Drops of blood hit the floor in a steady rhythm. They fall from Mira’s arm - bitten, broken.
Her eyes dart from side to side as she wanders the maze of corridors, but the rooms she passes are empty, the doors hanging open or missing entirely. The castle now looks just like the east tower - abandoned and filthy.
Mira turns a corner, then stops. BREATHING from a room up ahead. She carefully and painfully reaches down to her shoe, but the dagger is gone. She forces herself to keep walking.
Mira looks through the open door. A FIGURE lies on the floor, breathing heavily and with difficulty. Mira freezes. The clouds move aside, allowing MOONLIGHT to stream in more strongly, illuminating the figure - Samuel.
Mira runs into--
And drops to her knees beside him.
Samuel. I’m here. It’s over, it’s all over.
Mira. I dreamed of you.
What happened? Who did this to you?
He did. Long ago, before the dreams started.
Am I still dreaming?
No, darling. The dream is over. I’m going to take
I’m sorry. I wasn’t...wasn’t a very good
husband to you.
You’re perfect. All I’ve ever wanted.
...couldn’t...keep you safe...
I’m the one who failed. I put you in danger,
you and Dominik both.
Mira turns her head. Erzsebet stands behind her, looking down at Samuel. Bewilderment and sadness on her face. But she also sniffs the air, teeth slightly bared.
Help me. Please.
He is dead.
No! You told me, you made that other one, you told me.
You can fix him. You can fix him! You have to, please!
Don’t leave me! Beta! Beta!
Mira sees that he is gone. A moment of shock, followed by one of disbelief, and then the grief takes her.
INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT
Burnt and blackened. A few dying flames here and there. Bathory lies just where Mira left him. Empty eye sockets stare sightlessly at the ceiling.
A whimper. The WOLF lies on its side a few feet away, bleeding sluggishly from Mira’s stab wounds. It whimpers again as it moves its front paws, though it goes nowhere.
A determined growl, and the wolf rolls over onto its belly. Slowly, it struggles forward, dragging itself and leaving a broad red smear to mark its path. Louder whines and whimpers.
One final burst of energy as the wolf pulls itself up, standing. It staggers forward a few steps, and finally COLLAPSES on the Count’s chest. One long last exhalation, and the wolf’s eyes go dull.
Blood seeps from its wound. Soaks into the Count’s clothes. Puddles on his chest. Trickles down his face to his lips.
Skeletal fingers twitch.
The dark, quiet stillness is broken by the RINGING of the church bells. Lamps are lit, doors flung open. Families cluster outside, scared and curious.
INT. CHURCH - NIGHT
The MEN enter first, wincing at the loud, incessant bells. Women and children huddle in the doorway behind the men.
Everyone stares at DOMINIK, waiting patiently in the center of the aisle. He smiles at the men - they don’t appear any less worried.
The bells pause.
Most everyone sits in the pews. Ilka and Todor, the butcher who wouldn’t take Mira’s eggs, face off, standing.
What you propose is madness!
Is this not madness? Living in constant fear, running from
every shadow - how can you say that is not madness?
Look at what he does to you!
A crucifix has been placed in the corpse’s hands. Ragged wounds in her neck. Ilka pulls down the woman’s chin - a whole head of GARLIC has been stuffed into her mouth.
Tell me - why has this been done?
You know why.
You think this will stop him? Garlic and crosses? They mean
nothing to him. And he will continue to hunt you down,
murder you, drink your blood, change you into demons
too foul for even hell itself, and he will never stop!
In the back, an OLD MAN stands. Frail, eyes cloudy and blind with cataracts, but his voice is still strong.
When I was a child, my father and grandfather, and the
other men of the village, decided to overthrow the
Count. He would have been this Count’s grandfather, I suppose.
They prepared for weeks and weeks. I remember my Papa hiding
weapons in the barn. Everyone thought they were so clever. I remember
watching the men gather. At sunrise, of course.
The women and children and old men - but not all the old men,
some of them went, too - watched them head up the mountain.
I waited until Mama had stopped watching the road and
was talking with the other women, and then I ran up to
join the men. I brought a broom handle with me. I had
sharpened the end of it, hardened it in a fire. It was a
good weapon. I caught up with my father, and he was
proud to see my courage, but he sent me back to the
village. He told me to protect my mother and sisters. It
was good that he did. My father came home that night, but
he was not my father. He killed two of my sisters before
I drove my stake through his heart and cut off his head.
No. Please, you mustn’t go. You must help me.
Girl, if you’re foolish enough to go back to that castle,
then there’s no help for you.
What should I do?