Shannon (kungfuwaynewho) wrote,
Shannon
kungfuwaynewho

NaScreeWriMo - Day Eight

INT. CASTLE - LONG HALL - DAY

A beautiful space, but sterile - no warmth. Forbidding PORTRAITS hang on the walls - men similar in appearance to Bathory.

BATHORY
This castle has been in the hands of my family for
centuries, ever since the reign of King Laszlo,
when many of the people of this land were
still pagans. My ancestor Hados was given
this castle, this land, in return for his
service to the king.
 
Bathory stops, and Mira follows his gaze to a portrait - a man with a stern face, who sits in front of a GRISLY field of BATTLE.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
In gratitude, Hados pledged a mighty crusade
against the infidels. He brought back many
treasures - even a holy relic. There has been
an unbroken line of male descendants ever since.
 
Bathory looks down at Mira. She is uneasy at their proximity.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
If I do not have a son, an heir, this castle and all
it contains will revert back to the ownership of the king.

MIRA
Your wife is still young--

BATHORY
My wife! She is weak, too reliant on that priest,
on his simpering superstition. You, however, are strong.

MIRA
My Lord, I beg you...
 
They begin walking again.

BATHORY
I spoke to your father, before you joined us at
dinner last night. I could tell his heart was still
broken over what you did to him.

MIRA
What I did?

BATHORY
Betrothed to a fine young man, the son of your father’s
fiercest rival - your marriage would have brought
your two families together. But you ran away, nearly
ruined your father’s reputation, and for what?

MIRA
Samuel and I were in love.

BATHORY
(sneers)
Love. Do you love sleeping in the dirt?
Eating muck? Sharing your home with vermin?

MIRA
I would do anything to be with him.

BATHORY
Would you? And do you feel the same
way about your son?

MIRA
Where is my son?

BATHORY
He is with the Countess. She is carrying him
down to the kitchens, with a shawl over his head - she’s actually afraid that
someone will take him away from her! She’s quite mad,
you know. After she gave birth to her third
dead baby, she lost what little mind she had left.
 
Mira swallows her fear.

MIRA
Please let me take him home.

BATHORY
And if I did, you would return to by my wife?

MIRA
I am already a wife!

BATHORY
(conversational)
If you refuse me again, I will take the child to the
top of the highest tower and throw him off.
 
Mira stops. Whatever fear she has felt up to now has only been a prelude.

MIRA
You would not do such a thing.

BATHORY
Then I would retrieve his body and bring it to you,
so you could see how he died. And then you
would watch as the wolves tore it to pieces.
 
Mira’s face is white. Something inside her breaks.

MIRA
I will be your wife.
 
The Count grins - broad and guileless.

BATHORY
Wonderful!
 
He takes her hand and KISSES it. Mira tries to hide her revulsion.

They turn the corner. Her hallway - two doors, the dragon tapestry. He walks her to the first door.

BATHORY (CONT’D)
Here you are, my dear. I will see you this
evening when we dine together.
 
He opens the door. Mira enters--

HER ROOM

And watches the door close behind her. CLICK. After a beat, she tries the handle - it is locked.

What just happened starts sinking in. The walls crumble - Mira BREAKS DOWN.

CUT TO:
 
INT. CASTLE - KITCHENS - DAY

A bit more cheery than the rest of the castle. FIRES - in the ovens, under a BOAR on a SPIT, under a veritable CAULDRON filled with bubbling STEW.

Ilka and Dominik sit at a table, eating some stew. Ilka practically licks the bowl. She grabs the arm of a passing scullery maid - ANA (16), who still has life in her eyes.

ILKA
I would like some more.
 
Ana averts her eyes, clearly terrified. She fills Ilka’s bowl.

ILKA (CONT’D)
What is your name?

ANA
Ana, my Lady.

ILKA
Thank you, Ana.
 
The girl is surprised - she looks Ilka in the eye, then blushes and flees.

ILKA (CONT’D)
(to Dominik)
Do you like the stew?

DOMINIK
Better than Mama’s.
 
Ilka is pleased - you would think she made the stew herself.

ILKA
My mother was a wonderful cook. She could take
anything - even scraps - and make a delicious meal.

DOMINIK
Where’s your mama?

ILKA
She died. She was very sick. I wanted to go home to
take care of her but...but the Count would not allow it.

DOMINIK
Mama said this was the Count’s castle,
but I haven’t seen him.

ILKA
(leans close, whispers)
You do not want to see him.

DOMINIK
Why?
She avoids the question - false brightness.

ILKA
I’ve never been down here before! Ten years I’ve
lived in the castle, and this is my first visit to the kitchens.

DOMINIK
How come you’ve never come down here before?
 
Ilka thinks, realizes something about herself.

ILKA
I don’t know.
 
Tags: nascreewrimo, writing
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