Shannon (kungfuwaynewho) wrote,
Shannon
kungfuwaynewho

NaScreeWriMo - Day Twelve

INT. MAID’S QUARTERS - DAWN

Tiny. A straw-filled mattress on the floor. One window high on the wall lets in gray light.

Ilka wakes, Dominik beside her. She is exhausted - it takes a few tries before she manages to sit up.

DOMINIK
Can we play today?

ILKA
We must work today.

DOMINIK
Why?
 
Ilka just sighs.

INT. KITCHENS - DAY

Dominik drags a BAG of POTATOES across the floor - the bag is as big as he is.

Ilka stirs a bubbling mixture in one of the big cauldrons with a wooden POLE. A roaring fire underneath. She wipes sweat from her face. She’s too thin, too unused to any physical work - she struggles.

Ilka watches Dominik sit down on the bag. Almost immediately one of the big male COOKS rounds on him.

COOK
Boy, get up!

DOMINIK
I’m tired.
 
The Cook KICKS the bag, right underneath Dominik - it’s enough of a jolt to knock him to the floor.

ILKA
Stop that! Leave him be!
 
The Cook ignores her, jerking Dominik back up to his feet.

Ilka drags her pole out of the cauldron, dripping all over the floor. She marches over and SMACKS the Cook on the back with the pole.

ILKA (CONT’D)
Don’t you touch him!
 
The Cook turns, PUSHES her. She falls back, lands hard. Dominik cries out, runs to her.

COOK
We don’t have time for your nonsense.

ILKA
How dare you touch me, talk to me in such a way.

COOK
Why? You’re nothing anymore.
 
The Cook grabs the bag of potatoes himself, hauls it away. Ilka sits for a beat, Dominik hanging off her neck.

She stands, takes Dominik’s hand, and calmly walks out.

INT. CASTLE - ENTRANCE TO WEST TOWER - DAY

Mira approaches a set of LOCKED and BARRED heavy iron doors. She carries a basket with food inside, a clean dress over her arm.

Mira turns to look at Janos, who begins to unlock the doors.

MIRA
How can you lock her in here? She’s just a child.

JANOS
I wish you would not do this, Mira. It isn’t safe.
 
He stops, looks at her. She stares at him, resolute. Janos OPENS the doors. Beat.

Mira enters--

THE WEST TOWER

Cold, dim, abandoned. Makes the rest of the castle seem positively cheery. Thick cobwebs, broken stones, rotting furniture.

Mira wanders through the bottom level, once a ballroom, perhaps.

She climbs the stairs.

Walks down a short corridor, doors hanging open on broken hinges.

MIRA
Erzsebet?
 
Thick silence. It’s harder for Mira to climb the next set of stairs - a SKITTERING sound overhead.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Beta?
 
Another corridor. The tapestry on the wall - the dragon biting its tail - has been SHREDDED. Mira passes an open doorway, then stops and steps back.

Erzsebet sits against the wall, almost hidden in the shadows. Her face obscured.

Mira gingerly crosses to the middle of the room - sets the basket down. She can’t help but notice the DEAD RAT not too far from Erzsebet.

MIRA (CONT’D)
I brought you something to eat. And a clean dress.
 
Erzsebet just stares at her, unblinking.

MIRA (CONT’D)
Father Janos tells me there is a well at the
base of this tower. We could wash your hair,
your body. Would you like that, Beta?
 
No answer. Absolutely no movement. Mira goes back to the wall, finds a clear spot on the floor to sit. From this distance it is hard to tell if Erzsebet is even there.

MIRA (CONT’D)
My mother died when I was about your age.
She used to tell me the most wonderful stories.
Would you like to hear a story?
(beat)
Once, long ago, there was a beautiful princess
named Helena. She was a very smart and very sweet
young girl, but her parents were afraid for her,
and they locked her up inside the tallest tower.
Helena was very alone, and very frightened. She didn’t
understand that the tower was there to keep her safe,
and that one day she would be set free. And then she
would have anything she wanted, and
she would be very happy.
 
Mira finishes, waits. No movement from Erzsebet, no indication she was even listening. Mira stands, walks to the door.

A slight sound. Mira stops, looks out of the corner of her eye - Erzsebet crouches over the basket of food.

Mira smiles.

INT. CHAPEL - NIGHT

Mira kneels, prays.

JANOS (O.S.)
I am glad to see you.
 
Mira turns. Janos walks up the aisle her way.

MIRA
She’s just a little girl.

JANOS
I wish that were true.

MIRA
Did it occur to no one that perhaps Beta is
not to blame? She has no children her own age to
play with. She sees no grass, no sky. This is no place for a child.

JANOS
And yet you wish your own child to be raised here.
 
Mira looks at the priest - she’s not ready to say anything out loud. Instead, she pulls LETTERS out of her dress. Hands them to Janos.

MIRA
Father, the next time you are in the village,
will you deliver these?

JANOS
You should bid your old life farewell. You must embrace
the place God has set for you.

MIRA
But you were the one who gave me the paper
with which to write.

JANOS
No, Mira. I did not.

MIRA
(beat)
There is something wrong with this castle.

JANOS
Yes.

MIRA
Will you deliver the letters?
 
Janos looks at her steadily, but she does not budge. He tucks the letters into his robes.
Tags: nascreewrimo, writing
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