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11 April 2011 @ 09:33 pm
Draft Two - Day Thirty-One  
EXT. CASTLE - NIGHT

Snow falls gently. The crunch of horse hooves approach. A hooded rider. The hood is thrown back - ILKA.

She stares up at the walls, determination warring with fear.

INT. CASTLE - GREAT HALL - NIGHT

Ilka walks, overwhelmed by the state of the castle. RATS scurry around her feet. The portraits of Bathory through the centuries, worn and aged, seem to sneer down at her.

A suit of armor stands - Ilka removes the SWORD. Seems to gather strength.

A FIGURE at the other end of the hall. It’s almost too dark to see - just the slightest touch of moonlight on an outline. But Ilka knows who it is.

ILKA
Father Janos. Thank God.
 
He steps forward out of the shadows - smiles. Warm, welcoming. Ilka joins him.

CUT TO:
 
INT. CHAPEL - NIGHT

Mira behind the altar, looks down at the vial in the chest.

MIRA
The blood of blessed St. Briccius.
 
Behind her, a CRASH. She turns - Samuel has broken one of the narrow stained glass windows. Mira walks to him as he picks up a shard.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Samuel?
 
He puts the shard to his throat.

MIRA (CONT’D)
No!
 
A fight for the glass. Blood drips from his throat. Mira finally wins, throws the shard aside. Her own hands bleeding, she checks Samuel’s throat - then starts hitting him.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Why would you do that? Why?

SAMUEL
I can’t go back to that dungeon.
I can’t. I just want to die.
 
The doors CREAK OPEN. They look - nothing. Silence.

MIRA
Games.
 
She goes back to the altar, takes the vial of blood. Heads out of the chapel, walking right through Bathory’s ashes.

MIRA (CONT’D)
You don’t want to die. Come on.

SAMUEL
Where are you going? Mira?
 
INT. CORRIDORS - MOMENTS LATER

Samuel follows Mira. She steps just inside--

THE GUEST ROOM

While Samuel stays in the hall. He cocks his head, listening to something.

SAMUEL
Do you hear that?
 
Mira pauses. The door SLAMS SHUT, separating them. Mira jerks on the handle. Runs to the vanity, rummages, finds a nail file. Back to the door--

The door is GONE. Only a blank, smooth expanse of wall. Mira backs away, nail file dropping to the floor.

INT. CORRIDORS - NIGHT

Samuel wanders, following a sound only he can hear. He climbs over a pile of broken stones. Doesn’t see the skeleton curled up against the wall, mouth open in a silent scream.

Light up ahead. Samuel enters--

THE LIBRARY

Candles lit everywhere. A roaring fire. Warm orange light falls on the books, the statues, the chairs. Everything in perfect order. A little table laid with food. He approaches.

ILKA (O.S.)
You must be Samuel.
 
Ilka comes up to him. Wearing a real dress, hair falling in golden curls. She is beautiful, angelic.

ILKA (CONT’D)
Sit down, eat.
 
She smiles at Samuel - he smiles back.

INT. GUEST ROOM - NIGHT

Mira pulls books off the shelves with her good arm. Most fall apart. She runs her hand over the wall behind - nothing.

In the corner Dominik pointed to so long ago, a huge RAT suckles her babies. Mira backs away in disgust.

She opens the window.

MIRA
Beta?
 
The bed is filthy, moldy. The chair has an ominous dark stain. Mira stands and waits.

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

Samuel eats with a huge appetites. Ilka watches.

ILKA
How long has it been since you last ate?

SAMUEL
Don’t know.

ILKA
Your son is safe.

SAMUEL
(drops fork)
What?

ILKA
He’s no longer in the castle.
He’s safe, in the village.

SAMUEL
Mira told me he was dead.

ILKA
Dominik is with the butcher. He is well.

SAMUEL
You saved him. You saved my son.

JANOS (O.S.)
I told you he would come.
 
Samuel turns - Janos enters the library. Samuel jumps up, backs away, crossing himself.

JANOS (CONT’D)
My son, don’t be afraid. Sit with me.
Let us break bread together.

SAMUEL
I watched you kill him. You--

ILKA
Father Janos was doing the Lord’s work.

SAMUEL
(to Janos)
You’re going to hurt Mira.

JANOS
I only want her to know peace, and to
be happy. I only want her to know Christ’s love.
(beat)
Won’t you help me?
 
A bit reluctant, Samuel sits.

INT. GUEST ROOM - NIGHT

Mira paces, becoming more and more frantic. She goes to the window, leans out and looks down - the wall stands at the edge of a cliff. The bottom is cloaked in darkness.

Despair, exhaustion. Mira leans out further, head and shoulders outside. Taking deep breaths. Preparing...

The slightest SOUND from above, and Mira twists to look up, startled. Something SMALL and DARK moves down the wall.

It’s Erzsebet, CRAWLING on hands and feet straight down the side of the castle. Mira stares, a little scared. Erzsebet stops just above her, nothing seeming to keep her from falling. She reaches out a hand and touches Mira’s cheek.

Mira steps back into the room - a moment later Erzsebet easily slips in. She croons over Mira’s injured arm.

MIRA
Janos is going to kill me.

ERZSEBET
(fierce)
No.

MIRA
I can’t get out.
 
Erzsebet looks a question. Mira turns to the wall - the door stands, just as it always had. Beat - she smiles at the girl.

MIRA (CONT’D)
(shows vial)
His blood. Do you remember the
old words your father said?
 
Erzsebet grins.

MOMENTS LATER

Erzsebet scrapes away the wax sealing the vial shut. She opens it, hands it to Mira.

ERZSEBET
Drink it.

