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Twenty-three years before the crippling of Crown Prince James III

He was fourteen and she was probably aged about the same, give or take a few years. It had been an hour since he'd met her.

He hated her already.

She scowled behind him and likely shared the sentiment as they scampered up the hillside in a desperate attempt to escape the roaring mob that seemed to be growing perpetually larger and coming ever-closer. Gabriel would have liked to say that it was all her fault he was in this situation, though it was his careless nicking of—what was it? A chicken— that started the first old woman running, but how was he supposed to know that she'd stumble and fall and everyone else would think he'd assaulted her?

He hadn't. He'd taken the chicken, snapped its neck and run, because he hadn't eaten meat in weeks and he was starting to feel the affects on his already weak limbs.

This is what happens, he thought. This is what happens when you live like that too long, and tried to hide his exhaustion from the sprinting, unnaturally in shape woman with her dress hiked up beside him.

They stumbled up the hill, both barefoot for she hadn't any shoes for running and he hadn't need for any shoes. Up the hill, over it and nearly tumbling down the other side, they ran.

Gabriel snatched her wrist so quickly it nearly sent the both of them onto their faces. They managed to stay upright. He tugged her sharply left, to a small grove of trees and bushes. She tried to pull away, but she was tiring as well and they were scampering too quickly for her to really throw her weight, so with the little bit of strength he had Gabriel held on and led her.

They fell into the bushes more than anything else. When Gabriel turned sharply his back hit a thin tree. Her knees buckled and she collapsed, but she almost immediately tried to get up again. He saw her face clearly once more in that moment and he quickly looked away.

His hands went to his pouch, pulling a fistful of seeds out, scattering some of them on the soil around them. Then his own knees gave out, and he stumbled down. He planted his hands firmly where he fell, squeezed his eyes shut, and held what little breath he had left in his raw lungs.

For a moment nothing happened, and he heard the girl scrambling to her feet again and urging him, "Get up, get up, they're going to get us!"

He kept his hands firmly in the earth.

He'd done it before on command. Many times. He'd wrapped sapling roots around the canes when he was twelve, he made plants bloom in a fraction of the time they needed, and just a few months prior he'd wreaked havoc in Wizer's study in a fit. He'd done it quickly, even. He just wanted to do it now, a few bushes were all he needed…

The girl tugged on his shoulder impatiently, asking if he wanted to be tied up and drowned for petty theft like a dog.

Of course he didn't want that.

He reached as deep into the earth as he could, lungs burning and eyes beginning to water; his seeds resisted, but he found a grip below the soil, a hold. A hold he couldn't feel in his palm but could feel somewhere like thread winding through his fingers and he tugged at it desperately, inhaling so suddenly that his lungs couldn't take it and he nearly collapsed again. His grip on the earth and the roots far beneath it held firm.

Slowly, twisting and tangled stems popped up from between the grass. Then, more quickly, leaves appeared, grew larger and taller and faster, faster, the shrub grew over his head and wrapped around him like a cocoon, sheltering them from sight.

The girl was still beside him for some reason. Instead of running on her own, she'd curled in on herself and was hiding behind the newly growing bushes with him.

By the time the bushes were tall enough to obscure them from view, Gabriel was lightheaded and wobbled from side to side. She wrapped an arm around him and held him so he wouldn't fall through the shroud, slid a hand over his mouth to mask his breathing. Her cloak was green and connected to sleeves, and wrapped around him with her arm. Her fingers smelled like sweat.

Not a minute later, footsteps thundered down the hill. There were shouts and curses.

He still wasn't sure how stealing a chicken had escalated so far, but rested against the girl's warm shoulder and pulled himself back to the surface. Soon, the uneven din of feet and voices moved on to search farther down the way and he was still curled against the girl's shoulder, eyes closed and trying to breathe through her hand.

It felt like a long time passed, but eventually, there was quiet. Her hand was removed, her shoulder too, and she once again insistently tugged on his arm.

"Get up," the girl said. "Get up, what kind of weak little runt are you?"

"I'm tried," he said slowly, his breath having finally began to catch up to him, and wondered how much the girl knew about magic and that a bush that quickly was rather good work at his age when he was already so tired, if Gabriel said so himself. Instead, he said, "I just saved your life. Can I be tired yet?"

