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10 April 2011 @ 07:53 pm
Draft Two - Day Thirty  
And technically, since I actually finished the script today (though I won't be posting all of those pages), I did actually finish in thirty days!  Huzzah!  (Of course, I copied and pasted some from the first draft, especially in this last act, so...whatever, good enough.) 

INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT

Mira and the wolf enter. Bathory waits, sitting at the end of the table, his feet up on the tablecloth. Ana stands behind him, watches Mira with dead eyes. Next to her - SAMUEL. Thinner, face sallow and pained. His eyes track Mira.

BATHORY
Darling! You look beautiful.

MIRA
You said you were going to let Samuel go.

BATHORY
I said I would release him from the dungeon.
I believe I’ll keep him around -
to remind you to stay obedient.
 
Mira sits at the opposite end of the table. Glances over - the wolf is gone. The blank-faced manservant stands exactly where it had been sitting. He smiles at her.

No real surprise - Mira is beyond that now. She just smiles back, then lifts the silver cover from her dinner plate. The food is ROTTEN. Mira pulls back slightly at the smell of it.

MIRA
What is this?

BATHORY
It’s the same as what you’ve always eaten here.
Nothing’s changed, Mira. Maybe at last you’re
just seeing things as they really are.
 
Mira looks around. She SEES. The tablecloth is full of holes, moldy. The paintings have been slashed - canvas strips hang sadly. Piles of bones in the corners. The wolf sits by the door, mangy, half-starved, eye missing. Ana’s throat has been RIPPED OUT - she absently toys with the shreds of flesh.

Mira looks to the end of the table. In the Count’s place sits an ANCIENT CREATURE, something older than even the castle. Its skin is cracked rather than wrinkled, old dead blood dried and caked in the seams of its wretched face.

Its eyes are red, and a serpentine tongue flicks out over its lips. With long, yellowed fingernails, it lifts a bite of rotten food to its mouth. Mira can see the maggots crawling.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
Won’t you eat, Mira?
 
She draws in a shuddery breath. Takes up her knife and fork, cuts away a piece of meat. Eats it with a struggle.

Laughter from the end of the table. Mira BLINKS - the Count appears a handsome middle-aged man again, though everything else is still ruined, decrepit.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
Delicious, isn’t it?
 
Mira eats another bite, more easily.

MIRA
How long did you wait before you showed all of
this to Ilka? How long did you wait
before you drove her mad?

BATHORY
I waited until she allowed that priest to
perform his magic on her. I waited until she
allowed my sons to die.

SAMUEL
(weak)
Why? Why are you doing this?
 
Bathory just looks to Ana, who takes Samuel’s arm. Removes the dirty rag wrapped around his stump.

SAMUEL (CONT’D)
No. No, please, no!
 
Mira can’t watch. She turns, covers her eyes. Samuel SCREAMS.

MIRA
Don’t hurt him, please. I was the one who
asked him to cross the river. I was
disobedient. Punish me.
 
The screams stop. Mira looks up - Samuel slumps against the wall, cradling his arm. Mira cries - Bathory STARES at her, as though he’s never seen tears before.

BATHORY
I don’t know why. Every day is the same, day
after day after day. Nothing is real any more.
(to himself)
I used to be a good man.

MIRA
You can still be a good man. Let us go.
 
Bathory is surprised, but not angry. Mira sees she has his attention.

MIRA (CONT’D)
You said once that you cared for
these lands. Was that a lie?

BATHORY
No. It wasn’t a lie.

MIRA
We could help you.
 
Mira stands, goes tot he center of the long table. A candelabra there - she lights it.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Won’t you come pray with me? I’ve always
found great strength in turning to the Lord.
 
Leaning against the wall, Samuel frowns. Edges away from Ana, who stares vacantly ahead. He comes to a serving table. Slowly puts his hand on a KNIFE.

Mira looks steadily at Bathory, guileless. He joins her.

BATHORY
There is no god.

MIRA
Then pray to the stones of this castle, the
sun and moon, the hills, who know all our secrets.
 
She pulls out the perfume bottle. Opens it, pours OIL into her hand. Spreads it on Bathory’s forehead, cheeks, lips.

MIRA (CONT’D)
To anoint yourself with oil is to
rededicate your life. Give each day purpose.
 
