Darren Shan Essays

05 May 2010

The following is a recently discovered essay, written by Steve Leopard when he was at school. The date is missing, so we're not sure what age he was or what class he was in when he wrote it, but we think he was about 11 or 12 years old at the time.

VIVA VAMPIRES!!

Vampires are cool! They can live for centuries without growing old, and they have many magical powers, and they can do whatever they like — except walk about in the daylight!

I have 62 books about vampires, or with bits in them about vampires. I'm not sure how many vampire movies I've seen, but I must have seen at least 50, probably a lot more. My favourite is Salem's Lot. The vampire in that film is really scary — bald and ugly, with long claws and very sharp fangs. I had nightmares when I first saw it, and I love having nightmares, so that was great!

My Mum isn't too keen on vampires, but maybe that's because of the time I squirted loads of tomato ketchup under the covers of her bed – so it looked like a pool of blood – and left a plastic vampire bat in it!!

There are lots of legends about vampires. Many of them, I think, are made up. I doubt if vampires can turn into fog or don't cast a shadow or turn to ash if they are hit with holy water or touched with a cross. And I'd be very surprised if they don't have reflections or if they can turn into bats and fly. I mean, bats have to learn how to fly. If a vampire turned into a bat, he'd probably just fall flat on the floor or bash into things while he was trying to fly.

I think the stories about bats started because vampires are friendly with bats. The books I've read – the serious, true books – say that bats and rats and wolves are kind of vampire pets. Vampires feed and look after them, just like humans feed and look after dogs.

I'd much rather have a bat than a dog for a pet. I asked my Mum to get me a bat or a rat for my last birthday, but she said "Not in this lifetime, buddy!" My Mum is soooooooo boring!

Vampires have to drink blood to survive. This is DEFINITELY true. I don’t know how much they need to drink, or how often, but a vampire will die if he doesn’t drink the right amount of blood. Drinking blood helps vampires live so long. I think that maybe humans might live longer if they drank blood too – then again, maybe they’d just get sick and die!

My best friend Darren Shan says he’d rather eat mud than drink blood, but I think drinking blood is cool. When I have cuts on my knees or elbows, I like to pick at my scabs and drink the small bit of blood that comes out. It’s very tasty!

Vampires are super-strong and super-fast, much stronger and faster than humans. They can punch through brick walls and run 100 metres in three or four seconds. If a vampire entered the Olympics, he’d win every gold medal in every event.

Most vampires are men. There are a few women vampires, but most women who want to get magic powers and live a long time prefer to become witches. I don’t know why this is so. Maybe it’s because most vampires feed upon adults – there’s more blood in a grown-up – whereas most witches eat little children. Since good women love to have and mind little children, I guess it’s only natural that evil women love to eat them!

To kill a vampire, you have to drive a stake through his heart. The stake doesn’t have to be made out of wood — hard plastic or steel will do too. Another way to kill a vampire is to cut off his head and stuff it with garlic. Or you can burn him. Or, if you can find him while he’s sleeping in the day, you can drag him out into sunlight and leave him to burn.

I feel quite sorry for vampires. They’re always being hunted and killed. I think people should leave them alone. Long ago, people sacrificed beautiful girls to their gods, and the gods left the rest of them alone. I think that’s what we should do with vampires. If we gave vampires a few beautiful girls every so often, I’m sure they’d just drink from them and not bother anybody else.

There are a couple of girls in my class I’d like to give to a vampire — and one or two teachers too!!!

To become a vampire, you have to drink the blood of another vampire, or else he has to do a blood transfer on you. It’s not true that you become a vampire when a vampire has drunk all your blood. All you become in that case is dead!

I’d love to become a vampire. I think it would be wonderful. I’d roam the world for hundreds of years, seeing loads of stuff I’d never see as a human. People would have to do what I said, or I’d drink their blood and kill them. I’d become a wrestler or a boxer and win every fight because of my super-strength. I’d have dozens of pet rats and bats, and I’d teach them every trick in the book. I might even marry a witch if I got lonely, but if she tried to cast a spell on me, I’d throw her to my pet wolf!

It would be great to be a vampire, but I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to become one, not until I grow up and move away from home. I mean, where are you going to run into a vampire around here?!?

* * * * *

Author's note: A teacher's report was attached to the end of the essay. He or she wrote: "B-. Very good, Steve, very imaginative, but a bit on the dark and miserable side. Why don't you write about clowns or something fun next time?"

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This is the article about the character; for the movie character , see Steve Leonard (Movie)
Steve Leonard (better known as Steve Leopard) is the main antagonist of The Saga of Darren Shan series.

The Saga of Darren Shan

Cirque Du Freak

When Steve attends the Cirque du Freak with Darren, he recognizes Larten Crepsley as a vampire from one of his vampire books. After the show, Steve begs Crepsley to turn him into a vampire and take him on as his assistant. Crepsley initially agrees, but changes his mind after tasting his blood, which he accuses of being evil. When Steve is poisoned as a result of Darren stealing Crepsley's spider Madame Octa, Darren agrees to become a half-vampire and Crepsley's assistant in exchange for the cure. Following Steve's recovery Darren fakes his death, but Steve is unconvinced that his friend is really dead. After he is exhumed, Darren is attacked by Steve who accuses him of conspiring with Crepsley against him. In the end, Steve cannot bring himself to kill his friend, but swears to become the world's greatest vampire hunter and return to kill both Darren and Larten Crepsley in the future. Before it, though, he was obsessed with vampires and collected stakes.

