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26 November 2010 @ 09:27 pm
NaScreeWriMo - Day Twenty-Six  
AND SHE'S BACK ON THE HORSE.

EXT. VILLAGE ROAD - LATER

The blizzard abates. Ilka and Dominik ride, asleep. Mira leads the horse, exhausted.

They enter the outskirts of the village. Tiny huts, smaller even than Mira’s. Ramshackle. No smoke pours from the little chimneys. Everything cold and dark.

Into the village proper. It appears deserted - silent, no one to be seen.

ILKA (O.S.)
Mira. What is it?
 
Mira looks back - Ilka is awake, staring all around.

ILKA (CONT’D)
Everyone is gone. Left. Or...

MIRA
No. They’re here.
 
Ilka follows Mira’s gaze - they pass a house and a FACE catches the moonlight. Stares out at them through the window.

The briefest glimpse of fear on the face, and then the curtains are snatched closed.

MIRA (CONT’D)
They’re hiding.

ILKA
The Count will discover our absence soon. He
will send his men for us, if he does not come himself.

MIRA
We need a fresh horse, warm food in our bellies.

ILKA
Your house?
 
A short, bitter laugh from Mira.

MIRA
No.
 
EXT. MIKLOS’S HOUSE - NIGHT

Two stories tall, well-made. The biggest house in the village. Mira carries Dominik to the door, Ilka following.

Beat. Mira steels herself. Knocks.

Barely a moment passes before Miklos himself answers the door. He looks at her, surprised, and for a moment the child Mira used to be flashes in her eyes.

MIRA
Papa.
 
INT. MIKLOS’S HOUSE - NIGHT

Mira, Ilka and Dominik bolt down food, while Miklos bustles about, packing a hamper. A SERVANT enters, breathing hard.

SERVANT
The horses are ready.

MIKLOS
And you have packed the wagon?

SERVANT
No, I--

MIKLOS
Then why are you talking to me? Get to work!
 
The servant leaves.

MIRA
You do not have to come with us, Papa.

MIKLOS
I will make sure you cross the river and leave the Count’s
lands. You will stay with Bako Andreas. He is a good
friend, and trustworthy. His first wife was one of my cousins.

MIRA
And when Samuel returns, you will tell him
where we’ve gone?
 
Miklos slows, stops. Doesn’t meet Mira’s eye.

MIKLOS
Samuel returned this morning.
 
Mira stands, eyes bright.

MIRA
He is here!

MIKLOS
Sit.
 
She does, elated and terrified at once.

MIKLOS (CONT’D)
When he did not find you and the boy at the cottage, he came
to me. I told him what had happened. I told him you were
to be married to the Count, that there was nothing
to be done! But he swore he would retrieve
you, and left for your home.

MIRA
He is still there?

MIKLOS
The Count came for him first.
 
EXT. MIRA’S COTTAGE - NIGHT

Somehow it looks worse by moonlight. A few charred timbers here and there, the melted slag of the stove. Mostly ash.

Miklos watches as Ilka picks her way through the wreckage. Mira stands alone - she turns to her father, face hard.

MIRA
You let this happen?

MIKLOS
By the time we saw the smoke, it was too late.
(beat)
I...am sorry, Mira.

MIRA
We will build it again.

ILKA
We?
 
Mira marches over to her father, all business.

MIRA
Take the two of them to Andreas. Now - do not
wait till morning. I will need some things. Tell
your servants to give me whatever I require.

ILKA
(joining them)
What are you talking about?

MIRA
Bathory has taken my husband. I will
bring him back.

ILKA
Look around! Your husband is dead.

MIRA
Do you see his bones?

MIKLOS
Daughter, this is madness.

ILKA
If the Count did take your husband, then his purpose
can only be to lure you back to the castle. It’s a trick. A trap.

MIRA
So be it. I won’t abandon him.
 
Mira turns, starts toward the village.

ILKA
You can’t go!

MIRA
(stops)
You promised me that you would protect my son. That you
would love him as though he were your own.
Do you mean to break your promise?
 
A long look. Then Ilka shakes her head.

