This book was created, written, and storyboarded by Laura Wood
This book is dedicated to my Family. Thank you for believing in me.
Especially you, Bethany and Shannon for applying to art school for me behind my back.
I love you.
Synopsis A young free-thinker named Cecelia, with the help of her friends, struggle to find independance in a strict Catholic boarding school, overrun by strict nuns.
Cecelia Main Character (Protagonist) Since her parents made her tranfer from public school to St. Jude’s Catholic Boarding School in the 4th grade, Cecelia had trouble adjusting to the changes. Although she doesn’t fit into the mold of the “ideal student”, she attempts, rather poorly, to behave in her new home. Cecelia doesn’t care for rules, structure or authority, which is probably what got her kicked out in the first place. Cecelia is a rebellious think for yourselfer. She is carefree, kind and sensitive to the feelings of others, yet fails to see the consequenses through her actions. She tries to take full advantage of her childhood and live in the moment, yet the rules keep her from doing so. She is often the leader and the “match” that ignites devious situations. She instigates mischevious persuits in her structured environment, dragging her otherwise well behaved roomates ,Hope and Grace, with her. When things get dull, Cecelia never lets it be for long. She is fearless and trusting, sometimes to a fault. She follows her gut instincts, which she believes have yet to do her wrong.
Hope Supporting Main Character Hope is Cecelia’s best friend and confidant. Before Hope met Cecelia, she was quiet and well-behaved student. When they first met as roomates at St. Jude’s Academy, Cecelia began to drag Hope into her adventures. Since Hope recieves excellent grades and is an overall know it all, Hope naturally becomes the “Brain” of the operation. She is a level-headed, logical girl with a lot of common sense for an eleven year old. Hope despises the rules just as much as Celia, but hasn’t the courage to act on it unless Cecelia leads the way. Hope is sweet, kind and shy but yearns to be more confident and sure of herself. Most of all, Hope is someone that would have your back in a fight, even if failure were inevitable. (Which it usually is.)
Grace Secondary Character Grace is one of the four roomates of 5B. She is a good roomate in that she is clean and courteous, but is often left out of the inner circle. This is due to her over cautiousness and fear of getting into trouble by the nuns. She wants to be a part of their posse but the fear of germs and other irrational things keep her from being part of most endeavors. She wears oven mitts around at all times, even during class or sleeping. She keeps her side of the room OCD perfect. She often gets nervous or twitchy when she lets Faith’s side of the room get to her, yet usually she is too afraid to say anything about it. Cecelia and Hope use Grace at times to do unfavorable tasks such as being a look out or acting as a decoy for the Sisters. She deals with it though because honestly, they’re the only “friends” she has.
Faith Secondary Character Faith is the fourth and most despised roomate of 5B. She is a huge tattletale and brown-noser. Cecelia and Hope are constantly trying to stay off her radar. She is sister Mildred’s prized student and pet, mostly due to her parents’ substantial donations to the school. She keeps her area of the room stocked full of garbage and wrappers from candy and junk food. She is somewhat of a hoarder, packing in all the expensive toys and clothes her parents have bought her for her affection. Her parent’s are non-religious elites who dumped their child in boarding school so they wouldn’t have to spend time with her. Faith is a little, chubby troll who is spoiled rotton to the core.
Sister Mildred Main Antagonist If Cecelia is the “match”, then Sister Midred is the wick. This sister is filled with hatred and spite for all things children. She despises St. Mary’s convent for condemning her to the school as a teacher. She watches over Cecelia like a hawk, punishing her daily. She values the ways of the “old country” as it was in Ireland when she was a wee lassie. She honors order, subordination, respect for authority and structure in life. Mildred has somehwat of a drinking problem, frequently taking swigs from a flask she conceals around her neck, beneath her robes. She longs to return to the convent where it’s a utopia for middle aged women. She rules over the other nuns on a rampage of hate, spilling her life’s disappointments on the children of St. Jude’s Academy. She is a born dictator and supreme ruler of her own universe, which she imposes onto everyone around her. She despises people whom think differently or “out of the box”, especially individuality and self-discovery of any kind.
