The first thing he noticed was the excruciating headache. His tongue seemed swollen in his mouth. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get rid of the dryness. It was like his body had lost all moisture. Bum opened his eyes, groaning when the intense light entered his eyes. As he adjusted to the light, he noticed, with growing unease, that he wasn’t in his dilapidated apartment, but somewhere he didn’t recognize. Slowly the feeling returned to his limbs, and he found that his hands, as well as his feet, were bound together with some sort of soft cord and that he was on something soft. A futon maybe?
“Hello?” he rasped, though it probably sounded unintelligible due to his dry throat.
Bum could hear someone walking towards the room that he inhabited, the creaks in the floorboards unbearably loud.
“You awake yet?” Sangwoo asked. When did he even get there? Bum tried to feign sleep, but he could hear Sangwoo’s amused snickers.
“You’re bad at pretending, Bum.”
This time, his voice was much closer, like his captor was right in front of him. Bum slowly blinked open his eyes again, focusing on Sangwoo’s unbearably handsome face. In one hand, Sangwoo clutched a bottle of painkillers, and in the other one a glass of water.
Bum tried to say something, anything, but it only came out as gibberish. Sangwoo grinned slightly and quirked a dark brow.
“I can’t understand you. Want some water first?”
He held the glass to Bum’s lips expectantly. Bum reluctantly opened his mouth, a refreshing stream of water moistening his tongue and throat. He flinched when Sangwoo massaged his throat to help him swallow.
“Good boy,” he murmured.
“Where am I? Is this your house?”
Sangwoo ceased his ministrations.
“Yeah,” he said. “This is my house.”
“I want to go home.”
He almost sounded like a parent reprimanding their child.
“This is your home now, alright?”
“No,” he rasped.
“No? You don’t have a say in this.”
“But,” Bum began.
“How’s your head?” he asked. “They said that this drug might give you massive headaches. Makes sense, especially given how small you are.”
Sangwoo smiled and held up the painkillers.
“Good thing I came prepared.”
After helping him take the pills, Sangwoo picked him up, careful not to jostle him too much. Bum clutched Sangwoo’s wide shoulders as he felt waves of nausea slowly rise within him.
“Where are we going?”
“To the basement. I have a surprise for you, Bummie.”
Sangwoo’s countenance reminded Bum of an excited child about to open a present. What could be in the basement that made Sangwoo look like that? He’d rather not know, but it was becoming more apparent that he wouldn’t have a choice either way.
“Please don’t make me go down there, Sangwoo.”
“You’re trembling again, baby. I promise that you’ll like it.”
Bum looked down into the open trapdoor that served as the entrance to the basement. As they descended, the light from above seemed like a distant memory, and Bum was afraid that he’d never see it again.
Sangwoo placed him gingerly on the floor, then turned on the basement light. The basement seemed ordinary at first. In one corner, several boxes were organized in a few stacks. There was a table at the far end, a couple more boxes.
However, there was one thing that could be considered very unnatural, and that was the man who was tied to a pipe by some rough rope, only a few feet away.
Upon further inspection, he could make out who it was, despite the bruises and the pus-filled welts that covered every possible surface of the man’s body.
He tried to crawl away, frightened, but a pair of strong arms wrapped around his shoulders, and Sangwoo’s lips brushed against his ear.
“Do you like it?” he whispered.
“Sangwoo, this is insane.”
“What do you mean? I’m only giving him what he deserves.”
His arms tightened, and Bum noticed the way his muscles flexed under his shirt, making very obvious his strength. Any hope he had of getting away from the man was dashed.
“You’ve obviously done enough!”
“He’ll never suffer enough for what he’s done to you, Bum!”
He laughed, and Bum noticed that it sounded almost deranged.
“That’s why I’m going to kill him, and that’s why you’re going to watch.”
Sangwoo released him and moved to stand over his uncle, kicking him in the stomach. His demeanor seemed so cold, and Bum wondered where the easygoing man from earlier went. His uncle let out a bloodcurdling scream that shook Bum to the bone.
“Wake up, you filthy pig. You have a guest.”
The man opened his eyes as much as he could with them being nearly bruised shut. His gaze landed on Bum, and was overcome with rage.
“You little slut! Why didn’t you call for help? You must have been fucking other guys, huh? Just couldn’t get enough dick.”
