I find it surprising how different original drafts can be compared to the final result. After reading the original draft of I Am Slappy's Evil Twin, I decided to share it with the contributors on this wiki who might be interested. So, here is the original outline of the book. Enjoy :)
I AM SLAPPY'S EVIL TWIN
1. 1920. A farm village. Puppeteer Franz Mahar working in his workshop, finishing a ventriloquist dummy: "You are made of the finest coffin wood, and I have given you the dark powers I learned on my tour of Europe. Someone will pay a million dollars for you when they learn of the abilities and powers I have given you." But wait—a pounding on the door. Who is beating on the door like that? Mahar opens the door to find the entire village storming his cabin. They carry guns and torches. What do they want?
2. They angrily accuse him of bringing bad luck to the village. The crops have withered and died, and the cows are all giving sour milk. "It's the doll!" they cry. "Look at that evil face. The doll has brought evil and bad fortune to our village." They grab the dummy. Mahar pleads with them: "No—it's my life's work. I beg you!" But the villagers build a tall bonfire, and they burn the dummy. As the flames consume it, the dummy blinks its eyes open and opens its mouth in a deafening scream.
3. After watching the dummy burn, Mahar slinks back to his workshop. "The fools. The stupid fools," he mutters bitterly. "Did they really think I'd give up my precious dummy so easily?" They burned one of Mahar's copies, a fake. He has two dummies on the shelf. He picks one up. "They burned a fake," he tells it. He and the two dummies toss back their heads and laugh.
* * *
4. This year. A rambling old house on the edge of the woods. We meet Gabe Miller and his younger sister Gwinny (short for Gwyneth). "Did you know this house is haunted?" Gabe tells Gwinny. He likes to scare her because she's easily scared. He tells her a story about a boy who was murdered in the basement. "You can still hear him walking around at night. Once a week on Friday nights, he comes upstairs to haunt the people in this house. What night is it, Gwinny?" "Friday?" Gabe points: "Sssh. Listen. Do you hear something? There he is now!" Gwinny screams.
5. It isn't a ghost. It's Grandpa Noah: "Are you scaring Gwinny again? Don’t you ever get tired of scary ghost stories?" Gwinny: "I wasn’t really scared. I just screamed because he expected me to." They are in Grandpa Noah's house. The grandparents are moving to Florida. This is a sad farewell. Touching goodbyes. "Take good care of my aquarium," says Grandpa Noah. "There are some rare and valuable tropical fish in there." Gwinny promises she'll feed them every day and clean the tank. Dad leaves to drive his parents to the airport. The Millers are staying for a week to help clean out the old house. Gabe: "Let's see what's in the basement." Gwinny is reluctant. Mom: "Promise you won't frighten Gwinny." Gabe: "I promise." He has his fingers crossed behind his back. "Follow me," he tells her.
6. They step into the basement stairwell. He clicks the light. It doesn't go on. "Bulb must be out. Don’t worry. There are more lights downstairs." He uses the flashlight on his phone. When he gets to the bottom of the stairs, Gabe starts to struggle. "Oh, wow. I've walked into something. Spider webs! So thick. They're wrapping me up. Help! The spiders—they're biting me! Help! They're biting!" Gwinny: "Stop joking, Gabe. You promised." He drops to his back, thrashing his arms, screaming. To her horror, Gwinny realizes he isn't joking!
7. She finds a broom. Frantically sweeps the spiders and thick webbing off him. Finally, he stands up: "Didn't Grandpa ever clean this place?" He clicks on a dim ceiling bulb. Both of them cry out. The basement is filled with ghosts! No. Wait. It's furniture covered in sheets. Gwinny: "It's too creepy down here. Let's go back upstairs." Gabe: "But Grandpa Noah collected all kinds of cool stuff. And he said we could have whatever we want." He starts to explore. Cries out when something brushes the back of his neck. It's just the sleeve of an old shirt hanging from a line. They find a lot of cool things, strange objects, photos. They suddenly stop when they hear scraping footsteps. "We're not alone down here!" They freeze. And hear a whisper: "Gabe… I'm going to haunt you." Gabe cries out: "Huh? Did you hear that, too?" "Gabe… I'm going to haunt you... FOREVER!"
