Workshop Wednesday

Dracula

Heading into part four we start to build conflict. Obviously the whole angle of this story has changed since we're focusing more on Mina than any other character, so the conflict can't come from everything trying to save her, to stop her from becoming a vampire -- that ship has sailed. Instead we're going to need to find ways to drive a wedge between some characters. So let's do that!

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

Dracula: Part 4

FADE IN.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, KITCHENS, DAY.

We see LUCY, QUINCEY, and ARTHUR around the table, eating breakfast, with QUINCEY reading the paper as ARTHUR and LUCY chat. MINA sweeps in, her usual regal style, giving her cousin a friendly hug before moving over to sit between her two gentlemen.

QUINCEY:

Have you seen the articles about this disease spreading through the city?

ARTHUR looks up from LUCY.

ARTHUR:

What strange malady have the sailors caught from the doxies?

LUCY giggles. QUINCEY lowers the paper.

QUINCEY:

Nothing like that. People all over are dying of anemia.

MINA gets a look on her face that no one else notices.

ARTHUR:

Anemia? You mean lack of blood? How unusual.

LUCY:

How ghastly.

QUINCEY:

I think everyone should be safe and take extra precautions. We wouldn't want anyone at this table to die from lack of blood.

MINA:

Perish the thought.

JONATHAN peers into the room from the hallway and gives MINA a "come over here" nod. MINA sighs.

MINA:

Well, while I'd love to stay and chat with my favorite people in the world, I have to get to a meeting this morning.

The rest of the table looks shocked.

QUINCEY:

In the morning? I didn't think you ever had to work in the mornings.

MINA:

The job requires my availability at all hours.

ARTHUR gives her a wink.

ARTHUR:

I know come things do.

MINA fakes looking shocked. She rises and gives QUINCEY a long kiss. Then she runs her hand along ARTHUR's shoulders as she moves past, leans in, and gives him a kiss on the cheek. Finally she hugs Lucy again before sweeping out.

QUINCEY:

I always assumed she's explode if she had to be up this early.

Everyone at the table laughs.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, HALLWAY, MORNING.

MINA comes into the hallway and we see JONATHAN there, looking pensive.

MINA:

What is it you want, JONATHAN?

JONATHAN:

The Master wanted me to relay that he is tired of living in the basement. It had its charms, he says, but he is ready to be officially introduced to English society.

MINA:

You mean-

JONATHAN:

This is his house. He wants to live here properly.

MINA:

Then he should tell me himself.

JONATHAN:

He is. My eyes are his eyes. My words are his words. Besides, he has the luxury of sleeping in. You have to keep up appearances.

MINA:

This won't do. I have guests. How do I explain-

JONATHAN:

Figure it out.

At this point LUCY comes into the hallway, giggling. Then she sees JONATHAN and stops.

LUCY:

J- JONATHAN?

JONATHAN looks worried, having been caught. MINA just sighs.

MINA:

I called off the engagement but JONATHAN is still the Count's solicitor. We have to... work together from time to time.

LUCY:

Oh. Well... I guess it's good to see you.

MINA:

JONATHAN was just bringing news that the Count will be here soon. His adventures across the continent are over and he looks forward to spending time in this estate.

LUCY:

Oh... Do we need to leave?

MINA:

I will arrange it with the Count but I'm sure we can stay on. He'll have his own wing. Plus, he'll need me to stay on to manage his affairs.

MINA then turns to JONATHAN. She looks right in his eyes.

MINA:

We need to talk.

Then she sweeps out, dragging JONATHAN in her wake.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, BASEMENT, MORNING.

MINA comes down the stairs and walks over to the coffin resting in the middle of the room. She settles onto one lower half of the coffin, neatly tucking her dress around her, then knocks on the coffin lid.

SFX: Knock-knock.

She sits there, waiting, looking around the room, then gets bored and knocks again.

SFX: Knock-knock.

At this point JONATHAN peers into the room, like a child not wanting to see his parents fight but unable to run away. Finally the upper lid of the coffin rises, revealing a very annoyed DRACULA.

MINA:

This simply won't do. Surprising me with this news without any preparation.

DRACULA:

What have you been doing for the last few months? That was all the preparation you needed.

MINA:

I have commitments. I have to keep up appearances for you. I have-

DRACULA:

A harem.

MINA:

*cough* I wouldn't put it like that.

DRACULA:

Oh, don't be modest. I've enjoyed watching you build your little group. I-

DRACULA sighs.

