EXT. VILLAGE - DAY
The snow-cloaked peaks of the Carpathians loom all around. Mira leads a small WAGON, pulled by an old MULE, down a narrow lane. Dominik, heavily swaddled, is nestled into the hay filling the wagon.
Mira makes her way to the village center - instead of a marketplace or a town square, there is the CEMETERY. She passes it, hooking her fingers out and SPITTING to ward off evil.
She approaches a BUTCHER’S STALL. Freshly carved meat hangs, bloody mud underneath.
Greetings, Todor. I have eggs for you.
Look at this yolk. Barely yellow.
It’s winter. The hens have no grass to eat.
Two baskets instead of one.
And in return I will get two cuts of
meat instead of one?
Don’t be silly, girl.
What did you say?
One basket of eggs for one cut of
meat. No more, no less.
Who do you think you are? You’re a
cast-off. You may as well be an
orphan. Fuck you, and fuck your eggs.
INT. MIRA’S COTTAGE - NIGHT
Mira’s husband, SAMUEL (30), drips a spoonful of thin liquid back into his bowl. He looks at Mira with disbelief.
What is this?
Where’s the meat?
No meat today.
I don’t understand.
Todor wanted two baskets instead
of one, so I told him no deal.
Do you have any idea how hard I worked today?
I need meat, Mira, not hot turnip water!
I traded Todor’s basket for some nails.
I cannot eat nails!
There. You can eat bread.
Why didn’t you just give him
the extra basket?
Because I will not be pushed around!
I will not let some fat lump
speak to me in such a way!
Where are you going?
To eat in the barn with the
mule. He is better company.
A long, long table between Ilka and Bathory. She has put on a gown - it is too big, or rather, she is now too small. She does not eat, while the Count eats hugely.
(beat, raises voice)
I was hoping my Lord would choose
to visit my rooms tonight.
How can I give my Lord a son
if he never lies with me?
Why would I wish to lie with you?
Nothing but skin and bones.
I have been praying. I have sacrificed.
Sacrifice! What do you know of sacrifice?
God is not interested in your blood.
That child priest has deceived you.
Your blood is weak, watered down
by sheep herders and outlaws.
To think when I married you, you
were considered a great beauty.
Rut with your priest if you like.
I will not visit your bed - you are no longer my wife.
INT. CASTLE - CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER
Ilka rushes down the hall. A SERVANT crosses her path - she points a shaking hand at him.
Bring me Janos!