8. "It… it's the ghost of the basement!" Gabe chokes out. Then they hear laughter. Mom steps out of the shadows: "You're always scaring Gwinny, Gabe. I wanted to show you what it's like." Gabe grumbles: "Not cool, Mom." Mom asks them to come upstairs and help her pack some books into boxes. Gabe begs for ten more minutes. Mom goes back upstairs. They explore. Gwinny: "Hey, what's that?" Something looks like a mummy, all wrapped up. Gabe slowly unwraps it. A head appears—a pale face, eyes shut. It's a dead body!
9. Gabe drops it and the head clonks on the floor. It's some kind of doll. They unwrap it. It's a ventriloquist dummy. They want to show it to Mom. Gabe starts to lift it up, and the wooden hand swings up and smacks him hard in the face. "Ow!" He accuses Gwinny. She says she didn't touch it. They take it to Mom: "Grandpa Noah used to entertain at kids' parties. I'm pretty sure his grandfather made the dummy." Gabe: "Can I keep it?" Gwinny: "No. It's mine. I saw it first." They fight over it. Gabe insists he wants to do an act with it for his scary YouTube channel. Mom says Gabe can have it. She'll buy something nice for Gwinny. Gwinny is only a little appeased. As Gabe goes to pick up the dummy, it slaps him in the face again. "Stop it, Gwinny!" Gabe snaps. She swears she didn't touch it. Gabe stares at the dummy's grinning face. He feels a little shiver as it appears to stare back at him.
10. The next day. Gabe practicing with the dummy in the room he's staying in upstairs. He named it Mickey. He performs for Gwinny. She says he's a terrible ventriloquist—and his jokes are lame. "Cousin Harvey is coming to stay with us. His parents have to go away and they're dropping him off here. Maybe he'll like your dumb jokes." Gabe: "Harvey is such a wimp. He'll probably be terrified of the dummy. He's terrified of everything." Gwinny: "Mom says we have to promise not to scare him this time. Last time, you jumped out of the closet and grabbed him in the middle of the night, and he shook for two days." Gabe laughs. Gwinny leaves his room. He gets a Skype call from Grandpa Noah. They talk about Florida for a while. Gabe (holds up dummy): "Look what I found in your basement." To Gabe's surprise, Grandpa cries: "Oh no! NO! You weren’t supposed to find that." Gabe: "Grandpa—why?" Grandpa: "Get rid of it. Get rid of it!"
11. Gabe tries to get his grandpa to explain. But the skype call is cut off. Why was Grandpa so upset? Gabe is curious now. He gazes at the dummy. Did its grin just get wider? He sets up his phone on a tripod and does an episode of his YouTube series. He does a short routine with Mickey the dummy. But Gwinny interrupts his show. She says she found the dummy and it should be hers. They fight. He's angry she ruined his video. He chases her out. Puts his phone away. He's thinking about Grandpa's reaction. Decides to look up the dummy in the Wikipedia. He stares at the page. "Oh, wow. I don’t believe it!"
12. He's dying to show Gwinny the Wikipedia page, but his parents call them downstairs. Harvey is coming to stay for a week, and the parents order them to be nice to him. "It's his birthday. No one wants to be terrified on his birthday." Gabe: "It's too easy to scare him. He jumps if you touch him. He's a bigger scaredy-cat than Gwinny." That starts an argument between the two kids. Gabe: "Stop. I have to tell you what I just read about the dummy." Dad: "No. No dummy. Put it away. I mean it. It will only scare Harvey." Gabe protests: "You won't believe what I read. The dummy can come to life." Gwinny gasps. Dad: "Stop it right now, Gabe. No scary stories. Save them for your YouTube show." Gabe grumbles to himself. Then he pulls Gwinny upstairs to his room. He shows her his laptop screen. "Look. Look what it says about this dummy."
