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03 April 2011 @ 09:30 pm
Screenplay with Haunting and Appropriate Title Draft Two - Day Twenty-Three  
INT. GUEST ROOM - NIGHT

Mira awakens - the bed is empty. Door open a crack. She goes to it - Erzsebet stands in the corridor.

ERZSEBET
She’s crying.
 
INT. CORRIDORS - MOMENTS LATER

Mira and Erzsebet hurry. The sound of crying up ahead - loud, unrestrained. Mira opens the door--

Ilka, in her quarters. Collapsed on the floor. When she sees Mira she makes straight for her.

ILKA
She took him. She took him. I couldn’t stop her.
 
Mira holds her arms out, and Ilka grabs her.

ILKA (CONT’D)
I couldn’t stop her.

MIRA
Ilka, calm down.

ERZSEBET
(tugs on Ilka’s skirt)
Mother.

ILKA
(pulls back)
Get away from me.

MIRA
Ilka...

ILKA
She is the spawn of Satan!
 
Erzsebet HISSES at Ilka.

MIRA
She’s a child. Whatever else she
may be, she’s still a child.
 
While Ilka speaks, Erzsebet stares at her, teeth bared.

ILKA
I nearly died giving birth to her. I was in bed for
weeks and weeks. She wouldn’t drink my milk.
Girls were brought up from the village - none lasted
long. I knew, I knew she was evil. But still I hoped.
One night, she crept into my bed. Her head on my
shoulder. I thought everything had changed, everything
would be all right. At first, I felt nothing. No pain. And then...
 
Ilka pulls down the collar of her dress. Mira looks - a SCAR. Two half-circles, made by teeth. Mira looks at Erzsebet with new eyes.

ERZSEBET
I didn’t know it would hurt.

MIRA
Ilka. Where is Dominik?

ILKA
The Count has him now.

MIRA
We have to go.

ILKA
There’s no point. It’s too late.

MIRA
(turns to go)
No.

ILKA
(grabs her)
He wants you to come find him! That’s part
of the game. It’s all a game. He brings us here
for amusement, and then when he’s bored he tosses
us aside. If only I had given him a son!

MIRA
(beat)
I’m not giving him up.
 
She walks away. Erzsebet follows, takes her hand.

ILKA
He will kill you! Or worse, make you into one of
them. And if he does, God will turn His face
from you and you will know nothing but pain and torment for all eternity!
 
INT. CORRIDORS - NIGHT

Mira and Erzsebet walk, the halls empty and moonlit.

MIRA
Why did you bite her?
 
Erzsebet turns up a curious face. Mira stops.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Why did you bite your mother?

ERZSEBET
I wanted to. Briccius told me it was bad. Now I eat rats.
 
Mira doesn’t understand, continues walking. They come to an intersection. Mira heads left, Erzsebet pulls to the right.

ERZSEBET (CONT’D)
This way.

MIRA
The Count’s tower. I thought it was to the west.

ERZSEBET
This way.
 
Mira acquiesces. They go right.

INT. ILKA’S QUARTERS - NIGHT

Ilka wanders around aimlessly, crying. She sees the bundle of herbs on the windowsill, throws it to the ground. STOMPS it to pieces.

ILKA
Why? Why? Have I not served You? Am I not faithful?
 
She picks up a Bible, flips through it. Stops. Reads - tears melting away.

ILKA (CONT’D)
“Men tremble and fear before God, for He is the living
God, enduring forever. He delivers and rescues,
He works signs and wonders, He who has
saved Daniel from the lions.”
 
Ilka closes the Bible, resolved.

INT. BATHORY’S QUARTERS - NIGHT

Bathory lounges on the little sofa, reading. No lamps or candles lit - it should be too dar. Ilka stands at the open doors, watching.

BATHORY
You sound like a beast of the field
out there, Ilka. Huffing and puffing.
 
She enters. FURIOUS.

ILKA
I prayed for you. For years. I would
pray for you before I prayed for myself.

BATHORY
(closes book)
How boring you are!

ILKA
I’m sorry I couldn’t give you a son.
I tried. I did everything you ever asked of me.

BATHORY
What is your point?

ILKA
Why did you take her from me? Why did you take Ana?
She was all I had. I knew...I knew you
wouldn’t let me keep the boy. But why did you have to take her?

BATHORY
The girl brought up from the village was mine.
I didn’t appreciate you hiding her.
 
Ilka’s fury is too much for her. She cries, voice thick, choked.

ILKA
I hate you.
 
This seems to surprise Bathory. Beat. A door behind him creaks open. Dominik tiptoes out. Sees Ilka. Runs.

DOMINIK
Ilka! Ilka!
 
Ilka hugs him tight. Checks him over, hugs him again. But she backs away when Bathory approaches, keeping Dominik behind her.

Bathory lifts a hand - Ilka shies away. Carefully, he smooths her hair back. Kisses her cheek gently.

BATHORY
Go.
 
Ilka stares. Unsure, guarded. Bathory nods.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
You can go.

CUT TO:
 
INT. STAIRS - NIGHT

Erzsebet leads Mira to the top. Mira hesitates.

