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08 November 2010 @ 09:55 pm
NaScreeWriMo - Day Eight  
INT. CASTLE - LONG HALL - DAY

A beautiful space, but sterile - no warmth. Forbidding PORTRAITS hang on the walls - men similar in appearance to Bathory.

BATHORY
This castle has been in the hands of my family for
centuries, ever since the reign of King Laszlo,
when many of the people of this land were
still pagans. My ancestor Hados was given
this castle, this land, in return for his
service to the king.
 
Bathory stops, and Mira follows his gaze to a portrait - a man with a stern face, who sits in front of a GRISLY field of BATTLE.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
In gratitude, Hados pledged a mighty crusade
against the infidels. He brought back many
treasures - even a holy relic. There has been
an unbroken line of male descendants ever since.
 
Bathory looks down at Mira. She is uneasy at their proximity.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
If I do not have a son, an heir, this castle and all
it contains will revert back to the ownership of the king.

MIRA
Your wife is still young--

BATHORY
My wife! She is weak, too reliant on that priest,
on his simpering superstition. You, however, are strong.

MIRA
My Lord, I beg you...
 
They begin walking again.

BATHORY
I spoke to your father, before you joined us at
dinner last night. I could tell his heart was still
broken over what you did to him.

MIRA
What I did?

BATHORY
Betrothed to a fine young man, the son of your father’s
fiercest rival - your marriage would have brought
your two families together. But you ran away, nearly
ruined your father’s reputation, and for what?

MIRA
Samuel and I were in love.

BATHORY
(sneers)
Love. Do you love sleeping in the dirt?
Eating muck? Sharing your home with vermin?

MIRA
I would do anything to be with him.

BATHORY
Would you? And do you feel the same
way about your son?

MIRA
Where is my son?

BATHORY
He is with the Countess. She is carrying him
down to the kitchens, with a shawl over his head - she’s actually afraid that
someone will take him away from her! She’s quite mad,
you know. After she gave birth to her third
dead baby, she lost what little mind she had left.
 
Mira swallows her fear.

MIRA
Please let me take him home.

BATHORY
And if I did, you would return to by my wife?

MIRA
I am already a wife!

BATHORY
(conversational)
If you refuse me again, I will take the child to the
top of the highest tower and throw him off.
 
Mira stops. Whatever fear she has felt up to now has only been a prelude.

MIRA
You would not do such a thing.

BATHORY
Then I would retrieve his body and bring it to you,
so you could see how he died. And then you
would watch as the wolves tore it to pieces.
 
Mira’s face is white. Something inside her breaks.

MIRA
I will be your wife.
 
The Count grins - broad and guileless.

BATHORY
Wonderful!
 
He takes her hand and KISSES it. Mira tries to hide her revulsion.

They turn the corner. Her hallway - two doors, the dragon tapestry. He walks her to the first door.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
Here you are, my dear. I will see you this
evening when we dine together.
 
He opens the door. Mira enters--

HER ROOM

And watches the door close behind her. CLICK. After a beat, she tries the handle - it is locked.

What just happened starts sinking in. The walls crumble - Mira BREAKS DOWN.

CUT TO:
 
INT. CASTLE - KITCHENS - DAY

A bit more cheery than the rest of the castle. FIRES - in the ovens, under a BOAR on a SPIT, under a veritable CAULDRON filled with bubbling STEW.

Ilka and Dominik sit at a table, eating some stew. Ilka practically licks the bowl. She grabs the arm of a passing scullery maid - ANA (16), who still has life in her eyes.

ILKA
I would like some more.
 
Ana averts her eyes, clearly terrified. She fills Ilka’s bowl.

ILKA (CONT’D)
What is your name?

ANA
Ana, my Lady.

ILKA
Thank you, Ana.
 
The girl is surprised - she looks Ilka in the eye, then blushes and flees.

ILKA (CONT’D)
(to Dominik)
Do you like the stew?

DOMINIK
Better than Mama’s.
 
Ilka is pleased - you would think she made the stew herself.

ILKA
My mother was a wonderful cook. She could take
anything - even scraps - and make a delicious meal.

DOMINIK
Where’s your mama?

ILKA
She died. She was very sick. I wanted to go home to
take care of her but...but the Count would not allow it.

DOMINIK
Mama said this was the Count’s castle,
but I haven’t seen him.

ILKA
(leans close, whispers)
You do not want to see him.

DOMINIK
Why?
She avoids the question - false brightness.

ILKA
I’ve never been down here before! Ten years I’ve
lived in the castle, and this is my first visit to the kitchens.

DOMINIK
How come you’ve never come down here before?
 
Ilka thinks, realizes something about herself.

ILKA
I don’t know.
 
 
 
 
Holly: A/R Ringsidehollywobbles on November 9th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
...aaaaand Ilka => more flushed out. Should've noticed you posted again before I commented earlier. ;)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 9th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
No, no, in-progress comments are always good. Because that was your thought as you read that particular page, and that's good to know.
nhpwnhpw on November 9th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
BATHORY
And if I did, you would return to by my wife?


I'm guessing it should say "be" my wife?

