19 Nocturne Boulevard's THE THRICE TOLLED BELL - Reissue

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Reissue of one of 19 Nocturne's earliest episodes (from October 2008). Includes notes from Julie about the history and making of 19 Nocturne Boulevard. (transcript below cast list)

THE THRICE TOLLED BELL (TW: Insensitive archaic references and representations of people who might be in a "sanitarium".)

An homage to classic Hammer films.

Cast List Dracula - Bryan Hendrickson Van Helsing - Rick Lewis Wallace - Gene Thorkildsen Dr. Pettigrew - Michael Faigenblum Miranda Locksley - Rhys Torres-Miller Dr. Trevalian - Mathias Rebne-Morgan Mrs. Farge - Molly Tollefson Gorvi - Joel Harvey Britt - Julie Hoverson Nurse - Krystal Baker

MUSIC All works composed by Harlan Glotzer (© 2008) [BMI] {harglo@gmail.com}

  • Concertina - Harlan Glotzer
  • Violoncello - Rachael Beaver & Tracy Hagen
  • Toy Piano - Dana Wen & Roger Nelson
  • Clavichord - Dana Wen

Toy-Box Trio (http://www.myspace.cpm/toyboxtrio) toyboxtrio@gmail.com

Voices recorded with the assistance of Ryan Hirst of Neohoodoo Studio Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson Assistant Director: Reynaud LeBoeuf 19 Nocturne Theme Music: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com) Cover Photo: Vickie Mathews (courtesy of Stock Xchange.com)

"What kind of a place is it? Why it's an Edwardian insane asylum, can't you tell?"

__________________________________________________

THE THRICE TOLLED BELL intro

This was one of the first ten episodes of 19 Nocturne Boulevard that I made and put out, back in late 2008. I can't recall, specifically, what order I made them in.

I've mentioned previously that Brokensea audio hosted a new spooky episode every day in October for a big spooky month event, and several of my first batch of episodes debuted during that event.

But this episode, in particular, is literally attributable to Bill Hollweg, the master of disaster of Brokensea, he who will ever be missed. In the couple of months leading up to the October event, he posted a challenge to all comers, to write him a script with the following parameters:

  • It must be in the style of a Hammer Studios Dracula film (the 1960s-70s classics that starred the mesmerizing Christopher Lee);
  • It may only include Dracula and Van Helsing (no other Hammer standard characters or monsters); and
  • It must include a broken bell, a wooden leg, and use the line "It's never done that before!"

...To the best of my memory, anyway.

So I sat down and wrote The Thrice Tolled Bell, but then didn't want to give the script up to anyone else! I don't recall if he had any other entries, but Bill took it all with a roaring laugh and loved what I made.

I loved including the stock types of characters - the lunkheaded servant; the straight-laced housekeeper; and the sexy chick played by (in this case) my best Britt Eckland voice. I even snuck in an obviously semi-nude scene, just because I could, and it fit the genre.

This was also my first attempt at commissioning music, since for once I couldn't find *quite* what I wanted among the massive catalog (even back then) of Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com, who I can never thank enough for what he makes available for beginning and not for profit storytellers of all kinds. I don't recall much of the process, but I got one piece of music that I used bits of throughout and it was quite effective.

When I was casting this piece, I still had a limited pool to draw from, since I was trying to stay local and work mainly with people I could actually direct in the studio. One of my actors, Beverly Poole, was still in high school, and the doctors in this piece were some of her classmates. But I needed the right voice for Mrs. Farge, the irascible housekeeper.

I was still seeking when I went to Beverly's school play Twelfth Night (which did a lot of gender cross casting, and Beverly played Malvolio to extreme hilarity), and the voice of Fabian (pretty sure that was the role) struck me and after the play I caught up with Beverly and shouted (well, not shouted, but it was excited and urgent) "Bring me that voice!" and Molly Tollefson was recruited, accent and all.

I've never cared much for auditions. Either doing them or holding them. It's just me. I'd always rather grab an actor I've heard, or recruit someone from a show I like than have to evaluate from a bunch of recorded voices. Plus, I hate being "mean" and having to turn everyone else down.

____________________________________________________

SCRIPT

THE THRICE TOLLED BELL

(an homage to Hammer Studio horror films)

TW: disrespectful references to sanitarium patients and a "halfwit" character, in keeping with the time the script is set as well as the general character types of the Hammer Films franchise.

...also nudity.

Cast (All various British accents except Dracula):

  • Dracula (M), immortal vampire
  • Van Helsing (M), Vampire Hunter
  • Dr. Michael Pettigrew (20s/M), new head of the asylum
  • Miranda Locksley(20s/F), Pettigrew's nurse/fiancée
  • Mrs. Farge (30s/F), housekeeper
  • Gorvi (30s/M), trustee
  • Wallace (40s/M), cheery orderly
  • Dr. Trevalien (40s/M), rival
  • Britt Mecklin (20s/F), hapless blonde
  • Nurse (F any)

OLIVIA What do you mean, what kind of a place is it? Why, it's an Edwardian asylum, can't you tell?