The Vampire Prince

The Coffin of Fire was a magical coffin that when closed, would burst into flames but only harming the one inside. Whoever survived the flames would be the Lord of the Vampaneze. Steve was that one. Steve was chosen to enter the coffin by Gannen Harst, brother of Vancha March.

Allies of the Night

The Hunters run into him in the city of Crepsley's childhood, where a group of Vampeneze are openly killing humans, just as Murlough was in the third book Tunnels of Blood. Although Darren, Harkat and Vancha trust Steve, Crepsley remains suspicious of him throughout the majority of the book. It is believed that Steve's actions are benevolent up until the climax of the book, when the vampires are ambushed by the vampaneze in the tunnel, where Steve takes Debbie hostage and reveals he is a half-vampaneze, having manipulated the Hunters the whole time. In the following battle, Debbie is taken by the vampaneze, but the Hunters manage to take Steve hostage.

Killers of the Dawn

Steve remains hostage of the Vampires briefly, but helps ensnare the Hunters into another trap, this time having them cornered and arrested by human police, who have been led to believe the hunters are the killers. He is knocked out before the Hunters are taken into custody, and is placed in a hospital. However, while Darren is questioned by police, he overhears police saying that Steve has escaped, killing several innocents along the way. Steve is not seen again until the end of the story, where he is with the vampaneze in the Cavern. Crepsley agrees to engage him, Gannen Harst and the apparent Lord of the Vampaneze in battle above a pit of flaming stakes. As the Vampaneze Lord is believed to be dead, the Hunters believe the War of the Scars to be over, until the final stages of the book where Steve reveals the truth to Darren: that he himself is in fact the true Lord of the Vampaneze, the half-vampaneze who was disguised as a servant in Hunters of the Dusk and potentially the Lord of the Shadows. Steve leaves with his fellow vampaneze, with Gannen Harst knocking Darren out before he can alert his allies.

Lord of the Shadows

Steve returns again with R.V., Gannen Harst, Morgan James and a new assistant, Darius, who is revealed to be his son. In the closing stages of the book, Evra's son Shancus is taken hostage by the vampaneze and taken to the stage area which was the former theatre of the Cirque du Freak. Steve appears at the theatre, where the Hunters arrive with Steve's son Darius as their hostage. Steve initially agrees to swap Shancus for Darius, but before the swap is made, he snaps Shancus' neck, killing him. In revenge, Darren prepares to kill Darius, only to learn from Steve that Darius is not just his son, but Darren's nephew through his sister Annie.

Sons of Destiny

it is revealed that during Darren's absence, Steve returned to Darren's hometown after leaving, and befriended Annie Shan, and started a romantic relationship with her, impregnating her with Darius, before revealing to Annie that he has no love for her and leaving Annie with the baby. Several years later Steve secretly met with Darius and converted him into a half-vampaneze, brainwashing him with propaganda. However, he lied to Darius, telling him that vampaneeze do not kill. After Darren performs the dangerous process of reblooding Darius as half-vampire, Darren and Vancha find Steve and the vampaneze at the Cirque du Freak, where they engage Steve and Gannen in battle. Vancha is wounded during the battle by Gannen and unable to fight any longer. Shortly afterward, Gannen is knocked unconscious, leaving Steve and Darren alone to fight. At the end of the long, vicious battle, Steve gains the upper hand when Darren suffers the after-effects of the reblooding, but his gloating leaves Darren with the chance to strike a fatal wound to Steve's heart. Steve lay there, paralyzed with shock, when Desmond Tiny showed up. Mr. Tiny, who watched the final duel, reveals that he fathered both Darren and Steve. Steve begged Mr. Tiny to take him as a son, since Mr. Tiny chose the winner, Darren, to be at his side. Evanna was present at this time and was as shocked as anyone else. Her brother Mr. Tall, had died earlier that day, and was shocked to find out she had two more brothers. Mr. Tiny disowned Steve at that moment and left him to die. Desmond Tiny states he made them so that the winner of their battle could bring destruction to the human race as the Lord of the Shadows. As Steve lies dying and despairing over his cruel manipulation, Darren takes advantage of Steve's belief Darren made a deal with Mr. Crepsley to take Steve's "rightful place" as a half-vampire, goading Steve into stabbing him again. Darren then drags Steve into the river by which they fought, and both succumb to their injuries and drown.

When Darren is rescued from the Lake of Souls many centuries later in a possible future, after humanity has disappeared from Earth to be replaced by dragons, Evanna reveals that Steve's spirit is also trapped in the Lake of Souls. Evanna states that she has no intention of saving Steve, as Steve chose to do evil in his life, whereas Darren was merely manipulated as part of Desmond Tiny's plans.

Trivia

  • He had 62 books about Vampires and had seen at least 50 movies about Vampires.
  • He once squirted ketchup on his mom's bed and left a plastic bat in the 'blood'.
  • He liked to drink his own blood when he was human.
  • In a Blu-Ray deleted scene, Steve reveals that his mother's first name is Brenda.

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