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10 November 2010 @ 10:05 pm
NaScreeWriMo - Day Ten  

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.

My Lady?
Mira looks up - Janos waiting, pleasant expression on his face. She looks around - how long has she been sitting here?

You look troubled, my Lady.

No. I’m fine, thank you.

May I see you back to your rooms?
She nods, and they begin walking.

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.

My Lady?

I was brought to the castle yesterday, which
was Wednesday.

No, my Lady. You have been here five days.
Mira stares at him. He gently takes her arm, starts her walking again.

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.
She stares all around, as though expecting something to jump out at any time.


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.

Lady Mira?
Mira turns - Janos stands in the doorway. That same pleasant, respectful look on his face.

Mira forces a smile.


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
rather stuffy.

You have a beautiful view.
Indeed - beyond the tiny village a RIVER weaves its way through the valleys between the mountains.

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.
Mira shakes her head.


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?
Janos accepts the rebuke. Beat.

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.
She brushes her fingertips along the spines of the books.

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...
She turns, but she is alone in the library - Janos is nowhere to be seen.

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.


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?
No answer. They begin to pull out her dresses.

Stop that. Get out of here. Now!
The manservant pushes Ilka none-too-gently out of the way to get to her dresser. He simply removes the drawers.

You can’t! These are my things. These
are my things!
Dominik wakes up, frightened. Ilka watches helplessly as her room is emptied out.

Stop. Please stop!
Bathory saunters in.

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.

My things...?

Your things belong to the Countess. And you,
dear Ilka, will have to earn your keep.
Ilka doesn’t like the sound of that.


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.

My Lady.

Just Ilka now. Show me what to do.
Ana nods, puts an arm around Ilka’s waist. She leads her into the kitchens.


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.
nhpwnhpw on November 11th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
This is a great continuation. I really look forward to seeing how you weave all the puzzle pieces and mysteries together.

And this still doesn't read entirely like a vampire story, which amazes me. There are little clues that something isn't quite right - like Mira's near-hypnosis at dinner, and the servants with empty eyes, and now the seeming loss of time - but it doesn't come out all "HEY THIS IS A VAMPIRE STORY" which is awesome.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 11th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
I really look forward to seeing how you weave all the puzzle pieces and mysteries together.

Me too!

You know what's awesome? When you look up the Bathorys on Wikipedia and you read something and it makes something in the nebulous, distant Act Three click. Last night was pretty excite. I...still don't know how much of what I've set up is going to pay off. I don't worry about it so much in a first draft, LOL.
nhpwnhpw on November 11th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
I assume it was the countess and not the heavy metal band that made the thing click? (Although - either way I am intrigued.)

I...still don't know how much of what I've set up is going to pay off.

I'm feeling the same way. Last night I just decided - screw it, just go where the words lead and worry about the loose ends later.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 11th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
Haha I didn't even know there was a band. No, it was the thing about how the original Bathory gave shit to his brothers and nephews and stuff. It made me go hmm...

(The countess has been a part from the very beginning - remember when I said there was a major character you haven't met yet? *rubs hands together*)

Last night I just decided - screw it, just go where the words lead and worry about the loose ends later.

Exactly. Better to weed out your red herrings and loose ends in revision than not have anything to build on.
Holly: Tigh oceanhollywobbles on November 13th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
WHOA! Creepy as shit!
Shannon: bsg ellenkungfuwaynewho on November 13th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
You don't know how excited I was when I realized that I was leaving everyone with that mental image at the end of these pages. Seriously, though, it kind of creeps me out a little bit - I don't like evil little girls. They scary.