MUSIC

SOUND HEAVY DOOR CRASHES SHUT

SOUND FOOTSTEPS - ONE SET LIMPS ODDLY

WALLACE Right through here - sir, miss. Now this is one of the saddest cases we have, sir, truth be told. Once he was the finest psychiatric mind in Europe - perhaps even the world.

MICHAEL Always tragic when a good mind snaps. The same fire that feeds genius also devours and leaves madness in its wake.

WALLACE Yessir.

MIRANDA What sort of madness does he suffer from?

WALLACE Miss? I dunno that I should--

MICHAEL Go ahead, Wallace. Miss Locksley is not merely my fiancée, but a very competent and highly trained psychiatric nurse. We will be working in tandem to try and bring my late father's asylum into the 20th century.

MIRANDA [sadly] From what I've seen, it will take quite some doing.

WALLACE [stiff] Sir, I dunno 'bout that, but your father was a very good and brilliant man - though the last ten years or so, since your mother died, begging your pardon, sir, he seemed to lose interest in everything.

MICHAEL Did he - not even treat the patients?

WALLACE He left much of that in the hands of Dr. Trevalian.

MICHAEL Why did he not send for me? I could have spent my residency here instead of in Budapest. I could certainly have learned as much from father as I did from Dr. Bulovic!

WALLACE Sir, if you don't mind me speaking above me place, I think your father - well, he didn't want you to see him... like that.

MICHAEL But I might have been able to help him!

WALLACE I don't think naught could have helped him - not at the end, there.

MICHAEL [British agony] He should have sent for me.

MIRANDA Dearest. He did what he thought was best. I'm sure your father thought very highly of you - otherwise, why should he have left this institution under your care?

MICHAEL Of course, you're right. [condescending] Always the practical one.

MIRANDA One of us needs to be, and you must save your energy for the needs of the patients.

MICHAEL Well, show us this paragon, Wallace.

WALLACE Sir?

MICHAEL The doctor you say was so sadly struck down.

WALLACE Oh, yes sir - sad it is to see great men crumble.

SOUND KNOCK ON HUGE IRON BOUND DOOR

WALLACE Herr Doktor? Young Doctor Pettigrew wishes to speak with you.

VAN HELSING [muffled, behind the door] Enter.

WALLACE Ah. Here we go, then.

SOUND OPENING LOCKS AND BARS ON DOOR

WALLACE Dr. Pettigrew, Miss Locksley-- [ta-da!] Doctor Van Helsing.

MUSIC

GORVI Gorvi done mopping. Gorvi eat now?

MRS. FARGE Tis not dinner time yet, ye pillock. Yer s'posed to muck out the barn t'make room for that motorcar the new head brought wi' 'im.

GORVI Mo-to-cah? What is mo-to-cah?

MRS. FARGE An engine of Satan. If god had wanted us to speed about in great smoking heaps of metal, he wouldn'a made horses.

GORVI [wail] Gorvi hungry!

MRS. FARGE Off wi' ye! I've no time for this today - must have everything ready for inspection by the new head. And here's hoping he doesna choose to sack us all. Shoo!

SOUND GORVI LEAVES - HEAVY FOOTSTEPS, RICKETY DOOR OPENS, CLOSES

AMBIANCE OUTSIDE

BRITT [off, barely audible, singing] When that I was and a little tiny boy--

GORVI [leering chuckle]

SOUND FOOTSTEPS ON GRASS SPEED UP

GORVI Pretty pretty britty. Pretty... golden...

BRITT With a hey-ho, the wind and the rain--

SOUND FINGERS SQUEAK ACROSS GLASS, TINY WINDOW SLIDES OPEN - SINGING IS NOW CLEAR, WITH SLOSHING OF WATER, BATHING

GORVI Oh-ho!

BRITT A foolish thing was but a toy, for the rain it raineth every day...

GORVI [smothering his delighted chuckles]

SOUND DRIPPING AS A LEG IS RAISED OUT THE WATER. BRUSH SCRUBS

BRITT Hey-ho, the wind and the rain, for the rain it raineth every day...

GORVI [Bursts out with a shriek of delight]

BRITT What? [gasps] Oh no!

SOUND HEAVY FOOTSTEPS RUNNING ON GRAVEL

GORVI [breathing heavily] No scream, no scream. Gorvi not bad. No scream, pretty Britty.

SOUND SHIFT TO INSIDE

BRITT [screams piercingly]

SOUND [INSIDE] DOOR OPENS, FEET RUSH IN

NURSE What is it miss?

