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13 March 2011 @ 08:55 pm
Vampyr Draft Two - Day Two  
Continuing to write like a motherfrakking boss. Oh, the perfect high of being in the writing zone. And it was Selection Sunday today! And we're a one seed! And I grilled homemade naan and curried chicken for dinner! And I watched Community! And North Carolina lost! And Tron videos!

Great weekend, babies. Great weekend.

INT. MIRA’S COTTAGE - NIGHT

Even smaller on the inside. A narrow table, rickety chairs, an old wooden chest. A straw-filled mattress on the floor. Mira cooks, stirring a pot hung over the fire in the hearth.

Footsteps outside. Mira doesn’t look up. The door opens - SAMUEL (25), handsome and able-bodied but a little too thin. Shadows under his eyes. He drops an OLD AXE by the door.

SAMUEL
Surrounded by trees, but we won’t have
enough wood to burn this winter.
 
Dominik runs over from where he had been playing with a little carved wooden horse.

DOMINIK
Papa!
 
Samuel slumps into one of the chairs, a tired arm around the boy.

SAMUEL
A few old axes and a saw missing half its teeth.
Coming back to the village one of
the horses threw a shoe, and we have no
blacksmith since Karoly died.
 
Samuel laughs, dark, bitter. Mira carries over the cooking pot, scoops food onto the plates - SCRAMBLED EGGS.

SAMUEL (CONT’D)
(disbelief)
What’s this?

MIRA
Eggs.

SAMUEL
Today is Monday. We always have meat on Monday.
I looked forward to it all day. I dreamed about it last night.

MIRA
There is no meat! Eat your eggs.

SAMUEL
What did you do?

DOMINIK
(by rote)
We went to buy meat but there was no
more meat. It had all been sold.

SAMUEL
(to Mira)
No. Todor would have kept some aside for you.
 
Mira eats her eggs, ignores him.

SAMUEL (CONT’D)
Mira!

MIRA
Todor wanted two baskets instead of one.
The castle sent for more supplies. I refused.

SAMUEL
You refused?
 
He stands, leans over the table. Deadly serious.

SAMUEL (CONT’D)
Do you want to spend a day in the stocks? Do you want to be whipped?

MIRA
I won’t be whipped over a basket of eggs.
 
Samuel SLAMS his fist down on the table. Dominik jumps.

SAMUEL
Why? Why do you always do this?
 
Mira doesn’t meet his eye. Samuel grabs his plate of eggs, heads for the door.

MIRA
Where are you going?

SAMUEL
To eat in the barn with the mule. He
is better company.

MIRA
Then you can sleep out there, too.

SAMUEL
I plan to! I will have a much more pleasant night in the
cold barn, with the mule, making a pair of shoes!

MIRA
Why are you making more shoes?
 
Samuel storms out, slamming the door. Mira keeps shouting.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Everyone in the village has a pair of shoes!
No one needs any more shoes!
 
Quiet, but for the wind blowing outside. Mira sees Dominik sniffle, his face wet.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Stop snivelling and eat your eggs.
 
The two of them tend to their plates in silence.

INT. MIRA’S COTTAGE - NIGHT

The table has been moved aside, the mattress dragged in front of the fireplace. Dominik sleeps. Mira stares at the ceiling.

EXT. MIRA’S COTTAGE - NIGHT

Mira slips out, drawing a cloak around herself. She heads toward the barn, dim light flickering between the cracks.

INT. BARN - NIGHT

Mira enters. Samuel sits at a table, working by lamp light. He stitches two pieces of leather together. Finished pairs of SHOES rest in a neat line on the back of the table.

MIRA
You win. You are more stubborn than I am.

SAMUEL
You should not put your pride ahead of the
health of our son. The safety of our family.
 
Mira comes to him, a hand on his back.

MIRA
Every day, I feel like a little more is taken away from us.
Is it so wrong to want to keep my dignity?

SAMUEL
What good is dignity if you are starving?
 
Samuel puts down his work, rests his head in his hands. Mira rubs his back. Her eyes move again to the row of shoes.

MIRA
If only you could travel to one of the neighboring
villages. You could sell the shoes, buy grain, meat, warm clothes.

SAMUEL
Any man caught crossing the river faces a
whipping at best. At worst...

MIRA
You could ford the river down by the rocks, where we used
to play when we were children. Do you remember?

SAMUEL
(turns to her)
They would miss me tomorrow. They would
ask where I was.

MIRA
I could tell them you’re sick, that you can’t get
out of bed, let alone chop down trees.
 
Samuel stands. Reluctance gives way to resolve.

SAMUEL
I should leave now, while it’s still dark.
 
Mira’s eyes light up. She kisses him, hard.

CUT TO:
 
EXT. MIRA’S COTTAGE - DAWN

The sunlight is weak. Frost covers the cottage’s single window. Mira is already up and dressed, cleaning out the barn with a rake.
The sound of HORSES coming her way, moving fast. Mira drops her rake, runs for the cottage.

MIRA
Dominik!
 
He comes out just as she reaches the door, rubbing his eyes.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Go to the barn and hide in the hay. If I do not come for you,
wait until dark, then take the road to Todor’s.

DOMINIK
Mama?

MIRA
Go!
 
Dominik runs for the barn. Mira watches until he is inside before she turns away. She busies herself sweeping the ground in front of the cottage. Only a few seconds pass before the horses appear, turning down the little path that leads to the cottage.

Three horses, bearing the VILLAGE ELDERS. Rich velvet riding cloaks, plump, well-fed faces. Stern, forbidding expressions. The outer two never speak, leaving the work to the man in the middle - NICOLAE (55). Haughty, disdainful.

