You hit it you git it!"
"Awwww!" he moaned. "But I just *pant pant* got a grand slam!"
They teased him because they liked him, he knew, but he was heavy and hated the extra exercise. He trudged to the far end of the field.
"Now where'd that ball get to?"
he muttered to himself as he poked through the bushes. A rustling sound to his
left startled him.
"Huh?" he blinked, looked to the shrubs and swallowed apprehensively. His curiosity was stronger than his fear at that moment, so he pushed some of the bushes aside.
Crouched down in the middle of a hydrangea was the figure of a young boy.
"Hey," Konishi asked, annoyed that this kid had caused him to worry. "Whaddaya think you're doin' in there?!"
The boy raised his head, smiled awkwardly and stood up. He held the red ball in his black-nailed hands.
Konishi's bulk jumped backward involuntarily. He tripped over his own feet and fell on his butt. "Muh muh muh..." he stuttered.
The other boy's skin was as green as the bushes he hid in and his fangs protruded over his lower lip. Two large, pointed ears stuck up on either side of his turban. He stood and backed up a pace, startled by Konishi's reaction.
Konishi scrambled up and ran away as fast as his over-burdened feet would carry him. "MONSTER!" he cried and flailed his arms in terror.
Piccolo's usual scowl fell over his face. His grip closed over the ball, exploding it. He took to the air before the other children rushed to the scene of Konishi's so-called monster attack.
The cave was cold and damp, as usual. It didn't used to bother him, but recently he was spending more time outside; more time spying on the humans in the area.
Konishi was sent to bed early that night.
His parents were tired of listening to his babbling on and on about the demon
who had jumped out of the bushes and attacked him that day at school.
"But, but , but!" he stammered.
"No buts, young man! You will go to your room without desert and think about how it is wrong to fib like that!"
"Go to bed, now!"
The door slammed shut. He frowned and thought about the berry cobbler his parents and bratty sister were surely eating by now. He flopped down on his bed, but was unable to sleep.
Piccolo hovered just outside the second floor window. The darkness hid his form from view. The lights inside were yellow and looked warm and inviting. A little girl got into a bed. A woman pulled the covers up to her chin and sat down beside the bed. She opened a book and began to read. The girl's eyes closed after just a few minutes. Then the woman got up, bowed, touched her lips to the girl's forehead and went to the door.
A man joined her at the door, they embraced, looked on the sleeping girl for a moment, then turned on a tiny light and left the room.
Piccolo furrowed his brows. What was this? What ritual were they performing? Many houses did the same thing, every night. The children were so happy. Why were they looked over by these larger humans?
He had seen them cry and be re-assured by them. He has seen them learn things from them. He had also seen them be reprimanded and made to cry by them! What did it mean? As he watched the girl sleep, Piccolo had the desire to go inside and feel the warmth that must surely fill that room. The night was raw, and only his dank cave waited to bid him goodnight.
Maybe, just maybe at one point there had been someone who was supposed to be to him what the elder humans were to the smaller ones, but he could not recall. It had always just been him. Ma Junior. Piccolo. Alone. Who was Ma, he wondered? Was he or she dead? Had he or she abandoned him? He pouted and put his fingers to the warm panes.
"MONSTER!!!" cried a familiar
Piccolo spun around and stared into the thin beam of a flashlight. Konishi, who lived just next door, cried from his open window. The little girl in the warm room woke, saw the demon's floating silhouette and screamed at the top of her lungs.
Piccolo gnashed his teeth and blasted off, away from the scene he had created, just by being himself.
The cave mouth waited with a geological
grimace for his return. Water dripped from its ceiling. Bats and insects lined
its walls. A hunk of moldering grass served as a resting place when he needed
it. Ma Junior hovered just at the entrance and turned his back. He looked up
to the stars.
Where was his elder over-seer? Why did everyone else have one or two of them but him? Where was there someone like him who wouldn't run screaming at a glance? He did not know. He furrowed his brows.
All those people, those happy, warm people who feared him... he'd give them a reason to fear him... a reason to call him 'monster.'
Dragonball © Akira Toriyama (Bird Studio/Shueisha)/Toei Animation/Funimation Productions, Inc. Toei Animation.