BRITT Someone was looking at me! A man!

NURSE [condescending, fading out] Of course. Don't you worry. We'll sort it all out...

SOUND SHIFT TO OUTSIDE

SOUND GORVI RUNNING

GORVI [panting with exertion]

SOUND OPENS HUGE OLD DOOR, RUNS IN

MUSIC

MICHAEL After Wallace's admonitions, this is hardly what I expected.

VAN HELSING I am quite aware of my condition, my dear doctor Pettigrew. You're fortunate enough to catch me on a good day.

MICHAEL Perhaps you would indulge me with your own diagnosis?

VAN HELSING Simple, really. Bouts of severe depression, which, I am ashamed to admit, I... treat... unsuccessfully... with over-use of alcohol.

MICHAEL Dipsomania?

VAN HELSING I would consider it more a symptom than a core disease, but you understand how difficult it is to be objective.

MICHAEL I appreciate your frankness.

MIRANDA I trust you are comfortable here, doctor - this is hardly a typical cell. More like a suite in an expensive hotel.

VAN HELSING Dr. Pettigrew - the elder - was very kind, and understood that reading... helps me to ...moderate... my humors.

MICHAEL If only more patients could respond to such simple, constructive therapies. [chuckles]

VAN HELSING [slight chuckle, indulgent]

MIRANDA The human mind is a fabulous, complex organ.

VAN HELSING It is amazing.

MUSIC

AMBIANCE ECHOEY ROOM - ABANDONED CHURCH

GORVI [muttering] Pretty pretty. Gorvi likes pretty golden Britt. [heavy sigh] Britty no like Gorvi. Gorvi only look.

DRACULA [creepy echoey voice] Do you want her?

GORVI Who... is there? Please?

DRACULA [creepy echoey voice] Help me, and I shall help you in return.

GORVI Where are you? Gorvi is alone?

DRACULA [creepy echoey voice] Return later and bring a shovel. I shall show myself.

GORVI You - new doctor?

DRACULA [creepy echoey voice] Do you want this pretty Britt you long for?

GORVI Oh, want! [licks his lips] Yes.

MUSIC

AMBIANCE DINNER NOISES

SOUND LARGE PLATTER SET DOWN

MIRANDA [cold] Thank you, Mrs. Farge.

SOUND FOOTSTEPS TAP AWAY

MIRANDA [anxious] Are you certain you want to do this, Michael? I realize your father--

TREVALIAN They expect it, even look forward to it. Besides, they should be given the chance to meet the two of you. You needn't worry, it is only the most stable of the inmates.

SOUND FEET RETURN

MRS. FARGE [announcing] Miss Mecklin.

TREVALIAN Miss Locksley, Dr. Pettigrew, may I present Miss Britt Mecklin.

BRITT Pleased to meet you, Doctor. Miss Locksley.

MICHAEL Charmed.

MIRANDA Lovely.

TREVALIAN Will you have a seat?

SOUND CHAIRS SHIFT AS HE SEATS HER, THEN THEY SIT

MIRANDA It would be somewhat indelicate to discuss cases during dinner. There will be time tomorrow to familiarize ourselves--

MICHAEL Of course.

BRITT I have nothing to hide. I have come to realize that it is only in my subconscious that people watch me. Understanding it is all in my head does not stop it from frightening me, but makes it more bearable.

MICHAEL [reassuring] We shall work on that.

MUSIC

AMBIANCE STORMY NIGHT OUTSIDE ECHOEY STONE ROOM

SOUND SQUEAKY DOOR OPENS, GORVI'S FOOTSTEPS

GORVI Gorvi brings shovel!

DRACULA [creepy echoey voice] Have you light?

GORVI Gorvi have a candle.

DRACULA Do you see the bell?

GORVI Bell?

DRACULA The bell. You must move the bell.

GORVI No bell. Gorvi see no bell.

DRACULA It is metal. It is large. Move it, or I shall unleash the fires of hell upon you!

GORVI Ahhhhh!

SOUND SHOVEL CLATTERS TO FLOOR, FEET RUN, SLAM

MUSIC

SOUND WATER INTO METAL TUB. DISHES BEING WASHED

SOUND DOOR SLAMS OPEN

MRS. FARGE Don't you dare--! [surprised] Oh! Lucas!

TREVALIAN Lena. I simply couldn't take it any more. Having to kow-tow to that ... boy doctor and his miserable cold fiancée.

MRS. FARGE Lucas. You shoulda been put in charge!

TREVALIAN I know. [snarl] Blood runs thick.

MRS. FARGE Dr. Pettigrew shouldna've looked over yuir years o'loyalty - Yuir unstinting devotion!

