Gunpowder couldn't take his mind off the story he was told. All he could really remember was 'sister.' He was just so bad at paying attention to boring stories. Fabian probably explained everything, but Gunpowder didn't care at the time. Best to get it direct from the source,
"Hey Anana," said Gunpowder, reluctantly. "Do ya.. do ya have a sister?"
Anana stopped dead in her tracks. Her expression, jubilant moments before, became blank. She almost appeared dazed. This was not something he was used to. It was almost a little frightening. As quickly as the change came, it left, and Anana once again regained her cheerful disposition. She turned and smiled up at Gunpowder.
"Oh, yes! I do. But don't worry about her, she moved out ages ago." Anana resumed walking, as if nothing had happened.
"R-right. What be for dinner?" Gunpowder inquired, trying to change the subject without seeming rude. Hard for him, since his voice was rather gruff. He always came off kind of rude.
"Oh, dear! Do I have something big planned for you! After all, you worked hard for me on your first day!"No I didn't,
thought Gunpowder. Still, he was excited to forget about the disaster that today was and get some food in his gut. Anana's cooking was always most excellent. Top notch! Not much further now...
Before long, they arrived at the luxuriant Kecleon house. Gunpowder had the vague notion that it was Anana’s parents’ house and not simply her own. It might as well have been for how often either one of the parents showed up, though. Seldom, Gunpowder would see Anana’s mother zipping about, always stressing over one preparation or another. It didn’t really register in his mind as something to think about. He was usually too concerned for himself.
Today was not one of those days that Anana’s parents would make a rare appearance. No, it ended up being a much worse guest for both Anana and Gunpowder.
As Anana opened the door, she let out a gasp, the sort that gets caught in your throat and then chokes you a little. This instantly set off Gunpowder’s instincts to be on guard, fight if necessary. He was the type of guy to want to brawl in response someone else’s fright or surprise. Probably it was just the result of years of scuffles hard ingrained into his nerves. It didn’t matter. (His own surprise, though? That was another story. Devonshire ended up being very good at completely catching Gunpowder off guard. This, of course, is something Gunpowder would never want to admit, but it was always written all over his face. Devonshire had a way of doing that to near everyone. Not even on purpose, you must know.)
Expecting an intruder, all he saw was another Kecleon. Not the mom. No, this definitely wasn’t the mom. He, she, it(?) looked a bit crazed. Wasn’t the dad. The dad was always angry, the mom was always stressed. This one was purple with crazy splotches of pink and white, and-
“That yer sis?” he asked, more to himself than Anana. She wasn’t even listening anyway. She was intently focused on who Gunpowder was pretty sure had been the missing sister (had been, up until they opened the door to the house, anyway--she was no longer missing, you see).
“Back so soon?” Anana asked that wild girl. If she was upset, she didn’t intone it. Gunpowder envisioned Anana amusedly asking the same of a customer who’d accidentally forgotten to buy something, or who’d left something behind in the shop. This was not the case though. She was not welcoming this sister Kecleon, this rough, irritating, infuriating girl he would end up seeing again some short few years later, that PK whose name he did not yet know but whose name he would soon find out.
A brief glare was the only response our kind Anana received before that Other Kecleon went back to stuffing items into a small burlap sack, the kind that were kept around the kitchen. Anana stepped into the building, not satisfied. That Other Kecleon, that Sister Kecleon, she was busy. Fruits and berries from all around the kitchen had been gathered, but only a few were actually going into the sack. There was only so much space. She might have been leaving again. It seemed that way. No, she was leaving again, Gunpowder remembered. She left after their fight. He skipped back in time to that moment, to before Anana changed and never came back.
He was still outside, looking in at the two. Ready to hop in if Anana needed it. She was his employer, after all. If he didn’t take care of her, he’d be out of work, and that would simply be no good.
“You know, Mom and Dad have been mad ever since you left. I’m surprised you had the nerve to return after what you did,” Anana said. Not a bit of malice in that statement. Just a fact of life laid out nice and clear for the Other.
“So what?” she spat. “They got what they wanted,” that Other, that PK replied. Here, a sort of bitter resignation could be found. What happened? He never actually found out, not in the then, not in the now. He never could talk to PK in the now, and Anana’s facade had become much too thick to cut through. The now was different.
But this was the then.
“You think it’s so easy? I guess you might think that! It’s always been easy for you, hasn’t it been, sissy kecky? You set them back months. Months of extra hours and time they had to work, you know. They’re still years from their goal. Because of you! Because of your selfish whims. I hope you know that!” Anana said. It might still have been something said in passing to a much-liked and favored shopper. This marked Gunpowder’s transition into feeling uneasy and not wanted in this scene. This was when he started to feel rather conspicuous, like a dusty plaid recliner in a room full of precious antiques. He didn’t really belong here. This was only something for the two sisters. Yet, he felt inclined to watch. So...
“I’m getting out of here,” that Other replied. Gunpowder realized what she looked like now. Some sort of tribal Pokemon. Those markings had to be a type of pigment, probably found in the nearby forest. Some were faded, most were a mixture of smudged and spread in erratic ways, and a few looked freshly and cleanly applied.
“I’m sure. You’d love nothing more than to skirt duty, wouldn’t you? Had everything all laid out for you and what? You crush it beneath your little toes. You do that to anything that’s nice, don’t you?”
“Mom’s sending me,” that PK, that purple, pink, marked
one replied. This must not have been the expected response, for Anana went silent for longer than a beat.
“Sending you away? I’m not surprised. You’re really not fit to-”
“To Tao. She’s sending me to Tao,” PK interrupted. “To Dad, to do what you can’t,” she added after a moment of reconsideration. The bitterness was gone and her face twitched into a deranged smile occasionally, but Gunpowder could see this was really
the face of a terribly downcast girl. He wanted to feel some sort of pity without even knowing her situation. Maybe he did feel a pang or two.
Part 4 of
's story, though I got to write a lot of this part!