Author's Notes: This is the end, folks -- to this story, at least. Thanks to all who have come along for the ride. I hope you've enjoyed this little window into the adventures of Mara, Livia, Johnny, the mis-directed Marica, and Vladimir the Third, Son of the Dragon.
Act VII Scene XI
(Cut to the second floor of the tower. Marica lays stretched out on the floor, a pool of blood beneath her. A small trickle of blood runs from between her parted lips. A wisp of something disturbs the air above her.)
Vlad: (voice over, echoing) Marica. Loyal Marica. I am so sorry that I failed you.
(A tendril of mist lightly brushes a strand of hair back from her cheek. The mist floating above and around her becomes a little more visible.)
Vlad: (voice seeming to emanate from the mist) I will make it better. We will make it better.
(Throughout all of this, Marica remains still as death. We see the mist coalesce and seem to blanket her. Tendrils drift into her parted lips. As the mist begins to fade into her body, Marica convulses, blinks, and draws a ragged breath. Astounded, she sits bolt upright, looking everywhere at once. After a moment, she calms a little, lays a hand against her chest, checks for the bullet wound, which is now gone. She takes a deep breath. Then she grabs a knife and flees from the tower.)