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17 November 2010 @ 10:49 pm
NaScreeWriMo - Day Seventeen  
INT. MIRA’S ROOM - NIGHT

Mira and Ilka in bed, Dominik between them. He keeps looking back and forth at them, as though worried they’ll disappear.

ILKA
We should leave. Now.

MIRA
I want him to have a few hours of rest. I would not
want to try and navigate that road back to the
village in the dark regardless.

DOMINIK
Mama?

MIRA
Yes, what is it?
 
He just grabs for her hand.

ILKA
He isn’t hurt.

MIRA
That we can see.

ILKA
(sitting up)
I will go and prepare some things.

DOMINIK
(agitated)
No! Don’t go, Ilka.
 
She lies back down, and he calms. Mira blows out the lamp.

INT. MIRA’S ROOM - DAWN

Mira wakes, slow - did she hear something? The first thing she sees is the window. It hangs slightly open.

Mira rolls onto her back and sees her - Erzsebet standing at the foot of the bed. Watching her. Mira starts to say something, but sees that Ilka and Dominik are still asleep.

She looks back. Erzsebet stands right beside her though she noticed no movement. The girl slowly climbs into bed beside Mira, resting her head on Mira’s shoulder.

Mira is tense, but Erzsebet does nothing else - just closes her eyes, snuggling tight.

INT. MIRA’S ROOM - MORNING

Mira wakes with a start, immediately puts a hand to her throat. But she has not been bitten. Erzsebet is gone - the window is closed.

Mira watches Ilka RIP DOWN one of the bed curtains. She wraps Dominik up in it.

ILKA
It will be cold outside.

MIRA
Dominik?

DOMINIK
I can’t move at all.
 
INT. STABLE - DAY

Mira enters, carrying Dominik under her arm like a sack. Ilka hurries ahead, to a HORSE. She stands beside it, hands fluttering.

ILKA
Here is a horse.

MIRA
Let me. Take him.
 
Mira readies the horse as Ilka carefully sets Dominik down.

SCUFFLING FOOTSTEPS outside. They turn to look, on edge.

ANA enters, holding a basket of food. She’s terrified.

ANA
I brought you some things.

ILKA
(goes to her)
Oh, thank you. We had not even thought
about food.
 
They pack the food into a saddle bag.

ILKA (CONT’D)
Ana. Come with us.

ANA
I can’t.

ILKA
We have plenty of warm clothes. Please.

ANA
If the Count finds you, you will be punished.
If the Count finds me...
 
Ilka nods, gives Ana a quick hug.

EXT. CASTLE - VILLAGE ROAD - DAY

Gray, flinty sunlight. Ilka and Dominik ride, Mira walks beside. She turns to look at the CASTLE, dark and ominous, but thankfully shrinking behind them.

The road is rocky, difficult to navigate. They still hurry.

Everything starts to grow DIM. Ilka looks up - clouds obscure the sun.

DOMINIK
Look! Look!
 
He smiles - the women frown. SNOW begins to fall.

MIRA
(tugging on reins)
Come on then.

ILKA
If we do not make it down to the village
soon, if the snow grows too heavy...

MIRA
We cannot stop.
 
But the snow does grow heavy. Mira has to lead the horse, trying to break a trail through the snow. Ilka huddles Dominik close.

Mira looks around wildly - the snow becomes a blizzard. Whiteout. No horizon, no reference points - just a vast field of white everywhere.

ILKA
(shouting over wind)
Mira! We have to go back!

MIRA
No!
 
And then the WOLVES start to howl.

They look around, spinning in circles. White. Then, slowly, like gray ghosts appearing out of the fog - WOLVES approach. Surround them.

Mira pulls her dagger out of her dress, holds it out - pathetic. The wolves SNARL, keep coming.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Back! Get back!
 
One wolf - too big, fangs too long, eyes too bright - darts forward and nips at the horse’s back legs. The horse whinnies, rears up. Ilka struggles to hold onto Dominik.

Dominik screams.

Mira tries to circle around the horse but SLIPS in the snow. A wolf takes the opportunity to LUNGE at her. It leaps--

Another wolf intercepts, hitting it mid-air. They tumble away from Mira, who sits, holding the dagger up and out. She watches as the wolves FIGHT.

The other wolves bark and growl, clustering ever closer. Mira sweeps her dagger back and forth, but they’re getting more brave, more aggressive.

Then the snarls become WHIMPERS. The wolves turn as one, looking past Mira and the horse. They grovel, tails between their legs.