DRACULA:

Do get off my coffin.

MINA gives him a look then stands. The coffin lid rises on its own, and DRACULA stands, sweeping up in one unnatural motion. He dusts off his shirt, adjusting its fit, then turns to MINA.

DRACULA:

This was the arrangement. This is my castle-

MINA:

Estate.

DRACULA:

-and you stay here as my servant.

MINA:

I am not your servant. I simply work for you in public as a way to establish myself. And you. JONATHAN is a servant.

DRACULA:

You are of my blood. My power. You are mine.

MINA:

I-

DRACULA holds up a finger.

DRACULA:

But, I will not deny that you are my favorite bride. None have been as willful as you. Or as enterprising. Find a way to explain it and you, and your harem, may stay on here.

MINA:

Thank you.

DRACULA moves over to where his cloak is hanging.

DRACULA:

Now, what is this I hear about a cousin?

MINA looks shocked.

MINA:

LUCY?

DRACULA:

Ah, yes. That's the name. JONATHAN makes her sound quite delightful.

MINA glares over at JONATHAN who goes scurrying off.

MINA:

She's a sweet girl. Much too kind for her own good.

DRACULA:

I do enjoy the sweet ones.

MINA turns on him.

MINA:

You wouldn't!

DRACULA:

How old did you say she was?

MINA:

She's my cousin!

DRACULA:

Imagine. I could have two brides from the same family.

MINA storms over to him.

MINA:

She is off limits!

Suddenly the two are propelled across the room with DRACULA's hands wrapped around MINA's throat and his fangs bared.

DRACULA:

You tell me what to do!? You!? Blood of my blood!? I am the MASTER!

MINA stares him right in the eyes, no fear on her face.

MINA:

I do.

DRACULA:

You expect too much. You are mine and will do as I say!

MINA brings her hands up to his and pulls his hands away.

MINA:

I am of your blood. And power of your power. I'm not like JONATHAN, easily cowed. I stand as your equal because you made me in your image. And I say my cousin is off limits.

DRACULA raises his hand as if to back-hand her, then pauses.

DRACULA:

You best learn who the master is here, girl.

He takes a step back, then slowly fades into mist. As he does, he says:

DRACULA:

Resist me again and I will eviscerate your entire pathetic harem, LUCY included.

Then the mist wafts away, fading into the shadows and pouring out the cracks in the wall until the fog is completely gone. MINA stands there, seething with rage, as JONATHAN sneaks back in.

JONATHAN:

You shouldn't have angered him like that.

MINA cuffs him, sending him flying across the room, where he smashes against the wall, falling into a pile of rubble, dead rats, and desiccated bugs.

MINA:

Don't not think to give me advice, worm.

She sweeps out, leaving parting advice in the air.

MINA:

And find something else to eat, rat-boy. Even the vermin are better than you deserve.

EXT: CARFAX ABBEY, CARRIAGE ENTRANCE.

MINA comes out, raising a parasol to block the sun from touching her. LUCY comes out behind her.

LUCY:

Where are you headed?

MINA:

Out. To make arrangements.

LUCY:

Only, I haven't been out to see the city during the day and-

MINA turns to LUCY as the carriage pulls up. LUCY doesn't notice that there's no driver.

MINA:

LUCY. Dearest. I simply do not have time to guide you around town. I have... matters... to deal with. Tidy up your rooms and entertain my guests. And if the Count arrives just... stay out of his way.

MINA opens the carriage door and steps in, being extra careful to avoid the sun. The carriage pulls off, leaving LUCY standing in the sunlight, alone.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

EXT: LONDON STREETS, OUTSIDE A CHURCH, NIGHT.

JONATHAN walks along the street, twitchy. He sees a lady walking a dog and stares, longingly at the dog, and then at the woman.

SFX: Heartbeat thumping.

JONATHAN pulls away, his mouth open, trying to resist. A continues walking, rubbing his hands up and down his arms. A PRIEST, standing outside near the church, stares up at the moonlight. JONATHAN sees the PRIEST, and again feels the hunger build.

SFX: Heartbeat thumping.

The PRIEST looks over and smiles.

PRIEST:

It's a lovely night, eh?

JONATHAN shakes his gaze, realizing the PRIEST talked to him.

JONATHAN:

I- I guess. I hardly notice anymore. Evening is the only time I really get out at this point.

