Before he had time to react, he felt something hit his head. It didn't knock him unconscious, but he was rather dazed. He couldn't see anything, and he couldn't move. His ears were ringing. He felt someone grab his arms and tie them behind his back, and then drag him along the floor. It was incredibly painful, but he was too out of it to scream. All he could do was wince in pain. He was soon surrounded by darkness. When he stopped moving, he felt his head get hit again, and again. Still not hard enough to knock him out, but more than enough to make him faint. Dizzy, too.
In his memory, there was a blank spot between being hit one last time and 'waking up.' He was awake for all of it, he knew that, but he just couldn't remember. He was sore all over. It was more than just his head. His arms, his legs, his sides, his.. Well, his everywhere. Places he didn't think could bruise were causing him pain. Perhaps his memory loss was for the better.
The area he was in wasn't dark like before. It looked like there was an opening in the ceiling of the cave that let some light in. It didn't look natural. He was still bound, but he had been positioned with his back to the wall. At least he was sitting up. That was the only plus he could think of. His situation looked very grim. His life flashed before his eyes. He hadn't really led a fulfilling life, so that only killed a couple minutes. He wasn't sure if his attacker would be back to finish the job, of if he was left to die.
Just then, a shadowy figure emerged from what Gunpowder thought was a corner. He couldn't quite make it out, but whatever it was, it was actually rather large. Bigger than him. His suspicions about his assailant were soon confirmed by his speaking.
“I've been looking for you, Finnegan. Why'd you leave home?”
It was Dorsen. There was no doubt. Only two knew his past that far back, his real name: Dorsen and Bluegill. Gunpowder would never have forgotten Bluegill's voice, and it was not the voice speaking to him now. Process of elimination left only one.
How did he find Gunpowder? The first thought he had was that Anana had sold him out. If her life were in danger, that would have been for the better. Gunpowder would have gladly traded his life for hers. The only reason Gunpowder could think of for her not to was that he
Hardly a good one. Maybe he found Gunpowder by dumb luck. But then how could he have known about where Gunpowder was, seemingly at all times? The only person with that knowledge was-
His train of thought was cut short by immense pain in his side. Dorsen had kicked him, his claws sinking in. Gunpowder could easily be killed by them in one fell swoop, but it seemed Dorsen was more intent on torture than killing. Gunpowder always knew he was fucked up, but even this seemed like a lot.
“I'm talking to you, Finny ol' sis'. Are you even listening?”
Another kick, another wince in pain. Gunpowder refused to acknowledge his brother. Not with that name. Gunpowder had left it behind, and everything associated with it, which he had hoped included Dorsen. It seemed clear now the only way to have been rid of him would have been to 'fight fire with fire,' but Gunpowder didn't have it in him to take out his own brother when he had the chance.
“The family misses you ever so much! ... At least, they would, if any members were still alive,” Dorsen said in a tone that was clearly only meant to antagonize Gunpowder. “I hate you. I've always hated you. But I know the feelings might have been mutual, eh sis?”
Gunpowder recalled a fight they had at a young age. Dorsen had won the fight, yet Gunpowder was the one to walk away victorious. In the midst of the clash, Gunpowder had slashed at Dorsen's eye, causing loss of sight. He had worn an eyepatch ever since, which he had pulled back to show Gunpowder the scar that had been left.
“I don't forget anything, Finnegan. Especially not how much dad liked you more. Always. I hated that as much as you. Knowing how well you got along killed me, and eventually him. No one questioned his death. No one dared question me... but then, you left shortly after, which was a smart move. Too smart for you. How'd you figure it out?”
Gunpowder muttered a 'fuck you' in response. Deep down, he knew his parents had been murdered by Dorsen, but he didn't want to admit it to himself. He didn't want to think someone could be so heartless, so insane.
Dorsen gave Gunpowder another body blow, which made his insides feel even more like ground meat.
“Don't you fucking dare speak like that to me! You are trash! To think, dad was going to put you in charge! A girl?!
You are weak
compared to me.”
That had always been a point of contention amongst Gunpowder's family. Gunpowder, being the eldest, was first in line for the head of the family 'business.' Never before had a female taken such a place. Gunpowder always thought it odd that, through the entire line of his family, no females were born first, and he suspected that if a female was born first, it was killed, and Gunpowder was just lucky.
Considering his family and species background – both of which are considered highly territorial – it was no surprise that Gunpowder's sex caused a lot of contention. There was a group that considered it irrelevant, that such a thing wouldn't dictate how the family was run. But there were also others that felt it would 'taint' the system. Dorsen was one who eventually came to believe this, as well, but with more intensity than any before.
“You wouldn't have even been useful for continuing the family. Just look at you! You're so small and weak!”
Gunpowder had lost interest in hearing Dorsen's meaningless taunts and had instead begun to devise a method of getting out. He was trying to weasel his arms out of the restraints without being noticed, but it was no use. Gunpowder briefly pondered how such a tight knot was tied with such worthless hands, but remembered it was probably more hired work. Gunpowder figured there was no use in holding back, since he was doomed no matter what he did.
“Funny that ya should call me weak, when you rarely be gettin' yer hands dirty. All that hired work t' mess wit' me.. I can't imagine how ya run the family. Pathetic, really.”
Part 12 of "Well of Memories" by