Workshop Wednesday

Dracula

Here we go for part three of Dracula, and we have some work still to go before the story is set to take its next turn and really get moving. I have more characters to introduce, more items to setup to knock down later, and a status quo to build. Gotta make sure everything is lined up just right.

If you haven't already read the previous parts of this series, I'd recommend hitting that first before diving into this section.

And special thanks to Mason Williams for the awesome Dracula poster.

Dracula: Part 3

FADE IN.

EXT: GOLDAMING ESTATE, NIGHT.

We see carriages pulling up, people in fancy dress (and, it should be noted, masks) getting out and slowly making their way towards the huge doors of the entrance to the estate.

MUSIC: Stringed quartet playing a jaunty tune.

INT: GOLDAMING ESTATE, FRONT BALLROOM, NIGHT.

The music swells as we enter the estate, with people dancing in the center (some proper, courtly dance) while others hang around the edges, picking at the buffet and chatting amongst themselves. QUINCEY and MINA enter and, naturally, they are announced (although most of the people don't bother paying attention because they're caught up in the music or conversation).

ATTENDANT:

Lord QUINCEY MORRIS and...

QUINCEY leans over and whispers to the ATTENDANT

ATTENDANT:

Lady MINA MURRAY.

QUINCEY and MINA head down the stairs where another attendant attempts to hand them masks for the ball. QUINCEY takes one but, when MINA waves her mask off, QUINCEY sets his back down. Inside the ballroom proper another noble, ARTHUR GOLDAMING, rushes over, lifting his own ornate mask.

ARTHUR:

QUINCEY, you old dog. You made it!

QUINCEY:

I said I would, ART!

ARTHUR:

Sure, but when you get caught up in one of your adventures you'll be gone for weeks. Where was it you went to this time? Cairo?

QUINCEY:

Istanbul.

ARTHUR turns to MINA.

ARTHUR:

And I see you've found quite the treasure here.

MINA:

MINA MURRAY.

She says this, holding out her hand it to be kissed which, naturally, ARTHUR does.

ARTHUR:

The secret lady who's taken over the Abbey! Oh, I have wanted to meet you but you always decline my invitations for lunch

MINA:

I'm busy during the day.

ARTHUR:

Aren't we all.

ARTHUR takes the arms of MINA and QUINCEY and leads them further into the ballroom, off towards the food and drink.

ARTHUR:

I simply must know all about the renovations you're making the old estate.

MINA:

Oh, I wouldn't want to bore you.

ARTHUR:

It's been the talk of the town, I assure you.

ARTHUR looks at the food, grabs a bit of fruit, and then snacks on it.

ARTHUR:

May I offer you refreshments? The wine is quite good.

QUINCEY looks at the table and its wide assortment of wines.

QUINCEY:

Which one?

ARTHUR laughs.

ARTHUR:

Oh, all of them, probably. MINA, care for a glass?

MINA:

Oh, I don't drink... wine.

ARTHUR:

Or wear masks, I see.

MINA:

Who says I'm not wearing one?

ARTHUR gives her a smile.

ARTHUR:

Oh, indeed.

At this moment we turn to the entrance where DRACULA has just entered. He shrugs off his cloak, letting it fall into the hands of an attendant, then approaches the announcement ATTENDANT.

ATTENDANT:

Sir, you cannot enter without an invitation!

DRACULA gives him a deep, penetrating look, one where we can feel the pressure of what's be commanded.

ATTENDANT:

Oh, yes... of course. *cough* Count DRACULA!

Unlike before, this time people do turn and stare, almost as if their heads were pulled around towards the vampire. Everyone except MINA, who daintily picks at a very rare piece of roast beef.

ARTHUR:

DRACULA? I don't know that name.

MINA:

You should. He's a powerful noble from the east.

ARTHUR:

Old money?

MINA:

You have no idea.

ARTHUR:

Intriguing. And how do you know who he is? I've only just met you and I know everyone.

MINA:

I like to know about everyone. I'd like to know more about you, if you'd let me.

At this she runs her hand along his neck and up towards his face.

ARTHUR:

My dear, you are too much.

DRACULA sweeps past, and in his wake a few heads turn, and one of two people seems enraptured with what they see. Pausing, DRACULA turns and walks over to the group of QUINCEY, MINA, and ARTHUR.

DRACULA:

Forgive my intrusion. I am COUNT DRACULA.