"No," she said, and tugged again. "Because they'll be coming back around once they realize we're not off north. We have to move now."


"We," she said.

"I don't know you."

"You fell through my roof; it was a pleasant introduction, we had a cup of tea and decided to run away together because the few people accusing you of killing an old lady turned into this whole moronic town thinking you were my familiar out to kill them all," she snarled, "Now. Will. You. Come!"

With a final jerk, Gabriel was dragged onto his feet again. His knees felt weak and he nearly fell over even as he was righted. He'd been walking for months but the strength he'd built up in him was being eaten away day by day, and he wasn't entirely sure how to tell her he'd be near comatose if she hung around long enough, because from what he'd seen she was insane and hideous and would probably follow him just to murder him if she found out, and the bush— the bush hadn't wanted to grow, it wasn't its proper season or timing and the water had been scarce and it would probably die in a week, but it had just made him so tired.

"No," he said, managing to remain standing uneasily. "I helped you out of the town. That's what you wanted. Now point me south and let's say goodbye, because I don't want to look at your ugly face anymore."

He'd intended it to be a biting insult— and surely enough people had insulted her very ugly face before then, so by all rights it should have hit a chord— but the girl just raked her twisting red hair down over the left part of her face once more, took him by the arm, and begin dragging him out of the grove and into the open field again. Across the field, passed scant trees slowly changing their colors wearily in a way that made struggling against her grip even more difficult as he saw them.

He clawed her wrists, writhed in her grip and dug his heels into the earth. She didn't let him go. He was too tired and sore and lacked any muscle to make her stop pulling him along.

"Where are you taking me?" he hissed after several minutes of struggle proved fruitless. He hated fruitless struggle. More than anything.

"Ocean," she said, "If you make it that long. Because if we run into the townspeople again, I'm going to throw you at them while I run away. And if I'm caught again, at least I'll be safe in the comfort that you're going to die a miserable death like the little ass you are."

She was a good five inches taller then he was and even when he began to shout and struggle, she held on, dragging him Southwest.

She dragged him all the way southwest to the sea.

For some reason, he didn't hobble away on weakening knees during the night, and for some reason, she didn't scream each morning when he woke cradled by grass and roots.

She knew his name, but didn't call him anything in particular. Instead, she called him 'runt' or 'hey, you,' or just gave him a sidelong look that he just wanted to hurt her for. He called her names. He called her Assface, Ape, Bitch, Bitchface, Blotty, Mauled, Whore, Slut, and any other insult he could think of at the time. He made up several new words for the simple sake of giving her a more appropriate nickname.

Her real name was Margaret Osterwitz.

Margaret Burnt-Her-Cloak-When-They-Reached-The-Shore, Mad-Girl, Bad-Girl, Assface, Ape, Bitch, What-Do-You-Mean-"Because-You-Can?" ,  Don't-You-Ever-Leave-Me Osterwitz.

But everyone— everyone who wasn't Gabriel, at least—just called her 'Maggie.'
I don't believe this piece needs a warning for language. If you believe I should censor it for language, please leave a comment and I will place a warning.

ahahaha Gabe you poor bastard I'll be nice eventually

I'm in a very Gabe mood right now. I should probably get out of it soon. Considering how the more I think about him the more I realize how many ways I can screw him over to benefit the plot.

This is Gabe's first meeting with this lady: [link] while he is still a young and foolish teenager.

I haven't expanded on the wizard culture (I will in the next one if my Gabe-mood sticks around for another one, though) but for now, I'm just going to say that at fourteen, most people couldn't make a flower bloom while it was in season, but at the same time, a savant wizard would have no problem with pulling up a full tree by the time they were fourteen (note that the tree would die very quickly afterwards.

The title is totally not inspired by The Adventures of Raindance Maggie by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but since you asked... :[link]
I can't find any good lyric videos on YT, so here's some seperate lyrics for anyone who needs them (like me) : [link]

This is one of those songs that shouldn't be taken too seriously in story context. Gabe calls her a whore, but she isn't. I have a problem writing prostitutes without feeling horrible. ;_;

Kings&The Mountain (c) *BeaBae
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-12-05
Raindance Maggie by ~BeaBae ( Featured by inknalcohol )
Ugh. Argh. My laptop ate my first critique of this, and I'm so annoyed and woozy right now, I apologize in advance if I don't make any sense. As always, though, the stars are at default.