TREVALIAN There's no time for that now. We must bide and see what they decide to alter --

SOUND BACK DOOR SLAMS OPEN, GORVI RUNS IN

MRS. FARGE What the divvil is wrong with ye, y'idiot? Running about in the rain like a madman!

TREVALIAN Calm yourself, Lena.

MRS. FARGE Tis easy for ye to be charitable. Ye dinna haveta squeeze work outta him like blood from a turnip. Turnip! That's what y'are!

GORVI Gorvi not turnip. Gorvi scared.

TREVALIAN What frightened you?

MRS. FARGE [over her shoulder] Perhaps a slight breeze.

TREVALIAN Shh. Gorvi, tell me everything.

MUSIC

SOUND VAN HELSING'S DOOR UNLOCKS, OPENS

VAN HELSING Right on time.

WALLACE 'Ave I ever missed?

SOUND DOOR SHUTS, WOODEN LEG FOOTSTEPS

WALLACE Were it a good idea, d'yer think, to tell them you was an alcoholic?

VAN HELSING I needed a reason for my presence here that wouldn't require overmuch explanation. Speaking of spirits, have you--?

WALLACE [chuckling] 'Course. Would I let yer down?

SOUND SITS. ODD, HEAVY UNSCREWING NOISE

VAN HELSING Your thoughts on the new administrators?

WALLACE Well, 'e'll never 'ave an 'appy life, not wit' that one. She's cold, and no mistake.

VAN HELSING Truer words were never said.

WALLACE 'Ee seems... well-intentioned... but I don't see 'ow you'll be able to tell 'im much. Not wi'out proof.

SOUND BOTTLE PULLED OUT OF WOODEN SHELL

WALLACE And there y'are. Better use for me wooden leg, I'll never know. [hinting] 'Cept the one...

SOUND BOTTLE OPENS

VAN HELSING Care to stay for a game of chess before you strap it back on?

WALLACE Don't mind if I do.

MUSIC

AMBIANCE STORMY NIGHT

GORVI There door. Gorvi no go in again.

TREVALIAN In the old chapel? Dr. Pettigrew always insisted it was on the verge of falling in. [sigh, to Gorvi] Not safe. No go in.

GORVI He say Gorvi move bell. He yell at Gorvi.

TREVALIAN Poor halfwit.

TREVALIAN Run along back to the kitchen, Gorvi. No need to wait out here in the wet.

GORVI Doctor be careful!

TREVALIAN Of course. Go on.

SOUND GORVI RUNS OFF

SOUND SQUEAKY OLD DOOR OPENS TENTATIVELY

TREVALIAN Hmm. Sounder than I expected.

SOUND DOOR SHUTS, MUFFLES SOUND OF RAIN

SOUND TAP ON WALL

TREVALIAN Here's the shovel--

SOUND PICKS UP SHOVEL

TREVALIAN And that must be the bell...

SOUND SLOW FOOTSTEPS

TREVALIAN That explains a lot - who's ever seen a huge bell sitting on the floor? Hardly even recognizable under all those cobwebs. Must have fallen...

DRACULA [creepy distant whisper, piteous] Help me.

TREVALIAN Hello?

DRACULA Help. Please. The bell. It came down and trapped me.

TREVALIAN I see. Hmm. [thinking] Wait, the cracks in the flags below it are... covered in dust - that bell fell ages ago!

DRACULA Please. Help.

TREVALIAN Where could that voice be coming from?

DRACULA [closer whisper, becomes command] Move the bell. Anything you want - it will be yours.

TREVALIAN I doubt you could give me what I truly want.

DRACULA Oh, yes. I can give you such things.... Come, close to the crack in the bell, and tell me what it is you... crave.

MUSIC

MICHAEL Darling?

MIRANDA Yes, Michael?

MICHAEL Do you think you can stick it here?

MIRANDA Of course. You know I'm fully prepared to take on anything you need me to do.

MICHAEL I know, but - well, you won't hate it or anything, living in the country like this?

MIRANDA I shall immerse myself in work. Just as you will. Side by side.

MICHAEL Should I-- May I-- sit next to you there on the settee, then?

MIRANDA Michael! We are to be wed in the spring. I just want to make certain - living here without a proper chaperone, and all--

MICHAEL Of course, darling. I - I think I shall turn in. Get an early start in the morning.

MIRANDA That sounds very wise.

SOUND TAP ON DOOR

MIRANDA Yes?

SOUND DOOR OPENS, MRS. FARGE ENTERS, PICKS UP TRAY

MRS. FARGE Did ye need anything further tonight?

MIRANDA No, we were---

SOUND IN THE DISTANCE, A BELL TOLLS

SOUND TRAY CLATTERS TO FLOOR

MRS. FARGE [gasp!]

MICHAEL Why Mrs. Farge, whatever is the matter?