ARTHUR hold out his hand to the count and the two shake.

ARTHUR:

Yes, Lady MINA was just telling us about you.

DRACULA:

Oh, I don't believe we've been formally introduced.

MINA:

Formally, no. Your Grace.

And at this she bends a slight curtsy.

DRACULA:

I do hope you don't mind my coming to your festivities uninvited but I simply couldn't stay away.

ARTHUR:

Oh, I wouldn't think to keep someone of your nobility out of my party.

DRACULA:

I know you could not. Well, don't let me intrude upon your time further. I simply wanted to introduce myself and...

DRACULA looks around.

DRACULA:

...maybe find something to eat.

At this he bows and stalks off.

ARTHUR:

I like him. Well, I should go and say hello to other people. QUINCEY, MINA, we really do need to have dinner sometime soon. I hope you'll accept my invitation this time, MINA.

MINA:

For dinner? Certainly.

ARTHUR:

Excellent!

ARTHUR walks off, immediately ingratiating himself to other guests.

QUINCEY:

He's something else.

MINA:

Yes, but I'm here with you. Shall we find some place a little quiet to... get to know each other?

QUINCEY nods.

QUINCEY:

Please.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN:

EXT: LONDON CITY STREETS, NIGHT

MUSIC: Sweeping, swelling music from the orchestra, slowly building ominously as this collection of quick cuts plays out.

We see DRACULA walking the streets, like a predator, one hand gripped to his walking cane, keeping an eye out for prey.

INT: GOLDAMING ESTATE, PRIVATE ROOM, NIGHT.

We see MINA and QUINCEY on a couch together, chatting, in a familiar, friendly way.

EXT: LONDON CITY STREETS, NIGHT

DRACULA passes a tavern, sees a LADY OF THE EVENING out front, smiles at her as he passes, tipping his hat.

INT: GOLDAMING ESTATE, PRIVATE ROOM, NIGHT.

MINA and QUINCEY move closer, with her rubbing her hand along his jawline.

EXT: LONDON CITY STREETS, NIGHT

The LADY OF THE EVENING moves on from her spot, tired of that corner of street. As she walks away, DRACULA fades in from the shadows and begins to stalk her.

INT: GOLDAMING ESTATE, PRIVATE ROOM, NIGHT.

MINA and QUINCEY are in each other’s arms, kissing passionately, with QUINCEY beginning to undo the ties on MINA’s bodice.

EXT: LONDON CITY STREETS, NIGHT

The LADY OF THE EVENING wanders down a side alley, rubbing her hands up and down her arms in the cold. She’s clearly ready to be home at this point. As we lose sight of her, DRACULA comes in to view and, after a beat, heads down the same alley.

INT: GOLDAMING ESTATE, PRIVATE ROOM, NIGHT.

MINA, topless, is between the legs of QUINCEY, naked, and she’s kissing along his stomach, moving lower. He closes his eyes and she rears up, fangs bared, before biting into his thigh. We see his face, lost in the orgasmic bliss of being fed on by a vampire. He opens his mouth to moan.

SFX: Female scream, very piercing.

EXT: LONDON CITY STREETS, NIGHT

DRACULA emerges from the alley, a smile on his face as he dabs a bit of blood off his mouth with a handkerchief. As he strolls away, twirling his cane, there’s a noticeable bounce to his step.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

EXT: CARFAX ABBEY, DAY.

A carriage, one of the common cabs around town, rides up to the front of the estate. A young woman, LUCY, gets out while the cabby brings down her bags. LUCY looks around at the lovely gardens, the fine exterior (which only needs a little more work at this point), marveling at the sights. She then picks up her bags and heads towards the front door.

SFX: Door knocking.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, FRONT FOYER, DAY.

SFX: Door knocking.

JONATHAN peers through a window at LUCY near the door, then shuffles inside, making sure to avoid the patches of sunlight while stifling a yawn.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, MINA'S CHAMBER, DAY.

JONATHAN quietly walks into the room, opening a door to revel a smaller room in the suite with a coffin in the center. He knocks on the coffin lid and the coffin opens a crack.

SFX: Knocking

MINA:

What?!

JONATHAN:

LUCY is here.

The lid of the coffin is thrown open and MINA sits up.

MINA:

WHAT?! What is she doing here?!

JONATHAN:

I do not know.

MINA:

You didn't let her in?

