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100 Theme Writing Challenge

Theme: Love

Fandom/Universe: Devil May Cry

Characters: Dante


Dante only realized after the glass cracked and webbed beneath his thumb that he had been crushing the small picture frame he clutched in one hand. A stinging smidgen of pain prompted the devil hunter to lift his thumb, and he watched a fat drop of blood leak from the slit the glass had left behind, spattering onto the broken pane. He smeared it across the surface, uncovering Vergil's somber face. Dante couldn't remember a smile ever being on his brother's face, and he had to wonder if Vergil was ever truly happy. Dante supposed he wasn't; neither of them was. After their mother was killed by demons, the twins were forced to fend for themselves on the streets. Dante remembered many nights of hiding in condemned buildings and huddling together so they wouldn't freeze to death. No matter what either of them did to lighten the mood, both were always aware of their situation, effectively eliminating any chance of happiness.

Even so, Vergil always made sacrifices when it came to Dante and vice versa. They became absolutely dedicated to one another because they really had nothing else to dedicate themselves to. Dante remembered with a sickness in his gut the various tasks they were forced to endure to gather even a small portion of money or food. Eva had raised her twins to know stealing was wrong, and the first time Dante had to steal food, he was utterly paranoid for the following few weeks that big men in uniforms with handcuffs and guns would come to drag him off to prison. Vergil had always possessed a survivalist mindset, knowing he either stole or died. He had tried to explain that to Dante on several occasions, but Dante always felt that accepting theft as a part of life was just letting his mother down. However, the first time a burly man drug him into an alleyway, used him like a dirty sock and pressed some bills into his hand, he had prayed every single day that he could steal his food instead. Of course, his prayers were never answered. Dante had turned his back on the entire concept of God when he was only twelve, for every time one of his prayers went unanswered, the only questions in his mind were, "What have I done to deserve this? Why are you punishing me?"

However, where a nonexistent god left a void in his life, Vergil was always there to fill it back in with hope. Hope that they would find their mother alive, hope that they would find a home someday, and, when those dreams fell through, hope that they simply wouldn't starve to death. No matter what he was hoping for, there was never a time that Dante felt hopeless for long, and he knew he had to thank Vergil for every second he wasn't wishing something would come along to put a quick end to his suffering. Dante used to get furious, enraged with his brother because he thought Vergil wasn't pulling enough weight as he should. However, in retrospect, Vergil had carried just as heavy a burden on his shoulders as Dante, if not heavier.

When Dante was out breaking into someone's home to rifle through their cabinets or selling himself for meager pay, Vergil was trying to keep them both happy, facing the horrible world they inhabited with an unbreakable, rigid constitution. Dante couldn't count how many nights he had spent sobbing into his brother's shoulder until he was exhausted enough to sleep, but one thing he could never remember doing was holding Vergil while he cried. Vergil had never cried, not even once, and considering the circumstances, that was more than could be said about even a grown man when reduced to living like a worthless animal. Dante gripped the fabric covering his chest right over the cavity where his heart ached with every throb. He could only imagine the heaviness Vergil had held in his heart, and, yet, even after all the strength he had to use up to keep himself from falling apart, his brother was still out there doing those same horrible things that no one, let alone mere children, should ever have to endure.

A teardrop washed a trail through the blood drying on the glass. Dante knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Vergil had loved him then. It wasn't possible for a person to subject themselves to such demeaning, excruciating and numbing things without loving the one they were doing it for. Yet, despite how close they had been as children, Vergil had cast Dante off like an old, disheveled and stained chapter in his life when he began his pursuit of the power of their father, Sparda. To Vergil, such power  was far more important than family ever could be.

