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20 March 2011 @ 11:51 am
Vampyr Draft Two - Day Nine  
EXT. CASTLE - BATTLEMENT - DAY

A bird flies around one of the towers. Mira watches its flight. Th
en she looks to Bathory, who leans over the wall, looking down to the village.
BATHORY
From up here, it looks so peaceful.
Everyone happy, content.
 
They watch as a cluster of villagers, tiny at this distance, move from one house to another.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
From this height, you cannot see hunger or pain. You
cannot see age or death. The seasons change from
one to the next, but the villagers seem to
remain the same, walking up and down the little road, never leaving.

MIRA
(turns to him)
Is that why you’ve locked yourself away up
here? You think that if you don’t see suffering then it doesn’t exist?

BATHORY
Don’t presume to know my reasons.

MIRA
Then why?

BATHORY
Once I cared very much what happened here. I felt a
great kinship with these lands. But my service to the
king went unrewarded. The people grew to mistrust me,
even fear me. And then my sons. All dead.
None lived longer than a week - the last never drew a single breath!
The pain in his voice is obvious.

MIRA
(quiet)
I’m sorry.

BATHORY
Better to stay here. Better to be alone.

MIRA
But you aren’t alone. You have a wife?

BATHORY
Oh, yes. The Countess. One of the king’s many nieces.
Famed far and wide as a great beauty, as intelligent and learned as any man.

MIRA
You...do not love her?

BATHORY
I thought I was marrying a princess. Instead I married a
fool, a zealot. By the time she gave birth to her third
dead child, she was quite mad.
 
Mira looks at his profile. His jaw clenched - quite noble and tragic. Mira rests her hand on his forearm for just a beat, then--

MIRA
It is still no excuse.

BATHORY
(laughs)
You’re accustomed to speaking your mind, aren’t
you? Unusual for a woman.

MIRA
The women of the village must do many things
that are unusual in order to survive.
 
Bathory considers her. Mira withstands his gaze only for a moment before looking back at the village.
 
MIRA (CONT’D)
I cannot thank you enough for your hospitality, my Lord.
If someone could bring my mule around...?

BATHORY
You wish to leave?

MIRA
I should return to the village.
 
She turns from the wall, sees Dominik jumping in puddles.

BATHORY
If the conditions there are as bad as you say, why would you wish to return?

MIRA
Because it is Dominik’s home.

BATHORY
He is young! He will learn to love a new home. You’re right -
to lock oneself up is no way to live. This castle has been
near abandoned for far too long. Stay! The hills know I have the room.

MIRA
(hesitant)
The village is my home. It is also my husband’s home.

BATHORY
(chilly)
Of course. I shall have a carriage packed
and brought around for you.
 
The Count turns and heads for the stairs. Mira watches his back, then walks over to Dominik. The east tower is before her.

She glances up - a WHITE FACE in one of the windows. Mira stops. She looks to Bathory and back - the face is gone.

CUT TO:
 
EXT. CASTLE - DAY

The blank-faced manservant leads Mira and Dominik through the iron doors to an awaiting CARRIAGE. As beautiful and opulent as anything else in the castle.

Mira helps Dominik inside. Bathory hops down from the driver’s seat. All smiles again.

BATHORY
There is no excuse for not knowing how my people live, so I will
drive you sown to the village and see for myself.

MIRA
Thank you, my Lord.

BATHORY
No, thank you.
 
He extends his hand. Mira takes it.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
And you are always welcome here.
 
Bathory kisses her hand. Mira smiles, charmed. He helps her--

INTO THE CARRIAGE

Beat. The carriage starts moving. Mira looks through the window as they pull away from the castle. The sun hangs just over the mountains, but even as she watches, clouds cover it.

MIRA
What are you thinking?

DOMINIK
I miss Papa.

MIRA
Me, too.
 
She looks back out the window as the first SNOWFLAKES fall.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Do you remember the snow, from last year? Come, look.
 
She pulls him up into her lap. They peer out the window. The snow falls thickly. Already the road and rocks to the side are white.

DOMINIK
I don’t like it.