MRS. FARGE [haunted] That be the bell up t'old kirk.

MICHAEL Come, now, it's never done that before?

MRS. FARGE [ominous] Nay - I've been here nigh on 15 years, and that bell has nivver rung.

SOUND FOOTSTEPS AWAY

MRS. FARGE [slightly off] But I wouldna go seeking it - not even if m'very life depended on it.

MUSIC

VAN HELSING [considering] Mmm. Check.

SOUND BELL TOLLS IN THE DISTANCE

WALLACE Wazzat?

VAN HELSING What?

WALLACE [worried] The bell - don't you hear it?

VAN HELSING Nonsense. Hmm.... Go and check it. If it is, we might have a problem on our hands.

SOUND BELL TOLLS IN THE DISTANCE

WALLACE I'll get going--

SOUND QUICKLY STRAPPING LEG BACK ON

VAN HELSING Wait! Just in case.

SOUND BOTTLE SLOSHES

WALLACE Is it--?

VAN HELSING It should help.

WALLACE Every bit does. Leave the door open, shall I?

MUSIC

BRITT [waking] Eyes! Someone at the window? [muttered] I will not go look. I will not--

SOUND TAPPING AT THE WINDOW

DRACULA [creepy voice] Open the window that I may bask in your radiance.

BRITT [breathing heavily, bosom heaving] It is not real. I must take my solace in the lord.

SOUND OPENS DRAWER, TAKES OUT BIBLE

BRITT God, please give me strength!

SOUND SOMETHING FLAPS AWAY INTO THE NIGHT, ANNOYED

MUSIC

MICHAEL Are you certain you'll be all right? I could bring in a cot - there's a couch in my dressing room--?

MIRANDA No, Michael, I will be fine. Kiss me quickly and go to bed.

SOUND QUICK KISS

MIRANDA Sleep well.

SOUND DOOR SHUTS

MIRANDA [sighs] Men. [chuckles]

SOUND RAP AT THE WINDOW, BUT SHE DOESN'T NOTICE

DRACULA [distant, creepy, heavy breathing] Yessss.

SOUND LETS HER HAIR DOWN, BEGINS TO REMOVE CLOTHES

MIRANDA [humming to herself]

SOUND HEAVY GOWN LAID ON THE BACK OF A CHAIR

SOUND STEPS APPROACH THE WINDOW

SOUND TAPPING SOUNDS ON THE GLASS

DRACULA [creepy whisper] Open the window.

MIRANDA Hmm?

MIRANDA How vexing. Tree branch? We'll see about that--!

SOUND LATCH TURNS

MUSIC

MIRANDA [Off, scream!]

MICHAEL Good god!

SOUND FLINGS OFF BEDCLOTHES, FOOTSTEPS

MICHAEL [calling] Miranda! Darling! I'll be right there!

SOUND DOOR FLINGS OPEN, A FEW STEPS. DOORKNOB RATTLES, POUNDING ON THE DOOR

MICHAEL [frantic] Miranda! Open the door!

SOUND KNOCKING

MICHAEL I'm coming in!

SOUND HEAVY THUMP

MIRANDA [calling from behind the door, spooky sounding] Michael? Whatever are you doing?

MICHAEL Are - are you - all right?

SOUND DOORKNOB RATTLES

MIRANDA [close now] Of course, darling. I woke from a... strange dream. Nothing to fret over.

MICHAEL [off] If... you're... quite certain.

MIRANDA When am I not?

MICHAEL [off] Well. Sorry. I--

MIRANDA Go back to bed, dear. We'll talk tomorrow.

SOUND [off] MICHAEL'S FOOTSTEPS RECEDE

MIRANDA [long sigh] Well...?

DRACULA [husky] Very good, my most delectable one...

SOUND SEXY NECK NIBBLING

MIRANDA [ecstatic gasp]

MUSIC

SOUND WOODEN LEG STEPS

SOUND BRISK KNOCK ON A DOOR

WALLACE Doctor, sir? It's morning, it is.

MICHAEL Come on in, Wallace. I'm up.

SOUND DOOR OPENS, STEPS APPROACH

MICHAEL Is Miranda-- Miss Locksley up?

WALLACE Feeling poorly, she says. Wooden even 'ave the drapes open. Travel don't suit 'er?

MICHAEL Hmm. I suppose I might breakfast with Dr. Trevalian, then.

WALLACE I ain't sure where 'e can be found, sir. Went out last night and ain't come back.

MICHAEL Does he do that often?

WALLACE Can't say, sir.

MICHAEL [sigh] I hate to breakfast alone.

WALLACE Ahem, sir. Doctor Van Helsing would be glad of your company.

MUSIC

MRS. FARGE Gorvi! Gorvi! Where is that bloody idiot?

