INT. ARMORY - NIGHT
Dominik helps - as much as he can - to move a sawhorse with Ilka. Rusty swords and axes hang on the walls. A pile of moldering arrows in the corner.
Ilka kneels, feels through the straw and dirt covering the floorboards.
What are you doing?
After my daughter was taken away, after my
first son did not survive his birth, I began
to fear that one day I would be sent away. I would have nothing.
When we were first married, the Count
gave me many gifts. I took a few and hid them away.
Ilka opens the box. It’s EMPTY.
Beat. She checks the hole again, looks at the box. She THROWS it against the wall, moans.
Ilka, don’t cry.
A big fire burns brightly. Ilka and Dominik enter.
What are we doing here?
Looking for things we can sell, once
we get to the village.
Can you sell this?
Where did you get this?
Mama gave it to me.
She said when I was big I could give it to
my wife. Can you sell it?
No. We will not sell it.
How very good of you, Ilka.
(pulls Dominik close)
If you wanted to go, why not just ask? I would have given
you money, driven you down to the village myself.
But to beg me to stay, then sneak around, stealing my things...
I don’t know, my Lord.
To whom are you writing letters?
Of course. You have no one. This is for her. To
whom is she writing letters?
I don’t know what you’re talking about, my Lord.
You set this all up for her, didn’t you? Put out the
paper and the ink.
Bathory is across the room in a flash - he GRABS Ilka by the throat.
I will not allow you to defy me.
Bathory picks Dominik up and walks to the door.
No! No, don’t take him!
The long expanse of table is covered with food. Platters of roasted pheasants and capons. Artistically arranged pyramids of fruit and sweets. Sauces in golden bowls.
Mira eats alone, just a simple bowl of soup. Her mind is elsewhere.
She hears the click of boot heels on stone coming her way long before Bathory enters.
He circles around her, taking his time. Mira forces herself to stay calm, wait. She betrays no emotion when Bathory pulls a LETTER out of his jacket, seal already broken.
“My dearest Samuel. I don’t know if you will
ever read these letters, but I must believe that you will.
Don’t come for me. I know you will want to, but you
cannot. It isn’t safe. I would rather spend eternity locked
up in this castle than see you come to
harm, and if you try to rescue me, the Count will kill you.”
Why do you insist on disappointing me, Mira?
Bathory grabs the table and THROWS IT OVER in one smooth movement. Platters crash to the floor.
Mira sits, shaking. Bathory approaches her - slow steps. Mira stands. Hooks her fingers in front of her. SPITS.
Bathory stops as though he’s hit a wall. Takes a step back. They stare at each other.
Then Bathory’s eyes shift away. He smiles. Mira looks - the blank-faced manservant and another in the doorway.
INT. ENTRANCE TO WEST TOWER - NIGHT
They men half-drag half-carry Mira. The iron doors SWING OPEN at their approach. They enter--
THE WEST TOWER
And walk across the ballroom.
Stop! Let me go.
EXT. WEST TOWER - ROOF - NIGHT
A trap door opens. The men haul Mira up, roughly throw her on the ground. They disappear back down into the tower, the door swinging shut.
Mira goes to the trap door, but it’s secured.
No, come back! Let me down!
She looks over to the east tower, silhouetted against the full moon. A man appears - even at this distance the black shape is recognizable as Bathory.
He carries a small figure. Thrashing limbs.
Bathory spares her a glance - his face is obscured by darkness, but it’s clear he’s looking her way - then leaves.
Grief overwhelms her. She collapses.
Mira lies curled in a ball. Tears gone. Numb.
She stands. Slow, jerky movements. Snow falls gently.
Beat. With dull eyes, Mira walks to the edge. Steps between two crenellations. She looks down - the ground is lost in the darkness below.
Mira starts to step forward.
Mira steps back, away from the edge. Erzsebet runs, clutches at her.
EXT. WEST TOWER - ROOF - LATER
Mira sits, awake, with her back against a crenellation. Erzsebet curled up against her, asleep.
Horses WHINNY in the distance.
Mira stands. Erzsebet won’t let her go, so hand in hand they walk together to the opposite side.
Below, at the castle’s entrance, the carriage and horses. Bathory enters the carriage, and it starts down the road toward the village.
Come. Let’s go.
You gave him my letters. You betrayed me.
I had no choice.
We have to hurry, before the Count returns.
Before the wolves find the child’s body.
Mira, we must give him a Christian burial. Do not
damn his soul to be without a body at the
Day of Judgment, when God will resurrect us all.
EXT. CASTLE - BASE OF EAST TOWER - NIGHT
Moonlight reflects off the snow. Janos, Mira and Erzsebet walk over the rough, rocky ground. Looking.
Mira sees something dark on the white rocks ahead. Closes her eyes for a beat. Walks forward.
It takes her a moment to recognize what she’s looking at. A GOAT - legs broken, lying in a pool of blood.
Mira SAGS with relief. Can’t help the gasping sobs she lets out. Janos joins her.
My son. My son is alive.
The Count will kill him. He will sacrifice him.
The Count is a demon.
He is evil, yes, but--
No, listen to me. He is a demon, a
servant of Satan, trapped in mortal flesh. He
feeds on innocent blood. Human blood.
And that creature is his own flesh and blood.
The Count wants a son. He has wanted a son for a
very long time. And if he cannot get one by you...
No! You cannot allow that to happen!
And what can I do?
Go to the bishop. Write a letter to Rome.
The bishop is a Bathory. As is the Prince. The Count is
wealthy, a noble. The word of a young country priest
will count for nothing.
No, Mira, there is only one answer. The Count
must be destroyed. And you must destroy him.