The Prince pauses where he's jammed beneath the sofa and reflects on the meaning of life.
It's a Tuesday, and he's on Earth, rolling around Singapore. He's got a minute left to add two meters to his katamari, but instead he's stuck under the couch because of the pencil he accidentally picked up while on top of the card table. He never should have gone after those shrimp, but they were so pink and tasty looking draped over the side of that rice bowl. The pencil was just bad luck. Who keeps their pencils in the same bowl as their shrimp? Chopsticks, yes. But pencils? Earth people are weird.
He rocks his katamari back and forth, trying to dislodge it from the corner he's stuck in, but the badminton racquet is making it difficult. He's never going to make it out onto the balcony at this rate. His dad's going to be super pissed. But like he's got any room to talk.
The Prince could have been out with his friends, but no, he's in here, rolling up things because his dad had gone on another intergalactic bender and totally destroyed the cosmos. Again.
A crayfish scuttles past and for a moment the Prince hopes it hits him. It'll hurt, but it might throw him backwards and out from under the sofa. Alarms start to ring, but the crustacean continues past and takes a left into the bathroom.
Frantic now -- he's going to fail, his katamari isn't big enough, he hasn't seen any pink boxes anywhere, his stupid cousin Doug is still flying around the room on a paper airplane. His dad loves him unconditionally and has never once destroyed the bakery where he works, even if he does sometimes forget to put on pants. Anyway, not that the Prince cares about the stupid royal presents. The last one wasn't anything he'd wear out in public. Does his dad really think giant bunny ears are cool? Probably. God, look at the way he dresses. The Prince pushes his katamari against the wall, harder and harder until things start to pop off and go flying. First it's the damned pencil, then the lotto form, a green dumpling, several shrimp, a matchbook, a packet of soy sauce, a mouse.
If he can't roll enough to please his father, then maybe he can at least get unstuck from the couch and make a roll for it, roll somewhere his father will never find him.
The clock switches to seconds and starts counting down in big orange numbers. Just as it hits five seconds, the Prince and his katamari -- four seconds -- shoot out from under the couch -- three seconds -- and roll roll roll -- two seconds -- for the freedom of the balcony -- one second -- and he's out in the fresh air, rolling, rolling for the -- time's up. Everything stops.
The lights go out. It starts to rain. Here we go again, thinks the Prince.
"What's this?" his father says, looming over Singapore. Laser beams shoot out of his eyes. "A naked katamari? Bare of things? Why are there no things?"
The Prince shrugs. Lightning cracks.
More laser beams. "Oh, we are so, so sad. Heartbroken, really. It's like waking up on Feast of All Things Day and finding no things. You have disappointed us. We were so looking forward to the--"
"Nothing I do is ever good enough for you!" the Prince yells up at him.
"...!" says the King.
"I'm tired of rolling things up! Do it yourself, Dad. I'm going bowling!" The prince stomps away on his little purple feet, leaving the katamari behind.
The King of All Cosmos stares down at the balcony and gives the pink and green katamari a nudge with one royal forefinger. It rolls up a coffee bean with a hopeful little bloop!
"Teenagers," he says.