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23 March 2011 @ 10:09 pm
Vampyr Draft Two - Day Twelve  
INT. CASTLE - GUEST ROOM - NIGHT

Mira wakes. She checks - Dominik is asleep next to her. She settles back, then looks around the room. The curtains hang open, as does the window.

Beat. Mira gets out of bed, goes to the window. Closes it, draws the curtains. She turns around.

A GIRL crouches on all fours in the middle of the bed.

Mira shrinks back until she hits the vanity. The girl on the bed - ERZSEBET (10) - bares her teeth and HISSES. She is chalk white, skin and bones. Lank white-blonde hair. Rags.

Mira’s hand gropes blindly over the surface of the vanity. Finds a BRUSH. She holds it up like a weapon. Erzsebet stares at Mira. Baleful eyes. Then she turns, begins drawing the covers off Dominik.

MIRA
Don’t you touch him. Get away.
 
Erzsebet only growls. Crawls down to the foot of the bed. Like an animal.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Get out of here!
 
Erzsebet slips off the bed, takes a few steps toward Mira. Mira sidles over to the door. Tries to open it. It’s locked.

Erzsebet GRINS. She circles Mira like a lion playing with a mouse. Mira drops the brush, jerks the door handle back and forth.

Erzsebet LUNGES at Mira. Knocks her down. She straddles Mira, her TEETH snapping together over and over just inches from Mira’s throat.

Mira uses one hand to keep Erzsebet from biting her. The other hand searches for the hairbrush. She finds it. HITS Erzsebet over the head - once, twice.

Erzsebet howls, skitters away. Cowers at the foot of the bed, a hand pressed against where Mira hit her. She cries, weak, pathetic little sobs.

MIRA (CONT’D)
I...I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.
But you were going to bite me.
 
Dominik is awake. Sitting up, staring at Mira. She shakes her head at him.

Erzsebet slowly crawls over to Mira, belly on the floor. Both of them wary. Mira keeps the brush in her hand.

Erzsebet curls up against Mira, lays her head on her breast. Now she just looks like a scared little girl. Mira slowly brings a hand up to stroke her hair.

CLICK. The door creaks open a few inches. Mira is still wary, tense.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Who are you?
(beat)
What’s your name?
 
No answer. Mira looks down - the girl stares at the rosary hanging from the doorknob. Keeping her eyes on the girl, Mira reaches up for the rosary.

Erzsebet stares at the crucifix. She reaches a hand out for it. Mira gives it to her, holding her breath.

Erzsebet snatches the rosary up. Runs her fingers over the little figure on the crucifix. Clicks the beads. A SMILE.

MIRA (CONT’D)
You can have it, if you want.
 
Erzsebet looks up at Mira, then bumps her head under Mira’s chin, like a cat. She puts the rosary around her neck.

Dominik has crawled down to the foot of the bed. Smiles.

DOMINIK
Mama, this is my friend. Hello, Beta.
 
But Erzsebet doesn’t smile back. She stands, seeming to look through the wall. Her body a straight, quivering line.

MIRA
What is it?
 
The girl glances at the window, then runs out the door.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Wait!
 
Mira stands, looks out, but the hallway is empty. She turns back to Dominik.

DOMINIK
Isn’t she pretty?

MIRA
What game do you play?

DOMINIK
We look at the real castle.
 
Mira smile indulgently - a child telling tales. She closes the door, heads back to bed. The door opens.

MIRA
Dear, you need to knock.
 
Mira turns - the BLANK-FACED MANSERVANT stands just inside the threshold.

MIRA (CONT’D)
It’s late. Please leave.
 
The manservant smiles at her - something humorless and terrifying. Mira backs up, but too late. The manservant GRABS her.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Stop! Let go!
 
Mira fights, but the blank-faced manservant is strong, very strong. Inexorable. He easily drags her from the room.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Dominik!
 
INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT

The blank-faced manservant pulls Mira through the halls, ignoring the way she kicks and slaps at him.

MIRA
Stop it! Now! Let me go!
 
INT. LOWER STAIR - NIGHT

The manservant pushes open a wooden door and pauses, letting Mira see what lies below--

A STAIRCASE, narrow, chipped steps. It twists around, the bottom lost in darkness. No railing, nothing to keep someone from falling. A few lit torches on the walls, meager light.

