PAGE ONE (3 panels)
Panel 1. It is the proverbial dark and stormy night, and there is a gothic castle at the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. Despite the heavy rain, the castle is illuminated by a passing thunderbolt. We are in vaguely medieval times, and the castle is in a state of disrepair, though that might not be apparent yet. The whole scene looks like something out of a classic horror movie, or at least like something out of a Scooby-Doo episode. Whichever.
1 CAPTION (DEKAR): "There you are!"
Panel 2. Inside the castle now. DEKAR stands at the bottom of a curved staircase, gesturing a hand to PAUL, who is descending the staircase toward him. Dekar is wearing a white trench coat, with lightweight armor underneath it, and he has a sword at his side. Paul wears the same armor with the same sword, but he wears no coat. Dekar is late-20s in age, handsome and looking pretty rugged all around. Paul is a little older, a little goofier, and much chunkier. Paul doesn’t so much walk down the stairs as he does bumble down the stairs. They are both holding lanterns; otherwise, windows are the only light source. In general, the décor of the castle is opulent, but everything is so covered in dust and webs that it does not feel very regal anymore. We won’t be in this particular room very long, so stick whatever you like in it.
2 DEKAR: I turn around for one second and you’d vanished.
3 PAUL: Oh, and I suppose you thought the vampire had gotten me?
Panel 3. Dekar looks away and puts his hand on his triceps, which is the closest he can get to crossing his arms while he holds the lantern. Paul winks with a smirk as he closes in on Dekar.
4 DEKAR: With your asthma, vampires are the least of your worries.
5 PAUL: Come on. You don’t need to put on a brave face for me.
6 PAUL (connected): These walls have eyes and ears, Dekar. And they see right through you.
PAGE TWO (5 panels)
Panel 1. Dekar has a slight, dismissive grin as he approaches a long, claustrophobic hallway. Paul follows.
1 DEKAR: Spare me your theatrics, Paul.
2 DEKAR (connected): Every dozen years, a hysterical farmer comes forward claiming to have seen the legendary vampire of the castle--
Panel 2. Set the angle at the opposite end of this long hallway that they are now both in. Paul’s lantern casts Dekar’s extremely long shadow across the walls and/or floor.
3 DEKAR: --and every time, they send in a couple soldiers like us to go chasing shadows.
Panel 3. Paul’s plump face gets plumper as he smiles in earnest.
4 PAUL: And what of it? Reverence to tradition is a fine thing.
Panel 4. Dekar lowers his head and hunches his shoulders, momentarily displaying vulnerability.
5 DEKAR: Not when all it does is scare people.
Panel 5. Paul stands still with surprise as Dekar continues walking ahead.
6 PAUL: Fear is the healthiest emotion, Dekar.
7 PAUL (connected): You would do well to heed it.
PAGE THREE (4 panels)
Panel 1. Dekar and Paul arrive at a very large dining room, with huge, tall windows where the rain and lightning are on full display for dramatic effect. There is a long table at the center of the room with a handful of elegant chairs, and there is an area rug underneath it. It would have been a very nice place to eat a hundred years ago. This is the kind of room where you probably want a big grandfather clock, and some ornamental suits of armor, or maybe even a gargoyle or two around the windows. Do whatever makes sense to you. (The next page will be where you really get to crank the drama up to 11.) Dekar stares up toward the windows as he muses about the past.
1 DEKAR: I did, once upon a time.
2 DEKAR (connected): When I was a boy, I forged a sword out of white oak to fight the vampire if it came after me.
Panel 2. Paul places a hand over his sword hilt. Dekar leans over and squints, examining the big table they are approaching.
3 PAUL: Yes, well, we’ve graduated to more sophisticated weapons since then, haven’t we?
4 DEKAR: Perhaps…
Panel 3. Dekar places his hand on the table, touching blood. His eyes widen. Paul shrugs his shoulders.