A figure approaches. Spectral, distorted. The wolves whine, YELP. Mira holds her dagger up, but it shakes.

A gust of wind blows the curtain of snow aside. It’s ERZSEBET. In a thin little dress, barefoot. She walks on top of the snow, serene.

One of the wolves walks up to Erzsebet - skittish, jumpy. She bares her teeth at it. It whines, turns away.

The wolves as a pack disappear back into the white.

Mira and Ilka look at Erzsebet, who seems more calm and present than ever before. Ilka holds her hand out to her daughter. Erzsebet considers it - takes a step forward...

CLAMOR from the opposite direction. Mira and Ilka turn to look. At the last moment, they are barely able to move safely aside as the COUNT’S CARRIAGE comes flying up the road. A brief glimpse of furiously running horses, the carriage jostling. Then it’s gone, cloaked by snow.

Beat. Mira and Ilka catch their breath. Turn back.

Erzsebet is gone.
 
 
 
singer_shapersinger_shaper on November 18th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
One question: What happened to Dominik?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 18th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
Good question! Are you asking about what happened to him when the Count took him - in which case, the answer is coming - or are you asking where he was in this last scene with the wolves - in which case I wasn't clear enough and need to go back and fix it.

Thanks again for reading! :)
nhpwnhpw on November 18th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
Ditto singer_shaper. But in general I love this scene - great use of images.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 18th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks - I always worry about long action scenes like this because of the number of producers/agents/readers who admit to scanning or even skipping the action out right and only reading the dialogue. But every scene can't be witty reparte, so.

I wasn't sure what "what happened to Dominik?" was referring to (see above), so let me know if I've confused you or something so I can fix it.

:D:D:D
nhpwnhpw on November 18th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
Are you asking about what happened to him when the Count took him - in which case, the answer is coming -

I hadn't even stopped to consider this, but I will now. I figure it has something to do with him saying he couldn't move...?

or are you asking where he was in this last scene with the wolves - in which case I wasn't clear enough and need to go back and fix it.

This is what I meant. At the end you comment on the reaction/presence of the two women, and specifically state that Beta was gone, but where is Dominik?
singer_shapersinger_shaper on November 19th, 2010 04:42 am (UTC)
What nhpw said.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 19th, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
At the end you comment on the reaction/presence of the two women, and specifically state that Beta was gone, but where is Dominik?

This is just me losing track of characters in trying to juggle the rest of the scene - thanks for pointing it out! He's still on the horse with Ilka, all wrapped up. I'll definitely go back to that scene and make sure everyone's location is clear.

I figure it has something to do with him saying he couldn't move...?

Yesterday, after I read this, I spent ages trying to remember when I said Dominik couldn't move. Was it when they found him in the dungeon? In bed that night? And I could not figure it out.

Then this morning it came to me, hee. What a perfect example of not making a scene clear enough and inadvertently confusing the reader. I wanted a break in the tension a bit, so had Ilka wrapping Dominik up in that big velvet bed curtain until he was completely immobile - so when Mira's asking him quite seriously if he's okay now, since he was so shook up earlier, he answers only about how he's feeling right at that moment. He can't move. It was supposed to be a little like Randy from A Christmas Story with his big winter coat and scarf and stuff.

Ah well; I may just cut it, if I can't figure out how to get it to read right. There aren't going to be many opportunities for breaks in tension from here on out, so I did kind of want a breather around here.
nhpwnhpw on November 19th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
Ah, OK - on both counts. I thought when he said he couldn't move it was because the count had cast a spell or something. I think you could still make it work the way you want, but it needs a little more direction, something to tie Ilka pulling down the curtains to Dominik not being able to move. I read those as two unconnected things.

Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 19th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think that having them go back to the room and sleep is really killing the urgency of that whole sequence, so I'll probably cut the whole thing. (When I revise. I am not cutting shit right now.)

I do like Erzsebet climbing into bed with Mira, though. Hmm.
Holly: Adamahollywobbles on November 19th, 2010 05:20 am (UTC)
I was wondering why he couldn't move. :/
Holly: Curious cylon is curioushollywobbles on November 19th, 2010 06:45 am (UTC)
Oh wait I'm an idiot I get it, d'oh.
Shannon: bsg you slay me gaiuskungfuwaynewho on November 19th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
Hee! No, clearly I did not write that scene to make that part make sense. Because otherwise ALL THREE OF YOU would not have asked about it.
Holly: Bill bwhollywobbles on November 19th, 2010 05:18 am (UTC)
Creepy little animal-controlling girls are creepy.