13. Gwinny reads the Wiki page in disbelief: "His name is Slappy? And he can come to life? And he's horribly evil?" Gabe: "Yes. You just say the secret words, and he's supposed to come to life. That's why Grandpa Noah didn't want me to have it." Gwinny backs away, suddenly frightened: "You're not going to do it—are you?" A grin spreads over Gabe's face. Gwinny pleads with him not to try it. "Don’t worry. The secret words aren’t on the Wiki Page," he tells her. "Maybe they're hidden on the dummy or something. I don’t know." Gwinny breathes a sigh of relief. They hear the doorbell ring downstairs. Harvey has arrived. Mom shouts: "Come downstairs and greet your cousin." Gabe puts the dummy down. "Maybe I'll bring him to life later. Just to give Harvey a scare." As Gwinny runs downstairs, Gabe glances back at the dummy. Did it just wink at him? No. That's impossible.
14. Gwinny greets Harvey. We can see that he's a tense kid. They all chat for a bit. Dad: "Where's Gabe?" Gwinny: "Upstairs, I guess." Gabe appears a few minutes later. He teases Harvey about the last visit, how they scared him. "I won't do that again," Gabe promises, with a devilish smile on his face. Harvey: "I'm trying to be braver now that I'm turning twelve." The doorbell rings. Harvey: "It might be my parents. Maybe I forgot and left something in the car." He pulls open the front door—and lets out a startled shriek. The dummy is standing on the front stoop, grinning at him.
15. "He's ALIVE!" Gabe screams. Harvey screams again, staggers back, stumbles, and falls to the floor. Gwinny is horrified. Gabe laughs: "I stood him up there. Just a little joke." Dad: "How did he ring the doorbell?" Gabe raises his phone: "The doorbell ring came from my phone." Parents are angry: "I warned you to put that dummy away. Put it in a closet. I don’t want to see it again." Harvey insists he's not afraid of it; he was only startled. He goes to pick up the dummy, and it slaps him in the face. Parents take Harvey to a spare bedroom to get him settled in. Gwinny and Gabe take the dummy to Gabe's room. Gwinny: "Give him to me, Gabe. You'll only get in trouble if you keep him. He should be mine, anyway." They fight over the dummy. Have a tug-of-war with it. And a slip of paper falls out of the dummy's jacket. The secret words! Gabe grabs it out of Gwinny's hand. She begs him not to read them. But he raises the paper to his face and reads the words out loud: BAHKU RAMA DUBBA MOONDEE ARAMMUS.
16. They stare at the dummy. Did its eyes blink open? Or were they already open? Gabe stretches him out on his back on the bed. "Get up, Slappy. Let's see you sit up." The dummy doesn't move. He sits Slappy up. "Can you walk? Can you say something?" It remains lifeless. Gwinny laughs: "It's a total fake. And you fell for it!" She leaves. Gabe is very disappointed. He props the dummy in a corner. He goes to sleep. He dreams that Slappy comes to life and walks all over the house. He wakes up shaking—and sees that the dummy is gone!
17. He jumps up. Was he dreaming? Did the dummy come to life? Gabe runs into the hall. He thinks he hears sounds from downstairs. Is Slappy down there? As he passes Harvey's room, he has a sudden kind thought: Maybe he should warn Harvey that something weird is going on. He pulls open Harvey's bedroom door—and Harvey is gone. The room is empty. What's going on? He stops in the hall and listens. And gasps when he hears a scream of horror from downstairs. "Gwinny! What's wrong?"
18. Gabe goes running downstairs. His sister screams again. He runs into the living room—and can't believe what he sees. Gwinny is standing in front of Grandpa's big fish tank, gripped in horror. Gabe sees a lake of water on the floor. Fish scattered all around the rug, flapping weakly, dying. And Slappy sitting in the fish tank. The grinning dummy, arms draped casually over the sides, sitting upright in the tank, appearing very pleased with himself. Mom and Dad come rushing in: "What on earth! Who did this? Gabe? Did you do this to scare Harvey?" He denies it. Where is Harvey? He isn't in his room. Everyone starts shouting: "Harvey? Harvey? Are you here?"
