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08 January 2011 @ 09:00 pm
NaScreeWriMo - Day Sixty-Nine  

Mira TRIPS on the scattered bones, comes down on her injured arm. She scrambles to her feet.

Janos calls from inside the chapel.

Mira. Please wait.
She doesn’t - she runs up the stairs. Panicked gasps. She turns to run down the hallway at the top of the stairs--

BLOCKED by another smooth stone wall. A half-choked sob. Mira takes the only available route, and runs into--


Slamming the door shut. She dives for the bed, pulling up the mattress - NOTHING. [Go back and have her hide a knife there when she gets ready - I’m starting to feel like Bill and Ted.] A moment searching, but she knows it’s gone.

Mira throws her window open, looks down that dizzying height.

Erzsebet! Erzsebet!

She spins - the DOOR IS GONE. Just an expanse of smooth stone wall, as though no door ever existed. Janos’s voice continues, not muffled, but echoing inside the room.

You are upset. It’s understandable. Rest,
and we’ll talk later.
Mira waits, but there is only silence. She runs her hand over the wall, but there’s no seam, no trick opening.

She goes back to the open window. Looks down. A beat of girding her loins...

Mira steps back, lifts her skirts. She unfastens the coil of rope at her waist, drops her skirts again. A moment to work out the logistics.
She knots one end of the rope around her waist, the other around one of the bedposts. Mira uses both hands, grimacing with the pain.

She straddles the window sill, holding tightly to the rope with her good arm. Looks down - the base of the castle and the cliff below are lost in FOG. Deep breath.

Please. I beg You, please.
She grabs the rope with her other hand as well, winces and grits her teeth, and swings the other leg over.


Slowly, with a few alarming jerks, Mira rappels down the side of the castle. She keeps her eyes firmly locked on the stones just in front of her. A GUST of wind blows through, strong enough to rock her side to side, but she just closes her eyes and waits it out.

When she stops descending, it takes Mira a beat to realize that she has run out of rope. She looks down - her feet just touch the top of the window a story down from her own.

She only needs three more feet.

Mira releases the rope and lets herself hang, but she only gains a few inches. She jerks on the rope in frustration, and hears an ominious CREAKING from above.

No, no, no!
Mira looks to her right - another window, maybe fifteen feet away. She pushes off with her feet, starts to SWING over, like a pendulum, a little further each time.

Another gust of wind catches her mid-swing. She is slammed against the wall, right on her injured arm. She cries out in pain.

Momentum lost, Mira hangs a beat, then tries to CLIMB the rope. But she can’t do it with a broken and savaged arm. She looks up at the castle, at the open window above her. The rope is beginning to FRAY.

God damn you.
She tries to climb again. This time, she manages a few feet before her arm gives out, and she FALLS with a rough jerk as the rope catches.
She’s too exhausted for more than one half-hearted sob.

Mira looks down. The mist at the base of the castle roils and churns. Fingers snake their way up the walls.

She drops her hand to the KNOT at her waist. Beat.

I love you, Dominik.
She starts to work at the knot, first with just one hand, but then she uses her injured arm as well. But she tied the knot strong to begin with, and she doesn’t make much progress.

The slightest SOUND from above, and Mira looks up, startled. Her bedroom window is empty, though. But twenty feet higher up, something SMALL AND DARK moves down the wall.

Mira goes at the knot again, in a frenzy. The wind continues to batter her - her fingers are growing numb. She can’t help but look up again to see what approaches.

It’s Erzsebet, CRAWLING on hands and feet straight down the side of the castle. Mira stares, a little scared. Erzsebet stops just above her, nothing seeming to keep her from falling. She reaches out a hand and touches Mira’s cheek.

Erzsebet turns and easily ascends - next to the rope but not touching it. She enters Mira’s window. Mira hangs a beat, and then the rope is PULLED up.


Erzsebet half-helps, half-drags Mira back inside. Mira collapses, shaking. Erzsebet seems to just pass her hand over the knot and the rope falls away from Mira’s waist. The girl touches her again - quick, fleeting touches, on Mira’s face, hair, shoulder.

Erzsebet sees the wolf bite on Mira’s arm, the dark, bruised place just below where Bathory broke it. Erzsebet croons over her. Then BITES her own wrist, holding it out to Mira.

Mira sees the hurt on Erzsebet’s face.

(more gently)
No. i don’t want to...to be like them.
Erzsebet shakes her head. She dips her fingers in her blood, SPREADS it over the wounds. No magical healing, but the bite marks grow a little smaller, the bruises a little lighter. Mira sighs with relief. She reaches out with her good arm and hugs the girl close.

Erzsebet helps Mira stand. Takes her hand, leads her to the DOOR, which stands as it always had, as though it had never gone away. It swings open on its own at their approach - they step through and walk down the hall.
Holly: A/R Oath kisshollywobbles on January 9th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC)
Curious about where this is going. Also, confused about Erzsebet. Is she half-magic because she's Bathory's daughter?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on January 9th, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm always unsure how explicit to be with certain things. Basically, I didn't want to do the general thing with vampires making other vampires with the blood sucking and then blood sharing (or as Buffy put it, "it's a whole sucking thing"), so I made that the way the slave vamps are made - they have no real personalities or thoughts anymore. Real vampires are born, same as humans, so Erzsebet is just as powerful as Bathory, only that she's still a child.

But yeah, I'm not sure how to dramatize that, and I don't want a character to just exposit that through dialogue, you know? I think in the revision I will have Bathory actually make one of his vampire servants, to show that process - because I'm not sure it's clear at all that that is what's gone on with them.
nhpwnhpw on January 9th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
[Go back and have her hide a knife there when she gets ready - I’m starting to feel like Bill and Ted.]


I like the action here. The only thing was, I got a little confused as to what was going on with the rope - I had to read over it a couple of times. But given my own recent attempts to write a "I am swinging on a rope" scene, I remember how hard that was... maybe it's just something about ropes.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on January 10th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
Yes. This is one of the biggest struggles in writing screenplay format - I can see in my head so clearly what's going on with all the rope stuff, but it can be hard to distill that down into as few words/actions as possible, make it readable, and make it clear. It's definitely going to need revisions, no doubt.