Workshop Wednesday

Dracula

Here we go, the big moment I've been building towards, not just a pivotal scene in the story as a whole, but also really necessaru for Mina as a character. We'll have a lot to discuss below, but for now: get to reading.

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 10

FADE IN.

EXT: CARFAX ABBEY, MAIN GATES, NIGHT.

MUSIC: Orchestral waltz

We see fine carriages pulling up and well dressed nobles getting out, all off them heading into Carfax Abbey, which has been decorated to the nines for the gala event.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, BALLROOM, NIGHT.

The whole ballroom is a glittering jewel, decorated like a baroque painting, lit with a dozen chandeliers and a thousand candles. The nobility circles the floor, chatting and dancing and eating as a large number of servants pass around food and drinks on silver trays. And, at the center of it all is MINA, looking exquisite in a blood red ball gown, her neck decorated in black pearls. QUINCEY stands attentive to one side of her and then two occasionally share small, secret conversations as they slowly move around the ballroom.

ARTHUR swings past, a drink in each hand, and stops by MINA and QUINCEY.

ARTHUR:

You put on quite the event, my lovely.

MINA smiles.

MINA:

I think you mean that YOU put on the event, dear ARTHUR. This is all your handywork.

ARTHUR smiles back.

ARTHUR:

Yes, in fact, that's exactly what I meant.

Then he's off, taken by the swirls of the crowd, splashing a drink off to one side as he is pulled into yet another conversation. QUINCEY leans over to MINA.

QUINCEY:

Speaking of hosting this event, where is our illustrious benefactor?

MINA gets a look on her face, not quite nasty but there's a bit of an edge to it.

MINA:

Knowing him, he'll make quite the entrance when he's ready.

QUINCEY looks up, a bit startled ad seemingly a touch pleased.

QUINCEY:

Speaking of making an entrance.

He points over the main doors of the ballroom where the crowd is parting. There we see LUCY, dressed in the most lavish ball gown at the event, done in rose and gold, looking absolutely stunning, as if she were dressed by a magical fairy godmother (ARTHUR being a solid second choice). MINA looks shocked.

MINA:

She's-

ARTHUR swings in at just this moment.

ARTHUR:

Exquisite. Yes, I know.

MINA:

Your doing, ARTHUR?

ARTHUR:

Of course. We need someone to act as a shining pearl to your glittering dark jewel.

MINA:

Flatterer.

ARTHUR looks down at his hands, a drink in each, hands them both to QUINCEY, then takes MINA's hand and sweeps her off into the dance. Then he swings back by and takes one of the glasses and they twirl off in the other direction.

LUCY is the talk of the ball with people nodding and commenting on her as she moves past. More than one suitor comes up, kisses her hand, asks for a dance, and the activity swirls around her as she's twirled and swirled around the ball. Then she comes to an abrupt stop right in front of QUINCEY.

QUINCEY:

You look stunning.

LUCY blushes.

LUCY:

Everyone is staring at me.

QUINCEY:

As they should.

He takes her hand and she nods, and they're off dancing as well. Soon they are swirling around MINA as both couples dance together.

MINA:

You're getting all the attention, dear LUCY. I feel as if this is your ball, not mine.

LUCY:

Oh, cousin, I didn't mean-

MINA laughs her odd laugh.

MINA:

No worries. I will have their attention again soon. And our guest of honor should be arriving any moment.

LUCY:

DRACULA.

MINA:

Oh yes. He's in for quite the treat tonight.

And, as if on cue, the crowd opens once more and DRACULA is there, as if he'd materialized in that instant. DRACULA looks around approvingly, then gives MINA a toothy smile.

DRACULA:

Exactly as I had hoped. You've crafted a palace for me and everyone here is but a vassal. This event puts me in the seat of power.

ARTHUR and QUINCEY give MINA a questioning look but she shrugs them off.

MINA:

Count, come with me. We must properly announce your arrival.

MINA moves through the crowd as they part before her. As this is going on, two new arrivals show up on the scene. SEWARD is suddenly standing among the group of QUINCEY, ARTHUR, and LUCY. Meanwhile, ABRAHAM has just come into the party but is stuck at the very back of the crowd.

Eventually, MINA ends up at the stage, DRACULA a dark presence off to her side. She quiets the orchestra and all eyes turn to her. She speaks, and while she doesn't shout, everyone in the room hears her as if she's standing right next to them.

MINA:

I want to thank all of you for coming here tonight. This is a special night as we throw open the doors of Carfax Abbey and reveal the new manor built on its grounds.

SFX: Applause

This is met with boisterous applause as the crowd murmurs their approval of the new estate.

MINA:

Thank you. This was quiet an endeavor, and I'm sure everyone here has been eager to see the results for months now.

SFX: Louder applause.

