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An Original Western/Horror Short Story

The following is an original story I wrote over the course of a day. It was just for kicks to play around with a couple themes and  and get an idea of how a comic would be written. Let me know what you think. Be warned, this is the first piece of fiction I have created since high school, ten years ago, with the exception of my tax forms.
A Deadly Chill

Page 1

Panel 1

Bill Rogers is leaving the saloon, it’s late, and he is just shy of sober. Snow is falling, but there is no snow on the ground.

Panel 2

He is startled to see a wolf on the other side of his horse. He reaches for his gun.

Panel 3

He runs to the other side of his horse, ready to shoot, but is shocked again as he finds a shadowed man instead of a wolf.

Panel 4

Bill: “Sorry partner, I must have had a little more whisky than I thought”

Panel 5

The stranger: “I thirst”

Bill responds: “Uhh, alright. Well, let me set you up with the bartender, he owes me a favour”

Panel 6

The stranger: “I thirst”

Bill: “… So you’ve said. Come on, I’ll get you all squared away”


Page 2

Panel 1

The stranger: “I don’t have time for that, I must be on my way to the next town immediately. You’ll do”

Panel 2

The figure steps forward to show off a set of fangs and a smile.

Panel 3

Bill: “What in tarnation…?”

Panel 4

Cut to the the local sheriff James Landon in his office who hears Bill’s horse going crazy.

Panel 5

He comes out to find Bill laying on the ground, his horse stirring crazily and naying.

Sheriff: “Docs!”

He calls out to Edward “Doc Jr.” Cisco and Thomas “Doc Sr.” Cisco They run out, as well as several other people from the bar and nearby.

Panel 6

Doc Jr. “looks to be a snakebite, and a big one. Look at these teeth marks.”

Doc Sr. “Dear God. Sally will be devastated.”

Panel 7

Sheriff Landon: “Dammit. Alright men you do your duty, I’ll go take the news to Sally.”
Page 3

Panel 1

Sheriff Landon stands at the door. It is still snowing. Hat in hand, he has a solemn look on his face.

Panel 2

Sally Rogers opens the door

Panel 3

Sheriff: “It’s Bill”

Sally: “Who shot him?” She has a shocked look on her face

Panel 4
Sheriff: “Ain’t no one shot him, ma’am. It was A blasted snake that got him”

Panel 5
Sally, now in tears: “No! Can’t be. Not Bill. He knows his way around snakes. He’s been dealing with them for years. Not my Bill. He would get to it before it would ever get to him.”

Panel 6

A pulled back distance shot of the house. Sally is on the ground crying. The Sheriff is kneeling next to her, comforting her. A thick layer of snow is now covering the ground and the house.
Page 4

Panel 1

Across the top of the page. The funeral. The sun is out. The sheriff stands with Sally, the Doc’s are 2 of the Paul Bearers.

Panel 2

The pastor, Sally and 2 labourers leave the casket in the cemetery vault to await a spring burial. They leave fresh footprints in the snow. The sun is shining.

Panel 3

A shot of outside the cemetery vault with a several sets of footprints coming from the left to the door. It is dark now.

Panel 4

The same shot. A sound effect shows a bang coming from inside the vault.

Panel 5

The door is now open and an additional set of footprints are now in the snow heading to the right.
Page 5

Caption: A few days later

Panel 1

Shot of another funeral. Almost identical to the first one. The casket is open for this one. The neck is covered with a handkerchief.

Panel 2

The Sheriff is consoling a different widow. This widow is older and frailer than the young Sally

Sheriff Landon “I am terribly sorry about this ma’am. I’m looking into this snake problem personally”

Panel 3

He is walking away. Sally confronts him: “I’m telling you it ain’t no blasted snakes. It’s too cold and my husband was better than that. Hers too.”

Panel 4.

The younger Doc comes up, placing his hand on her shoulder: “Now now dear, let’s get you some sleeping pills for this agitation.”

Sally: “I’m not agitated you imbecile, now get your filthy hands off of me. This won’t stop until we know the real reason off the problem.”

Panel 5
caption: Later that evening.

Doc Sr. is working at his desk, looking at writings with images of bats and fangs. There is a knock on the door: “Come in”

Panel 6
Sally opens the door: “Doc Sr. Is your son in? I was hoping to apologize him for my behaviour this morning”

Doc Sr.: “He’s not, I’m afraid, but he was just heading to the Sheriff’s, you could probably catch him there still”

Panel 7

Sally: “Thanks Doc”

Doc Sr.: “Sally, before you go, I know this is a difficult time for you, but I want you to remember, I’m here for you if you need”

Panel 8

Sally on her way out: “I know Doc. You’d die to help the people of this town”
Page 6

Panel 1

Sally is walking down the dark, open street toward the lights of the saloon.

Panel 2

She sees her husband, Bill, briefly as he crosses the end of the street.

Panel 3

She races after him: “Bill? BILL!!”