He gives her a look.

JONATHAN:

You formally ended our engagement. How am I supposed to explain living here to her?

MINA nods then waves him away.

MINA:

Yes. You're right. Of course. Fine.

She rises, like a sleepy cat, stretching as she goes. Then she steps out of the coffin, grabbing a dressing gown of fine brocade which she throws over herself.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, FRONT FOYER, DAY.

MINA comes into frame, opening the door (but carefully stepping out of the way so as not to be exposed to the sun.

MINA:

Cousin! This is an unexpected surprise!

LUCY rushes in and throws a big hug around MINA.

LUCY:

Oh, MINA! When I heard that your engagement with JONATHAN was off I knew I had to come and comfort you.

She pulls away, then looks around.

LUCY:

Although you seem to be doing really well now!

MINA:

Yes, I, uh... I handle this estate for a gentleman. It affords me a certain amount of luxury. But, really, LUCY, you didn't have to come-

LUCY:

Oh, posh. If situations were reversed I know you would have come to my aid in a time of need.

MINA guides LUCY deeper into the house, leaving the front door, with all its dangerous sunlight, wide open.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, KITCHENS, DAY.

MINA:

You mean if you'd left your fiance because you could do better and suddenly found yourself working for a gentleman who spends most of his time away on business, living the high life as a lady of some means, you'd expect me to come and see you.

LUCY:

Yeah! I'd be heartbroken! I'd need comfort!

MINA:

I'm really fine. Honest.

At this point QUINCEY wanders into the kitchen, bleary-eyed and shirtless, yawning. LUCY gawps at him.

LUCY:

I can see that.

MINA:

Oh, stop. QUINCEY is just a friend.

QUINCEY turns and finally realizes there's someone other than just MINA in the room.

QUINCEY:

Pardon me. I didn't realize there'd be another guest. Honestly, I'm surprised to even see you awake, MINA.

MINA smiles and indicates LUCY.

MINA:

My cousin, LUCY, came for a visit.

QUINCEY walks over, holding out his hand.

QUINCEY:

QUINCEY MORRIS, at your service.

LUCY:

A pleasure.

She looks him up and down without meaning to, then gets embarrassed and turns around.

QUINCEY:

Ah, yes, let me get a shirt.

QUINCEY rushes off, back to his room.

LUCY:

Just a friend.

MINA:

QUINCEY is many things to me, but I lead my own life.

LUCY:

You really must tell me all about it, this new life of yours.

MINA yawns.

MINA:

And I shall, but QUINCEY is right. I had a late night last night and need more sleep. I'll show you to rooms you can use then I'll head back to bed.

LUCY:

I'll need to get my bags.

MINA:

Yes. I'll wait for you in the foyer.

LUCY gives her cousin another big hug.

LUCY:

It's so good to see you!

Then LUCY rushes off. After a beat, JONATHAN sneaks into the room.

JONATHAN:

Are you planning to eat her?

MINA:

No. She's family.

JONATHAN:

Are you going to turn her?

MINA:

NO! That would cause too many questions.

JONATHAN:

Then you'll need to some food for the kitchens. She's human. She'll have to eat. And you'll need a bed.

MINA:

All the guest rooms have beds.

JONATHAN:

But yours doesn't.

MINA pauses.

MINA:

Yes, right. Appearances. Tonight get on that.

JONATHAN:

Yes, mistress. You should inform the Master about your guest.

MINA:

Later. Let him sleep.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

EXT: FANCY RESTAURANT, NIGHT.

We see MINA's carriage pull up and MINA, LUCY, and QUINCEY emerge.

INT: FANCY RESTAURANT, NIGHT.

MINA sweeps into the restaurant, followed by an awe-struck LUCY as well as QUINCEY. ARTHUR stands when he sees the trio enter, waving them over. When then arrive at the table, ARTHUR stands again, along with the other companion at the table, JOHN SEWARD. ARTHUR comes over and kisses MINA's hand.

ARTHUR:

MINA! I'm so glad you were able to make it. QUINCEY, good to see you! And who is this lovely guest you've brought.

MINA:

This is my cousin, LUCY.

ARTHUR:

A cousin? Two Murrays in our fair city.

MINA:

She's a Van Helsing, in fact. The old family line.

LUCY:

It's a pleasure to meet you, uh-

ARTHUR:

LORD GOLDAMING.