MINA:

Of course, while I arranged everything, all of this was paid for by the newest addition to London's noble ranks: COUNT DRACULA of Wallachia.

SFX: More applause.

DRACULA steps forward and gives a proper bow.

DRACULA:

Thank you for welcoming me into your city and your circles. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you as we formalize this new arrangement. And, of course, I have much to learn as I take my place in English society.

SFX: Subdued applause.

MINA:

Oh, dear Count, I'm sure you have such big plans for LONDON. Such big plans indeed as you take over all aspects of their lives.

She looks out at the confused crowd.

MINA:

Didn't you all know? DRACULA is a vampire. A nasty, evil beast from beyond the grave.

DRACULA turns to MINA, eyes alight with fire.

DRACULA:

What are you doing?!

MINA:

Yes, he came here to feed on you, to make you his vassals so he could build a new empire after his last kingdom crumbled beneath him.

ABRAHAM starts trying to fight his way through the crowd.

MINA:

The thing is, Count, I don't want to see what happens to London when it's taken over by you. I think I've had quite enough of you indeed.

As DRACULA lunges towards MINA she takes a step back and snaps her fingers. The entire orchestra stands as one, pulling out crosses, shining in the candle light, forcing DRACULA back. MINA smiles as she slips on a pair of old-timey sun shades, protecting her eyes from the holy light.

DRACULA:

I could have had such power. You would have been my queen.

MINA:

No, I would have been your Bride. A servant. Nothing more in your eyes. Now, though, I can rule these people as I see fit, without you.

This is when all the servants that have been milling through the crowd reveal they're all vampires, and they start taking the nobility and biting them, feasting on their blood. The ballroom suddenly becomes quite the bloodbath.

DRACULA looks out at the crowd, raises his hands, and tries to stop it all.

DRACULA:

No! Obey me!

The vampires don't pay him any heed. MINA smiles at DRACULA as SEWARD comes up.

DRACULA:

How?!

MINA rubs a hand along SEWARD's face.

MINA:

Blood of my blood.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, KITCHEN, NIGHT, PAST.

We see MINA revive SEWARD with her own blood.

INT: WHITBY ASYLUM, FRONT HALL, NIGHT, PAST.

SEWARD, alive and powerful, walks into the ASYLUM and immediately attacks a nurse. After feeding on her, he opens his wrist and smears blood on her mouth.

INT: WHITBY ASYLUM, PATIENT CELLS, NIGHT, PAST.

We see SEWARD walking through the ASYLUM, all the doors to the place wide open, as nurses and other patients feed on more and more of the residents in the building, each of them converting the next to the undead life.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, KITCHENS, NIGHT, PAST.

SEWARD is in the KITCHENS, passing out uniforms to each of his newly turned vampires, getting them ready for the ball later that night. As they assemble, they're handed silvered trays for drinks and food.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, BALLROOM, NIGHT.

MINA looks at the anger on DRACULA's face and smiles again.

MINA:

It's amazing, the more vampires that were added to my flock, the more powerful I felt.

DRACULA:

Your flock should be my flock.

MINA:

You didn't make me a Bride, dear DRACULA. You made me your equal. Were you bored? Curious?

DRACULA:

I wanted a partner.

MINA's face is suddenly a demonic mask of rage.

MINA:

THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE TREATED ME LIKE ONE!

She's immediately composed once more.

MINA:

No matter. I have the power here now. Carfax, and all of England, will be mine.

The orchestra players push DRACULA further and further back until his back is against the wall. Then he starts climbing up it, crab-wise, climbing out of their reach.

DRACULA:

You think you have me, my Bride, but you don't hold all the cards.

He casts a glance over at LUCY, who is surrounded by QUINCEY and ARTHUR trying to keep her safe. Suddenly she faints, crumpling to the floor, as the two men try to catch her. MINA sees all this, then glares back at DRACULA in rage.

MINA:

What have you done?!

DRACULA:

She is under my sway and soon will be my new Bride. You are correct, MINA. I don't need you after all.

DRACULA propels himself off the wall, swooping over the crowd with his cap flowing out like wings, flying towards LUCY. He puts out his hand, and LUCY, as if in a trance, raises hers. Just as he's about to grab it, though, ABRAHAM steps up and bashes DRACULA across the head with a silver tray. The vampire goes tumbling out of the air, crashing to the ground and sliding along the floor for a stretch.

ABRAHAM kneels over his daughter, checking her pulse.

QUINCEY:

What's wrong with her?

ABRAHAM:

He's made her his vassal.

ARTHUR:

What?

ABRAHAM:

I'll explain later.

The vampire hunter stands and DRACULA lunges up. The vampire seems poises to attack, but then he looks around at all the vampires still in the room as they start to congregate towards him, teeth and claws bared. He thinks better of it, changes to a wolf and darts out of the room.