Sisters Mabel Ethyl and Pearl Seondary Characters These three nuns are Mildred’s cronies whom roam the halls and teach the other 5th grade students. They are followers of pretty much whatever Mildred wants. They stick together because they all share the same angst against the convent for transferring them to the Academy. Ethyl is especially good at sniffing out any PDA or “public displays of affection” from her tall perch. She uses a ruler when kids get out of hand, which happens to quite often. Mabel is the gym teacher for the girls and is the muscle of the three. She is short in stature and temperment. Her voice is deep and broading but her whistle is peircingly loud. Pearl is a naive, young sister fresh out of the convent. She doesn’t know any better than to follow the sisters. She isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed yet she is extremely devout and innocent. She follows Mildrend as blindly as she does her faith in God.
St Judes academy
LIBRARY AND BATHROOMS
Holy Terror “Anyone Home?” Synopsis
When the entire school notices a gaping crack in the blacktop, rumors surface that it’s the doorway to hell. Cecelia wants to investigate this claim but it’s strictly off limits to the students. When Cecelia finally gets her chance, what will she find deep beneath the school?
[St. Judeâ€™s Academy, Early Morning] (Zoom in) [SFX: crickets and birds chatter throughout the bayou.]
(Children spill out of the cafeteria for morning recess when a large crack in the pavement draws their attention.)
Cecelia - GASP!
(Cecelia leans forward slowly)
(Cecelia pushes through the crowd to the front of the caution tape line.)
[SFX - Creek!]
Cecelia - Whatâ€™s going on here? [SFX - children chattering curiously amounst themselves.]
Cecelia, Hope - Whoahh!
Cecelia - do ya think it’s a mole problem? Hope - I don’t know. It doesn’t look safe, whatever it is. (Faith scoffs and rolls her eyes.)
Faith - I would stay away from here, if I were you!
(Cecelia turns to Faith, worried.) Cecelia - What do you mean, Faith?
Faith - Oh, nothing. Nothing at all. Iâ€™d just watch your back at all times, thatâ€™s all.
(Cecelia and Hope turn to look at the gaping hole once more.) Cecelia - Hello!!? [SFX - Echo]
(Mildredâ€™s shadow engulfs them)
(Cecelia and Hope turn around cautiously towards the source.)
Mildred - Havenâ€™t we taught you kids to READ yet?! It says caution, that means GO AWAY!
(Mildred leans in closer, thrashing her cane about) Mildred - Now go PLAY and enjoy the day the lord hath made!
(The kids disperse in different directions, whining.) Mildred - Thatâ€™s right, SCRAM! Nothing to see here, you free-loading scoundrels!
Cecelia - ...But sister Mildred, where did it come from? Whatâ€™s...down there?
Mildred - Cecelia, you and Hope are FORBIDDEN to go anywhere near this here hole in the ground, do you understand me?!
Cecelia, Hope - Yes, Sister Mildred. Mildred - GOOD. Im glad weâ€™re on the same page. Anywayweâ€™re taking care of the situation, currently.
(The nuns turn to leave in unison.)
(The girls face the crack.)
Faith - I told you so. (laughing, snorting)
Grace - Cecelia, maybe you should just leave this one alone...
(Faith follows the nuns)
Cecelia - (Completely ignoring Grace’s plea) I wonder what their “taking care of” (makes qoutation marks with her hands.)
Grace - Eh, I would listen this time, guys. You could catch some weird virus that you can only contract from caves. Itâ€™s unbelievable how many diseases are transmittable through bat droppings.
Cecelia - Donâ€™t worry, Grace, your oven mitts will protect you. (not so reassuringly.) Hope - Well, tecnically, germs can go through things likeCecelia - (cutting Hope off) Shhhhyyeahh. Lets get some lunch, guys.
[Cafeteria, Midday] (Cecelia, Hope and Grace enter the cafeteria together. Cecelia will not drop the subject of the mysterious crack.)