MIKLOS
Listen to me. No good can come of this. There
is a reason the people of this village have
always left alone the Lord of the castle.

MIRA
And that is why all of this has happened! Why the
Count thinks he can come down and pick out a bride like
we were so much chattel! Why he can commit so
many vile perversions. By your sufferance!

MIKLOS
And what do you propose?

MIRA
Rise up against him.

MIKLOS
And face the wrath of the King?

ILKA
Maybe some day, Mira. Now we must think of our safety.

MIRA
How can we be safe while that monster lives, lurking in the
mountains above our heads? Janos was right. He
must be destroyed.

ILKA
If you return to the castle, you will die.
 
Mira looks at the two of them with what almost seems a smile.

EXT. VILLAGE - NIGHT

Mira walks alone. Slow, steady. She carries no satchel or pack - her hands are empty.

EXT. ROAD - WAGON - NIGHT

Miklos drives, the horses clipping along at a quick pace. Ilka holds a sleeping Dominik.

The distant howl of a wolf.

Ilka hugs the boy close.

EXT. VILLAGE - ROAD TO CASTLE - NIGHT

Mira walks, shoes crunching through the snow. A knowing look on her face as she sees what’s ahead - almost amused.

The Count’s CARRIAGE. Waiting, outlined by the moonlight. Four horses, their breath steaming in the cold. No driver.

The road beneath the carriage is bare. As though there were never any snow.

Mira walks up to the carriage. The door slowly swings open on its own. She climbs up into the empty cab.

INSIDE THE CARRIAGE

Mira primly folds her hands in her lap. Waits.

The carriage begins to move.

EXT. RIVER - WAGON - NIGHT

Icy black-blue. Wide, the water moving quickly. A roar in the air. Ilka and a now-awake Dominik watch as Miklos drives the wagon up toward the STONE BRIDGE that spans the river.

DOMINIK
What’s that? Ilka, what’s that?

ILKA
That’s the river. Doesn’t it make a pretty sound?
 
Dominik smiles, bright and cherubic, snuggled up against Ilka’s side.

The wagon makes its final approach to the bridge.

Suddenly the wagon CANTS hard to the right. The horses cry - Ilka screams.

MIKLOS
Whoa! Hold, girls, hold.
 
Miklos brings the wagon to a halt. There’s a definite sag to the right. Miklos dismounts.

Ilka leans over the edge of the wagon as Miklos inspects it. The right front wheel has BROKEN - the axle split down the middle.

LAUGHTER from behind Ilka. Dark, thick.

Ilka freezes. Then slowly leans back into the wagon, turns. Dominik GRINS at her, an alien look on his face. He stops laughing.

DOMINIK
Oh, Ilka. Did you really think I would let you go?
 
Closer now, the WOLVES HOWL.
 
 
 
Hollyhollywobbles on November 28th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
Oh so not cool.

Btw, did Erzabet just head back up to the castle after the wolf incident?
Shannon: bsg katee viperkungfuwaynewho on November 28th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah - is that reading like a loose thread? Should I make that more specific?
Holly: Laura of awesomehollywobbles on November 29th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, nope -- it's fine, it had been long enough since you posted the last bit that I forgot if you'd had anything about her exiting the scene, but I just went back and it's there. Should've checked first. Sorry! ;)
Shannon: bicycle dadkungfuwaynewho on November 29th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
:D Pls to not apologizing thx. ;)
nhpw: truefacenhpw on November 29th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
Ohhh... I love this ending. But um... this:

If you return to the castle, you will die.

Reads an awful, awful lot like "If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die" especially because you've just taken your main protagonist and set her in mind to FIX EVERYTHING, by herself, in the Big Dark Scary Place.

(But then maybe I just don't watch enough TV and this is actually a very common thing that happens. IDK.)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 29th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
Hee! It totally does! I'm following Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey for structure pretty closely, which always includes the believed-suicidal journey/return to the monster's cave/lair, so it is definitely just a trope. And since Tolkien was a myth nerd and JMS ripped off Tolkien a lot I think we're all in the same boat, LOL.