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09 November 2010 @ 10:05 pm
NaScreeWriMo - Day Nine  
INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT

The blank-faced manservant who had originally escorted Mira to her bedroom pours her a glass of RED WINE. She ignores it.

Bathory smiles down the table at her, warm and effusive - it’s hard to believe he just threatened to kill a child, looking at him now.

Tonight, they dine alone.

BATHORY
You look truly beautiful tonight.
 
She does, wearing a new dress, even more opulent and grand.

MIRA
Thank you, my Lord.
(beat)
My Lord, now that I have agreed to do
as you requested, may I have my son back?

BATHORY
We will have sons of our own.

MIRA
And what will happen to Dominik?
 
Bathory doesn’t like being questioned.

BATHORY
He will be sent to your father’s house.

MIRA
No. I do not want that.

BATHORY
You are truly remarkable. Most women in your position
would still be sniveling and crying, but
here you are, making demands. If the child
does not go to your father, where does
he go? Your husband is over the
mountains, or so I am led to believe.

MIRA
Let him stay here.

BATHORY
What makes you think I would allow you
to raise another man’s son alongside my own?

MIRA
You said that the Countess was watching him.
Why could she not continue to do so?

BATHORY
Mira, don’t be ridiculous.
 
For the first time, Mira isn’t the bold, brave and determined woman Samuel loves. She ducks her head, simpers, and lays it on thick. She may even bat her eyes a little.

MIRA
Little boys need mothers, even if the mother is not
their own. The Countess very much wishes to be a mother.
The situation seems to work out perfectly, my Lord.
 
No answer from Bathory, only an inscrutable smile.

MIRA (CONT’D)
And I could see him every now and then.
Surely that would not interfere with our family.

BATHORY
(beat)
Very well. Any other demands?

MIRA
I no longer wish to be locked into my room.

BATHORY
Of course. You will move into mine.

MIRA
After the wedding.
 
A slow smile spreads over his face.

BATHORY
I did choose the right girl. Fine, after the wedding.
And I shall have someone look at your door -
I cannot imagine why it would accidentally
lock, except that this is a very old castle.

MIRA
Of course, my Lord.
 
She takes a bite of her dinner, then SMILES at him. It works.

CUT TO:
 
INT. ILKA’S ROOMS - NIGHT

Mellow, golden lamp light. Ilka sits, Dominik in her lap - she READS to him.

ILKA
“Why is light given to him that is in misery, and
life to the bitter of soul, who longs for
death, but it comes not. For the thing
that I fear comes upon me, and what I
dread befalls me, so I am not at ease, nor
am I quiet. I have no rest, but trouble comes.”

DOMINIK
What does that mean?

ILKA
This mortal life is difficult, and we are all
tested. But if we have faith in God...
 
Beat. Ilka cannot go on.

DOMINIK
What? What is it?

ILKA
If we have faith, God will reward us.
 
A knock, but the door is flung OPEN before she can react. The blank-faced manservant stares at her for a beat, then turns and walks away.

Mira enters, steps just inside the threshold.

DOMINIK
Mama! Mama!
 
He throws himself to the floor, runs to Mira, who has fallen to her knees. She hugs him close.

Ilka is gutted. Her Bible slips from limp fingers to the floor.

MIRA
My son, my son.
(looks at him)
Are you all right?

DOMINIK
I missed you, Mama.
 
Ilka stands, the wraith from before. Voice dead.

ILKA
So you are to be the new Countess.
 
Mira walks slowly over to her. They take each other’s measure.

MIRA
It is not my wish.
 
Ilka laughs - dark, bitter.

ILKA
What girl grows up in that miserable cluster
of huts and does not dream of one day becoming
the Lady of the castle? Servants to see to your
every whim. Riches, jewels. No more filth,
no more work, no more hunger. And now, your dreams
have come true.
 
Mira can only shake her head.

MIRA
No.

ILKA
Take the whelp and get out.

MIRA
I can’t.
(beat)
Will you not keep him?

ILKA
The Count would never--

MIRA
He will allow it.
 
Ilka doesn’t know what to say. Mira takes one of her hands, holds it between her own.

MIRA (CONT’D)
I only want him to be safe, and loved. Will
you do that? Will you love him as though he were your own?

ILKA
I will.
 
Mira KISSES Ilka’s hand - fervent. A subject swearing fealty.

DOMINIK
Mama?
 
Mira picks him up.

MIRA
I love you, and I will see you as often as
I can. Be the very best boy for the Countess.

DOMINIK
Mama, don’t go.
 
Mira wants to reassure him but can’t get the words out. Struggling to hold back tears, she kisses him.

GIVES him to Ilka.

Mira leaves.
 
 
 
nhpwnhpw on November 10th, 2010 01:23 pm (UTC)
This is a wonderfully heart-wrenching continuation. Well done.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 10th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks. That last scene was tough, heh. How do you give a stranger your son?
nhpwnhpw on November 10th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
It's weird, but for some reason it had a biblical feel to it that makes it work. IDK why. I mean - people in the bible were always giving up their kids for nobel reasons. (OK - not always. But it happens more than once.) But the more my mind pulls that way, the more of a central and important character Dominik becomes to me.

...And that comment probably blows your whole outline all to hell, so - sorry.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 10th, 2010 04:07 pm (UTC)
Haha, no - no outline blowing here. (That sounds dirty, fella.) I think he's becoming important in that he's giving Ilka a reason to fight - in my outline, way back at that very first montage of scenes, I hadn't worked out the specifics, just what I wanted each character to represent. I have "Ilka = despair" written. And once I decided on what I wanted her to actually do, I knew what her journey was going to be - she has to learn how to hope. So that's what Dominik is going to be for her.

I gave Dominik a "gun" in Act One but I still haven't figured out how it's going to go off. So your comment here is making me think about something in a good way.