Mira allows herself to be dragged more willingly. Careful steps.

MIRA
Where are you taking me?
 
The blank-faced manservant doesn’t answer. The horrible smile from before is long gone.

INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT

Ink-black gloom barely relieved by the torchlight. The blank-faced manservant pulls Mira down a narrow aisle, CELLS on either side. A few doors hang open ominously. A rack in one cell. Chains in another.

They approach a cell. Mira is shoved inside.

MIRA
Why are you doing this?
 
The manservant CLOSES the door. The hinges squeal and creak and groan. Once the door is closed, the silence is absolute - until Mira’s BREATHING fills the air.

A single lit candle on the floor by the door. Mira picks it up, explores the cell. Not much - a bucket, a tiny straw-filled mattress. When Mira pushes it with her foot, a RAT scurries out.

And in the center of the room, a POOL OF BLOOD. Still wet.

Mira is afraid.

CUT TO:
 
INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Ilka walks without looking up. Moving slow, veering side to side a bit. She ties a BANDAGE around her forearm.

Ilka passes an intersection with another hallway. A noise. Ilka stops, dismisses it. Continues.

DOMINIK (O.S.)
Mama?
 
Ilka turns back. Stares at the little boy wandering down the hallway, away from her. The sounds he makes are loud in the quiet - sniffles, his pattering little footsteps.

DOMINIK (CONT’D)
Mama? Mama?
 
Ilka stares, utterly stunned. Unable to move or speak. She watches as he toddles around a corner and disappears from her sight.

A heartbeat, and Ilka jolts into action. She runs down the hallway after him. Turns the corner.

Dominik has run out of steam. He sits on the floor, not crying. A little blank. Moonlight streams in through a window just above him, casting him with a blue glow.

Ilka looks at him, her face transformed. She drops to her knees in front of him. He turns dull eyes to her.

DOMINIK (CONT’D)
He took my mama.
 
Ilka enfolds him in her arms. The cool blue light envelopes them both. She strokes his hair, looks down on him. The beatific smile of a Madonna with child.
 
 
 
singer_shapersinger_shaper on March 24th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Creepy bloody cells are bloody creepy. (See what I did there?)

I like the Buffy-esque tone of Mira's response to Erzsebet: "I didn't mean to hurt you. But you were going to bite me." I know it's not meant to be a funny line, but I read it that way the first time. It does relieve some of the tension, which is what I'm guessing it was supposed to do. I also like the image of Ilka as Madonna - I bet that would look really cool on screen.

A couple of questions:

If Erzsebet can touch a rosary, is she not vampiric? Or do vampires only have problems with the cross?

Wasn't Samuel the blank-faced servant in the first draft?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 24th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
Hee, yeah, that's what that line was for. Break the tension, and by having that moment with Erzsebet hopefully it sets her up as not being an (immediate) threat.

She is a vampire. My mythos is basically that the magic that makes the vampires is really old, and pre-dates Christianity, so those symbols don't mean anything to them. But the old pagan charms, especially if the owner really believes in them, do have power over them.

(I mostly just wanted to do something different than crosses and stakes and garlic, honestly.)

Samuel was A blank-faced manservant, but THE blank-faced manservant in the movie is supposed to be one specific character. But all the vamped-slaves are kinda like that, without affect.
(Deleted comment)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 24th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think doing the unexpected but not "wha?" is important in genre scripts, because you want to be interesting and unique but not off the wall and comes out of nowhere - so I'm glad it's reading that way for you.
nhpwnhpw on March 24th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
This is great. I like the way you changed it - that it's not Dominik being taken away, but Mira. By now she's recognizable as the hero and so it's easy to be aprehensive about what will happen to her.

And Ilka... with the changes you've made to her character, making her slightly more crazy, I'm wondering about what she thinks when she sees Dominik. I can see where she would see him as the answer to her prayers.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on March 24th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC)
Yes! That's exactly how I want that scene with Ilka to play - she thinks God has just, like, dropped a son into her lap. So when Dominik is, well, Dominik, and not a perfect little boy, that's going to cause conflict. But it will work out.