SOUND DOOR OPENS

GORVI [whimper]

MRS. FARGE What the divvil is wrong wit' ye, ye mongrel? Get out here!

GORVI [whimpering] Gorvi no like!

MRS. FARGE Gorvi like breakfast?

GORVI Yes. Please.

MRS. FARGE Gorvi will get up and work, then!

GORVI Aye, Mrs. Farge.

MRS. FARGE Go fetch some water from the well, ye brute - and while you're out, you might look where you last left Lucas-- Dr. Trevalien, that is - and see wha' he's been up to all night.

GORVI No! No go to old door! No!

MRS. FARGE I'll get the whip!

GORVI [whimper]

SOUND SCUTTLES OUT THE DOOR

MUSIC

SOUND VAN HELSING'S DOOR OPENS

VAN HELSING Come in, dear fellow! Wallace?

WALLACE [leans in] Yessir?

VAN HELSING [muttered] The chapel?

WALLACE [muttered] Never made it, sir, the inmates was restless last night.

VAN HELSING Today then?

WALLACE Better anyway. [significant] Better light.

VAN HELSING I hope so.

SOUND MICHAEL ENTERS

MICHAEL Sorry? Do you mind if I sit down with you?

VAN HELSING Never meant to exclude you, dear boy. Simply thought I'd heard something last night that couldn't have been.

MICHAEL The bell?

VAN HELSING You heard it as well?

MICHAEL Of course. Why?

VAN HELSING Would you do me an enormous favor?

MICHAEL If I can - I have a busy day ahead of me, and Miranda's - a bit under the weather.

VAN HELSING Soon as we finish here, then, go along with Wallace to the old chapel. Take a look at the bell. Would you?

MICHAEL Why?

VAN HELSING [considers] Hmm. That's a tale for after you've looked. [changing tone, chatty] Do you, by any chance, play chess?

MUSIC

SOUND KNOCK ON THE DOOR

MIRANDA [dead tired] Go away!

MRS. FARGE Dinna want to start organizing everything?

MIRANDA Oh, blast.

SOUND STUMBLING FEET, DOOR OPENS

MIRANDA Can you help me? I feel weak as a kitten.

MRS. FARGE You do look a wee bit pale. I'll fetch something hearty to drink.

MIRANDA [shudder] I couldn't face anything heavy.

MUSIC

AMBIANCE OUTSIDE

SOUND WALLACE AND MICHAEL WALKING OUT TO CHAPEL

MICHAEL Humoring a delusion is not the right answer - in most cases.

WALLACE You 'eard the bell, too, sir.

MICHAEL But why go look at a bloody bell?

SOUND DOOR CREAKS OPEN

WALLACE Come along, then.

SOUND FOOTSTEPS GO IN, SLOW, THEN STOP

SOUND DOOR SHUTS

WALLACE [quiet but fervent] Oh, my gracious lord.

MICHAEL What is it? Oh! That must have been--

SOUND DASHING FORWARD

MICHAEL [urgent] Help me move it!

WALLACE I fear it's too late for Dr. Trevalian.

MICHAEL Help me!

BOTH [grunting and heaving]

SOUND BELL ROLLS, BUMPS, AND THUMPS INTO A WALL

MICHAEL Good god!

WALLACE Sir?

MICHAEL You're right. He's gone. That thing must have fallen and crushed him.

WALLACE Shouldn't there be more blood, sir?

MICHAEL Not necessarily. We'll get him back to the infirmary and take a look.

WALLACE I'll go for a stretcher, then, shall I?

MICHAEL Just a moment! Is this the bell we heard?

WALLACE Yes, sir.

MICHAEL [echoey - inside the bell] But there's not even a clapper!

WALLACE 'asn't been rung in decades, sir.

MICHAEL What are all these markings on the inside?

WALLACE Wouldn't know, sir. Though I don't doubt Doctor Van Helsing could 'elp you.

MICHAEL [coming out] Really - why would he--?

WALLACE I think 'e was 'ere when the bell fell, sir.

MICHAEL It must have been sitting here - the clear circle on the ground - but this is odd--

MUSIC

SOUND DOOR BURSTS OPEN, MICHAEL STORMS IN

MICHAEL I demand an explanation. Who, precisely, was trapped under that bell?

VAN HELSING [calm] What?

MICHAEL I saw the marks of fingernails! Trying to scratch a way out! Wallace said you were there, along with my father. I want to know what you did.

VAN HELSING Sit. [up] Wallace?

WALLACE Yes, Sir?

VAN HELSING Please check on the residents, particularly any comely females.

SOUND WALLACE GOES OUT, SHUTS DOOR CAREFULLY

VAN HELSING Now, my boy...