NICOLAE
Are you the girl with the hens?

MIRA
Yes.

NICOLAE
What was that?

MIRA
(grits teeth)
Yes, my Lord.

NICOLAE
The carriage bearing supplies for the castle is ready,
but there are no eggs.

MIRA
No, my Lord.

NICOLAE
The butcher tells me that you usually trade eggs for meat?

MIRA
Yes, my Lord.

NICOLAE
The butcher tells me that he did not see you yesterday.
 
Relief flickers over Mira’s face for a scant instant.

MIRA
No, my Lord. The hens gave no eggs.

NICOLAE
Not feeding them enough. As I thought.
 
He pulls a tiny leather SACK from a saddlebag. What it holds would barely fill one palm. Nicolae tosses it at Mira’s feet.

NICOLAE (CONT’D)
Make sure the hens get this. Don’t eat it yourself.
The Count’s demands must be met.

MIRA
Of course, my Lord. Thank you, my Lord.

NICOLAE
Next time we will not be so lenient.
 
The Elders turn their horses and depart. As soon as they are out of sight, Mira sags against the cottage door.

EXT. MIRA’S COTTAGE - DAY

Mira hunts through the garden. Picking aside dead leaves, she finds a few shriveled, overlooked vegetables. She tosses them into a pot.

At the edge of the woods, Mira clears leaves from the base of a tree. Finds mushrooms. Adds them to the pot.

By the cottage, she watches a hen peck the ground. She holds a knife, considers.

DOMINIK (O.S.)
Mama! Mama, look!
 
Mira turns to see Dominik running her way, something dangling from his hand. He gets closer - he holds a DEAD RAT by the tail.

DOMINIK (CONT’D)
Look what I found!

MIRA
Dominik, drop it, right now!

DOMINIK
I thought we could put it in the pot.
 
This is too much for Mira. She must turn her back to him, a hand to her mouth. Fights away tears. Dominik tugs on her skirt, the rat dropped to the ground.

DOMINIK (CONT’D)
I’m sorry, Mama.
 
Mira drops to her knees, pulls him close.

MIRA
No, darling, you did very well. But we are not going
to eat rats. Do you hear me? Not that.
Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.

CUT TO:
 
EXT. VILLAGE - DAY

Mira leads the mule carrying Dominik.

MIRA
You will stay with Todor while I am gone.

DOMINIK
How long will you be gone?

MIRA
If I am lucky, I will be back tonight.
 
They approach the butcher’s stall, in front of his house. The table is dirty - Mira wrinkles her nose.

Then she notices a crowd gathered in front of the church. She loops the mule’s rope around a post.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Stay here.

DOMINIK
I want to come with you.

MIRA
Don’t get off the mule.
 
She hurries to the crowd--

IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH

Mira pushes through until she sees the STOCKS. Todor is locked inside.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Todor!
 
She runs to him. He sports a bruised and swollen face, his eyes barely able to open.

MIRA (CONT’D)
What’s happened? Who has done this?

JANOS (O.S.)
Step away from him.
 
Mira looks up to see Father Janos at the top of the church steps.

JANOS (CONT’D)
All of you, come inside.
 
The villagers shuffle into the church. Mira cleans Todor’s face with a handkerchief.

JANOS (CONT’D)
You too, child.

MIRA
Who has done this?

JANOS
The Elders ordered it. Todor refused to
contribute to the castle’s larder.

MIRA
For refusing to allow another man to take what
belongs to him, he is beaten and humiliated.

JANOS
Another man? You are speaking of the Count. Do
not forget. Come inside, and pray.

MIRA
Why? Should God choose to listen to my prayers and rain
manna down from heaven, the Count would only take it.

JANOS
Be careful. You stray too close to blasphemy.

MIRA
Then I will trust you to pray for my soul.
 
Mira turns and walks away.

BACK AT THE BUTCHER’S STALL

She unties the mule, leads it forward.

DOMINIK
I thought I was staying with Todor?

MIRA
No. You’re coming with me to the castle.
 
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Shannon: lotr galadrielkungfuwaynewho on March 14th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
I was really confused at first on seeing your name. "She's not one of the three people who read this!" But glad to hear you're liking it!

(And now my disclaimer: love feedback, especially criticism, but do not feel in any way obligated to read and/or comment. I know everyone's busy, and I don't want anything like this to become a chore. I do appreciate you reading, though. :D)
(Deleted comment)
singer_shapersinger_shaper on March 14th, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
I'm liking Mira's assertiveness here - I seem to remember her being a bit more timid in the first draft. And Samuel seems a bit braver as well. Looking forward to the next part!
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 14th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
Good, good - she was pretty passive in the first act last time, so I really have worked hard to make her the driving force of the action. I'm glad that's playing.
Holly: Mary wheeeeeeeehollywobbles on March 15th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
Yay happy weekend!

Fyi, I'm still thinking I'll wait til it's all posted and read it then. We'll see if I cave half way through.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 16th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
That's cool; and, you know, if you're busy or, hell, don't want to, that's okay, too. No obligation or anything.

If it makes it easier to read, I'd be happy to put everything together as a PDF when I'm done (it takes like three seconds), instead of clicking through and reading separate entries. And I think the formatting here on LJ is a pain.
nhpw: zoya grinnhpw on March 17th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. This is really nicely done - I like the addition of the Elders, and the sense that the Count keeps this little village in poverty and forces them to stay there, that they can't leave. And Mira is much stronger this time around. There are a lot of great changes; I'm excited to see what you do with the rest of it!
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 17th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
Yay! Glad things are working. It feels much tighter and more...forward momentum-y than what I had before.