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05 January 2011 @ 10:04 pm
NaScreeWriMo - Day Sixty-Six  

A hand - not so skeletal anymore - grips the edge of the table. Bathory pulls himself upright. Parts of his face are fully healed. Other parts aren’t - white cheekbone pokes through a patch of burned, blackened flesh. One eye is whole, the other is still missing.

The Count looks at the entrance. He sneers.

And what do you think you’re doing here?
Erzsebet blocks the doorway. She looks too young, too small. Bathory approaches her, his steps growing ever stronger and more assured.

Get out of my way.

She’s mine.

(too tired to laugh)
You horrible brat, she will want nothing
to do with you.

She’s mine.
Bathory lunges forward and grabs her. Erzsebet snarls and tries to bite, but he THROWS her to the side. She hits the wall and tumbles to the floor, unconscious.

Bathory walks out.


Mira sits, Samuel’s head still in her lap. She has closed his eyes, and gently brushes his hair back from his face. Her tears are gone. Mira’s not in shock - she’s just saying goodbye.

In the distance, the CLICK-CLACK of boot heels on stone.

She carefully lowers Samuel’s head to the ground, stands. Remembers her injured arm, but there’s no time to coddle it - the footsteps are getting closer.

Mira looks around, but there’s nothing in the room, not even furniture. She exits into--


And continues in the direction she was headed before she saw Samuel. She’s almost to the end of the hallway when--


She turns. Bathory stands at the opposite end of the corridor, a nightmare. Mira can only turn to the right, so she does, running.

Down the next hallway. Bathory following, closer and closer. Thsi time Mira can only go left...

A BLANK STONE WALL in front of her. She’s trapped.

Mira! This way!
She turns - Janos is nowhere to be seen, but now there’s a passageway open to the right, where there wasn’t one before. Mira runs for it instantly, catching a glimpse of Bathory bearing down on her.

Down the corridor, the dragon tapestry and her own door, then around the corner and down the stairs.

Janos stands at the entrance to the chapel, arm outstretched.

Mira sprints. Bathory right behind her. His fingers grasp a few wisps of her hair just as she enters--


And runs into Janos’s arms. Bathory stops at the chapel entrance, as though he’s hit a wall.

Give her to me!

I have it.
She pulls the vial of blood out of her dress, hands it to Janos. He handles it with absolute reverence.

Oh, Mira. Thank you.

Do as I tell you, Briccius! Give her to me!
Janos walks up to the chest behind the altar. Mira backs away from the door, to the wall, looking back and forth between them. She doesn’t see the look of JOY on the statue of Mary.

Come and get her, Uncle.

What? Father Janos...
Bathory SLAMS his fist into the floor at the threshold. The stones BREAK. Bathory pulls the pieces aside.

Why did he call you that?
She’s between two of the statues now, cowering a bit. Janos carefully returns the vial to the chest.

Because it is my name.
Bathory digs through the rubble under the stone tiles. He pulls up a handful of BONES. Tiny bones. He brandishes them at Mira.

Look what he has done. My sons! My own
flesh and blood! He uses them against me, to keep me out.
More little bones removed, tossed aside. A fragile infant SKULL, a HOLE in the top.

He murdered my sons!
Mira looks to Janos, who calmly steps down to the aisle. He smiles at her, a little sadly.

Wouldn’t you have killed them, if you’d had the
chance? Besides, their bodies kept this
place safe from him.
Bathory continues to tear the skeletons out of the floor, tossing them behind him.

(to Bathory)
And shouldn’t I have had a place just for my own?
Especially since the whole castle was given to me,
because of my victories? And I would have shared it
with you, Uncle! I would have shared it with
you willingly, if you had only asked!

The victories were mine! You were just a child.
My money paid for your mercenaries. The castle
and land should have been given to me!
He raises the last bone. CRUSHES it in his fist. BLOOD DROPS follow the bone fragments and dust to the floor. Bathory wipes the blood around the frame, then steps over the threshold.

What will you do now, Hados?

What I should have done centuries ago.
Bathory runs at Janos. Mira, watching, cringes. But Janos grabs him, LIFTS him with one hand.

You forget, Uncle. You no longer wear
my blood around your neck.
Janos SINKS HIS TEETH into Bathory’s throat. Mira screams. Bathory struggles, but Janos is now the stronger. Janos drinks.

Mira sees the statues watching the two men, their faces twisted with savage glee. She begins to sidle over to the doorway.

Bathory’s struggle ends. He hangs limp in Janos’s grasp. His skin is sucked tight to his bones, as though he were being mummified. Janos lets him drop - Bathory’s body TURNS TO DUST when it hits the floor.

Mira pauses in the doorway. Janos licks the blood still on his lips. He sighs.

Nine hundred years I’ve waited. Finally,
this world will be mine again.
He smiles at Mira. So do the statues. For a beat, she is paralyzed with fear. Then she is able to tear her eyes away, turn, and run.
nhpwnhpw on January 6th, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
Well. There's a plot twist for ya.

I'm curious - did you have this in mind all along, or did it come to you in the middle as something that would be a good idea?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on January 6th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
Nope, that was the plan all along. In fact, I'll have to dig out my original outline, that I abandoned around the end of act one when I'd made quite a few structural changes, but I'm pretty sure the only thing I'd yet written on the second page was the second act break - Mira finds out Janos is the real bad guy.

I guess it's good that it was a plot twist, and I didn't tip my hand too early! Although I think singer_shaper was on to him...

(Heh, you don't sound too enthused about this twist.)
nhpwnhpw on January 6th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
(Heh, you don't sound too enthused about this twist.)

No, I like it! And I was surprised! I am just sick today (blarg) and thus am lacking some of my usual finesse and feedback-giving skillz. But if that comment could have had a "tone" it would have been a "truly shocked and intrigued" tone. What I would like to do, when I have the energy to do it, is go back through and see if I just wasn't paying enough attention to put the pieces together sooner on this.

But it's good! It's really good!
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on January 6th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
Aw, I'm sorry you're sick. Working when you're sick is the worst, too.

One thing I tried to do whenever possible is have Janos's first line in any scene be delivered off-camera, so he was just kind of like appearing out of nowhere. Just to add a little creepiness.
singer_shapersinger_shaper on January 6th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
I guess it's good that it was a plot twist, and I didn't tip my hand too early! Although I think [info]singer_shaper was on to him...

You give me far too much credit; I had no idea that Janos was the real monster. Based on my Whedon-soaked ideas of vampires, I simply assumed there was more to Janos than met the eye. (I actually have to re-read the whole thing 'cause I think I'm losing track of the plot a little.)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on January 6th, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
You were on the right track, though; I think that's deserving of credit.

(I actually have to re-read the whole thing 'cause I think I'm losing track of the plot a little.)

I, um, have definitely had moments of that myself, and I'm writing the freaking thing. ;)
Holly: P/C Big damn heroshollywobbles on January 7th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
I thought he'd probably turn out to be bad, but I didn't guess "worse vampire," just "working w/Bathory." Priests are always suspect. ;)

It occurred to me that when I thought Samuel dying seemed like it was in a strange place, pacing-wise, I'd forgotten she thought Bathory was gone for good. Makes more sense in that false lull.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on January 7th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
OMG your icon. It's...it's beautiful.
Holly: A/R I built a homehollywobbles on January 7th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
IKR? I have such a massive lj crush on crazyvictoria.