MIRA
(voice unsure)
But isn’t it pretty?
 
The snow falls heavier and heavier. It is impossible to tell the edge of the road from the rocks. The horizon has become obscured.

The carriage jerks to a STOP. A moment, then Bathory opens the door. The wind roars - he must shout to be heard.

BATHORY
A blizzard! We can keep going, or we can turn back!
 
Mira looks beyond him - outside it is PURE WHITE.

MIRA
Go back!
 
The Count nods, leaves. Mira settles back into the seat, uncertainty on her face.

CUT TO:
 
INT. CASTLE - GUEST ROOM - NIGHT

Mira, now in an actual nightgown, stands at the window, watches the snow come down. Behind her, a ROARING FIRE in the fireplace.

DOMINIK (O.S.)
What’s this?
 
Mira turns - he has pulled a BOOK down from a shelf.

MIRA
That’s a book. Come here.
 
She pulls the curtains closed, and they get settled in bed.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Feel how soft the paper is. Aren’t the pictures pretty?

DOMINIK
What does it say?
 
Mira tries to sound out a few words, but gives up.

MIRA
I was never very good at letters. But my mother did teach
me to read and write my own name, and the Lord’s Prayer.

DOMINIK
Where is your mama?

MIRA
She died.

DOMINIK
What happened?

MIRA
It’s not a very nice story.

DOMINIK
I want to know.

MIRA
I was only a few years older than you. It was the
harvest, a year with plenty of rain but not too much.
We had all been cutting down the wheat and barley
all day, and everyone was exhausted. I suppose
that’s why no one heard anything until it was too late.
 
She notices Dominik’s attention has wandered. He stares fixedly into the corner.

MIRA (CONT’D)
What is it?

DOMINIK
There’s a rat.
 
She sets aside the book and looks.

MIRA
I don’t see anything.

DOMINIK
A big rat. It’s sniffing around.
 
Mira gets out of bed, takes the OIL LAMP. She checks the corner, then around the perimeter.

MIRA
There’s no rat, darling.
 
Dominik pulls the covers up to his chin.

DOMINIK
I want to go home.
 
Mira replaces the lamp. Turns down the light, climbs back into bed.

MIRA
There’s a blizzard outside. We should stay here
where it’s safe. You wouldn’t want to get stuck on the
side of the mountain, would you?
 
In response, Dominik rolls over, facing away from Mira. He pulls the covers up over his head. Mira smooths her hand down his side.

INT. GUEST ROOM - NIGHT

Mira wakes. The bed covers lie crumpled on the floor. The curtains pulled aside, the window open. The fireplace cold and dark.

Dominik is gone.

Mira pulls on a dressing gown, opens the door, ready to scold him. But the hallway is empty.

MIRA
Dominik?
 
Her voice seems to echo too loudly. She steps--

INTO THE HALLWAY

Mira steps out of the room, long looks up and down the hallway - nothing, no one.

She starts walking. Quiet, still. Dominik nowhere to be seen. She comes to a door several paces down from her own. Beat. Mira tries the handle - it is locked.

Down to the end of the corridor, around the corner. This hallway looks EXACTLY THE SAME as the one she just left. The tapestry on the wall opposite the two doors is the same - a black dragon on a white field, biting its own tail.

Mira hesitates, then walks down this corridor as well. Tries the doors - locked. Hurrying now, around the corner.

The same hallway.

Mira stops. Deep breaths.

MIRA
Dominik!
 
Mira RUNS. Down the corridor, around the corner - the same hallway. She tries the doors - locked, locked.

Around the corner, the same hallway. Mira’s breath comes in GASPS. She doesn’t bother with the doors this time.

Around the corner - STAIRS. Mira almost falls down them - she grabs at the wall.

Mira hurries down the stairs, holding up her heavy skirts. Down to the foot of the stairs--

A NEW CORRIDOR

Empty walls. HEAVY DOUBLE DOORS at the end. Open, flickering candlelight inside.

Mira runs down the corridor. Enters--

THE CHAPEL

Six pews in two rows. WHITE STATUES in niches, all staring piously into the distance. By the altar, a statue of the Virgin Mary, gazing lovingly down at the infant in her arms.

