Mira walks, seemingly composed, but she’s not seeing what’s in front of her. She STOPS. Stands for a beat.
Light-headed, she gets the wall against her back. Slides down till she sits. No tears - just numb.
You look troubled, my Lady.
No. I’m fine, thank you.
May I see you back to your rooms?
I came to the chapel this morning to
pray, but you were not there.
I was in the village, for Sunday mass.
Sunday mass? That is impossible.
I was brought to the castle yesterday, which
No, my Lady. You have been here five days.
This has been an...upsetting time for you. Perhaps
tomorrow I could show you around the castle.
It is quite a beautiful building.
Thank you, Father.
INT. MIRA’S ROOM - MORNING
Oil lamps dark, curtains drawn. Dress neatly hung over the foot of the made bed. Mira sits in the chair, staring at her reflection in the vanity MIRROR.
Behind her, the door CREAKS OPEN. She watches it in the mirror. Empty hallway beyond.
Mira forces a smile.
EXT. CASTLE - BATTLEMENT - DAY
A bird flies around a tower, above the battlement, and down toward the village. Mira watches its flight.
I enjoy walking up here. The castle can get
You have a beautiful view.
I am sorry for what has happened to you.
You would not want the Count to hear you speak
in such a way.
He is not my master. I answer only to God.
I am not feeling very charitable toward God
at the moment. I feel utterly forsaken.
No, my Lady. It is when we are truly alone
that God is most with us.
(points over mountains)
Right now my husband is somewhere over there.
When he returns, he will come back to an
empty house. The villagers will tell him that his
wife has left him to marry the Count. I will
likely never see him again. And you tell me
that God is with me?
Come. There is one other place
I wish to show you.
Three times bigger than Mira’s entire house. Two stories tall, staircases and ladders. Shelves and shelves of BOOKS. A roaring FIRE in the fireplace makes the room warm and homey.
Mira enters, Janos stopping in the doorway. She is a bit awestruck.
My father’s house has a library. Nothing
like this, of course.
Most were only in the house until he could sell
them. I loved to read about far-off places, long-ago
kingdoms. I used to dream that one night, after
everyone had gone to sleep, I would quietly pack a bag and
leave. Walking away from the village, over the
mountains, following the river. Just seeing where
the road would take me.
Thank you, Father...
Mira looks around the rest of the room. By the fireplace, a little table - atop are PAPER and PEN, an inkwell already uncapped.
She runs her fingers over the blank page.
INT. ILKA’S ROOMS - DAY
Ilka embroiders by the window. Dominik takes a nap, sleeping right in the center of Ilka’s huge feather bed.
The door opens. The blank-faced manservant leads two other, similar men inside. They go to her wardrobe.
What is going on?
Stop that. Get out of here. Now!
You can’t! These are my things. These
are my things!
Stop. Please stop!
My Lord. You must tell them to stop.
Enough. Did you honestly think I would
continue to allow you to live the life of the Countess?
Don’t send me away. I have no family. No one would
take me in. My Lord. Do not send me away.
Quiet. Of course I won’t send you away - that would
be needlessly cruel.
Your things belong to the Countess. And you,
dear Ilka, will have to earn your keep.
INT. LIBRARY - DAY
Mira sits at the little table. WRITES.
“My dearest Samuel. I love you still. I will
never stop loving you. I did what I had to do to
save our son’s life. If one day I can
escape, if I can come home to you, then
know I will not hesitate.”
Ilka enters, nervous. Dominik hangs off her hand. She wears a plain, simple dress, her hair pulled back severely.
The kitchen staff avoid her, casting confused or hostile looks her way. Ana finally comes to her side.
Just Ilka now. Show me what to do.
INT. MIRA’S ROOM - NIGHT
Mira lets herself in, closes the door securely behind her. A book under her arm. She opens it - the LETTER to Samuel, folded and sealed.
MOVEMENT out of the corner of her eye. She looks - too many shadows.
Mira sets the book down, hurries to light one of the lamps. She peers all around. Nothing.
She takes off her dress, hangs it up carefully. A moment where she feels like she’s being watched. She shrugs it off.
Mira gets her book, climbs into bed for the first time. One moment to sigh, sink down into the mattress. She checks the letter again, then opens to the first page and begins to read.
A SOUND on the edge of hearing. Like something shifting. Mira looks up. At first she sees nothing. Then--
The WINDOW is open a few inches. Night breeze wafts the curtains.
Beat. Mira steels herself. Slips out of the bed, goes to the window. She closes it, pulls the curtains shut. She turns back.
A GIRL crouches on all fours in the middle of Mira’s bed.