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21 March 2011 @ 11:03 pm
Vampyr Draft Two - Day Ten  
INT. GREAT HALL - DAY

Mira and Dominik play. They hop from one marble tile to the next. They laugh, having fun.

From the shadows at the other end of the hall, Bathory watches them. Especially Mira.

INT. GUEST ROOM - DAY

Mira puts Dominik down for a nap. He’s asleep before his head hits the pillow - Mira takes in the dark circles under his eyes.

She walks around the room, restless. To the window. Looks out over the world, cloaked in snow.

A sound - the heavy iron doors opening below. Mira looks down. Bathory leaves the castle, walking down toward the village. It’s hard to tell from this angle, but it almost seems as if he walks on top of the surface of the snow.

Mira looks back at Dominik - he’s sound asleep.

INT. CASTLE - DAY

Mira explores. Vast, empty corridors. Many of the doors she tries are locked. She comes to a door that isn’t, and enters--

THE LIBRARY

Tall, with its own set of stairs. Ladders for the highest shelves. Rich, dark woods, objets d’art, and books, books, books. Mira stares.

Then notices a WOMAN, sitting in an armchair, tome in her lap. Thin blonde hair, pale skin. Past slender and approaching emaciated. She turns a page with delicate fingers.

Mira gasps a little. The woman looks up sharply. ILKA (25), bright eyes and tremulous voice.

ILKA
Who are you?

MIRA
My name is Mira.
 
Ilka puts aside the tome with difficulty, stands. She wears a simple dress, rough-spun wool.

ILKA
What do you think you’re doing here?

MIRA
I’m here at the invitation of the Count.

ILKA
(approaches Mira)
Is that so? You’re not the first pretty little village girl
to stay here by invitation of the Count. Where
do they all go? Have you asked yourself that?
 
Mira shakes her head, dismayed.

ILKA (CONT’D)
Rats! Do you see them?

MIRA
There are no rats here.

ILKA
I can hear them, in the walls. Do you
hear the rats, Mira?
 
Mira shakes her head again. Ilka’s hand shoots out, grabs Mira’s arm.

ILKA (CONT’D)
I am the Countess. You will show me respect.

MIRA
(gasps)
Yes, my Lady.
 
Ilka looks down, sees her nails disappearing into Mira’s flesh. She releases her arm, pats the skin.

ILKA
You may call me Ilka. I won’t be the Countess
for much longer.

MIRA
No? Why...why not, Ilka?
 
Ilka steps very close, whispers, divulging a secret.

ILKA
I am to be the bride of Christ. Janos has promised it.

MIRA
(beat)
I must go.

ILKA
No.

MIRA
I must see to my son.
 
Ilka’s eyes go wide. She gapes at Mira, then grabs her hands.

ILKA
A son? You have a son?

MIRA
Yes.

ILKA
May I see him?
 
Mira hesitates.

ILKA (CONT’D)
I want to see him! Please. You must take me to see him.
 
Mira backs up, finally wrenching her hands from Ilka’s grasp.

ILKA (CONT’D)
Don’t leave! Please don’t leave!
 
Mira flees.

INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

Mira hurries away, Ilka’s voice still ringing out behind her.

INT. GUEST ROOM - DAY

Mira enters. Hurries to the bed - Dominik still asleep. Mira sighs with relief.

CUT TO:
 
INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

Ilka stalks through the halls, thin shoulders shaking as she cries. She enters--

HER QUARTERS

Huge rooms, but nearly empty. A small, thin mattress on the floor, stacks of books against the wall. Light patches on the walls where paintings once hung - now CRUCIFIXES adorn the walls. Ilka’s cries have become sobs.

ILKA
Why should she have a son? Who is she
but some poor, filthy commoner?
 
Ilka finds a clay vase - THROWS it against the wall. It shatters.

ILKA (CONT’D)
Have I not prayed? Have I not sacrificed?
 
ANA (16) hurries in from an adjoining room. Small and mousy, she coos and croons over Ilka.

ANA
Of course you have, Ilka. God will reward your faith.

ILKA
When? When? Three dead children, the fourth...

ANA
You will have a son. A strong, healthy son.