I'm amazed they were ok waiting til morning. On a related note, a few questions: How did Ana know they were escaping? (Especially if the count didn't.) Is it general knowledge in the castle what's going on? Where is the count supposed to be this whole time? Chilling, thinking Mira's locked in the west tower? I mean, obviously he was in the castle somewhere, since his coach just whizzed by....

Have you seen Disney's Beauty and the Beast? This is the second scene (the bit with the wolves) that reminded me of it (the first was when Mira was introduced to the library). I don't know that that's necessarily a bad thing.

I've been wondering how the two strong female leads are going to work out together on screen. Should one of them be obviously the main character, with the other as very secondary? I mean, Mira is obviously the main character, but they do almost seem to compete for audience focus sometimes. How much younger is Ilka than Mira? Age difference might help define their roles to each other.

You've managed to pull together such a complicated plot! I mean, we're still wondering who put out the ink and paper for Mira and why, what the priest's motives are, what the deal is with the manservant. This is much more intelligent than most vampire movies. Very, very cool.

Edited at 2010-11-19 05:18 am (UTC)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 19th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
I'm amazed they were ok waiting til morning.

When I originally outlined this, I wanted a breather between one big tense action bit and the rest of the movie, which is big tense action bits. But now I don't know if this works. I'm afraid Ilka seems totally right and Mira just seems dumb; don't stop to take a nap! Get the hell out of there! Hmm.

Great questions! I mean, seriously, this is what workshopping a first draft is all about.

How did Ana know they were escaping? (Especially if the count didn't.)

I have no idea! It hadn't even occurred to me! I was just thinking from an emotional standpoint, paying off their connection from earlier.

Is it general knowledge in the castle what's going on?

I don't know! But this did make me think that I could stall the escape some - there are a lot more creepy servants about, and they could try to block them. Might be another nice set piece.

Where is the count supposed to be this whole time? Chilling, thinking Mira's locked in the west tower? I mean, obviously he was in the castle somewhere, since his coach just whizzed by....

Shit! Need to go back and fix that! The Count left the castle after he tossed the goat off the counter - Mira and Janos see him get into his carriage and leave before they go down to search for "Dominik's" body. Then, when the carriage whizzes past, that's the Count coming back. So I just need to be really really clear on THE COUNT IS OUT OF THE CASTLE NOW, THAT'S WHY WE NEED TO GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE BEFORE HE GETS BACK. Which is another reason I think I should cut the nap; it snaps that sense of urgency right in two.

Oh, I've seen Beauty and the Beast a lot. I didn't think of it at all in the library scene - though I do know that you've pointed it out - but maybe a little bit with the wolves. Im'ma have to think about those parallels - certain genre conventions are hard to avoid.

Mira and Ilka are the same age. I did kind of have them as co-protagonists a bit, with Mira having the edge, but here pretty quick Mira's going to take over for the rest of the movie. Keeping them defined and not just the same character doubled is definitely something I'll keep in mind when I start revising - thanks for pointing it out.

Ugh, I did not plan for the plot to be this complicated, LOL. Unfortunately, I'm starting to worry I'm going to leave you guys hanging. I know what I want to happen and what the climax is, and so I've been throwing in things to lead to that point, but I'm not sure how much of it will be resolved by the end. Which is a normal first draft thing, and why I don't usually show absolute first drafts to anyone else - what I might call a first draft is usually actually a second, because I go back and make everything squared away. So bear with me if some things don't end up making sense! And let me know, heh.
Holly: Adamahollywobbles on November 20th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)
Maybe if they hid somewhere else in the castle to get a few hours of sleep? Like if Ana ran into them and hid them somewhere? I dunno -- maybe Bathory (I keep wanting to call him Baltar, lol) would just be able to magically find them no matter where they were in the castle -- he did know about those jewels Ilka had hidden, and he has a tendency to show up at inopportune times. But maybe they could hide. Idk -- am rambling. :P
Shannon: bsg dradiskungfuwaynewho on November 20th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
I do agree that running into Ana and having her realize they're making a break for it works a lot better than her just knowing they're leaving and bringing them food - but the more and more I think about it, the more I think any kind of lull there is just slaughtering whatever sense of urgency I might have built. So I think we're just going to find Dominik and then escape escape escape.