Author’s Notes: The vampire tour settles in for the night but real vampires are loose in the hotel. No Twilight sparkles here, just hungry bloodsuckers. These scenes were some of my favorite to write. I loved having all hell break loose as the tourists had no clue what was hunting them until it was too late.
Act III Scene I:
(The hotel lobby. The party in The Impaler has finally drawn to a close. The tour people are filing back to their rooms in ones and twos, some of them staggering, many of them draped with black crepe and bat-fetti. The front desk is down to one employee, a sleepy night auditor yawning and reading a book. He nods to each person or small group as they filter out of The Impaler, bidding them a good night in English and Romanian. The tour guide is the last person to leave The Impaler. His arms are bundled with party favors and other novelties left over from the event.)
Guide: I’ll get the rest of it tomorrow morning. Right now, I just need to go to bed.
Auditor: (in accented English) That’s fine. Good night, sir.
(As the tour guide makes his way heavily up the stairs, the auditor comes around from the desk and goes to The Impaler. He looks around, turns off the lights, closes the door. When he turns back around to head toward the front desk, he jumps, quickly assuming his customer-service face.)
Auditor: Good evening, sir. I’m sorry, but we have no more rooms. There’s a tour in town.
(The person standing just inside the doors has a hat pulled down a little over his eyes. The hat is one Morgan was wearing at the dig. He stands in the entryway, silent and a little foreboding.)
Auditor: I’m sorry. Did you hear me? We have no rooms. (in Romanian) We have no rooms to rent tonight.
(Dr. Morgan still does not respond. The auditor gingerly gets a little closer.)
Auditor: Are you deaf? (in Romanian) Do you hear me? Sir? (in English) Sir?
(The auditor gets closer and closer. Finally, when he is within an arm’s reach, Dr. Morgan springs to life. He moves so quickly, the hat flies off. We see bared fangs and gleaming eyes. The auditor barely has time to react. He lets out a muffled sound and we cut to a spray of blood jetting across a plant and the lobby wallpaper.)
Act III Scene II
(Hallway One in the hotel. A couple in their fifties are making their way down the hall. The wife is swaying a bit and chattering on and on about her night with the vampires.)
Joan: Oh, and the tour guide! He’s so debonair. Did you see his outfit tonight? I think he looked just like Gary Oldman in Dracula. Don’t you think, Roger?
Roger: Whatever you say, dear. (guiding her as she stumbles down the hall) Careful now. Watch your step. Our room is right down here.
Joan: (turning and kissing him sloppily) This is the best time ever, Roger! Thank you so much for taking me on this tour.
Roger: It’s our anniversary present. (steers her down the hall) Just don’t enjoy yourself so much tomorrow. I’m too old to carry you up the stairs.
Joan: Oh, you silly –
(The couple turns a corner and they both draw up short. At the end of the hall, a long-haired American from the dig is bent over another woman from the tour group. He’s been feeding on her. He looks up and bares bloody fangs.)
Joan: Oh! Roger, look! They’ve got actors to follow us to our rooms.
Roger: Um, Joan, I don’t think –
Joan: Oh Mr. Vampire! Pick me! Come and drain me dry, you little hottie!
Roger: Joan, really, I don’t know if that’s a good idea.
Joan: (slaps his chest dismissively) Oh, stow it, Rog. (waving to the vampire and practically jumping up and down) Yoohoo! Edward! Over here!
(Joan holds her arms out to the vampire and cocks her head to one side, baring her neck invitingly. The vampire drops the woman he has just killed. Roger jumps at the sound she makes as she contacts the floor. He starts back pedaling, trying to draw his over-eager wife with him as he goes.)
Roger: (backing away) Joan, honey, please –
(The vampire charges with supernatural speed down the hall. Joan practically runs into his arms. Joan’s squeal of excitement rapidly turns into a gurgling shriek of terror as the vampire tears out her throat. Roger falls back around the bend in the hall, stumbles, then lands heavily against a door.)
Act III Scene III:
(Cut immediately to the other side of the door. We see Roger’s impact from this perspective and hear muffled cries from the hall. The forty-something lady who is in this room sits up in her bed, pulling her sleeping mask back to squint at the door.)
Lady: For God’s sake, keep it down out there! People are trying to sleep!
(Noises at the door. The knob is frantically turned. Roger shrieks but is cut short. The room’s occupant snaps on the light, glancing angrily at the door.)
Lady: I said keep it down! I swear. Mix people and alcohol and you get instant assholes.
(She stomps over to the door and throws it open. Roger’s corpse falls back upon her feet. She yelps, and the long-haired vampire dives into her room. She falls back toward the bed, screaming and scrambling for anything to fend off her attacker. Stumbling against the nightstand, she seizes a thick black book on the nightstand – the hotel Bible. It has a large silver cross embossed on the cover. Grabbing this in both hands, she beats him over the head with it.)