ARTHUR takes her hand, kissing it like with MINA.

ARTHUR:

And let me introduce my friend, DR. JOHN SEWARD.

LUCY:

A lord and a doctor! I never knew my cousin knew so many rich and powerful people.

ARTHUR motions all to sit down, with the ladies taking their seats first (ARTHUR and QUINCEY tucking the ladies in), before the men take their seats.

ARTHUR:

Yes, you must tell me all about her. Your cousin keeps so many secrets getting any information out of her is impossible.

LUCY:

Secrets? MINA? She always used to be an open book.

MINA gives her a look.

MINA:

A lady must convey a certain air of mystery, LUCE.

LUCY:

Well ask me whatever you like. MINA is like a sister to me. I know all her secrets.

ARTHUR:

I'm only interested in the dirty ones.

MINA acts shocked.

MINA:

You cad!

But then she touches his hand and they share a deep, knowing look.

SEWARD:

I heard, Lady MURRAY, that you are overseeing the restoration of Carfax Abbey.

MINA:

Indeed. The work is nearly done, in fact.

LUCY:

It's simply gorgeous! So much nicer than the old family home.

ARTHUR:

Which is where?

MINA playfully slaps his wrist.

SEWARD:

You know, the Abbey at one time was used to house the mentally unstable. This was centuries ago, of course, before the building fell into disrepair.

MINA:

I knew the place had character. That's positively-

LUCY:

Dreadful!

MINA:

I was going to say "charming". Are you a history buff, Mr. Seward?

SEWARD:

Doctor. And no, not really. Helping the mentally infirm is my calling and that old building has always fascinated me.

MINA:

Then I should show you around the restored structure at some point.

SEWARD:

I'd be delighted.

ARTHUR:

Oh, watch yourself, JOHN. It seems like every man that meets MINA falls under her spell.

MINA:

I wouldn't say that.

QUINCEY:

I would.

MINA brushes her hand along his wrist, sharing a special look with him, too.

MINA:

Only the men I find... appetizing.

LUCY:

So we have a doctor and a lord and... what is you actually do, QUINCEY?

ARTHUR:

Our QUINCEY is something of an adventurer.

QUINCEY:

I have a passion for antiquities and aid museums in their quest to expand the knowledge of the past.

ARTHUR:

He's a grave robber.

QUINCEY:

ARTHUR!

ARTHUR:

I mean, it's true. But you're a damn good one. Highly in demand.

QUINCEY:

And yet I find myself no longer wanting to travel.

He looks over at MINA, who is pretending to study the menu.

ARTHUR:

Yes, I wonder why.

At this point a SERVER comes over.

SERVER:

May I assist you with anything to start your meal?

LUCY:

MINA, shall we order some wine?

QUINCEY and ARTHUR:

She doesn't drink wine.

LUCY:

Since when?

MINA laughs, that odd, ringing laugh of hers.

EXT: FANCY RESTAURANT, NIGHT.

We see the party at their table, through the window of the restaurant, as this drink and laugh and have a good time. Eventually DRACULA walks past. He pauses in front of the window, tipping his hat to MINA, and she winks back. Then he moves on, twirling his cane, obviously quite pleased.

FADE OUT.

End of Part 3:

This part might seem a little slower but that's only because we have to establish the new status quo and really show Mina merging into high society. Plus, we had to get the rest of the characters introduced, Arthur and Seward as well as Lucy. Now that all the players are in position we can really start exploring the story from here.

Adding in Lucy was something I went back and forth on. On the one hand I wanted Mina to be the center of attention, the one to get the three gentlemanm (not unlike how Lucy gathers her three suitors in the original novel). Having Lucy here would seem to pull away from that, but I have other plans for the cousin that will send her in a different direction.

And yes, I know Mina isn't a Lady as far as the title would convey. But if she has vampiric mental powers, which it would seem she does, she could just make everyone call her a Lady if she wanted. Or maybe they do it because they find her intoxicating. Whatever. I like it.

Also, note that since I originally posted this I had to add a couple of short sections of fun, vampiric goodness. I was so focused on Mina that I forgot to include more Dracula but, thinking back upon it I realized there were a couple of little sections I could add that would up the appearances of Dracula and emphasize the vampirism more. That's part of the writing process, going in and adjusting content as you write, and for this since I'm posting as I write it, some edits have to be made to posted content from time to time.