Panel 4

She turns the corner and sees a man on the ground. A wolf is trotting off in the distance. 2 sets of shoeprints lead up to the body, 1 set of dogprints follow the wolf

Panel 5

Sally races to the body

Panel 6

She turns the body over, it’s Doc Jr. He has the same bite marks on his neck.
Page 7

Panel 1

Funeral for Doc Jr. Sheriff is a Paul Bearer

Panel 2

Sally is consoling Doc Sr.

Panel 3

Sally, Sheriff and Doc Sr. are back in the Doctors office. Doc Sr.’s face is in his palm, he is sitting down, they are standing.

Doc Sr.: “You were right Sally. And I was too damn stubborn to accept the signs”

Panel 4
Sally “What do you mean”

Doc Sr.: “…Well…”

Sheriff: “Spit it out Cisco. Do you know something we don’t?”

Panel 5

Doc “Sally insisted it wasn’t snakes. And she’s right. It’s too cold, the snakes have gone underground for the winter. And you said you saw a wolf, Sally?

Sally “Yeah, running away from the scene. He must have been scared off by the snake. I realize now that that’s what it must be. I’m not thinking clearly. I saw my own dead husband walking for goodness sake.”

Doc: “I think you did see your husband. And there was no evidence of a snake being there, minus the bite marks. But there are talks of people in eastern Europe who can turn into bats and wolves and who drink the blood of men.

Panel 6

Sheriff: “That’s poppycock! Damn ghost stories is all!”

Sally: “Do you really think this is what it is?”

Doc Sr. “I do Sally. I think we’re dealing with what the Romanians call… Nosferatu. But there is only one way to know for sure.”
Page 8

Panel 1

Doc Sr., Sally, and The Sheriff look down into the casket holding the second man to have died.

Panel 2

Identical shot, this time they are looking at Doc Jr.’s body. Doc Sr. Is crying.

Panel 3

Same shot. This time Bill Rogers casket, but no body in the casket.

Sally gasps.

Doc Sr.: “Sheriff, get us some guns.”
Page 9.

Panel 1

It is dusk and the fully armed Doc, Sheriff and Sally stand in wait in the middle of town.the moon is low in the sky. The snow is fresh.

Panel 2

The same shot. Footprints in the snow betray a great deal of pacing. The moon has moved halfway across the sky.

Doc: “He’ll come. Give him time”

Panel 3

Same shot. The trio look tired and are now sitting and shivering in the snow. The moon has now reached the other side of the page and is low again.

Doc: “Maybe it was just snakes. This is hopeless.”

Panel 4

Same shot. The trio is walking away. The sun is coming up.

Panel 5

Outside the sheriffs office.

Sheriff is about to open the door, but stops and addresses the other two: “I think we need to get a good days sleep and rethink the snake theory. You two have been through a lot, we just got a little carried away is all”

Panel 6

Sheriff opens the door. Sally and Doc stand disappointedly on the porch.
Page 10

Panel 1

The same shot of the porch. The Sheriff pauses “I am sorry”

Panel 2

Same shot, a hand reaches from the shadows and pulls in the Sheriff, who screams.

Panel 3

Same shot, Doc and Sally look at each other surprised and terrified. They cock their guns

Panel 4

Same shot. Doc and Sally run inside.

Panel 5

Same shot. Gunfire and yelling sound effects come from inside. The door is open but only darkness can be seen on the inside.

Panel 6

Same shot. Silence

Panel 7

Same shot. The pale grinning face of Bill Rogers with fangs and blood dripping blood stares out, directly at the reader, from the darkness of the open door.

Panel 8 Same shot. He closes the door.

The End
How I wrote the story.

I’ve been watching a lot of westerns over the week, and just read Dracula a couple months ago and thought it would be a neat idea to mix the two. (I now know American Vampire is also a mix of the two themes, but I have not read it…yet)

I was just trying to kill time on my bus trip when I put the basics together. So I came up with the idea of the story and decided what my page goals would be and blocked it out. I then went and filled in dialogue and panel layout. The idea of a team of characters hunting down this creature was inspired directly by Stokers Dracula. In fact the scene at the end was originally supposed to play out like one of the conflicts from the book, when Dracula discovers them destroying his boxes of earth. The team was supposed to live, but I thought it would be a little more interesting to kill them all.

The snow was an addition of convenience that came from trying to explain why the coffins weren’t underground. I wanted the vampire to have easy escape from his tomb, but I didn’t want him rising from the ground like a zombie. I remembered a Lovecraft story of a man being trapped with all the unburied bodies waiting for spring to be discovered, and felt that was my ticket. I switched seasons and the snow became an interesting bonus character to play with as well.

I realize that this was more horror less western, so I may or may not play around with this and other themes over time. Depending on how bored I am. I also plan on returning to more year centric posts very soon as well!

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought.

No pictures this time, so if someone wants to do some concept art, I’ll throw it up here – free of charge!

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2 thoughts on “An Original Western/Horror Short Story

  1. I thought this was great. The mix of western/vampires was really interesting. I’ve seen western/zombies done before, but I think I like the vampire angle better, and you wrote it well. Your descriptions were vivid, and I was hooked from the first panel.

    Like

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