19. "Here I am." Harvey comes walking out of the den. "I woke up early. So I came down to the den to read." He sees the dummy in the fish tank, the dead fish all around. "What's that?" Dad: "Gabe, you'd better have an explanation." Gabe: "I didn't do this, Dad. I swear. He's alive. The dummy is alive. I brought him to life last night and—and—" He can see his parents don’t believe him. He picks up the dummy, lowers its feet to the floor. "Go ahead. Walk. Show them, Slappy. Show them you're alive." The dummy collapses lifelessly to the floor. Gabe is desperate: "I know who put him in the fish tank. Harvey did it! To pay me back! You came downstairs early. You did this, didn't you!" Harvey denies it. "You're crazy. I didn't go in your room and bring the dummy down. No way." Gabe: "Then it was Gwinny. She's so jealous. She wanted the dummy, and I got it. So she's trying to ruin it for me." A big fight ensues. Mom and Dad finally get them quiet. Dad picks up the dummy. "This is going back to the basement. On Saturday, a big trash truck is coming, and it's going to haul away everything still down there. And this dummy will be on it. In the meantime, I'm taking it down to the basement, and I don’t want to see it again." They watch him sling it over his shoulders and carry it to the basement stairs. He disappears down the stairwell. They hear Dad cry out, "Hey! Stop!" And then a crash and bump bump bump. Dad screams as he falls down the stairs. Gabe runs and peers down: "Dad? Are you okay?" No answer.
20.Later. They are home from the hospital. Dad is on crutches, wearing a boot on one foot: "I guess I'm lucky I only broke one ankle. I could swear that dummy pushed me. But of course that's insane…" Mom hurries to the kitchen to bake Harvey's birthday cake. It's a seven-layer chocolate cake that he loves. Gabe, Gwinny, and Harvey set the table and put up birthday balloons and decorations. They're quiet, restrained, in light of Dad's accident. The cake comes out beautifully. Harvey helps Mom with the chocolate icing. They put it on the table. Then, it's so dusty in the house from packing up all the grandparents' belongings, the whole family goes outside to get some fresh air. Gabe pulls Gwinny aside: "I know that dummy is alive. I know it pushed Dad down the stairs. No way they will believe me, but I have to do something." Gwinny: "Does the Wikipedia page tell how to put him back to sleep?" "No. I checked it. And I couldn't find any info anywhere else. But I have an idea. Those secret words. What if I read them again? Maybe that's the way to put him back to sleep." It's worth a try. He left the slip of paper on his desk next to his laptop. He makes an excuse, goes inside to get the slip of paper—and lets out a horrified scream.
21. Everyone comes running into the kitchen. The cake has been demolished. There are hunks of chocolate tossed and smeared on the walls and the table and the kitchen counter, even on the ceiling. Slappy sits at the table, grinning, the cake in front of him, his wooden hands filled with chocolate, and chocolate smeared over his mouth and cheeks. "This is horrible!" Mom screams. "Who is doing this? Which one of you?" Harvey is terrified, shaking. Gabe: "I know you don’t believe me. The dummy is alive. But I think I know how to put him back to sleep." He races upstairs. Bursts into his room. Up to his desk. Doesn't see the slip of paper. Frantically paws through everything, searching. And freezes when he hears a raspy voice at the bedroom doorway: "Hey, Buddy—you didn't think I'd leave that paper there for you—DO you? You don’t think I'm a total dummy—DO you?"
22. Gabe spins around. The dummy clomps into the room, walking awkwardly but rapidly. Gabe: "You—you really ARE alive!" Dummy: "That's more than I can say for you." He shoves Gabe backward. Gabe: "Let go of me! What are you doing?" Dummy: "The window is open. You're going to have a terrible accident. Your whole family seems to be accident prone today." He gives Gabe another shove toward the open window. He's surprisingly strong. Gabe: "You're going to push me out the window?" Dummy (sarcastic): "No. I'm going to invite you to dance." Gabe: "You really want to kill me?" Dummy: "You wanted to kill me. It's only fair." Gabe tries to escape, but the dummy grabs him and heaves him. He nearly topples over the window ledge. The dummy holds his shoulders and pushes. Gabe is about to fall out the window. I'm going to fall headfirst. I'm doomed."