She unbuttons his shirt, revealing the VIAL OF BLOOD hanging around his neck. He stares at her, spellbound.

MIRA (CONT’D)
My mother taught me that. You would
have liked her - had you ever met her.
She slowly pours the rest of the oil on Bathory’s head.
MIRA (CONT'D)
Will you dedicate yourself? Will you help us?
Will you be the Count in deed, not just in name?

BATHORY
I will.

MIRA
Will you give me back my son?

BATHORY
Mira, he--

In one smooth movement, Mira rips the vial away, leaps back.

The ancient creature is revealed again, FANGS bared - the only teeth in its mouth. It lunges at Mira - but she holds the candelabra out. It CATCHES ON FIRE.

A SCREAM, a sound no mortal voice could make. Mira claps her hands over her ears, ducks away. So she doesn’t see the wolf jump...

It KNOCKS her down and clamps its jaws shut on her arm. The vial of blood rolls away. Mira shrieks, bats at the wolf’s head. It SHAKES her arm.

Samuel grabs the knife. Ana attacks him, howling. Samuel stabs her, again and again. Finally pushes her away.

Bathory is now a PILLAR of fire.

Mira fights the wolf, losing strength. A silver platters comes down on its head from above - Samuel. Stunned, the wolf releases her arm. Samuel STABS the wolf in the side. Mira scurries out from underneath it.

The Count turns. His eyes are gone - flames dance merrily away in his empty eye sockets. His skin begins to darken, shrivel. He croaks out something that might be her name.

Mira kicks herself back, away from him, injured arm held to her chest. Then she sees the vial - under the table, just a few inches from Bathory’s feet. Beat. Mira rolls over, CRAWLS for it. She picks it up.

Not fast enough.

Bathory manages to grab her arm and YANK her up to her feet. The sleeve of her dress catches on fire. She doesn’t notice - she stares at him.

Bathory GRINS, the flesh cracking and falling away as his face tries to move. He tightens his grip on Mira’s injured arm - a SNAP as a bone breaks.

BATHORY
(voice low, demonic)
You pathetic child. I was old when the Crusaders
reclaimed the Holy Land. Mighty kings have
fallen over the centuries, yet I have always
remained. And you think you can harm me?
 
Even as he speaks, the flames DIE OUT. The flesh and skin on his face and chest begin to heal.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
You will never be free of me. You
will belong to me until the end of time.
 
Bathory jerks her close. FANGS descend, he prepares to bite--

Samuel grabs the candelabra from the table and BURIES it in the Count’s back, like a pitchfork. The metal seems to find no resistance.

The walls and tabletop BURST into flame. Bathory falls to the floor. A few spastic jerks of his body, and then he is STILL.

Beat. Mira and Samuel stare, unaware of the fire all around them. Then the Count’s wineglass SHATTERS from the heat.

SAMUEL
Mira! We have to get out!

MIRA
Samuel.
 
They embrace. Then a sound is heard. They turn to Ana, on the floor. Mira goes to her.

ANA
(whispers)
Help me. Please.
 
Wounds in her neck, stabs in her side. Blood everywhere.

SAMUEL
Leave her - she’s a monster.
 
Mira tucks the vial into her dress. Helps Ana up.

INT. CORRIDORS - NIGHT

Drops of blood hit the floor in a steady rhythm. They fall from Mira’s arm - bitten, broken. They fall from Samuel’s arm - hand gone. They fall from Ana - mortally wounded.

The castle now looks just like the east tower and the dining room - abandoned, filthy, decrepit.

The three struggle to keep going, down the dark halls.

CUT TO:
 
INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT

Burnt and blackened. A few dying flames here and there. Bathory lies just where Mira left him. Empty eye sockets stare sightlessly at the ceiling.

A whimper. The WOLF lies on its side a few feet away, bleeding sluggishly from Samuel’s stab wound. It whimpers again as it moves its front paws.

A determined growl, and the wolf rolls over onto its belly. Slowly, it struggles forward, dragging itself and leaving a broad red smear to mark its path. Louder whines and whimpers.

One final burst of energy as the wolf pulls itself up, standing. It staggers forward a few steps, and finally COLLAPSES on the Count’s chest.
One long last exhalation, and the wolf’s eyes go dull.