Anyway, moving on, my first impression was that the pacing here was very fast, very smooth. We see a lot more action than before of course, given that they're being chased by an angry mob and the presentation here is more immediately visual. Which is great! I like being thrown into the thick of things.

I also like how your explanatory asides are so quick -- just a couple of sentences or so -- and then we're back in the action again.

I can't help but wish for a few more narrow escapes, though. Maybe a thrown pitchfork lands perilously close? A hand grasps an ankle and is kicked away? Or some other fun thing to ratchet up the adrenaline a bit more.

I also loved that scene where Gabe makes the plants grow and you have Maggie tugging at him and going basically "Come on, come on." Getting down on your knees while being chased is certainly an unusual way to deal with things! The construction of that scene was particularly well done. It was satisfying to follow the drama of Gabe's efforts, and then finally see those plants bursting to life. Also, that scene where Maggie crouches down next to him and enfolds him with her green sleeves: it's a nice, intimate change of pace. And it's really spiced up by the way she does a complete three-sixty the next instant and starts jerking him around and calling him a runt. :D

I'm not sure what Maggie is, though. I was a little thrown by that passage which mentions that the townspeople somehow got the notion that he was her "familiar". Is she a witch? Do familiars often take human form and kill people? Hmm.

Once thing about the sentence contruction here, I'd personally go for shorter, choppier sentences, to get that feeling of urgency.

For example:
:bulletgreen: He was fourteen and she was probably aged about the same, give or take a few years. It had been an hour since he'd met her.
He hated her already.
:pointr: He was fourteen. She might have been about the same. It had been an hour since he'd met her.
He hated her already.

RANDOM NITPICKERY: Some typos and word-choice questions
:bulletgreen: Randance Maggie
:pointr: Raindance Maggie

:bulletgreen: feel the affects
:pointr: feel the effects

:bulletgreen: the sprinting, unnaturally in shape woman with her dress hiked up beside him.
:pointr: I'm not sure about the adjective "in shape". It strikes me as too informal, maybe? I'd try "sturdy" or "robust", but of course, it does depend on the author's own ear.
:pointr: I got a bit confused when you referred to Maggie as a "woman", though. Maybe it's because I'm older than dirt, and I think of fourteen- or fifteen-year-old lasses as "girls". ;p Or "young women", anyway.

:bulletgreen: Gabriel was lightheaded and wobbled from side to side.
:pointr: Gabriel was lightheaded, and wobbled from side to side. OR
:pointr: Gabriel was lightheaded. He wobbled from side to side.
:pointr::pointr: I initially read "wobbled" as an adjective to follow "lightheaded", so it might be good to clarify.

For the language use around the end, I'm not sure "whore" and "slut" are appropriate, given the overall tone of this piece. Maybe this is just me, but these words sound off my warning bells. I can let "bitch" pass, because nowadays the connotation has more to do with Mean Girl rather than Sexually Objectified Girl. But if any male character ever calls a female character "slut" or "whore", I feel that he wants to degrade her, and specifically reduce her into a sexual thing. And that gets me off balance a bit, because that doesn't fit the picture I have of either Gabe or Maggie.

If I think about it, I can sort of get how Gabe calls Maggie a "whore" or "slut" because he's just groping for the worst words he can find so he can throw them at her willy-nilly. If so, I'd recommend just using other words that are more commonly used for unattractive, tomboyish girls: like witch, harpy, harridan, nag, sow, etc. Or go on with the specific insults: does her breath smell like farts? does her nose look like a turnip? are her teeth crooked? What about her accent, the way she walks, her odor, her mannerisms? There are so many things to insult another person about! ;)

But anyway, if you're prepared for Gabe to face the consequences, or if "slut" and "whore" are actually less insulting in this world than they are in mine, or if Maggie gives as good as she gets, then definitely don't change them.

On the other hand, I do like this sentence: >>> Margaret Burnt-Her-Cloak-When-They-Reached-The-Shore, Mad-Girl, Bad-Girl, Assface, Ape, Bitch, What-Do-You-Mean-"Because-You-Can?" , Don't-You-Ever-Leave-Me Osterwitz. It's kind of insazy, hyper-exasperated and sweet all at the same time, which is a great summing up of their relationship.