MIRA
I thought you were taking me to the
tower. To find Dominik.

ERZSEBET
This way.
 
Erzsebet starts down. Beat. Mira follows.

INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT

They walk down the aisle. Ahead, the blank-faced manservant stands guard in front of a closed door. Erzsebet stares at him - he turns and leaves. She smiles at Mira.

ERZSEBET
He’s mine. I made him.
 
The door creaks open. Erzsebet stands, watching as Mira enters the cell.

A man lies on the floor, turned away. One arm connected to the wall by a CHAIN. The other arm is too short - the HAND has been CUT OFF.

Mira doesn’t need to see his face to know. She sits down.

MIRA
Samuel.
 
She rolls him over to his back, his head on her lap. His eyes flutter open.

SAMUEL
Am I dead?

MIRA
No. No, you’re not dead. I’m going
to get you out of here.

SAMUEL
Where’s Dominik?

MIRA
Safe. With the baker David and his wife.

SAMUEL
Good, good. The Count told me things.
Showed me things. I didn’t know what was real.

MIRA
(to Erzsebet)
Help me get him out of here.

ERZSEBET
I can’t.

MIRA
What do you mean, you can’t?
You’re...like him. You can do things.
 
Erzsebet remains in the hallway.

ERZSEBET
This used to be my room. I liked to go
to the village. Father was upset.

MIRA
Beta, please.

ERZSEBET
I can’t.

MIRA
I can’t leave him here!

ERZSEBET
(points)
My blood and hair under the stones. Father
said old words. I can’t cross.
 
She turns and walks away.

MIRA
Beta! Beta!
(to Samuel)
I’ll be right back. I’m going to find
something to free you.

SAMUEL
Don’t leave me.

MIRA
I’ll be right back.

SAMUEL
Kill me.

MIRA
(beat)
What?

SAMUEL
Kill me, please. He’s going to come back.
He’ll make me drink again.
(moans, retches)
Please. Please, kill me.

MIRA
I’ll be right back. Everything will be fine.

SAMUEL
Don’t leave me! Mira! Don’t leave me!
 
Mira tears herself away, leaves the cell. Looks up the aisle.

MIRA
Beta?
 
No answer. She ducks into another cell, returns with a RUSTY BLADE. Samuel’s cell door SLAMS SHUT in front of her. Mira cries out, jerks on the handle. LOCKED.

MIRA (CONT’D)
No! Samuel!
 
She pounds on the door. Footsteps coming her way.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Beta? You have to help me.
 
But it’s not Erzsebet - it’s the blank-faced manservant. He inclines his head and gestures for Mira to walk out of the dungeon.

MIRA (CONT’D)
No.
 
He waits. Mira stands her ground. She doesn’t flinch as he walks toward her. He takes Mira’s arm. She stabs out with the rusty blade - buries it in his EYE.

The blank-faced manservant silently stumbles back. Pulls the blade out. Wipes it clean on his sleeve. Offers it back to Mira, gesturing again for her to leave.

Mira takes the blade. Exits.

CUT TO:
 
INT. CHAPEL - NIGHT

Léone sleeps at the base of the statue of Mary, her arm around the Virgin’s feet. The statue gazes down at Léone, not her infant, lovingly.

ILKA (O.S.)
Wake up!
 
Ilka hurries over, kicks Léone’s leg.

ILKA (CONT’D)
Wake up, now. Now! Get up!
 
Léone wakes, frowning. Dominik takes one of the baskets.

DOMINIK
We’re leaving, Léone. Let’s go!
 
INT. CORRIDORS - NIGHT

Ilka, Dominik and Léone hurry. Ilka keeps checking behind.

DOMINIK
Where’s Mama?

ILKA
She’s coming, too.

DOMINIK
Where is she? I don’t want to leave her.

ILKA
She’ll meet us in the village. Hurry, Dominik.
 
 
 
 
singer_shapersinger_shaper on April 4th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
I like the little lies that are building up between Mira and Samuel and Ilka and Dominik. I also like that Beta sired the blank-faced servant, who is super-creepy when he silently pulls out the blade from his eye. I assume this wasn't what you meant when you wrote that you'd be using more of the old material.

One teeny nitpick:

No lamps or candles lit - it should be too dar.

Did you mean 'dark'?

Shannonkungfuwaynewho on April 4th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks - I wanted both of them to lie but for different reasons, so I'm glad that played. So far I've used bits and pieces from the first draft, but not that much - we'll be getting to that part soon, though.

Hee, yeah, it should be dark. Nice catch!
nhpwnhpw on April 4th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
There's a big emotional shift in these pages - less creepiness, more general sadness/angst/hopelessness. Was that intentional? (I like it in either case.)

Also the, um, bit with the rusty blade? With the manservant? Made me make my "ew, gross" face. Which is a good thing for you. I could totally hear the sound effect of that, and see him just handing it back to her like it was no biggie. Well played.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on April 4th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
Yes - I wanted some emotional stuff in this sequence before we get to the more action/plot-driven third act. That's one of the big notes I came away with from the first draft - that it got a little hectic and intense and hard to follow, so I wanted to slow things down a bit.