INT. CASTLE - DINING HALL - NIGHT
Mira enters, hiding her nerves as best she can. Hair clean and simply plaited, she wears an exquisite DRESS - expensive fabric, jewels sewn into the skirt. She is stunning - she looks as though she were born to be a queen.
The men at the table stand - Janos, Miklos, and Bathory, who has a gleam in his eye. Mira only looks at Miklos.
What are you doing here?
I had hoped to have dinner
with my daughter.
And we had to journey clear up to the
castle to do that? Five years
we live no more than a
mile from each other, and you never
come to visit me.
Please, sit down, Mira.
Kiraly Mira. My husband is
Kiraly Mira, please, sit down.
It is good to see you in something
so becoming, dear.
Four servers enter bearing SILVER COVERED DISHES. Dark, downcast eyes - the same affect as the maid. They place the dishes in front of those seated, remove the covers, and melt away.
Mira looks down at a plate of succulent, thinly sliced meat, roast vegetables, a delicate sauce. Mouthwatering. She swallows hard.
Mira clasps her hands, bows her head to pray, only to see Janos start shoveling the food into his mouth.
So she takes a bite, chews slowly. Savors it - bliss.
It is good?
Watching the three men watch her. They all take a drink at the same time - RED WINE. Mira glances to her right - wine of her own. She sips the water at her left.
You do not eat this well at home.
To eat more simply is not to
eat more poorly, my Lord.
Will you not try the wine? The grapes
are grown on the side of this very mountain.
Miklos smiles at her, blood from the meat dripping down his chin.
I have been telling the Count how smart you are.
She even knows how to read.
An impressive feat for a woman.
Is everything all right, my child?
It is very warm.
Aren’t you wondering why I’ve asked
you here tonight?
It is not my place to question my Lord.
I saw that you have a child. A son?
Dominik, my Lord.
He is healthy?
Yes, my Lord. He is a big, strong boy.
My wife has been unable to give
me a son.
I am sorry, my Lord.
Does Bathory turn a dark eye the priest’s way? But no, he is still smiling at Mira, still the perfect host.
Do not make the same mistake
I am married.
To a shoemaker! You have nothing,
Mira. The Count will give you everything!
You have already disowned me once. You
cannot threaten to do so again.
Listen to me--
I do not belong to you, to trade away
for money or favor.
Please understand. I must have an heir.
There are many unmarried maidens in the
village, my Lord. I suggest you choose
from one of them.
I would like to see my son.
INT. CASTLE - CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER
Mira follows the manservant. She watches his feet - frowns.
She stops - the manservant continues a few paces. His footsteps make no sound.
He slows to a dreamy stop, turns only his head to look back at her. His face is completely blank, expressionless.
INT. CASTLE - GUEST ROOM - NIGHT
The manservant holds the door open for Mira. She enters, hurrying to the middle of the room.
She looks around. Four poster bed, vanity with mirror and chair, wardrobe. The room is only lit by the moonlight coming in through the windows.
It is LOCKED.
Mira stares at it. Fear giving way to panic.
INT. CASTLE - ILKA’S ROOMS - NIGHT
Similar to Mira’s guest room, but disordered, slovenly.
Dominik sits on the floor, sobbing.
Stop crying! Be quiet!
Someone come take this wretched child!
He SHRIEKS, the terrifying cry of a child - you’re afraid he won’t be able to draw in another breath. His little face is bright red.
Ilka collapses beside him. Tired, frustrated, she starts crying herself.
Please stop crying. Please.
Mira POUNDS on the door. The panic has fully set in.
Let me out! Open this door and let me out!
Mira looks around the room wildly. Goes to a WINDOW. A moment to study, and then she opens it. Leans her head out to look.
No balcony or ledge - just perfectly flat stone flush with one another from top to bottom. And the bottom is a long ways down - several hundred feet to the base of the castle. This side is at the edge of a CLIFF.
Dizzy, Mira stumbles back. Spins in a slow circle. She is TRAPPED.
Cold, dim light - an overcast day. Ilka wakes, bleary-eyed, on the floor, amidst a pile of wrinkled dresses.
The first thing she sees is DOMINIK’S FACE, right over hers, staring curiously.
Can we eat now?
We will fast until sundown.
You’re not fast. You’re slow.
I want a egg.
There are no eggs in the castle.
We will have only bread and water.
To remain pure.
You shouldn’t ask so many questions!
I want Mama.
Your mama is occupied. Perhaps...we
could spend some time together?
Can we play a game?