His words cut through Bum like a knife, and he couldn’t help the torrent of tears that slid down his cheeks.
“Now, look what you’ve done,” Sangwoo said. “I ought to break your legs for that.”
He looked back at Bum, who was starting to scoot away again.
“What do you think, Bummie?” He hooked an arm under Bum’s knees and pulled him closer. “You think I should break his legs?”
Bum frantically shook his head, and Sangwoo sighed.
“You’re no fun.”
“P-please, I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Don’t break my legs!”
“Look at him, Bum! Isn’t he pathetic?”
Sangwoo chuckled again, and the already chill room felt ten degrees colder.
“And then he has the audacity to beg for his life, when he hurt you for years.”
He grabbed a sledgehammer that had been leaning against the wall, then knelt and patted Bum’s cheek. He advanced on Bum’s uncle, who was now crying hideously, distended belly heaving with every sob. Sangwoo held the sledgehammer high over his head, and swung, meeting with the bone of one of the man’s calves. There was a sickening crunch as the man’s bones shattered as the man howled in agony. Sangwoo did the same with his other leg. By then Bum had covered his ears and hid his face hoping to block out the violence.
“Look Bum! I’m doing all of this for you!”
He dropped the sledgehammer and tilted Bum’s face towards his.
“See how devoted I am to you?”
Sangwoo then began to strip out of his shirt and pants so that he was only in his boxers. Next, he put on an apron. He looked towards Bum, noting his confusion.
“It can be hard to get blood out of clothes,” he said, like he tortured people in his basement all the time.
The next thing he grabbed was a sharp blade, cutting off his uncle’s underwear.
“Please,” his uncle whimpered.
“Please what?” Sangwoo asked. “You don’t even know what I’m going to do yet.”
“Please don’t hurt me.”
“I don’t know, maybe you shouldn’t have fucked your nephew with that disgusting dick of yours.”
He brought the knife down between the man’s legs, dangerously close to his penis.
“I was going to make you beg, make you try to convince me not to castrate you, but I think I might just skip to the fun part. I hope that’s fine with you.”
Then, Sangwoo grabbed the man’s genitals and sawed through, never slowing down until the whole organ was severed from his body. Blood sprayed from the wound and onto Sangwoo who seemed to bask in the man’s agonized screams. Bum shook violently from his place in the corner of the room, ready to vomit. He’d never seen so much blood in his life.
“Open your mouth,” he commanded, shaking the man’s severed penis in his face. Bum’s uncle refused for a few moments. Sangwoo gave him a brutal backhanded smack across the face.
“OPEN YOUR MOUTH.”
Bum’s uncle finally complied, and Sangwoo forced the man’s own member into his mouth, far back enough that he began to gag.
The man whimpered, and Sangwoo spat on his face.
"So pathetic," he taunted. "I'm just making you feel the same way you made Bum feel."
Bum trembled as Sangwoo knelt beside him and pressed gentle kisses all over his face.
“Bummie,” he cooed. “Don’t you want to watch him die?”
He didn’t answer, just curled up even more. Sangwoo shrugged, went back to grab his knife, and got on his knees in front of the man, who had gone quiet moments before. Sangwoo quickly got to work, stabbing the man repeatedly, in every possible orifice, blood spraying everywhere. The man’s body was like a canvas, painted red by Sangwoo’s rage. Bum didn’t know how many times his uncle was pierced. All he knew was that he continued even after the man was dead. All he knew was that he had never been more terrified; Sangwoo looked like a monster that could only be imagined in one’s nightmares. However, Bum knew that he wouldn’t be waking up from this nightmare anytime soon.
Finally, Sangwoo ceased destroying what used to be his uncle, and with heavy breaths, stood and advanced toward the small, cowering man.
“Bum,” he gasped. “I love you so much.”
Sangwoo drew him into a heated kiss, trying to enter Bum’s mouth, but instead nibbled on his bottom lip when Bum refused him.
Bum felt a warm wetness trickle down his legs at the sight of Sangwoo’s blood covered figure, and he sobbed out of both fear and humiliation. Sangwoo pressed one last, chaste kiss onto Bum’s lips and carried him back up the basement steps. He hoped that he would never have to go back down there ever again.