From what I'm seeing here, Gabe, I think, has anger issues. He's not an awful person per se, but at this point he's awfully immature (well no duh, he's fourteen). He lashes out at people in a random way, says the first things that comes to his head. Maybe this has something to do with his treatment at the hands of the people who trained him, like Wizer? I see a lost young man who has all his barriers up against the world, and he's sort of like a rat at bay, ready to fight anyone and anything.

But he knows what he's good at, and he's definitely good at it. I get the impression of some real dedication there when he's on knees communing with the earth and his seeds. And there's a certain vulnerability when he thinks about how he didn't really mean to cause all that trouble, he just wanted to nab a bloody chicken and get a good meal for once. So there's so much potential for growth there.

As for Maggie, no lie, I like her a lot. She's witty and quick, and thinks on her feet. She's practical -- lol for I'm going to throw you at them while I run away! -- and I somehow have the impression that she has a heightened sense of the dramatic, otherwise, why would she burn her cloak when they reached the shore? It's such a flamboyant, theatrical gesture and I can't help but like her for it.

She's also prickly, but in a more deliberate way. She definitely knows where she's going, and if she strikes, she makes sure that her punches land home. She also has a certain kind of dark humor which I definitely like.

I'd also like to see Maggie reacting to some of the worse things Gabe calls her. Seriously, I'd be more at ease if I knew she bloodies his nose for calling her a whore. At least the score would be pretty even. ;p Most of all, though, I'd love to see these characters grow, and find out what throws the switch so they finally realize that they'd never want to leave each other.
What do you think?
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11 out of 11 deviants thought this was fair.

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Maggie-X-Awesomeness Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
yay my name
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013   Writer
Oh hey!  Look at that!  :la:  Congrats on the DD!  :love:
BeaBae Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Student General Artist

GRIM WHAT DID YOU DOOO SDFGHAJSKLDFasjkfhasdfg    thank you for featuring it
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013   Writer

:innocent:  I swears.
BeaBae Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Student General Artist
(I just meant about the DD in case that wasn't clear I found out about it late yesterday and just sdafgdhfjglhj so thank you actually for it I was not expecting another DD at all hdfgslzx) 
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013   Writer

That's what I'm here for.  SURPRISES!!!

You just never know when Grim will strike again.  :evillaugh:
BeaBae Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Student General Artist
I was going to have a witty reply but all I can think of is you being like a lightnng cloud or something and rolling over the hills rumbling "Grim will strike again!!" and I thought you should knw that.
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013   Writer

Sounds about right.
BahamutDeusModus Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
I enjoyed this! Very engaging, and your style/voice is nice too. I didn't see any typos when I was reading it, and your sentences are very good. If you wrote this into a full novel (or short story even), I think it would pretty good! :)
Karinta Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Student General Artist
I love it! :hug:
mizzmint Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congrats on receiving a DD! :heart:
BeaBae Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you very much! :heart:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the DD! :dalove:
Have a nice day! :heart:
BeaBae Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you very much! :heart:
I hope you have a lovely day as well! Thanks for dropping by. :)
lintu47 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My pleasure, thank you :happybounce:
BlueJNeko Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh I love the last 2 paragraphs! It just shows their relationship LKDSFJLSKDFJLSDK idk how to describe it, but its just so sweet ^^
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012   Writer
I love how you pulled off romance without having anything remotely romantic in the story. At least it's romantic in my eyes, but I've been told I can find romance anywhere.

As always, I love the description. You had me pulled into the story from the beginning and I couldn't stop reading. Even at the end, I wanted it to continue.

The random tea party is awesome. It's one of those lines that you can just hear the character say. I also liked Gabe's "Can I be tired now?"

You easily brought the magic aspect in without it being shoved in my face. I'd like to read more about the magic in this world. Any chance you were thinking about doing a history of it?

The only thing I can really think of to improve is back story. We, the readers, never fully find out what happened that caused these two to be chased by the townsfolk. We get brief snippets and an idea of why, but nothing is fully explained.

I, personally, would like to know more about Maggie and what's up with her face. It seems like there's a strong story behind that.
BeaBae Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Student General Artist
Well, whether you can find romance anywhere or not, I'm glad it worked out that you could see where they're headed! I actually dislike romance mostly because it's always far too overstated how much in lurve people are, so I was trying to avert that with these two, especially.

