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A Vampire Cowboy Origin Story

The paper that opened my mind.... and cramped my hand

By Don Anderson IIPublished 7 months ago Updated 7 months ago 7 min read
A Vampire Cowboy Origin Story
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I was nine years old when I wrote this... Can you believe that? A 9-year-old kid living with his dad in Michigan wrote something to help him get lost in his imagination more?

Unfortunately, I don't remember what I called the story. I only remember what I wrote or at least what was in the story. It was about this cowboy who was also a vampire, and for those of you who are old enough, I wrote this before the video game Dark Watch hit the shelves. I got inspired to write it from watching Blade and Blade II because I enjoyed seeing Blade's arsenal of weapons, but the cowboy angle came in because my dad and I were always watching Tombstone while at his job.

One day, I was at my dad's house and in my room, bored out of my mind, so I grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil, went to my small desk, and started writing. I wrote the whole story from front to back, I wrote so much that day that my hand cramped up, but I still kept writing. I only remember the point in the story where the cowboy gets his stuff taken away, and he's in a blood bank or something, but he has to drink blood, and instead of a hand-to-hand brawl like in Blade II, it ends with a duel with the cowboy and the big bad. I didn't have a massive message in it or anything. I wasn't even trying to show my skill as a writer; all I wanted to do was stop being bored, but my mind felt like it was exploding with all of this imagination ending up on the paper. I thought that was a one-and-done for me, but some journals and a collection of pens and pencils had plans for me a long way down the road.

My style today has changed an awful lot compared to how it was back then because, at first, I used to take certain scenes from movies and TV shows that I loved, and I'd have the characters I wrote do the same scenes. I'd do that from the ages of 9-15. Somewhere along my writing journey at 13, I ended up realizing that I could write original stuff, but I was starting to feel like I was stuck to that style, so I took a year or two off from writing, and I ended up drawing comics as a way to tell stories for a while.

When I got back to writing at 14, I managed to write a space adventure/superhero story, but it was full of teen stuff because I wanted to write things about how I was feeling without actually saying how I was feeling. I still copied scenes from movies I loved, like Star Trek (2009) was the main thing I followed along with the X-Men movies (X-Men Origins: Wolverine was the most recent movie out then). The school we went to was the USS Enterprise; even though it wasn't Starfleet, it just randomly took off while students were still there. Some of the students, like myself, had powers like I gave myself Wolverine's claws and his healing factor, I gave a former friend teleportation (I asked him before I started writing), I think I gave my crush at the time the ability to control light or fire or something like that, and I think I gave my "nemesis" flying. It was such a fun writing experience that I did a sequel, but instead of Star Trek (2009) being the primary source of inspiration, Terminator Salvation took the reins since I wanted to end the first story on a dark note.

At 15, I wrote a story in high school similar to the Star Trek (2009) and Terminator Salvation ideas I had, but I used the Twilight movies (I think Eclipse was the most recent one that was out at the time) as inspiration. It was about how I became a vampire, but I woke up and realized that I was blind as well. Edward and everyone came along in the story when I got to school because Edward knew something was off with me, so he took me to his family, and they took me in. Despite how much I'm not too fond of Twilight, this one was also a lot of fun to write. I wrote a lot of sequels for it, and it went all the way up to 7 or 8. I remember a few things in it; I know I had to deal with the Volturi, and I liked Alice, but she was already with someone. I also remember hitting on Dakota Fanning's character, I got into a fight with Edward and Jacob a few times, and Bella hated me a few times, but my "character" (he was me at the time as a teenager) managed to get his stuff together and become a hero for that story. I was also writing another series of stories at the same time; it was a spy thriller/fugitive type of story. I always want to mix up movies, but I always relied on big action blockbusters, so I wanted to scale it back but still do action, so I wanted to have the Jason Bourne movies (The Bourne Ultimatum was the most recent one that was out at the time) and Kiss of the Dragon as my main sources of inspiration because my character was this assassin who got framed for something except he doesn't remember it so he's running around a lot and fighting for his life while he's also trying to prove his innocence. I think I remember revealing the villain super early, but I wanted to do the "Will the hero ever get to the villain?" kind of stories, but I also wanted to change my style with that. For the vampire one, I wrote it like a series of short stories or novelettes, but for the spy thriller/fugitive ones, I wrote them like short film scripts.

After writing so much at 15, I stopped because I thought I was done, but writing is never done with you. I started writing again when I was 19, but I wanted to take on the screenwriting style, so the first script I wanted to write was an original superhero story, "The Maverick". I might have to change the name because of Top Gun and the Western Maverick, but I'd have to confirm it when I finish it. I won't say what it's about or the character's powers, but I will say that Spider-Man inspired it. I wrote many more scripts that still aren't done, so I dialed it back and went with short scripts.

Today, at 29, I write less than I used to because I'm always wondering if I can make something great out of it, and I rely a lot less on the movies and shows I watch. So far, I've written scripts, short stories, and a few poems. I've evolved as a writer today because of how much I've adapted over the years and kept what has helped me in my style while I got rid of what I outgrew. I write more about life experiences I've gone through and make characters as I go. Still, I keep it as vague as possible because I don't want many people to connect the dots back to me unless I tell them that something in said script or story actually happened. I don't have a lot of themes in the stuff I write today, and I'm still trying to figure out what my voice is when it comes to writing because I'm not sure if I will tell a story as great as I'd want it to be.

Do I always think back to that sheet of paper and pencil? Absolutely. I think about it every time I write something. If I didn't lose that story or give those stories to my crush when I was 14, I'd frame those stories and hang those up on my wall as reminders to remind me that I can go anywhere I want with whoever I want.


About the Creator

Don Anderson II

Movies, memoirs, music lover, graduate of community college, and university

Quiet writer but I'm sure my stories from years ago are still of interest

Tips are welcomed

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