Blood seeps from its wound. Soaks into the Count’s clothes. Puddles on his chest. Trickles down his face to his lips.

Skeletal fingers twitch.

CUT TO:
 
INT. CORRIDORS - NIGHT

Mira now practically carries Ana, the girl’s feet dragging on the floor. Finally, they stumble. Ana falls.

MIRA
Samuel, we have to stop the bleeding.

ANA
Where’s Ilka? Where--
 
She stops, coughs. Blood spills over her lips.

MIRA
Samuel!
 
Samuel rips down one of the tattered dragon tapestries. Mira presses it against Ana’s throat.

ANA
Ilka...

MIRA
She’s safe. Locked up in her room.

ANA
Tell her I’m sorry. Tell her--
 
Ana says no more. Her eyes go dull. She is DEAD. Mira closes the girl’s eyes. Then Mira senses something - she listens. SILENCE. Still...

Mira turns her head. Erzsebet stands behind her, looking down at Ana. Bewilderment and sadness on her face.

ERZSEBET
Is she asleep?

MIRA
She’s dead.
 
Erzsebet seems to hear something. A moment looking back the way Mira came, as though she can see right through the walls. She leaves, quickly.

SAMUEL
Mira. Get up.

MIRA
We can’t leave her here.

SAMUEL
She’s dead. There’s nothing else we can do.
 
Mira wasn’t talking about Ana. Still, she lets Samuel help her up, and together they keep moving.

CUT TO:
 
INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT

A hand - not so skeletal anymore - grips the edge of the table. Bathory pulls himself upright. Parts of his face are fully healed. Other parts aren’t - white cheekbone pokes through a patch of burned, blackened flesh. One eye is whole, the other is still missing.

The Count looks at the entrance. He sneers.

BATHORY
And what do you think you’re doing here?
 
Erzsebet blocks the doorway. She looks too young, too small. Bathory approaches her, his steps growing ever stronger and more assured.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
Get out of my way.

ERZSEBET
She’s mine.

BATHORY
(too tired to laugh)
You horrible brat, she will want
nothing to do with you.

ERZSEBET
She’s mine.
 
Bathory lunges forward and grabs her. Erzsebet snarls and tries to bite, but he THROWS her to the side. She hits the wall and tumbles to the floor, unconscious.

Bathory walks out.

INT. CORRIDORS - NIGHT

Mira and Samuel hurry as best they can. They turn a corner - more of the same stretching ahead of them.

SAMUEL
I thought you knew the way out.

MIRA
This is supposed to be the Great Hall.

SAMUEL
We have to get out!
 
He stumbles against the wall, in some kind of distress.

MIRA
Samuel?

SAMUEL
There’s something wrong with me. I feel it inside...
 
In the distance, the CLICK-CLACK of boot heels on stone.

MIRA
Bathory.

SAMUEL
We killed him!

MIRA
He can’t be killed, only destroyed. Hurry!
We have to get to the chapel.
 
They run, through the disorienting maze of corridors. The footsteps get closer and closer. Louder. Echoing in the very walls. They run down the stairs, finally enter--

THE CHAPEL

And Bathory is right behind them. He stops at the entrance, as though he’s hit a wall. He screams in frustration - a nightmare.

BATHORY
Give her to me!
 
Janos walks calmly down from the altar. Smiles.

MIRA
I have it.
 
She pulls the vial of blood out of her dress, hands it to Janos. He handles it with absolute reverence.

JANOS
Oh, Mira. Thank you.

BATHORY
Do as I tell you, Briccius!
Give her to me!
 
Janos walks up to the chest behind the altar. Mira backs away from the door, to the wall, looking back and forth between them. She doesn’t see the look of JOY on the statue of Mary.

SAMUEL
(moans)
Mira...

MIRA
It’s all right. He can’t enter. Father
Janos put crosses around the doors.

BATHORY
(laughs)
Father Janos! Crosses!
 
Bathory SLAMS his fist into the floor at the threshold. The stones BREAK. Bathory pulls the pieces aside.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
Don’t think you can defy me, Briccius.

MIRA
Why does he call you that?
 
Janos carefully returns the vial to the chest.