I don't think I'll be doing a history of magic exactly, but once I find a way to introduce the Guild there'll definitely be a closer look at magic and how it works and the different levels of practitioners.

I'm thinking of doing a sort of sub-series of Gabe and Maggie growing together, but there will be more backstory coming. The being chased by the townsfolk is just because of the chicken and an old lady tripping that escalated, but their personal back-stories will be revealed over several longer things as they open up to each other.

Thanks so much for the great comment! :)
inknalcohol Featured By Owner May 3, 2012   Writer

Can't wait to read more then!
duperhero Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Student Photographer
:+fav:ed it!
MeadowMaiden Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, wow. These characters have so much personality, and your narration style is wonderful!
BeaBae Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012  Student General Artist
Sorry for taking a few days to reply! Thank you very much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. There are a few more things in this universe in my gallery if you're interested in continuing to read about them. :)

Thank you very much for taking the time to comment! :)
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Eeeeeh! You've posted it! :glomp: So much Gabe-love. These guys are way too cute together. I love their interactions. Also, Maggie random teatimes ho ho ho is just so full of personality I really can't help but like her.

I really want to critique this now, but I'm just so bloody exhausted from cleaning out my message center that I don't think I'll make sense. I'll whip up something long and winding for you next time I'm around, I swear.

I have to mention that I re-read this while listening to the RHCP song you've linked, and behold, it was even more awesome the second time around. :D The last few paragraphs really just did me in. So beautiful.
BeaBae Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012  Student General Artist
While I was writing this, I actually kept thinking how dysfunctional they were being, but if you think it's cute I suppose that means the dynamic works? ^^; Maggie was actually a character I made up very recently, but she kind of picked herself up and ran the moment she appeared and started dragging Gabe with her. It was fantastic :heart:

It's fine. Take your time, I hope you feel more rested soon!
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ahaha, oh dear, I think it's mostly because I'm mostly kind of messed up: which is why dysfunctional relationships sound cute to me. :XD: *motions towards own characters* But I love it when characters just start moving about on their own and dragging other characters with them!

Also, my brain sort of puttered out and I haven't finished writing up the critique yet. Argh.
BeaBae Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Student General Artist
I enjoy dysfunctional relationships as well, but I wouldn't describe most of them as cute. :XD: I can't write normal, healthy relationships at all. Even thought that's what Gabe and Maggie were supposed to be at first. And then she went all adrenaline jockey and suddenly there was no more 'happy nice relationship' ^^;

It's fine!
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I think dysfunctional relationships are cute the way happy baby Cthulhu is cute. [link] It's a monstrous abomination, yeah, but still, it kinda makes you want to give everyone involved a big hug. ^^;

I can't write healthy relationships either. I'm not even sure what healthy means at this point. On the whole, I think that we're all rather unhealthy, it just depends on the degree.
BeaBae Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012  Student General Artist
I agree. I mostly define "healthy relationship" by "not abusive" . I think there are some people who just cant have a relationship that isn't dysfunctional, whether because of upbringing or some other event in their past, but as long as they don't step over the line to abusive I don't see problems with being a bit dysfunctional. My only problem is that I don't know if mutual abuse is still abuse or not...
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Talking about this makes me think of Rihanna and Eminem's version of "Love the Way You Lie." Which was really catchy and emotional but irritated me a lot. I mean, it's two people abusing each other, emotionally and physically, and Eminem's narrator/character practically threatens to kill the girl sooner or later... But people eat up this kind of story, no idea why.

I'm up for dysfunctional, but I draw the line when things get physical.
BeaBae Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012  Student General Artist
People eat up that kind of story because it gives them ~FEELS~
Violence is also quite romanticized. Just look at war. It's also a realistic story, but one that people are either going to be like "this is my relationship in a nutshell! Shown romantically! See, there's nothing wrong with it" , or hopefully, the reaction that "Well, at least my relationship isn't that bad!"

There's a certain point with verbal as well. I feel like as long as both sides gives as good as they both take and they can still sit down later and be gentle and nice, it's still just dysfunctional, but when there's a major imbalance of power or a complete lack of calm moments, that's when things definitely need to end.
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