Lady: Get off of me!
(the vampire looks merely annoyed until the cross from the front of the Bible actually singes him a little, leaving a reddened mark in the middle of his forehead. After an initial look of confusion and several less effective strikes from the panicked woman, he snarls, knocks the Bible from her hands, and falls upon her. Fade to black.)
Act III Scene IV
(Hallway Two. There are several bodies in the hall and at least two doors are smeared with blood. Dr. Morgan stands with the long-haired vampire who ate Joan. Dr. Morgan pages through the guest registry from the front desk. The other vampire looks restless. There is dried blood in his goatee.)
Morgan: No Thompson. No Richards. They must be under different names.
Morgan: So this makes things more difficult for us. We have to search the entire hotel.
Long-Hair: I’ll go get the others. We can start on the first floor.
Morgan: What are you going to do, just go from room to room, killing them as we go?
Long-Hair: Sounds like a plan to me.
Morgan: We’ve already been too loud already. I’m amazed there hasn’t been a panic. We won’t find them if they’re running from us. We need some strategy.
Morgan: I don’t want him to think we’re being sloppy. I don’t know if they can hurt us, be he certainly can. Do you want him angry with you?
(The tour guide rounds the corner into the hall. He is wearing a fancy dressing gown and only some of the makeup has been washed from his face. He trips on a body, cursing. Morgan and Long-Hair look up.)
Guide: Jeez. Every year, it’s worse and worse. Now the drunks don’t even make it to their rooms.
(The Guide nudges the body with his foot.)
Guide: Hey! Hey, you! Get up off the floor!
(The body slumps over a little more.)
Guide: If I have to call the front desk to put you in your room …
(Dr. Morgan steps approaches the tour guide.)
Guide: (automatically) Ssh! Remember to keep it down. I heard some screaming up here earlier, and you people have to remember that there are other patrons in the hotel. (He stops short, blinking) Oh – you’re not in my tour group.
Morgan: No, I’m not.
Guide: Could you help me with this fellow? I’m afraid he’s all partied out.
Morgan: I’d love to give you a hand.
(The tour guide bends down to help the “drunk” up. Before the tour guide can react, Morgan snaps his neck. He eases the body to the floor next to the other man. The long-haired vampire looms over his shoulder.)
Morgan: See? Quick. Quiet. Efficient. Now follow me.
Act III Scene V:
(Hotel Hallway Three. No signs of struggle yet. Thompson, Johnny, and Victor walk together.)
Victor: Do you even know what room she’s in?
Johnny: She didn’t exactly tell me, but I got a look at that little envelope her key was in. It was definitely three something.
Thompson: So you don’t know.
Johnny: I’ve got a good idea.
Victor: You’re amazing, Johnny. There’s some freaky shit killing people out there and you’re dragging us through the hotel on a late-night booty call.
Johnny: Sex and death, man. We sing about it all the time.
Thompson: He takes himself seriously?
Victor: If Griffin didn’t have that archaeologist chick to look after, he’d be the one baby-sitting your ass, Johnny. I’ve been doing it for far too —
Johnny: (scrambling backwards) Oh fuck.
(A middle-aged woman stumbles out of a room in front of them, clutching her throat. A stream of blood runs down the front of her night gown. She reaches out to them, gurgling, eyes pleading. Kristof emerges from the room behind her. When he sees Johnny and the others, he grins. His fangs are impossible to miss.)
(The lady collapses and the vampire charges over her corpse, heading straight for them.)
Thompson: That’s Kristof! Kristof! Mother of God!
Johnny: You know that fucker?
Victor: Just run.
(They turn and start pelting back down the way they came. Johnny, shocked by what he sees, is the last to move. When he does run, he trips over his own boots, landing heavily on the carpet. Thompson and Victor are halfway down the hall. Kristof is practically on top of Johnny.)
Victor: Johnny! Don’t you get killed, you little blighter!
(Victor pulls a knife and charges back toward the vampire. Kristof descends upon Johnny, but hisses, pulls his arm away and stumbles back a step. Johnny looks down at his chest. He’s been wearing a big, showy Gothic cross and this seems to have repelled the vampire.)
Johnny: (touching the cross) Well, fuck me.
(Kristof recovers and dives for Johnny a second time. Johnny brandishes his cross at the vampire, connecting with Kristof’s face. There is a satisfying sizzle. Kristof stumbles away, clawing at his face.)
Johnny: Eat Jesus, bastard!
(Victor catches up, helping Johnny to his feet with one hand and brandishing his knife in the other. Another vampire comes rounds the corner at the end of the hallway where the stairs going down are.)
Victor: Fuck that. We’re out of here.
Thompson: Where do you plan on going? Hotel’s only got three floors.