JANOS
(absently)
Because it is my name.
 
Bathory digs through the rubble under the stone tiles. He pulls up a handful of BONES. Tiny bones. He brandishes them at Mira.

BATHORY
Look what he has done. My sons! My own flesh
and blood! He uses them against me, to keep me out.
 
More little bones removed, tossed aside. A fragile infant SKULL, a HOLE in the top.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
He murdered my sons!

JANOS
(to Mira)
Wouldn’t you have killed them, if you’d had
the chance? Their bodies kept this place safe from him.
 
Bathory continues to tear the skeletons out of the floor, tossing them behind him. His hands SMOKE.

JANOS (CONT’D)
(to Bathory)
And shouldn’t I have had a place just for my
own? Especially since the whole castle was
given to me, because of my victories? And I would have
shared it with you, Uncle! I would have shared
it with you willingly, if you had only asked!

BATHORY
The victories were mine! You were
just a child. My money paid for your
mercenaries. The castle and land should
have been given to me!
 
He raises the last bone. CRUSHES it in his fist. BLOOD DROPS follow the bone fragments and dust to the floor. Bathory wipes the blood around the frame, then steps over the threshold.

JANOS
(quietly)
What will you do now, Hados?

BATHORY
What I should have done centuries ago.
 
Bathory runs at Janos. But Janos grabs him, LIFTS him with one hand.

JANOS
You forget, Uncle. You no longer wear
my blood around your neck.
 
Janos SINKS HIS TEETH into Bathory’s throat. Bathory struggles, but Janos is now the stronger. Janos drinks.

Mira sees the statues watching the two men, their faces twisted with savage glee.

Bathory’s struggle ends. He hangs limp in Janos’s grasp. His skin is sucked tight to his bones, as though he were being mummified. Janos lets him drop - Bathory’s body TURNS TO DUST when it hits the floor.

Janos licks the blood still on his lips, now ruddy. No longer gaunt - his face is full, almost fat. He sighs.

JANOS (CONT’D)
Nine hundred years I’ve waited.
 
He and the statues smile at Mira. She is paralyzed with fear.

JANOS (CONT’D)
Nine hundred years you villagers have been able to
hide behind Bathory, persist in your superstitious
blasphemy. No more. Now you will all truly know
the wrath of God. And you, Mira, will be first.
 
Janos leaves. The doors slam shut on their own. Mira runs to them, tries to open them, to no avail. Samuel slumps into a pew. Hand shaky, voice weak.

SAMUEL
He killed me down in that dungeon. This is Hell.
 
Mira can’t argue with him.
 
 
 
singer_shapersinger_shaper on April 11th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
I really, really like the revelation that Janos is Briccius and that the chapel is really another power's home base. I also like Samuel's agency in helping Mira here.

Will you be posting the end of the script?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on April 11th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
I will! I was unclear - I just wasn't going to post everything last night, because that would have been more than 30 pages.

I'm glad Samuel's role in the climax is working; I was wondering about that.
Holly: Stock - iharthdarth squee!hollywobbles on April 11th, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
Oooh. Ooh. OOOOOOOOOH. Finished??? I get to REEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAD????????

I can has to read... this weekend? Maybe? Yes????

Purrrrrr.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on April 11th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
Hee! You're so cute. I have a few Bill and Ted edits, and I hope to have a PDF of the whole thing by Wednesday. Send it to you then?
Holly: Misc - HP - Snape likes bookshollywobbles on April 12th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee, Wednesday works! I won't get to it til the weekend at the earliest, so take your time, but yep, Wednesday's good. :D
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on April 14th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
Haven't even gotten around to editing yet! Am doing so after work. Goddddddddd I have no time.
nhpwnhpw on April 14th, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
I love this plot twist. I liked it in the first draft, and somehow I like it even better now. Not that much has changed about it, so I'm not sure why - maybe because the rest of the story leading up to this point was more dramatic and clear this time? Anyway. Very nice.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on April 14th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yay! I worked really hard on dropping in "Hados" and "Briccius" throughout so by the time we got here, it wouldn't be, like, who? I also think it helps that I cut out a lot of the meandering from the two previous sequences; I do think it's clearer leading up to this.

Glad it's working. Or, at least, working better.