Ilka walks, intimidated by the paintings of Bathory through the centuries. One in particular, Bathory standing on a pile of corpses, seems to stare right at her.
Ilka touches the SHORT SWORD at her side, gathers strength. She continues ahead.
A FIGURE at the other end of the hall. It’s almost too dark to see - just the slightest touch of moonlight on an outline. But Ilka knows who it is.
INT. CHAPEL - NIGHT
Ilka and Erzsebet enter. Ilka has a hard time stepping over the infant skeletons, but stops dead at the pile of DUST in the center of the aisle.
Erzsebet opens the chest, takes out the vial of blood. Offers it to Ilka.
(mostly to herself)
The blood of Saint Briccius. It’s been returned.
Janos told me long ago that the Count had taken it,
and I should retrieve it. But I didn’t believe it possible.
I was very young.
(looks at Erzsebet)
Why do you give this to me?
No! I will not.
Put it back in the chest. I won’t drink it.
You mean to kill me. Or worse.
And nearly gags and spits it back out. While Ilka struggles to keep the first mouthful down, Erzsebet nonchalantly knocks the huge Bible down to the floor. She RIPS open the top of the podium on which it rested - the wood splinters easily.
Ilka drinks again, draining the vial.
Erzsebet reaches into the hollow top of the podium, pulls out an ANCIENT SCROLL. Not paper, but a thinly-scraped hide. She carefully unrolls it. Writing in dark brown - blood.
Ilka waits, pale and clammy. Erzsebet points a finger at her, arm outstretched. Then she begins to READ the words from the scroll, written in a dead language.
Mira stops at the heavy doors, rests a beat. She is exhausted - physically, mentally, emotionally. She wrenches one door open and stands on the threshold.
A blanket of snow has made the world outside seem kinder. The sky grows light. Soft rose clouds. A gentle breeze of clean air greets Mira - she breathes it in. Takes one step forward.
Mira stops. Turns back to look inside the castle.
INT. CASTLE - GREAT HALL - MOMENTS LATER
Mira carries a lit TORCH. She touches it to furniture, draperies, the paintings of Bathory. Everything catches on FIRE.
INT. BATHORY’S CHAMBERS - DAY
Mira enters, then claps a hand over her mouth. Blood everywhere, but especially around the bodies at the foot of the bed - the kitchen cooks, and ANA. Ravaged.
Mira leans down, closes Ana’s eyes. Then she starts the bed burning.
INT. CORRIDORS - DAY
Mira stalks down the hallways, putting the torch to anything that will burn.
You insolent child.
This castle is evil, and I will suffer its
presence no longer. Leave.
This castle is mine! This land is mine!
Throw down your torch, and I’ll make
your death quick.
You are a plague, and I will die before I let
you harm another of my people.
Then you will die. You think you can harm me?
Defeated, broken, alone?
She’s not alone.
What do you think you’re doing, Cousin?
You gave her to me.
Oh, Ilka. You know better.
That’s far enough.
Your blood flows through my veins.
I can do magic, too, Cousin.
Vade retro Satana!
Janos turns and FLEES.
Mira runs up, drags Ilka back from the flames. Beats the fire on her dress out. Erzsebet steps back, careful to stay away from any fire.
I’m all right.
Dominik. Where is Dominik?
Safe. The baker David and his wife took him across the river.
I told them I would return from the castle with jewels.
He’s not dead.
Where is he?
How do you know?
He is my blood.
Though no sunlight ever penetrates down here. Mira, Ilka and Erzsebet walk down the narrow aisle. Mira stops, gathers herself. Then continues.
Ilka looks into the cell Mira stopped before passing. A dirty piece of canvas covers a vague human shape. It is stained with blood. Ilka looks at Mira with compassion, but she does not see.
The entrance to the catacombs. The grate hangs OPEN. The sound of dripping water up ahead. Mira takes Ilka and Erzsebet’s hands. Together, they enter.