MICHAEL You're not "mad" at all, are you? You've lived here all this time--

VAN HELSING Shh. Shh. You need to hear this. 15 years ago, your father called upon my services to help him with a rather difficult problem - a rash of unusual deaths and nightmares among the female inmates. Having had a great deal of experience with such obsessions and delusions, I was able to spot the problem immediately - a vampire.

MICHAEL [incredulous] A vampire? One who believes he must steal life from the living?

VAN HELSING No delusion - a true creature of the night.

MICHAEL Preposterous!

VAN HELSING Humor an old man. This was not just any vampire, but Dracula - the lord of all vampires, whom I have sworn to destroy.

MICHAEL But the bell?

VAN HELSING We trapped him. Blessings etched on the inside - some from when it called the faithful, others we added - kept him penned. Simply putting a stake through his heart, as would do for most vampires, is not sufficient for Dracula. Far too simple for those who follow the dark arts to summon him back across the dark divide!

MICHAEL But there must be a way--

VAN HELSING What do you think I have been researching all these years? I believe I have the answer, but first we must locate him.

MICHAEL Why should I believe any of this?

VAN HELSING Ask your fiancée.

MUSIC

MRS. FARGE Let me fetch the doctor.

BRITT Yes. You can't be too careful!

MIRANDA [trying to be strong] Nonsense. I'm just tired. I'm... not used to the country.

BRITT Someone was looking into my room last night.

MRS. FARGE Nonsense. You know that's all in your mind.

BRITT No, it was real! Eyes. At the window.

MIRANDA Red eyes?

BRITT You saw them too?

MIRANDA [evasive] Don't be silly. How could it be?

SOUND DOOR BURSTS OPEN, FEET DASH IN, THEN STOP

MIRANDA [gasp]

MICHAEL Oh, goodness. I'm sorry, but darling, there's something I must ask--

VAN HELSING [coming on, commanding] Remove that scarf and show us your neck, if you please.

MIRANDA [gasps and faints noisily]

SOUND BODY DROP

MUSIC

VAN HELSING --resting normally. Despite the slight anemia, she should recover. We must watch her very closely, though, my young friend.

MICHAEL How could this have happened? Miranda is the most sensible of women--

VAN HELSING Does it take a fanciful mind to be attacked by a rabid dog? No! In fact, a more fanciful mind is often better prepared to ward off such evil. Witness Miss Mecklin.

BRITT Me?

VAN HELSING What did he say to you, at your window?

BRITT It was just noises - scratching.

VAN HELSING Come now, there were words - if not in your ears, then in your mind, were there not?

BRITT [sniffling] It's my subconscious. Not real.

VAN HELSING This time, I'm afraid, is much different. You must help us.

BRITT He just said "open the window".

VAN HELSING But it was definitely a "he?"

BRITT It is always men who are watching me.

VAN HELSING Did he say where he might hide by day?

BRITT No. I am so sorry!

VAN HELSING Never mind. You did well. Keep your bible close tonight.

BRITT Oh, yes!

MUSIC

GORVI [muttering] No more for Gorvi. He will sleep now. No more work. Gorvi will--

SOUND DOOR OPENS, QUICK STRUGGLE

DRACULA [hissing whisper] Silence!

GORVI [hand over his mouth] Mmm!

DRACULA Shut the door.

SOUND DOOR SHUTS

DRACULA You did not release me, but I can overlook that, if you will serve me now.

GORVI [muffled] Mm-hm! [yes]

DRACULA Good. I still know what you want. The oh-so-lovely miss Britt.

GORVI [muffled] Mm-hm! [eager yes]

DRACULA Then this is what you must do...

MUSIC

SOUND DOORS BEING LOCKED, WINDOW SHUTTERS SECURED

VAN HELSING I appreciate your humoring me, Michael.

MICHAEL Of course.

VAN HELSING Bringing everyone here to my rooms.

MICHAEL I assume you think we may be safe here?

VAN HELSING As safe as anywhere else.

MIRANDA How can we all sleep?

VAN HELSING You may lie on the couch, if you need to. Michael and I will remain awake. On guard.

BRITT I can help guard as well.

VAN HELSING Did you bring your bible?

BRITT I could not find it!

VAN HELSING Never mind, I think we have whatever we may need. Wallace?

WALLACE [grim] Absolutely, sir.

MICHAEL What if he doesn't come here?

VAN HELSING He must. I circled the patient rooms and staff quarters with poppy seeds and salt. He will never get across that.

MICHAEL So he will have to come here, or--?

VAN HELSING --or starve.

MUSIC TIME PASSES

VAN HELSING We can slow him with spells, or stake him through his heart, but to truly banish his soul to the purgatory he so richly deserves, only holy water will suffice - and not a mere sprinkling, a veritable dousing.

