Author – D M Evans

Disclaimer – all rights belong to Minekura

Rating – FRT

Fandom – Saiyuki

Characters – Goku

Timeline/Spoilers- none, prior to Goku meeting Sanzo

Summary – His world was so very small.

Prompt – catch

Word Count - 392

Author's Note – this was original written for fanfic_bakeoff on livejournal and had to be limited to 300 words. This is the slightly expanded version.

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It was always the same in side his small world. If he pressed his face to the stone bars, the boy could see beyond the limits of his cave. The tops of trees – not that he knew how he knew that was their name. He was alone in the world so why did he have any names for things at all? – waved at the limits of Goku's perception. Clouds sometimes drifted by. That was all there was: sky and trees, sometimes rain and snow, without and nothing but cold stone around him.

Then something new came into his life, perched on the ledge just beyond the bars. Goku's heart raced. What was this thing, so obviously alive in ways the trees were not? A small voice in his head echoed back one word: bird.

With a child's delight, Goku watched the bird that bobbed and weaved, watching him right back. The tiny creature chirped at him, the most delightful sound Goku had ever heard. Similar sounds had echoed in his ears before, distant and frightening because he couldn't see the source. Now he saw and understood. The sounds no longer held any fear for him.

The bird excited him. Goku tried to catch it but every time, it fluttered away from him terrified. The rattle of his shackles against the stone made the creature nervous, jumping far out of reach, occasionally flapping its wings at him.

But the bird had lessons to teach Goku. It taught him the importance of being still and quiet. Whenever Goku simply relaxed and didn't lunge for it, the bird would land on his finger, warbling to him.

With the rise and fall of the light outside his cave, the bird came and went. Goku looked forward to the moments when its sharp tiny feet latched onto his finger and filled his world with song.

One day, his tiny friend lay on the stone, unmoving. Thinking it was asleep, though he had never seen it do so before, Goku tried to wake it up but the bird never woke. Eventually Goku remembered what this was: death. Clutching the bars of his cage, he screamed out his pain, tears flooding down his face, dripping from his chin. Nothing answered his agony. No sounds came back to him. The music ended. He was once again alone in the world.