ILKA
How, when the Count no longer visits my bed?
 
Ana puts her arms around Ilka, tries to draw the Countess’s head down to her breast. Ilka bats her away.

ILKA (CONT’D)
I don’t want your pity! I’m going to the chapel.

ANA
Not today, Ilka.
 
She follows Ilka into--

THE CORRIDOR

Wringing her hands.

ILKA
Yes, today.

ANA
You’re weak. At least eat something first.
 
Ilka ignores her.

INT. CHAPEL - DAY

Ilka marches down the aisle. Drops to her knees, lights a candle. Closes her eyes. Whispers a prayer soundlessly.

Ana hovers in the background, and when Ilka speaks the girl’s face falls.

ILKA
Give it to me.
 
Ana pulls a KNIFE from a scabbard at her waist. Hands it to Ilka.

Ilka pushes up the sleeve of her dress. Scars, scabs, and finally fresh knife slices through the skin.

She draws the blade across her forearm, a new wound blameless for a beat - then CRIMSON BEADS OF BLOOD well up. Drips spatter on the white stones.

ILKA
Lord, accept my sacrifice. Give me a son.
 
The blood collects in the grooves between the stones. It inches toward the altar.

CUT TO:
 
EXT. VILLAGE - WOODS - NIGHT

Thick blankets of snow. A full moon shines down, the light reflecting off the snow to create an eerie blue glow.

A crunching sound. A figure wends its way through the trees - hunched over, heavily cloaked. SAMUEL, carrying several bags on his back.

EXT. MIRA’S COTTAGE - NIGHT

Samuel approaches. Sees the dark window, no smoke pouring from the chimney. He frowns.

INT. MIRA’S COTTAGE - NIGHT

Samuel enters, carefully lowers the bags to the floor. Stretches, slow.

SAMUEL
(hoarse)
Mira? Dominik?
 
He stumbles over to the hearth. Pokes the ladle down into the hanging pot - CLANG. Samuel sighs.

BATHORY (O.S.)
So you’re the husband.
 
Samuel starts, turns. Out of the shadows, Bathory appears. Face cold, forbidding.

SAMUEL
Who are you? What are you doing in my home?
 
Bathory just smiles.
 
 
 
singer_shapersinger_shaper on March 22nd, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
What a creepy ending! And I mean that in the best possible way.

I don't remember Ilka being half this crazy the first time out. And the mentions of Jesus seem new - are you deliberating associating Janos with Christianity?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 22nd, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Ilka ended up being way too normal for a girl who'd been married off to a vampire at the age of 15, gave birth to a vampire daughter, and then had three dead babies. Seriously, I think I've still not made her crazy enough, LOL. I also wanted her to have more of an arc.

Also, yes, more emphasis on Janos being really religious. Because I liked how that played out, that it wasn't an act, that he did genuinely think of himself as a man of God. Also, and I mean this in the best possible way, but the visual trappings of Catholicism on screen are creepy. And all the metaphors are so great when it comes to vampire movies, too, with the blood and resurrection, etc.
nhpwnhpw on March 22nd, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)
I like that Mira and Dominik have more scenes together in this new draft. It builds their relationship more; I know it's a mother-child relationship and that should just be a given that she would care for him, but this I think helps the reader (viewer?) care about them more, so it should carry more weight when they're separated (which I assume is still going to happen?)

AND.

THANK YOU for showing Samuel again! This makes him feel more connected to the story, so he's not just all of a sudden at the castle, leaving us to figure out how he got there.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 22nd, 2011 03:28 pm (UTC)
Those were two of my macro notes from my read through! That Mira/Dominik was too much of a given, and that Samuel disappears for wayyyyyy too long. So I'm glad those work out better.

(The Samuel thing especially was troubling, and I have this huge note to myself in the middle of my revision manifesto in all caps: IT IS OKAY TO CUT AWAY FROM YOUR PROTAGONIST NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE AN OMG MOMENT FOR MIRA. So, like, I was saving all that so it would be this big surprise when she sees him in the castle, because I always unintentionally conflate surprise for the character with surprise for the reader. Then I remind myself of Hitchcock's definition of shock vs. suspense and it works much better.)