5 DEKAR: Paul, look at this. This is fresh blood. How can that be?
6 PAUL: Eh, nothing more than bats, my man. Just bats catching vermin!
Panel 4. Angle this panel so that it is on the other side of the table from where Dekar and Paul are. In the foreground, the deceased body of the real Paul lies crumpled in a comical, anatomically impossible heap behind the table. There is blood all over the place, but Dekar cannot see it from where he is. Fake Paul gawks malevolently at Dekar from behind.
7 PAUL: And the bigger the rat, the bigger the mess.
PAGE FOUR (3 panels)
Panel 1. Fake Paul begins to morph into his true form, the monstrous VAMPIRE of the castle. His eyes grow to an unnaturally gigantic size as fangs sprout from his mouth. Make sure the windows are directly behind him for the full transformation, so that we can see the storm raging. No dialogue.
Panel 2. All of the vampire’s clothing and apparel, including the sword, recede and start to disappear as he takes on the form of a giant monster. I envision him looking a little like the Batman villain Man-Bat, but vampires sometimes take on the forms of wolves (etc.) too. If you want to mix and match your favorite scary animals, be my guest. But he should have large bat wings at any rate. The vampire drops the lantern. No dialogue.
Panel 3. The vampire completes his transformation, appearing in all his terrifying glory. A giant flash of lightning (SFX) can be seen out the windows at this moment. Dekar turns around to gawk at the monster that towers over him. You probably want this panel to take up the majority of the page.
1 SFX (lightning): KRAKOOM
2 VAMPIRE: Your fat friend left quite the mess.
PAGE FIVE (4 panels)
Panel 1. Dekar dives across the table to evade a swipe from the vampire’s claws. Dekar throws away his lantern in the process.
1 DEKAR: Paul was a drunk and a womanizer, actually! Hardly a friend.
Panel 2. Now on the other side of the table, Dekar takes out his sword. He stares at Paul’s body, standing in the man’s blood.
2 DEKAR: But he didn’t deserve this.
Panel 3. The vampire smashes the table into two pieces with a downward swipe.
3 VAMPIRE: All who would mock me in my home deserve this!
Panel 4. Dekar leaps forward, brandishing his sword in both hands to strike the vampire. The table is of course no longer in his way.
4 DEKAR: Your home is in hell!
PAGE SIX (4 panels)
Panel 1. The vampire punches Dekar in the stomach while Dekar is still in midair, knocking the wind out of him and causing him to lose his sword. No dialogue.
Panel 2. The vampire grabs Dekar by the neck, smiling hatefully at him. Dekar’s mouth is big and wide as he gasps to breathe.
1 VAMPIRE: Then allow me to take you there.
Panel 3. The vampire flies toward the windows with Dekar still held by the neck in one of his claws. No dialogue.
Panel 4. The vampire crashes through the window, shattering the glass (SFX) and bringing the action outside into the storm. Bits of glass cut Dekar’s face, but the vampire is unfazed. You’re probably going to want to devote the most panel space to this.
2 SFX (glass shatter): PSSHH
PAGE SEVEN (3 panels)
Panel 1. The vampire draws Dekar face-to-face with him as he soars around the castle. They are both soaked already.
1 VAMPIRE: Didn’t I warn you about heeding your fears?
Panel 2. Dekar reaches into his trench coat for something wooden. He stares defiantly.
2 DEKAR: I never stopped heeding them.
Panel 3. Dekar stabs the vampire in the heart with the white oak sword from his childhood. It is an extremely rudimentary weapon and very small to fit a child’s hands. It is basically just two pieces of wood nailed together like a cross, with a sharp end that is of course now inside the vampire. The vampire’s big eyes manage to get even wider as he is fatally wounded. Dekar just grits his teeth.
3 DEKAR: I’m terrified of you.
PAGE EIGHT (4 panels)
Panel 1. The vampire bursts into flames and is annihilated as Dekar falls from the sky. No dialogue.
Panel 2. Dekar catches the window sill on the side of a castle spire. No dialogue.
Panel 3. Dekar pulls himself up onto the wide window sill, so that he is out of immediate danger of falling. He looks down.
1 DEKAR: But I’m not too fond of heights either.
Panel 4. Pan out on Dekar, sitting on the window sill, looking small amidst the greatness of the big, spooky castle. No dialogue.