QUINCEY:

What in the blue blazes is happening?!

ABRAHAM:

We must get LUCY out of here!

ARTHUR:

What about MINA.

ABRAHAM looks up at his niece who stands on the stage, her vassals congregating around her like a vampiric goddess.

ABRAHAM:

That's not MINA, not anymore.

QUINCEY and ARTHUR pick up LUCY and start to carry her out of the room while ABRAHAM backs them up, bashing at the vampires around them with his silver tray. This isn't that effective, but he has to do something, as the desperation comes across his face. MINA sees all this and waves her hand.

MINA:

Let them go.

The vampires part, letting our heroes flee. As they exit, QUINCEY and ARTHUR look up at the sound of MINA's voice.

MINA:

I'll see you soon.

And then the vampire descend on the remaining humans in the room.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, MAIN HALL, NIGHT.

The four of them continue to carry LUCY out, but the ABRAHAM stops and turns to QUINCEY.

ABRAHAM:

Quick, bar the other doors. I'll get these. We mustn't let those creatures out.

QUINCEY rushes off while ARTHUR kneels over LUCY, tending to her.

ARTHUR:

What are we going to do?

ABRAHAM shoves chairs under the door handles, effectively blocking them shut. Then he grabs a lit candelabra.

ABRAHAM:

This.

He rushes over the fine drapes in the hall and starts lighting them on fire. Then he progresses so the paintings that line the halls before throwing the candelabra on the floor, catching the carpet as well into a nice smolder. QUINCEY had returned by this point and see the fire starting.

ABRAHAM:

We must purge the world of those foul creatures.

QUINCEY:

But MINA!

ABRAHAM slaps him across the face.

ABRAHAM:

Damn it, man! MINA is GONE! Get LUCY out of here.

The gentlemen carry LUCY out while ABRAHAM stands guard. The fire starts to lick along the doors, and then spread inside the ballroom.

INT: CARFAX ABBEY, BALLROOM, NIGHT.

As the fire creeps inside, spreading smoke and gloom, we see the mass of vampires continuing to feed. MINA, though, realizes the danger they are in, but with the fire licking at the doors, it's already too late. SEWARD still attempts to bash his way through a door to the kitchens, to no avail.

SEWARD:

Mistress...

MINA smiles a sad smile.

MINA:

It would have been lovely...

Then she turns to mist, her clothes falling away. He gaseous cloud gently flits under the door and she's gone. That's when the screaming starts as the first starts to catch inside the room. Any vampire it touches instantly goes up, and the vampire freaks out, running around, only spreading the fire to more and more vampires. The blaze builds and builds, roaring constantly. SEWARD seeing all this, tries to turn to mist but he can't manage the form for long enough.

SEWARD:

Mistress...

And then a vampire collides with him and he goes up in flame.

EXT: CARFAX ABBEY, MAIN GATES, NIGHT.

QUINCEY, ARTHUR, and ABRAHAM (with LUCY in QUINCEY's arms) watch the abbey steadily go up in flames, everything wooden of cloth caught in the blaze, soon to return the glorious edifice to a state of barely held-together rubble. ABRAHAM crosses himself awkwardly, as if its something he's not used to doing.

ABRAHAM:

This place is cleansed but we still have one more to kill.

QUINCEY:

DRACULA.

ABRAHAM:

Yes.

ARTHUR:

We should find MINA.

ABRAHAM:

She's dead.

ARTHUR:

Then we should bury her.

ABRAHAM:

We do not have time to wait for that blaze to stop. DRACULA is on the run and we must catch up to him before the trail is lost.

LUCY half wakes at this point.

LUCY:

DRACULA...

ABRAHAM quickly goes to her.

ABRAHAM:

It's okay, dear. You're safe now.

LUCY:

DRACULA... master...

ABRAHAM, QUINCEY, and ARTHUR share a look.

QUINCEY:

Damn.

FADE OUT.

End of Part 10:

So the second I remembered the big gala I wanted Mina to throw, this whole section of the script came together. This is the first of the big, climactic moments when all the various pieces of the story finally come together... and then all hell breaks loose and the entire story goes through a major change. Now we're looking at the chase between the heroes and Dracula, as is in the original story, potentially with them chasing him all the way back to the Borgo Pass (if I use that part of the story as well).

We're heading into a part of the story that I have vaguely mapped out in my head but the bones of it are different now than when I first imagined it. I expected Mina and the heroes to all be traveling together but now, no, different things will be happening. Of course, I wouldn't count Mina out just yet despite the destruction of Carfax Abbey. I'm sure she'll find some way out of that mess.

THis was the first climax but the story is nowhere near over just yet. Probably two more sections to go if I have the pacing right in my head. THe story is heading towards its ending now, though.