Cecelia -...I think it could be earthworms. I mean, they eat dirt, am I right?
[SFX: Children chattering, eating utensils clattering, chairs moving.]
Hope - Cecelia, theres no way they could consume that much Lunch lady - You kids just LOVE mayonnaise, dontâ€™cha?! dirt overnight. (indicating to lunch lady) One tuna suprise, please! (She serves up a large dollop of tuna suprise on a spatula.) Cecelia - I saw a documentary once. (indicating to lunch lady) me too, please. -That begs to differ.
(The tuna suprise slowly stretches and falls to the tray, splattering bits onto her face. She licks the remnants around her mouth.)
(Cecelia and Hope look on with disgust.)
(Action: Faith scoffs making Cecelia and Hope peer over.)
(Turning to Faith in great interest)
Faith - You guys are morons! Everyone knows whatâ€™s down there.
Cecelia - Tell us, Fatih!
(The girls move further up the line to pay)
Faith - You mean you DON’T KNOW?! (snorting laughing) Cecelia, Hope - Common, Faith! just tell us. Yeah! (Walks to table.)
Faith - Everyone knows that “H” “E” “double hockey sticks” is down there! (Faith sits.)
(Cecelia and Hope sit opposite Faith and Grace.) Cecelia - Hockey sticks are down there?
Faith - (talking with food in her mouth) No, you idiots! Spell it out!
Cecelia - H...E.....D....O.....B?
Hope - U.
Faith - It’s HELL, you idiots! Everyone knows that if you’re bad you go into the middle of the Earth to burn for eternity, YESH! (spitting food)
Cecelia - U...B.....
(Grace tries to avoid the food flying out of Faith’s mouth.)
Cecelia - GASP! (Cecelia slams down her fork into her tuna suprise.) [SFX: Squeal]
[SFX: REEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Hissing.]
(Cecelia brings the tuna suprise to her mouth.)
Tuna Suprise - No, no, no, no, NOOO!!!
Hope - Howâ€™s the tuna suprise today, Celia?
(Cecelia swipes her mouth with her sleeve.)
[Library, early afternoon.]
Cecelia - Never fails to Suprise me!
Hope - It says here that under the crust is the mantle. This is prime real estate for hell, Cecelia.
Hope - It appears that Faith was telling the truth.
Cecelia - Yeah, no KIDDING! It says in this book that Satan lives near a lake of fire. He is especially attracted towards negative energy.
(Cecelia slams the book shut and stands on her seat) Cecelia - Do you realize what this means?!?
Hope - yes....wait, no I dont. What does it mean?
Cecelia - That evil is attracted to negativity and lakes of fire! Weâ€™re perfect conditions for satan to come to this very school! We have to confront this problem head on.
Hope - Cecelia, this is serious. Weâ€™re dealing with the lord of darkness, here!
Cecelia - Hope, this is common sense. You should always [Room 5B, Early Evening] know what youâ€™re up against. If it is him, we need to come up with a strategy! (Cecelia changes into stealth gear, while Hope stuffs the beds with pillows to make it look like theyâ€™re sleeping.) [Transition: Wipe] Cecelia - Okay, we have exactly three minutes before Faith gets back from the vending machine, so we need to leave before then. Grace, call us on the walkie if Faith or the sisters figure us out.
Grace - Okay, just hurry back guys. I donâ€™t like putting this germy thing near my mitts for too long.
(outside 5B, the scene is quiet and serene. A single bug flies near the door.) [SFX: Crickets and wildlife.]
(Cecelia Slams the door open, breaking the silence and smashing the insect.)
(The palm trees shake and birds fly out into the night)
Hope - Quiet, youâ€™ll wake the sisters!
(Cecelia and Hope run down the hallway.)
Cecelia - No time to talk, lets go!
[SFX: clock ticking]
Hope - (Sigh) Cecelia, Weâ€™ve been out here for hours. Why did we buy long sleeve jumpsuits with a ski mask?
Hope - It must be about 1,000 degrees outside with like 95 percent humidity... Cecelia - Shh! did you hear that?