When he was young and naïve, Dante believed that it would always be just him and his brother. No matter where they went in life, Dante knew they would go and leave together. He didn't have his dearest mother, but he still had his brother, and Dante never imagined that he would one day lose Vergil, too. And, yet, when a sympathetic devil hunter took them in off the streets, it was Vergil who had snuck away one night without saying "goodbye", leaving Dante all alone in the world. Somehow, Vergil's death wasn't nearly as painful as having his brother turn his back on him completely. From then on, they had become rivals, and Dante still couldn't figure out how it had come to that. Even though Vergil was dead, slain by Dante's own hands, the hunter still asked one question every single day: where had all the love gone?
This has taken a little longer than I would have liked, but, at least, it's done now. I think what slowed me down the most was just trying to figure out what the heck to write. The original theme #3 was "Making History", and the only thing I could think of to write for that would have taken forever, and it probably wouldn't have been very good because the universe it was set in is still a work in progress. But I came up with this a few hours ago, and decided to write it. I really like it. I've wanted to explore Dante's relationship with Vergil for a long time, but I never have before because I've been so tied up writing other things. Anyway, here it is: the third theme! I really hope you enjoy it, and please do give me your comments and constructive critiques, whether kind or harsh. Just remember to be civil if you plan on tearing me a new one. ;)

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Critique by Lahmia Sep 2, 2012, 12:41:23 AM
You're off to a good start with this. The first sentences had me very curious as to where this was going. The simple question whether or not Vergil was ever happy is an intriguing one, and I think we've all wondered that at some point or another.
You describe their situation very well; you don't get overly emotional about it, nor does it get too harsh. But you still manage to get all those emotion in between the lines, and I felt an immense sadness while reading this. Dante is in pain, and one can feel it.
The ending loses a bit of the strength the rest of the story has. It feels a bit rushed or incomplete. Maybe if you add a little to it, or just re-phrase some of the last sentences?
But over all, it's a work of high quality, and I enjoyed reading it very much.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
2 out of 2 deviants thought this was fair.

This was not what I was expecting for the 'love' prompt, so it was a rather pleasant surprise. I do like that you decided to tackle Dante's and Vergil's relationship in this chapter, I don't think I've really attempted that with too much clarity :XD:
The beginning was great, I was hooked on the first few lines with the glass breaking and the 'fat drop of blood.' I feel like a broken record sometimes but I adore your phrasing, it's so vivid and forms a clear picture in my mind.
I agree with the last critique in that the end did seem just a little rushed but overall I really enjoyed it.
What do you think?
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PnFSuperFan Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This chapter made me cry. I love this.

Btw, Im Hard Coaster from
eclectic-reception Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
Jiincks Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012
I don't have the critiquing spirit in me today. Pretty blah'd out. However, I will say (a lot more eloquently I hope) that this was worth the time you spent figuring out what and how to write and the time it takes to read it. I especially like how the theme seemed to conjure up an expectation that you blew right out of the water with the first couple sentences. If this were more than just a theme in a long line of them, I'm sure you could've done a lot more with it; however, this will do very nicely for now :)

...I guess that kinda was a critique...pfff. Anyways, I'm off to read the next one. Great job!
eclectic-reception Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'm glad you enjoyed it and that it was worth your time. Feeling like you've wasted time is a very awful feeling. Unfortunately, it's a feeling I feel far too often. xD Writing about themes in a long list sort of limits my creativity. It puts me on a certain course until I can create one-shots, but I can only do so much with them. Otherwise, I feel like I'm straying too far from the original theme. I guess I kind of broke that a little with the next theme, though. :shrug: Thanks for reading and commenting!
dodgegirl66 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
OMG. That was so sad. I was tearing up when I was reading it. Knowing what Vergil went through and never let go of the pain and suffering, Explains a lot as to why he is the way he is as an adult and wants power. The statement he made in DMC 3 about needing power to protect everything makes so much sense knowing how he and Dante grew up and suffered through all the hardships.
Really amazing chapter. Looking forward to the next one.
eclectic-reception Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it. The next one-shot should be done soon. Also, thanks for the fave, and take care.
xDreamLoveCurex Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Basically you said everything I wanted to say, so I share your point of view.
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