23. He sees someone burst into the room. To Gabe's surprise, it's Grandpa Noah. The old man gasps as he sees the dummy about to shove Gabe out the window. "Stop!" he screams. The dummy glances back at him: "Get in line, Pops. You can also be an accident waiting to happen!" Noah: "No! Stop! I'm going to put you back to sleep now! Say goodnight!" And he shouts a series of strange words: "Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano." Will it put the dummy to sleep? No. To his shock, the dummy pauses for a moment, then resumes struggling to push Gabe out the window. "It has to work!" Grandpa Noah cries. He shouts the words again. No effect. He shouts them again. "Are those your last words, Pops?" the dummy rasps. He gives Gabe a hard shove. Gabe topples out the window. The dummy turns on Grandpa.
24. As he starts to fall, Gabe grabs the window ledge with both hands. He's hanging on for dear life, but he knows he can't hold on forever. He sees the dummy move in on Grandpa Noah. Gabe's hands start to ache. He feels himself slipping. "I know who you are!" Grandpa screams at the dummy. "Slappy's secret words didn't stop you—because you're not Slappy! You're that dummy's twin—Snappy!" The dummy laughs as it closes in. "You're a genius, Gramps. Too bad you're not smart enough to save yourself." "You're right, Snappy," Grandpa declares, backed into a corner. "I wasn’t smart enough to memorize your secret words. I concentrated on defeating your evil brother. I should have paid more attention to you!" Snappy: "Enough talk. Maybe Slappy likes to chit-chat, but Snappy likes to take care of business." Grandpa: "Why are you doing this?" Snappy: "Once you're all gone, NO ONE will ever know how to put me to sleep. I'll live FOREVER!" Laughing maniacally, he grabs Grandpa and starts to shake him. Outside the window, Gabe feels his hands slipping off the sill.
25.The door bangs open. Harvey steps in. "I heard a noise…" He screams when he sees Grandpa struggling with the dummy. It's enough of a distraction for Grandpa to grab the dummy around the waist and turn it upside-down. "Quick—" Grandpa motions to the window. "Go help Gabe!" Harvey is a hero. He grabs Gabe's arms and pulls him into the room. Grandpa holds Snappy by the ankles, dangling him upside down. The dummy thrashes but can't free himself. "Let's get Snappy tied up and back in the basement for the trash pickup," says Grandpa. They start to the stairs—but their way is blocked—by another dummy climbing the stairs. Slappy!
26.Slappy: "Thanks for saying the words and bringing me to life, Grandpa. I was lonely down in the basement." Gabe: "You have both dummies?" Grandpa: "Yes. My grandfather made them and they were passed down to me." Snappy breaks free and runs to put an arm around his twin's shoulders. "Together, we RULE!" Harvey: "This is horrible! What's going to happen? What are they going to do?" "Dummies RULE!" Snappy declares. "Can you humans say bye-bye?" Grandpa: "You're forgetting one little thing, Snappy. Slappy HATES your guts!" "You got THAT right," says Slappy. And with a growl, Slappy swings around, grabs Snappy by the throat, starts to shake and choke him. Screaming, cursing, calling each other names, the two dummies have a desperate, brutal wrestling match. Gabe, Harvey, and Grandpa watch in helpless horror. Which dummy will win? And what will happen then?
27. They gasp as the two dummies battle. The fight ends when they rip each other's head off. Snappy and Slappy, headless, collapse lifelessly to the floor. The battle is over. The three humans stare down at the nowunmoving, harmless dummies. "Hey—What's going on up there?" Mrs. Miller shouts. "Just a little dummy problem," Gabe shouts back. "No biggie."
* * *
The next day. Grandpa is on his way back to Florida. The trash from the basement has been hauled away. The Millers and Harvey are climbing into the car, about to drive to their own home. But where's Gwinny? They call to her. She comes running from the house, carrying something. She climbs into the backseat beside Gabe and Harvey. "Look what I found in a closet downstairs. Another dummy! And I'm keeping this one, Gabe. This one is MINE!" Horrified, Gabe starts to protest. But Gwinny pulls a small card from the dummy's jacket. "Oh, look. It says his name is Happy. How cute is that? And what are these words under his name?" Gabe tries to grab the card away, but Gwinny reads the words aloud: "Picanno Dormo Saleena Boran Demarta!" ##