Hope - I can’t beleive it. Cecelia - I’m afraid it’s true. The lord of darkness himself. Oh, God, the laughter is blood curdlling...
(The girls sit in silence a moment and they faintly make out a distant noise.) [SFX: Mwahaha!]
Hope - Look! (Within the crack, you can make out a glow.)
(Hope spits out water in a fit of disbeleif.)
Cecelia - Where did you get that?
Cecelia - Ew. That’s gutter water.
Hope - There’s a neat little troth of water at the rooftop’s edge.
(Hope takes another hearty swig.)
Hope - I know that. It’s really hot out here and I....I needed to HYDRATE.
(Cecelia slowly lifts a water bottle into the frame.) Cecelia - I, uh...have a water bottle.
Cecelia - Eh-heh. Cheers.
(Cecelia taps Hopeâ€™s glass lightly.)
(The moon zips down.)
(The sun rises, indicating morning.)
[Classroom, Early Morning]
[SFX: Bell ringing.]
Ethyl - Remember, children, satan lives in... Class - HELL. Ethyl - and you go there if you... Class - SIN.
Ethyl - Thatâ€™s right, class. Or, if you go anywhere near the crack in the blacktop, satan will take you into his jaws of death and drag you into a pit of eternal pain and suffering.
(Ethyl continues to rant in the background but you canâ€™t decipher exactly what she is saying.)
(Cecelia turns to Hope, holding a note.) Cecelia - PSST! (They exchange the note.)
(Hope unfolds the paper to reveal a diagram of sorts)
(Hope turns to the right, as the note suggests to reveal Cece- (Cecelia releases the contraption, and the object goes flying lia with a contraption set to fling her homemade slingshot.) towards the front of the room.)
(Faith jumps in her seat when something suddenly lands directly in between her hindquarters. She breaks a pencil in the process.)
(She turns to see the damage that has obstructed her â€œcontinential divideâ€?)
Faith - (Exploding with anger, she turns towards the back of the room where Cecelia and Hope are sitting) GRRR! I know it was you, Cecelia! [SFX: Stifled giggling]
Ethyl - Stop dilly-dallying around and PAY ATTENTION, Faith! This is important. Faith - But sister! I didnâ€™t do anything, it was Ethyl - Silence! Now where was I? Oh, yes, Eternal damnation...
Faith - (Fuming and turning red with anger) GRR! BUT SISTER EHTYL I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! IT WAS THE WENDY’S IMPOSTER AND THAT TALL FREAK!
[SFX: Ethyl and Faith argueing in the background] Hope - (whispering) Cecelia, you heard sister Ethyl. Eternal suffering! Why on Earth would you want to go down there? Cecelia - We’re a bunch of sitting ducks out here! We need to act.
Hope - So what’s your big plan? This isn’t just any hole you can drop into.
Ethyl - THAT’S IT, MISSY. I’ve had it with you. Go sit in the coat room if you’re going to act like a CHILD.
Cecelia - If were doomed and he’s going to take my soul anyway, I was hoping to at least bargain with him. My soul has got to be worth something sweet.
(Faith gets out of her seat and heads towards the coat room.)
[SFX: Faith pleads]
Faith - Oh, Theyâ€™ll pay alright. Dearly... (rubs hands together maniacly.)
[North end of campus, Noon]
[SFX: Sound of the giant rubber band stretching and creaking with resistance)
Hope - (Yelling) If my calculations are correct, you SHOULD hit the center of the crack!
Cecelia - It’s now or never. Cut me, Grace.
(Cecelia snaps on goggles.)
Grace - (Panicing) My oven mitts won’t fit in the scissor handles!
Cecelia - Just try and make do! You can do it, Grace, I know you don’t want to spend eternity beneath St. Jude’s!
(Grace repeatedly tries to jam the mitts into handles.)
Grace - Ehhhh....