I'm trying to find the right words to say how I feel about this. I feel... angry at Bathory, sad for Samuel and Mira, and I'd really like to see Dominik grow up to "slay the dragon" as it were (Bathory.) If he's going to grow up in darkness I'd be interested to see him come out a good guy in spite of that. All in all, you're inspiring emotion and that's great; just makes me want more! :)

Here is my biggest question: Does Bathory want to raise Dominik as his heir, or does he want Mira to give him another son? Because he said if she stayed, he'd allow the child to return home - but that doesn't seem like it would work as his father is away. On that logic I assume Dominik will stay at the castle in the care of the countess, but then Mira's line about wanting to return him home doesn't make too much sense. Do you see what I mean?

My other critical-point thought is Dominik. How old is he? I think some of his dialogue is a tiny bit too insightful for a toddler. Not to say that he couldn't still carry some profound weight with simpler words. For instance, instead of - "How come you've never come down here before?" - a simple "Why?" would probably draw the same reaction from Ilka. Unless he's supposed to be a bit older... kindergarden-esque, and I'm just missing that.

And you should know I also have a character named Ana, but I definitely invented her over the weekend, so - not stealing. My Ana is a doctor. And the antagonist.
Shannon: b5 purplekungfuwaynewho on November 9th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
I'd really like to see Dominik grow up to "slay the dragon" as it were (Bathory.)

Have you ever seen Unbreakable? This isn't a tremendous spoiler or anything if you haven't, but at the end, you realize you've watched a traditional comic book hero origin story, albeit in an untraditional format. By the end of this, it should be that kind of an origin story. Is my hope, at any rate.

On that logic I assume Dominik will stay at the castle in the care of the countess, but then Mira's line about wanting to return him home doesn't make too much sense. Do you see what I mean?

Eek, yeah, you're absolutely right. Rereading it I see where I've muddled up that scene. When Bathory says "heir," he doesn't mean "boy child raised in this castle," he means...something different. But he is going to allow Dominik to stay. Thanks for this note - I think I was so worried about the emotional thrust behind the scene, of getting Mira to that Act Break big decision place, that I kind of forgot to, you know, make the scene make sense.

My other critical-point thought is Dominik. How old is he?

He started as three, but I think that's a little too young. I didn't realize until I started drafting that he was going to go to the castle, too; my first outline has him going to Miklos's house and essentially being a prop more than a character. And when I figured out Ilka, I realized I needed Dominik. I probably will change him to four or five; though you're still right about that line just being "Why" instead of anything else.

Thaaaaaaaank you for your notes. They are as awesome.
nhpwnhpw on November 10th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
You're welcome! I was just thinking, as I'm going back and making some major scene changes that are necessary for things to play out the way I think I decided they have to - man, she sure is brave for letting people read her NaNo in progress. Mine is very - "NO! Nobody can see it until it is done and has had 15 million edits because right now it's 15,000 words of CRAP. Sekrit, keep out!"

Of course, yours has the advantage of not being crap. So. :)

(For reals? I just finally figured out exactly where that external conflict you said I needed to have is going to come into play. Like, this morning. I had to write it on a post-it at work so I wouldn't forget by the time I got home.)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 10th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
...man, she sure is brave for letting people read her NaNo in progress.

No, not brave. It's just the only way I'll stick to the schedule and maybe get this draft finished in November. Because if I don't hold myself accountable to post 4 pages every night, then I won't. Last night, by the time my TVs came on, I only had two pages written. And I was really tempted to just call it a night. And it's not even like I'm worried what anyone else would think! It's not even that. It's just...for whatever reason, doing it like this is keeping me on my toes, so I'll keep doing it.

I just finally figured out exactly where that external conflict you said I needed to have is going to come into play. Like, this morning. I had to write it on a post-it at work so I wouldn't forget by the time I got home.

Aw, that's cute. But also great! I've had times where I've been out and a chunk of scene that's been eluding me snaps into focus, and I'll either just sit and thiiiiiink about it to try and commit it to memory, or resort to writing a single line down in the hopes that will be enough. Although that's one of the advantages of longhand and always carrying my big tiny notebook around with me - anymore, I can usually just write it down wherever I am.
nhpwnhpw on November 10th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
I should add that the post-it thing is not unusual. I am always writing little post-its to myself at work and sticking them to my purse for when I get home. Every day. Today I have: "Wash dark colors, take out chicken. Chapel/Town Hall - separation of church and state wasn't in the budget."

For Christmas I plan to ask Santa for a niiiice journal that I can take everywhere and write writering stuff down in so I can knock it off with the post-its, but then I don't know how I'll remember to do my chores.
Shannon: firefly mal flowerskungfuwaynewho on November 10th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Santa...or Shannon?

(LOL, I don't know why, but that comment reminded me that soon I can upload my Christmas icons and I got legit excited.)
nhpwnhpw on November 10th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
Santa, if I don't get it for my birfday from the hubby. We had a long talk last night about how I'm hard to shop for because I'm not "girly." So I told him to get me fandom stuff.

He is not all about feeding my obsession. I can't fathom why.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 10th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
I, um, bought you a journal today. I wasn't planning to! But it was in the aisle and it was pretty and it was on my mind so I just got it!

So there.
nhpwnhpw on November 10th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
*claps* YAY!