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13 December 2010 @ 07:15 am
NaScreeWriMo - Day Forty-Three  
I would say about eighty percent of this scene will end up as exposition way back in Act One, more than likely in a different form (i.e., show and not tell), and the twenty percent that will remain is missing the dramatic punch it needs, though I figured out while writing it what I need to make it work.  First drafts, y'all.  I needed to finally just write this so I could move on, so take all of this with a grain of salt - it's more about the information than the presentation.

LATER

Behind the altar, Mira looks down at an ornate CHEST, gilded and jewelled. Looks back to Janos.

MIRA
I don’t understand.

JANOS
Open it.
 
Mira does. Velvet interior, and a clear impression where a small cylindrical object once laid.

MIRA
There’s nothing here.

JANOS
That’s because the Count took it. The chest once held a vial
of the blood of blessed saint Briccius, who was stoned
to death by your very own ancestors. The villagers then were a
pathetic group of miserable pagans who refused to convert. It was only
through the martyrdom of Briccius that they saw
the depth of their sin and finally turned to God.

MIRA
What would Bathory want with such a relic?

JANOS
He has used the blood in perverse rituals. He has desecrated it, used it
to make himself something dark and terrible.

MIRA
A demon.

JANOS
(nods)
The man Bathory used to be died a long time ago.
 
Beat. Mira SLAMS the chest shut, heads for the doors.

JANOS (CONT’D)
He must be destroyed!

MIRA
What do I care?

JANOS
Because that is the only way your husband will be restored.
 
That gives Mira pause.

MIRA
You say he must be destroyed, not just killed.

JANOS
What would kill an ordinary man will only incapacitate the Count. Keep his heart from
beating, sever his head, and you will earn some time, but even from
those wounds will he eventually heal. His servants need only bring him
innocent blood upon which to feed, and he will be restored. No, his
body must be destroyed. Fire is the only way.

MIRA
Why haven’t you set him on fire, then? Easier to just hide
in your chapel all these years?
 
Janos slumps down into a pew.

JANOS
Yes. I am not proud of my cowardice.
(beat)
I fear the Count suspects that I am aware of his true nature. I
doubt I could ever get close enough to his person to do any
damage. Besides, have you ever seen any fire in Bathory’s presence?
 
Mira comes to sit beside him, paying close attention again.

JANOS (CONT’D)
I had hoped Ilka would be the key to his undoing, but she was
entirely too easy for him to enchant. Jewels and pretty dresses, and
not the dark arts, did most of the work, I’m sad to say. By the time
the Count had lost all hope of getting a son by her, she was
broken, and no longer of any use.

MIRA
And so you brought me here to use, heedless of the danger my son
and husband would be placed in. Actually, it was probably
better for your purpose, wasn’t it? It gave me a reason to want to do your bidding.
 
She stands.

MIRA (CONT’D)
I will destroy the Count. And I will save my husband,
and together we will rejoin our son. But I want you to
know that for all your piety and goodness, you’re just as much a bastard as he is.
 
She stalks out.
 
 
 
Holly: Mary yay!hollywobbles on December 13th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Moar vampire story to read tonight YESSS.
Holly: A/R Schnuggowshollywobbles on December 13th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
Damn my lack of self discipline, I just read it even though I'm at work. (It was so short! It didn't take long! Please don't fire me!)

Good stuff! I like how you're constantly stretching into non-traditional, not overdone vampire territory -- no stakes or garlic or anything. And there are always such pretty-in-a-creepy-way, atmospheric, gothic images -- the crystal vial of the blood of a martyr, etc.

One detail you probably already caught (but just in case) is that I think there were candles at their first dinner together... their flames got strangely stretched a la creepy enchantmenty stuff when she looked at them.
Holly: A/R UB drinkinhollywobbles on December 13th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
If you did decide to bring stakes or garlic into it, it wouldn't be a bad thing. I just like how you're using other ideas, too. #clarification
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on December 13th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
I was thinking of maybe showing how superstitious the villagers are (again, something in my manifesto), how scared of the Count and the castle - because there's no sense of that in the script now - by maybe having strings of garlic put up, etc. And then have Bathory just eating the shit out of it or something, LOL.
Holly: Mary conhollywobbles on December 13th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
because there's no sense of that in the script now Good point!

And then have Bathory just eating the shit out of it or something, LOL. *snork* *g*
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on December 13th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
Ha, that was actually the first thing I wrote down in my revision manifesto for the next draft - I didn't know how strict I was going to be about the no fire thing until later. I think I'll keep the candles, because I like that image, but make a note of the fact that the candles near Bathory are unlit. Or maybe even have him stand at some point and walk Mira's way, and as he does so the candles go out, stand by stand. I'll have to see how that scene plays; I know I'm going to rewrite that first dinner scene, so.

Holly: Mary/Eddie cuddleshollywobbles on December 13th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Figured you were on top of that. ;)
Shannon: bsg katee viperkungfuwaynewho on December 13th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
Hey, never assume I'm on top of anything. I know there's probably lots of contradictions I haven't caught, and I'll need to really read through the whole thing a couple times before I start revising. So any time you catch anything, big or small, I'd love to know.

:D

nhpwnhpw on December 13th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
I can definitely see how this would fit better as "show, don't tell" exposition very early in the story - it's creepy that I can pretty well draw a line between what you would move back to Act 1 and what would stay here.

Some of this might even be easily covered in your opening scene with the images.

You had said at one point that Mira's story follows the path of the classic hero's journey, so now I'm trying to figure out where Janos fits into that. Mentor?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on December 13th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
Some of this might even be easily covered in your opening scene with the images.

Yes, that's what I was thinking. I have Janos doing a funeral service, and it's okay but it's sort of non-specific. I think I might have him giving a sermon in the little village church - which is unseen here, and I think I'd like the contrast between that and the castle chapel - and cover a lot of the stuff with Briccius and being martyred and the blood, etc.

Yeah, Janos is the mentor. I've already decided to go back and get rid of Karoly, who was like Bathory's assistant or something - he disappeared like immediately; you probably don't even remember him. I want Janos to have a more active role bringing Mira to the castle - HE picks her out. That way, there's a greater sense of betrayal at this point in the story.
singer_shapersinger_shaper on December 13th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
I like this new information, though I still suspect that Janos has more of a secret. Looking forward to more!