[SFX: Cecelia yells words of encouragement, but they fade into the background and are taken over by the sound of a heartbeat slowly getting louder and louder]
(Suddently the noise stops and grace starts screaming and running around like a madwoman, thrusting the scissors into the air.)
(As we zoom in to the scissors, it suddenly looks filthy and diseased. Grace sweats profusely as the anxiety builds.)
Grace - AHHHH!! (indecipherable noises)
(Grace runs back and forth, having a mental breakdown. The (Cecelia goes flying, missing the blacktop entirely landing scissors finally land, cutting the rope.) near the chapel.
(Cecelia lands directly into the fountain, creating a huge splash.)
(Cecelia lifts herself up by her arms in the fountain as the nuns appear seemingly out of nowhere.) Mildred - I Thought I made myself crystal clear! Stay away from that blacktop. Itâ€™s a simple request, Cecelia!
Mildred - DETENTION. NOW, MISS CECELIA. Heads will roll...(fist clenches.)
Cecelia - Howd’ya know that’s what I was aiming for?
(Faith steps out from behind Mildred)
Cecelia - Faith, You tattled!
Faith - Thatâ€™s right, Cecelia. HAHA! I ratted you and Hope out.
(Mildred surveys the crack like a hawk from the second story balcony.)
(The group leaves the courtyard, laughing)
(Mildred plunks down on the lawn chair, peering through her binoculars.)
Mildred - (Mutters under her breath.) What the?
(Lowers the binoculars)
Mildred - Ce-Ce-Li-a!!!!
(Cecelia pants, out of breath from digging)
(Sweating intensely, face red hot, eyes bulging and vain pulsating on forehead.)
Cecelia - I think weâ€™re lost. We just hit another tree. Are you sure you know where youâ€™re going?
Hope - Well, your “Blueprints” aren’t exactly to scale.
Cecelia - I just come up with the Ideas, okay? I can’t do everything.
Cecelia - Frankly, I think youâ€™ve been a tad off your game lately.
(A cane bursts through the surface, hooking Ceceliaâ€™s jumper.)
(Sister Mildred pulls Cecelia through the roof of the tunnel, until theyâ€™re eye to eye.)
Cecelia - (laughing nervously) So, should I go to detention now or later?
Mildred - (in a voice so sweet, itâ€™s scary) Oh, no. Not at all, dear child. I have something SPECIAL planned for you. AHAHAHA!
[Outside the Chapel, Late afternoon] Cecelia - The chapel? Mildred - Right this way...
Cecelia - What am I supposed to DO?
Mildred - (Spitting) PRAY!
(Sister Mildred bends down until her mouth is directly by Ceceliaâ€™s ear.)
(Cecelia nervously approaches the alter.)
Mildred - This is to be sure you stay put.
Cecelia - (Whispering to herself) Ha, is she joking? Iâ€™m not going to sit here and pray.
(Mildred turns towards the wall and pulls a lever down.)
(Instantaneously, clamps come out of nowhere, confining her to the kneeler.)
(Her ankles are next. Cecelia struggles to get loose but quickly gives up.)
Mildred - A-HAHAHA!
(Mildred leaves, slamming the door behind her. )
Cecelia - This is going to be a long night.
(Cecelia is lit only by moonlight. She looks bored and dispondant.)
Cecelia - Okay, now who would actually choose this decor? (Suddnely, the door creeks open)
Cecelia - What was that? Who’s there?
(Hope jogs up the isle towards Cecelia.)
Hope - Shh! It’s me, Celia. Hope! The sister’s lights finally went out.
Cecelia - Thank God you’re here! I was so bored and kinda creeped out in here. Yes, you brought the outfits!
(Hope gets down on one knee and rummages through her long locks. She finally reveals a hairpin.)
[SFX: Clinking of a pin in a lock)
Hope - AHA!
(Hope frees Cecelia.) Cecelia - Thanks! Hope - Here, I know how stubborn you are so lets jut get this over with. Here(Grace tosses the stealth outfit at Cecelia.)
(Cecelia and Hope sneak out of the chapel and head towards the blacktop, hiding behind objects as they move about.)