MIRA
I’ll just wear it around my
neck, like the Count.

ERZSEBET
Drink it.
 
Mira hesitates. DRINKS. Gags and nearly spits it out. Erzsebet watches until Mira finishes. Then the girl points a finger at Mira, CHANTS in a dead language.

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

Ilka fills Samuel’s plate again - delicious, hearty fare.

ILKA
Eat.
 
Samuel starts to dig in, then sees a single FLY circling over the plate.

JANOS
Mira will want to return to the village.
You must convince her to stay here.
 
Samuel looks at Janos. The fire behind the priest has gone out - only the more distant candles are still lit.

ILKA
We have so much room here. You
can help us rebuild.

SAMUEL
Mira and I have a life together,
down in the village.

JANOS
A miserable life! Cold and wet and hungry.
Think of how much more comfortable
your lives could be here!
 
Samuel looks back to his plate. Two flies. Three.

SAMUEL
Mira will not want that.

JANOS
She is far too headstrong. Brash.

SAMUEL
(smiles)
Yes, she is.

JANOS
Then you will help me?

SAMUEL
Of course.
 
INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Mira and Erzsebet walk. Over the pile of stones, past the skeleton.

MIRA
Will you come with us? This
is no place for a child.
 
Erzsebet surprises her by hugging Mira tightly. Mira strokes the girl’s hair tenderly.

JANOS (O.S.)
What do you think you’re doing, Cousin?
 
Mira and Erzsebet part. Janos, Ilka and Samuel stand at the end of the hall. Mira looks to Samuel - he barely nods.

ERZSEBET
She’s mine.

JANOS
We’ve already discussed this, Cousin.

ERZSEBET
I’ve been good! I’ve done everything you said!

SAMUEL
(steps forward)
Mira, come with us--
 
Janos GRABS Samuel.

JANOS
Stay where you are. Erzsebet, give me
the girl, and you may have your mother.
 
Ilka looks at him with alarm.

JANOS (CONT’D)
She’s neglected you all these years. She
deserves to be punished. You
may punish her, Erzsebet.

ILKA
Janos, how can you say such a thing?

JANOS
You insipid cow. For years I waited for you
to finally turn on that thief, to help me
end his tyranny. But you’re weak. You always have been.
 
He turns to her, fangs bared. Ilka steps back, horrified.

ILKA
No...

JANOS
Hados needed you.
(disdain)
He loved you. I do not.
 
Janos prepares to strike - Samuel JUMPS on Janos’s back. Tries to pull him away from Ilka. Janos easily shrugs Samuel off. HITS him with such force that Samuel flies backward, head hitting the wall. He slumps to the floor, unconscious.

MIRA
Samuel!

JANOS
I knew he was lying, because that’s all you
humans can do. Lying, degenerate sinners.

MIRA
You can have me. Let Ilka go. Let Beta have her.
 
Mira walks forward, empty hands held out. Janos considers - releases Ilka.

MIRA (CONT’D)
(to Ilka)
It’s all right. Go to her.

ERZSEBET
Mother.
 
Mira and Ilka pass each other. Erzsebet reaches out.

MIRA
The villagers were right, you know.

JANOS
You will fast first. A fortnight, I think. That
should give you ample time to reflect on your sins.

MIRA
When they stoned you, Briccius, they knew
you were an evil bastard. Too bad they
didn’t actually kill you.

JANOS
Then we will scourge your flesh, until
you admit your guilt and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness.
 
Mira takes down a TORCH from the wall. Continues toward him.

MIRA
You are a plague, and I will suffer
your presence no longer.

JANOS
That’s far enough.
 
Mira still approaches, supremely confident. Janos tries to strike, but cannot. He stares, puzzled.

MIRA
Your blood flows through my veins.

ERZSEBET
I can do magic, too, Cousin.
 
The rage in Janos’s eyes doesn’t quite cover the FEAR.

JANOS
You think you can hurt me? You’re mine, now, girl,
and I’ll rip you apart limb from limb if
I must to save your soul.

MIRA
We’ll see about that.
 
She THRUSTS the torch at Janos. He catches on fire like a dry piece of tinder. The walls erupt into flame. Mira is thrown back from the force of the fires, her dress alight.

Janos turns and FLEES.

Ilka runs up, drags Mira back from the flames. Beats the fire on her dress out. Erzsebet steps back, careful to stay away from any fire.

ILKA
Mira, Mira!

MIRA
(coughs)
I’m all right.
(beat)
Samuel...
 
Ilka helps Mira up, and they run to Samuel. The fires on the walls already dying out. Samuel still lies crumpled in a heap. No response when Mira touches his face.

ERZSEBET
He’s not dead.

MIRA
I know. He’s still breathing. Samuel?

ERZSEBET
Briccius. He’s not dead.

MIRA
Help me move Samuel.

ERZSEBET
No time. We must find Briccius
now, while he’s still weak.
(dismissive)
Your man will be fine.

ILKA
Where is Janos?

ERZSEBET
The catacombs.

ILKA
How do you know?
 
Now Erzsebet turns to face them. A weary, resigned look far older than her years.

ERZSEBET
He is my blood.
 
 
 
 
nhpwnhpw on April 14th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
I like that Samuel has a lot more character development in this draft.

(This sounds familiar. I think maybe I said it already? Or maybe I'm having deja vu, IDK.)

ANYWAY, I like that he has more character development, and that you get more of a feel for his and Mira's relationship.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on April 15th, 2011 12:09 am (UTC)
I don't think you've said it before, but thank you. I'm sure it seems like he has more character development because he actually has a character this time around, LOL. He was kind of a prop before.