Candles lit in front of the altar. Dominik stands there, looking at the flames. His back to Mira. Slowly, she walks up the aisle. He turns to look at her as she crouches.

DOMINIK
Hello, Mama.

MIRA
Hello. Why aren’t you in bed?

DOMINIK
I was playing with the girl.
 
Mira looks around - they are alone.

MIRA
What girl?

DOMINIK
Her hair is white, her face is white. She asked me if I wanted to play a game.

MIRA
Let’s go back to the room.

DOMINIK
I like it here. It looks like it’s supposed to.

MIRA
Come on. Take Mama’s hand.

JANOS (O.S.)
You are the last person I expected to see here.
 
Mira turns - Father Janos walks up the aisle. Wearing a richly-sewn cassock and embroidered stole. A warm smile.

JANOS (CONT’D)
You hardly ever attend the church in your own village,
yet here you are, in the castle’s chapel!

MIRA
(stands)
Father Janos. How did you get here?

JANOS
I arrived yesterday, just minutes before the snow began
to fall. Now we’re all stuck here - the mountain road is quite impassable.

MIRA
I didn’t know you came to the castle.

JANOS
Once a week, for Sunday mass.

MIRA
And you generally arrive several days early?

JANOS
Today is Sunday.

MIRA
No. That’s not right.

JANOS
My dear Mira, I know which day belongs to the Lord.

MIRA
But we only arrived here a few days ago, and we left
on a Monday! It can’t be later than Wednesday.

JANOS
(pats her hand)
It’s very common. Someone used to working all
day every day suddenly gets to rest, and the days just
run one into another. Come, sit. Let us pray.
 
Mira doesn’t seem convinced, and she sees that Dominik’s eyes have grown very heavy as he watches the candlelight.

MIRA
I would rather put him back to bed. If I can find my way back to my room.

JANOS
(kindly)
I will walk you there.
 
He offers his arm. Mira takes it.

INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Mira carries Dominik, walking beside Janos. They stop at a door opposite a dragon tapestry.

MIRA
I was certain there were more twists and turns to get back here.

JANOS
The castle is larger than it seems. It is easy to get lost.

MIRA
Easy to get lost. Easy to lose track of time.
 
A knowing look from Janos. He pulls a ROSARY from his cassock. Hands it to Mira.

JANOS
Be watchful, and vigilant. At all times. Things are not always as they seem.
 
Mira nods, solemn. Janos turns and leaves. Mira carries Dominik--

INTO THE GUEST ROOM

And puts him in bed. Closes the window and pulls the curtains shut. She considers the rosary. A shake of her head - she closes the door and hangs the rosary from the doorknob.
 
 
 
nhpwnhpw on March 20th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
This has a much more eerie feel to it than the first draft - I like it! And Dominik's intuitiveness that something's not right is a nice touch. Ummmm this is probably just a formatting thing but:

BATHORY
Once I cared very much what happened here. I felt a
great kinship with these lands. But my service to the
king went unrewarded. The people grew to mistrust me,
even fear me. And then my sons. All dead.
None lived longer than a week - the last never drew a single breath!
The pain in his voice is obvious.


The last line runs into the dialogue as though it's supposed to be spoken, but I'm presuming it's direction?

Otherwise, the edit continues to be wonderful, and with all the new stuff I'm anxious to find out what happens next!
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 21st, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
Haha, yeah, that's just formatting. When I copy-paste into LJ, I have to redo all the spacing and centering, and I just missed that one. It's okay in the actual document.

I'm starting to feel like this is less an edit and more a from-scratch rewrite. Which is weird, because it was not what I was intending.
singer_shapersinger_shaper on March 21st, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
What nhpw said about eerie-ness, specifically the sudden blizzard and Janos's knowledge of the oddities of the castle. I like the slow buildup here. And I assume the white-haired girl is Erszebet?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 21st, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, Erzsebet - I decided that she needed a little more foreshadowing than what was there previously, when she just kinda shows up. Plus, I figured if she latched onto Mira wanting a mother, wouldn't she also want a little brother?