(Cecelia tip toes and fingers aross the surface of the blacktop as Hope ties a rope to one of the support beams.) [SFX: Twinkling]
[Zoom] (Cecelia peers over the edge) Cecelia - Holy smokes! That must go right to the center. Hope - Wait for me, I had to tie the rope off! (Hope heads over to Cecelia, stepping over the caution tape carefully.)
Hope - Come in, lookout. Over. (Hope tosses the rope over the edge.)
Grace - Yeah, Im here. I donâ€™t like it up here, guys. The gutter looks disease ridden! Over. Hope - Yeah, Iâ€™ve tried it. Listen, we need you to keep an eye out for the sisters. Let us know if you hear or see anything.
Grace - Okay, but I donâ€™t like this one bit. Donâ€™t take too long (Cecelia swiftly begins her desent into the depths of down there, please. the crack.)
(Cecelia jumps near the end of the rope and lands seemlessly on her feet.)
(Hope follows suit. Cecelia taps the flashlight until it flickers on.)
Cecelia - Like a cat!
Cecelia - Common, Hope!
Cecelia - We’re on his turf, now.
[SFX: Eerie music]
Hope - It’s so creepy.
Cecelia - Hey, look! Someone dropped a couple hockey sticks. (The girls continue their journey deeper into the cavernous crack.)
Cecelia - It looks like the edge leads into this tunnel.
[SFX: Evil laughter echoes] Cecelia - (swinging the flashlight to and fro) Where’s that coming from? Hope?
Hope - I’m over here! I think it’s coming from this door. Help me brush off this dirt.
Cecelia - Should we knock?
(Cecelia knocks nervously)
Hope - I GUESS so.
[SFX: Footsteps approaching, clinking of releasing many locks]
Cecelia - (Gulp) This is it.
(The door slowley opens.)
Cecelia, Hope - GASP! [SFX: Creaking of door as it swings fully open.] Voice - This BETTER be good. Im on the winning streak of my life!
Mildred - What are you two DOING DOWN HERE?! (lowers her voice considerably, shifting her eyes back to the table) If I didnâ€™t have a full house I would deal with you now, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. So please, if you could be ever so kind as to-
Mildred - GET OUT OF MY SIGHT AND INTO BED! (Slams the door in their faces)
(Pause) Hope - Phew! To be honest, I was actually GLAD to see Mildred for once. Cecelia - Yeah, but Iâ€™m a bit disappointed...
(Mildred is in a great mood for once as she bets.)
Hope - What?! Why?!?
Mildred - Show me the river, Pearl!
Cecelia - Well, I feel like I couldâ€™ve sold my sould for something really awesome. Like to be a rockstar or I could own my own island or something.
(Suddenly, thereâ€™s a knock at the door.) [SFX: bang, bang, bang!]
Hope - Sigh...
Mildred - (now more annoyed and angry than ever, she slams her cards on the table and gets out of her seat.) Ethyl - I knew this place wouldnâ€™t stay our little secret for long! We can never escape the brats!
(Mildred stomps towards the door) Mildred - I thought I told you kids to SCRAM. God so help me(Mildred stops immediately after she opens the door.)
Mildred - AHHHHH!!!!!!! GOD HELP ME, ITS LUCIFER! (Freaks out and runs towards the front door of the room.)
(The sisters, realizing whoâ€™s at the door, follow suit, screaming from the room leaving their money, cards and drinks behind.)
Grace - (Trembling) Ehhh!! Don’t hurt me, my walkie ran out Grace - There’s a lot of dust down here... of batteries. Hello? (Circle closes in on Grace)
Thank you To my family for believing in me before I believed in myself, supporting me financially and loving me unconditionally. Joe Murray. Being able to meet and learn from you is an experience I will value forever. Patrick Fiore for being a great mentor and support through this entire process. Your advice and wisdom in all things art are lessons I will charish always. Zachary Lux for assistance in design, layouts, typeography and for being my emotional support through the highs and lows of this project. This project would not be possible without you.
Published on May 10, 2012