(They stand together, looking worried.)
Act III Scene VI:
(Mara and Livia’s room. The lights are low. Mara is in her familiar black tank and cargo pants. She has added a belt with a knife on it. Livia is also in more practical clothes. She sits on the bed, a gun in her hands. Mara studies the room, looking from the door to the one window to the various pieces of heavy furniture. She talks to Livia as she works. Occasionally, we can hear screaming or other noises coming from the rest of the hotel during their conversation. The two women ignore most of this, only sometimes even looking up.)
Mara: Remember. You aim for the heart or the head. Destroy the central nervous system as completely as you can.
Livia: You know I’m no good with guns.
Mara: We don’t have any of the others with us, so we have to make do however we can. I’d rather have the gun in your hands. You need it more than I will.
Livia: Do you think it’s really that bad?
(Mara goes over to the armoire, tries to slide it, discovers that it’s bolted to the floor. She takes a moment to focus herself, much like a martial artist about to break a stack of bricks. Then she rocks the entire armoire back and forth, snapping the bolts. Straining only a little, she moves the massive piece of furniture against the door.)
Mara: You heard the screams. They’re in the hotel. The main one, he’s somewhere else right now. Close, but not here. What we’re dealing with are his extensions. Victims who don’t know that they’re dead.
Livia: How does that work exactly? I’ve never seen you do anything like that before.
Mara: I would never stoop to something that low, Livia. Please don’t insult me like that! I have companions, like you and the others. I would never create slaves.
Livia: Are they like zombies or something?
Mara: No, not exactly. They’ll talk and act like they’re alive. There’s a residual personality in there. They’ll even manifest some of the source’s powers. But when push comes to shove, they have no will of their own. He wants them to do something, and they react, like he’s flexing a muscle. Only the muscle is them, and their intellect degrades over time.
Livia: That’s pretty creepy.
Mara: That’s why there are rules against it. And horror stories that go back to the dawn of time.
(Mara frowns at the window.)
Mara: I should have put the armoire there. It’s a few inches taller. Oh well, I wasn’t thinking.
(She grabs the dresser, snaps the bolts, and moves it over to the window.)
Livia: Do you want me to help you with anything?
Mara: I appreciate the thought, dear.
Livia: Do you think they’ll get all the way up here to the third floor? I mean, through the window?
Mara: Consider the things you have seen me do. Now apply those to our enemies. I can only assume that we are standing on common ground.
Livia: So you think someone translated the book.
Mara: At this point, I have no doubt that someone used it. It’s only a question of when. The council was right to punish me for leaving it behind.
Livia: Mara, you’ve beat yourself up over it enough.
Mara: I should have taken more precautions. And I’d be happy if I could remember any of it clearly. But something caught me right as I bodyhopped.
(Livia gets up off of the bed, goes over and touches Mara tenderly on the arm. She leans her head against Mara’s shoulder, almost hugging, almost holding her. They’re turned toward the full-length mirror that’s against one wall of the room, and Livia is studying both of their reflections as she speaks.)
Livia: I’ve seen how vulnerable you can be. It wasn’t that long ago that you moved to this body. I still haven’t gotten used to you being a woman, but that doesn’t mean I won’t stand by you. That’s what I’m here for, me and all the rest of my family. We love you. We protect you. We’d die before something hurt you, especially when you’re weak.
Mara: Oh, Livia. That’s the worst of it. Knowing that everyone I loved back then had to die for that book to fall into someone else’s hands.
(They are interrupted by a ruckus at the door.)
Johnny: (from out in the hall) Livia! Someone! Let us into a room! We’re gonna die!
Mara: Oh, damn.
Livia: That’s Johnny, from the band.
Mara: I just moved that thing.
Livia: Could you please let them in? I don’t know him that well, but I don’t want to listen to him die.
(Mara sighs, then moves toward the armoire.)
Mara: I’ll get this out of the way. You get the gun and keep it trained on the door. Unlock it, get them in here, and don’t let anything else in. I’ll block the door the minute they’re in.
Livia: Thank you, Mara.
Johnny: (from the hall) Livia! Someone! (a vampire shrieks) Eat Jesus, fucker!
Mara: One, two, three, go.
(Mara lifts the armoire and Livia jumps to open the door. Johnny practically falls in with Victor close behind. Thompson is behind them.)
Livia: Get in. Get in now!
(She pulls Johnny and Victor into the room. Thompson moves for the door, but Kristof and another one are on him, dragging him backwards.)
Victor: Shit. Thompson!
Livia: Stand back.
Mara: Two seconds and I’m blocking that door.
Livia: Give me a chance –
(Livia aims and fires the gun at Kristof. The bullet only grazes the side of his face, but he stumbles backward, dazed by the pain.)
Livia: Shit. Shit. Shit.