PRIEST:

Probably safer. Less people around. They say a sickness it sweeping through the city. Might be best to avoid others, try not to catch it.

The PRIEST really looks at JONATHAN who is acting like a twitched out heroin addict in need of a fix.

PRIEST:

Are you okay, son?

JONATHAN:

I just... I... I'm fine.

PRIEST:

I really doubt that. Is there something I can help you with?

JONATHAN:

I-

PRIEST:

There is no problem that God cannot help you solve.

JONATHAN gets a look on his face.

JONATHAN:

I'm pretty far from God at this point, father.

PRIEST:

Never. Everyone, man or woman, can find a place for God in heart. It's never too late to worry about the afterlife.

JONATHAN laughs.

JONATHAN:

You sure of that?

The PRIEST motions to his church.

PRIEST:

Come in if you like, we can talk about it.

JONATHAN looks at the church doors, standing open.

JONATHAN:

I'm not welcome there.

PRIEST:

All are welcome. All are invited.

The PRIEST turns and walks into his church. JONATHAN follows, pausing at the doors.

PRIEST:

All you have to have is faith, my son.

JONATHAN:

Faith.

PRIEST:

Oh yes. God has faith in you. Shouldn't you?

JONATHAN looks at the doors. He raises his hand, slowly bringing it into the church's entrance. The second it crosses the threshold the hand bursts into flames.

PRIEST:

Now, what troubles you?

We focus on the PRIEST as he turns. All he sees is a whiff of smoke. JONATHAN is gone.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

EXT: CARFAX ABBEY, COURTYARD, NIGHT.

MINA stands outside, waiting. QUINCEY comes up behind her, trailed by ARTHUR.

QUINCEY:

He's arriving rather late, isn't he, dear?

MINA:

The Count runs whatever schedule he likes.

QUINCEY:

Like you.

MINA:

I picked it up from him. Easier to do our kind of... work.

MINA turns to QUINCEY.

MINA:

The Count can be... well, he has a way with people. The fall under his sway. Just promise me that, whatever happens, you will stay with me.

QUINCEY:

Of course, my dear.

MINA looks at three of them.

MINA:

Both of you.

QUINCEY:

Of course. I would never leave you.

ARTHUR:

Who could ever compare to you?

MINA looks out at the night. A posh carriage pulls into view.

MINA:

He could...

The carriage comes up to the drive and the door opens. Out hops DRACULA, all smiles. Jaunty as if he's just fed.

DRACULA:

MINA! Darling! So good to finally see you again. How long has it been?

MINA (To Herself):

Not long enough.

DRACULA:

And I see we have a couple of strapping young men as well. Have you been treating my MINA well?

QUINCEY:

Yes, Your Grace.

DRACULA:

Oh, please. No not bother with such formalities. We have met, once before. Briefly at a party. Your party, I believe.

DRACULA turns to ARTHUR as he says this, proffering his hand to be shook.

ARTHUR:

Why yes, I didn't know you were the mysterious man MINA worked for.

MINA:

Of course you did. I'm sure I told you.

ARTHUR:

No... I'm sure you said you didn't know him when we met at the party.

MINA turns to ARTHUR and gives him a deep stare.

MINA:

That never happened.

ARTHUR:

...Never.

She turns to QUINCEY, giving him a similar, deep and powerful look.

MINA:

You've known I work for DRACULA for weeks now.

QUINCEY:

...Of course I did.

MINA turns back to DRACULA.

MINA:

Well, Count, shall we go see your quarters?

DRACULA:

I'd be delighted.

The two walk ahead of QUINCEY and ARTHUR, who hang back, seemingly dazed. MINA speaks quietly to DRACULA.

MINA:

Are you happy? You're exploding our plans. And for what, to sleep in a bed?

DRACULA:

To show you who is in control, pet.

MINA:

Don't call me that.

DRACULA:

Now... where is that cousin of yours?

FADE OUT.

End of Part 4:

Well, the movie is called "Dracula". Mina might be the lead vampire but Dracula has to play a hand in his own movie, otherwise it'd be called "Mina". So here's the conflict: Dracula vs. Mina. We also start a story thread for Jonathan (we'll see where this goes) and we start laying the groundwork for the "disease" and people figuring out the malady is vampires. Now that we're in the middle of the film the story is really coming into focus.

No Seward this time. I'm going to have to explain that. Hm... Honestly, his character hasn't come into focus yet so we'll have to see what we can do for him over the next parts.