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My First Story was a Nightmare

Or at least that was what it was called...

By David BrandyPublished 9 months ago β€’ 4 min read
Top Story - September 2023
Drawing Credit, 12 year old me.

My first story came from a strange place and I hope I am not alone in this. It wasn't from a book, although, in part, one of the greatest science fiction novelists, had his hand in it. The idea didn't come from a movie or video game either. It all started in 18 years ago in the back seat of my mom's red Dodge Durango.

You see, my dad sold tools to mechanic shops and even a tomato farm. One thing all these blue collar workers had in common was that they would tend to buy tools they didn't have the money for. That was where my mom came, in she would drive around in her red SUV to each place that still owed my dad money and collect.

Every day my dad would sell the tools, every Friday my mom would collect, and what did I do? Well, my two brothers and I, we sat in the back seat together and played imagination games. I don't know how long we would wait in the car for mom but, in eleven year old math, it was about an eternity.

Those imagination games though? They are where I first learned how to tell a story. We decided to create our own characters and would basically imagine their adventures together. Their characters were typically human, but mine? Well this is where Isaac Asimov comes into play.

I didn't know it at the time, but the film I, Robot had a profound impact on my little mind. My love of science fiction has only grown since, but in the beginning, that movie and our imagination games birthed my strangest original character of all time. Nightmare.

You know how in D&D you can bring characters from a different run into a new one? Well that is what I did with Nightmare. I ported this Character from spoken aloud imagination game into written story form.

This humanoid robot with a giant bird head was... a character. Like Sonny in I, Robot, Nightmare was different than the other bots in that he was too on the human's side. What my story had that Isaac's didn't(and all the better not to have) was a second Earth.

N0, not a natural second planet that somehow came into our orbit, nor one that magically appears. It was, uh... built? I wish I could say that I am not making this up, but I did!! I made this shit up!! Granted I was 12, but I still take full responsibility for my abomination.

Pictured is the Earth, the Sun, and the second metal Earth. Drawing credit 12 year old me.

On reading this "piece" in preparation for writing this I laughed at my younger self for not knowing who Bill Gates is. Then I noticed that I had set this story in the year 2059 briefly and then jumped ahead to 2069(nice) within first few paragraphs. So I assume I thought it through and realized that Bill probably wouldn't be alive? I guess?

Oh sorry, the story actually doesn't truly start for another few sentences when it jumps back again to the year 2065 to tell how and... this is true... how the Robot UFC fights started... This is important by the way! Because this is where the conflict is started.

You see, the robots wanted to fight, which right there is why you need Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. That is why I put a tower in my story that all of the robots had to listen to. Side note, I would spell the word "Tower" like "Tour" about half of the time. Did I think that both were correct? Did I not know about guided tours? Is this story over yet?

Either way, this tower told all of the robots not to kill and do you see where this is going? It's so obvious, during one of the Robot UFC fights a chunk of one of the robots is broken off and crashes into the tower changing the broadcast from "do not kill humans" to "do kill humans."

Oh young David, you beautiful idiot.

This is worse than it sounds. Remember that second Earth I mentioned earlier? Well its made out of metal(because of robot over population) and is where most of the robots live and some of the humans live. Since the tower changed its tune though... now none of the humans live there.

Meanwhile on regular boring Earth vague "Microsoft" was just finishing the development of Nightmare. A new robot that was "like all new things it was better and stronger than the older ones." It also didn't listen to the tower because, "the robot(nightmare) had it burned so deep into its brain to not kill a human that it would never kill a human."

Such prose.

There was only one of these Nightmare models made and so, our hero is born! Nightmare starts his journey to fight alongside the humans immediately and constantly, but my cigar keeps going out and believe it or not, this is only the first chapter.

Somehow 12 year old David managed to stick with this story for 10,000 words and a sequel that I am pretty sure I did not finish(please don't ask me to check.) It's kind of impressive in the same way an ugly dog somehow rounds the bend and becomes cute again.

This didn't start with fingers on a keyboard, it was hours of boredom that the three of us turned into magic. Almost twenty years later and that magic is still one of the best things in my life. Even if I never make it as a writer, it is something truly special to look back and see where this started.

Thank you Carl, Anthony, and of course, Nightmare.


About the Creator

David Brandy

My very first story crafting was an imaginary game that me and my two younger brothers would play when I was 12. My love of storytelling manifested itself quickly. Today I am a husband, father, and business owner.

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Comments (6)

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  • L.C. SchΓ€fer8 months ago

    I dunno, in terms of ideas there's some gems in there!

  • Antoinette L Brey9 months ago

    Might be worth revisiting, I wish I had some of my work from when I was younger. Always wondered how a older writer would interrupt it

  • Sid Aaron Hirji9 months ago

    When I was 11 I wrote about how the internet would be the death of mankind. Safe to say my teacher told my parents and it did not end well. It's interesting to look back at our old stories-well done

  • Mark Graham9 months ago

    Very good for a 12 year old writer now an adult writer. I would read this fantasy novel.

  • Babs Iverson9 months ago

    Fantastic!!! Love this!!!πŸ’•β€οΈβ€οΈ

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