MUSIC TIME PASSES

VAN HELSING Vampires are irredeemably evil. The only way to save miss Locksley from this hellish fate is to destroy this monster before she loses the last spark of humanity. As long as her soul does not depart her body, she can be saved.

MUSIC TIME PASSES

SOUND MOST ARE SLEEPING

VAN HELSING This will be it. Are you ready?

WALLACE Can't wait to see how it turns out, sir.

VAN HELSING Good man.

SOUND KNOCK AT THE DOOR

VAN HELSING Ah... It begins.

GORVI [muffled] Gorvi is alone? Let Gorvi in!

WALLACE Bloody idiot.

VAN HELSING You may be more correct than you know. Wait for my signal. Michael, wake up, get the ladies into the dressing room, back there. Whatever you do, do not open the door until you are certain it is morning - you may have to restrain miss Locksley, if Dracula has enough of a hold over her. Can you?

MICHAEL Yes, I think so.

VAN HELSING Move, then. There's a good lad.

VAN HELSING Take this--

SOUND RATTLE OF NECKLACE CHAIN

VAN HELSING It offers some protection.

SOUND CROWD GOES OUT, DOOR SHUTS

VAN HELSING Now.

WALLACE Right. Gorvi? Is there anyone with you?

GORVI [muffled, but clearly lying] No. Who would be with Gorvi?

VAN HELSING [laugh] No one alive. Throw open the gate.

WALLACE A'right. Just a moment.

SOUND DOOR THUMPS

VAN HELSING [hissed] Stay back.

SOUND DOOR SLAMS OPEN, HITS WALLACE

WALLACE Uhh!

SOUND BODY DROPS AND SLIDES ACROSS FLOOR

VAN HELSING Wallace!

WALLACE uhh...[out cold]

SOUND HEAVY BOOTS STRIDE CONFIDENTLY INTO ROOM

VAN HELSING Dracula!

DRACULA You stand between me and destiny, old man. Step aside and I shall kill you quickly.

VAN HELSING Never. Back, foul fiend!

DRACULA [hisses] You believe you can tame me? I have seared my flesh on your so-clever prison walls so many times, I have scars.

VAN HELSING And yet, you do not approach.

DRACULA Only a fool uses his hands to dig when he has a shovel... Gorvi!

GORVI [flying leap] Master!

SOUND BODY DROP - CROSS DROPS

VAN HELSING Unh!

DRACULA [evil laugh] And now, my most precious enemy, prepare to meet your well-deserved fate!

SOUND DOOR SLAMS OPEN

MICHAEL No!

SOUND MICHAEL STORMS IN

VAN HELSING Dammit, boy! You've ruined it! Do what you want with me--

DRACULA Of course, herr doktor! You have always cared more for others than for yourself. [commanding, hot] Come to me, my darling!

MIRANDA [breathless] I must go--!

MICHAEL No! Get back!

BRITT Miss Miranda, you can't!

GORVI Britt!

MIRANDA [snarling] Let me pass, strumpet!

SOUND SHORT CATFIGHT

MIRANDA Ugh! [hurling Britt]

SOUND BRITT ENDS UP IN DRAC'S ARMS

GORVI [upset] Britt!

DRACULA A gift? For me? You are too kind.

MIRANDA My love! You don't want her!

DRACULA She is merely the aperitif, my dearest darling - [hot] you alone can satisfy me.

MIRANDA [ecstatic sigh]

DRACULA Now, my pale blonde flower..

BRITT [struggles for a moment, then goes limp with a sigh, breathing hard]

SOUND FANGY NOISE

GORVI No! Gorvi wants Britt!

VAN HELSING Wallace! Ready!

DRACULA Imbecile!

SOUND THUMP AS GORVI HITS DRACULA

SOUND HEAVY THROW, BODY HITS WALL, NECK CRUNCH

GORVI [dying noises]

DRACULA Miranda, show your devotion - come and hold this delectable morsel for me.

SOUND RUNNING FEET

WALLACE Yaaaah!

VAN HELSING Kick him!

DRACULA [very slight] Oof.

WALLACE [struggling]

DRACULA [chuckles nastily] And now what do you do? I have your leg.

WALLACE [triumphant] Yes!

SOUND CLICK, SMALL EXPLOSION

SOUND MUCH WATER SPLASHES, HISSING BURNING NOISE

DRACULA What? No! [shrieking in agony] Ahhh!

MICHAEL Good God!

VAN HELSING Holy water!.

DRACULA But how? I would have seen a bottle. Ahh!

VAN HELSING Wooden leg.

WALLACE And a small blasting cap.

DRACULA Ahh! [receding]

SOUND LIQUIDY HORRIBLE PUDDLY NOISE

WALLACE Uh, Sir? Can I get a hand?

VAN HELSING Certainly. I'll even give you a leg up.

MUSIC

END

944 episodes