There comes a time in every writer’s life when they look back at the progress they’ve made, half-finished vampire epics with pretentious footnotes, old journals with dragons all over them, the handwritten notes (with Lisa Frank stickers in the margins) and think, my god, what a pile of crap!
The always charming Rejectionist has invited the author-friends to post their early (and extremely humiliating) works as part of the Banned Book Week festivities.
I have two extremely awful, please-don’t-really-read-these-because-they’re-quite-embarrassing, pieces to share. In the interest of historical accuracy all spelling and translation mistakes have been preserved, with bold emphasis added to the best bits.
I give you the author at 10 years and then the author at a much less excusable 21.
So he went to seek the most feared dragon. He set out in the morning because it was a very long way. He soon came across the cave where a dragon lived. He challenged the dragon, but he whimpered, “I don’t want to die!” Well said the prince we could make a deal. All right said the dragon. Well I need you to be my friend and come to the castle for a day as my sevent. “Well I will if you do what I ask. I need you to come to my cave to I can pretend to eat you by putting you on you horse and taking you off then switch you for a dummy made of chicken and cook that. “Sounds alright.” said the prince.
So the dragon did what the prince said.
Then when it was the princes turn the dragon took the prince off his horse, but the dragon did not switch him. So he asked to talk to him. The prince said that he wanted to live. So the dragon said he would switch.
But when it was time to switch the dragon ate the prince.
But one of the princes soldiers was watching and brought the other solidiers and killed the dragon.
Anime di Nottei*
*A very brief explanation. (Mercifully) this is only an excerpt of a pretentious vampire story with a lot of dialog in poorly translated (with babelfish) Latin, Italian, French, and German. Because foreign languages and references to Dante are awesome! We begin with our hero, who has recently become a vampire, going a little crazy and contemplating suicide because he’s very religious and the idea of eating people makes his little catholic eyes cross.
But to turn away (from blood), that was still worse. He could feel his lips pressing to that smooth, writhing throat. His hands tore at his chest, ragged nails trying to cut through the wool of his shirt, instead snagging helplessly in the thick cloth. The sound of metal clattering against the paving stones broke though his senses; his fury had sent something tumbling to the ground. The sight was terrible, perhaps the most terrible yet, so his eye cleared and he saw what lay at his feet.
The dagger. The very same that he had held as he waited for the captain, the one that he had forsaken for the grim joy of tearing with teeth of ivory instead of steel. Now it lay on the ground, the moonlight glinting over its blade. It seemed to call to him and he found himself bending slowly and grasping the hilt in one slick palm.
Had he looked up he would have seen that he was near the river, but even as he sat heavily on the bank he had eyes for nothing but the blade.
In its silver surface he saw more than the distortion of his reflection. In his suddenly clear musings it represented death without the gallows, without torture, without ridicule. Death. The word buzzed around his brain and awakened inner sight. What he saw beyond the blade was what his fevered eye had left out in its vision of martyrdom. In the silver blade the gates stood wide, over them the inscription: Lasciate ogni speranzai. Beyond the gate yawned the pit. He could smell the sulfur as he had the phantom blood, feel the heat singe his skin. But worse, worst, was the sight of what awaited him and the choice. Live by blood, tear at flesh with his dagger teeth, or face the inferno, tearing at his own flesh with this metal tooth that waited hungry in his hand.
He gazed into the sulfurous fires and his soul quailed. In one swift motion he flung the blade from him and let his feet carry him away from the soft plop of the deadly tooth sinking below the water’s surface.
In the end he settles down with a nice vampire girl and they have some lovely adventures together until her creator kills her (in the extremely awful sequel) and the MC has to spend the next hundred or so years on revenge. Pretentious Latin revenge.