Mara: Time’s up. Close the door.
(Livia tries one last time to pull Thompson through the door, but Kristof recovers and tackles him, biting at his jugular. There is a spray of blood. Livia jumps back as both Thompson and the vampire nearly crash into the room. Mara darts forward, presses the door closed against both bodies, then moves the armoire back into place. Thompson’s dying screams are audible through the door. Then there’s silence.)
Johnny: (to Mara) Did you just pick up that whole bloody thing and move it?
Mara: (deadpan) Of course not.
Livia: (before Johnny can respond) Mara, that’s Johnny. And that’s Victor.
Victor: Thank you, Mara. That was close.
Mara: How bad is it out there?
Johnny: There are vampires all over the bloody place. Vampires! Like the kind you repel with a cross. What the fuck is up with that?
Mara: (confused) What?
Victor: He’s not shitting you, lady.
Mara: No, no. I understand the part about the vampires. What did you say about the cross?
Johnny: You saw that ugly bastard who just ate the black bloke, right? Did you see what he had burned into his face? That was my cross, lady. My fucking cross.
Mara: Don’t stick it in my face. And my name is Mara.
Johnny: I’m a wee bit stressed, sweets. I just got attacked by vampires. Bloody vampires! They ate my keyboardist earlier this evening. And now we just watched that guy buy the farm. This was not how I wanted to spend my European tour.
Livia: Johnny’s the lead singer, unless you couldn’t tell.
Johnny: What’s that supposed to mean?
Victor: You’re a lead singer. That’s what it means, Johnny.
Mara: (lost in thought) Crosses, though. Crosses? What on earth is going on?
(Mara begins to pace. More screams from the hall. The door shakes and the armoire visibly moves.)
Victor: Umm, so what do we do now?
Mara: You look like you can use a gun. Give it to him, Livia. I’ve got another one in the luggage over there.
Johnny: How’d you get that shit past customs?
Mara: I’m very charming when I need to be. As for what we do now, we sit and wait them out.
Johnny: I don’t like the idea of just sitting around here waiting for them to eat us.
Mara: For the moment, this will have to do. We don’t have a more defensible position. And besides, we only have to wait until dawn. I suspect they’re going to have problems with the sun.
Victor: What about the others? We left Briggs and Griffin and that chick Alex back in room two-fifty-seven.
Mara: Alex? From the archaeological dig?
Victor: Yeah. Why?
Mara: I needed to talk to her.
Johnny: Well, you two can just have a bloody tête-à-tête, assuming you feel like wading through vampires to do it.
Livia: Wait a minute. We can call them.
Livia: I used to work at a hotel. Usually, the phone number for a room is the same as the room number. What did you say, room 257?
(Victor nods. Livia starts to dial)
Mara: This is why I love you, Liv.
(Johnny raises an eyebrow at this remark, then frowns a bit as he looks pointedly at the single bed in the room.)
Livia: Hello? I almost didn’t expect an answer. This is Livia. Livia, remember? Johnny and Victor are with me in my room. No. No one’s done anything of the sort. That’s not why I called. You know there’s trouble in the hotel? Thompson’s dead. I’m sorry. There wasn’t much we could do. Tell her when she wakes up. I think she’s had a bad enough night. Right now, this is what you need to do. Get the heaviest piece of furniture and put it against your door. Get something to block the window if you can, too. Don’t go out in the halls. No. Don’t go out at all.
(Johnny keeps pointing at his cross. Livia glances over.)
Livia: Oh, and this will sound crazy, but do you have any crosses?
Johnny: We’re a Gothic rock band. They should have a metric ton of them. Tell them to dig through my jewelry!
Livia: Yeah, that was Johnny in the background. He says he has crosses with his jewelry. As I said, this is going to sound strange, but crosses seem to repel them. Yeah, just like the movies.
Mara: Is Alex still there with them?
Livia: Who’s all there? Briggs andGriffin and Alex. OK.
Mara: Tell them when the sun comes up we’ll meet in the main lobby of the hotel.
Livia: You guys sit tight for right now. You just have to wait out the night. When the sun comes up, meet us in the lobby of the hotel. You got that? OK. Good luck. Oh, and we’re room 331 in case you need to call.
Victor: They’re all alive?
Livia: Safe and sound, for the moment.
Victor: Maybe we should call the other rooms? You know, to warn them? Tell them how to defend themselves?
Mara: There’s no guarantee that one of the others won’t pick up.
Johnny: What? Vampires answer the phone?
Mara: Becoming vampires has not made them stupid, just feral. They’ll still approach the world as if they were alive.
Victor: Well, minus all the tearing peoples’ throats out.
Livia: Yeah, minus that.
Johnny: So what do we do now?
Mara: (sits on the bed) Now we wait for dawn.
Johnny: Bloody hell.