Chapter 2:

Biggest Lead

Missing Reel

The next morning was uneventful for Syd. She spent her days planning out the research she would have to do to find Tears of Isabella. She found a good list of website that contained a good source of leaked memos from film companies. That would be a good place to start. On Monday, they would tackle each document until they find any leads. That reminds Syd that she had to tell her mother to order a bunch of snacks for their research. It would mostly be for Jules, as she could scarf down an unbelievable amount of snacks.

“Hello! Sorry, I need to borrow Sydney for a second.”

The voice surprised Syd when she heard it. There standing in front of her class was Mr Berman. He waved at her while Syd hurried to follow him. Mr Berman pulled out a couple of pages from his pants and began to unfold them as he explained why he pulled Syd out of class.

“Yesterday, when you mentioned Marceli Bornhiemer, I heard that name somewhere before. As it turns out, Marceli had the same producer, Adam Thomas, on the majority of his films.”

He showed Syd the picture of a guy in his early 30s. The guy had a smug face with slicked backed hair, drinking a glass of brown liquid.

“There's this place a few hours north of here called Brimstone. Back in the 80s, it was a frequent hangout place for some Hollywood producers. Including Adam Thomas himself!”

Mr Berman flipped through the pages to show Adam with 4 other guys near his age. They all posed in front of a sign that said Welcome to Brimstone: A place where blood never burns away! He also had a crudely drawn map of Brimstone next to it.

“There isn't a better map of Brimstone you can find?”

Syd crunched up her face at the sight of the horrible map. Still this news had her blood racing. They didn't need a couple of days to find any leads for the movie. They had the biggest one right here, and it was all thanks to Mr Berman. She had to relay this information to Jules as fast as she could.

“Unfortunately no. It's odd, nothing pops up on any map apps for it. Even tho it's close to hear, not that many people heard of it. I was only able to find this map because of some producer posted it on social media. Saying Man, we had some great times in this place. TAKE ME BACK!”

“Still thanks Mr Berman, this is huge!”

Syd attacked Mr Berman with a huge hug.

“Mr Childish could come in handy sometimes. Don't worry, Cinema Club is cancelled today! So you can pick up on the research right away!”

Mr Berman beam a huge smile. Hearing those words, Syd thought he has done all this to impress Jules. Not that it would matter. Jules praising someone that's not a director or Syd would be next to impossible. Syd returned to class and opened Sunii on her phone to tell Jules that Cinema Club was cancelled today, and she'll meet her by her car.

Syd waited by a black convertible as the students cheered that Spring Break started. It was Jules' 2012 Wendigo. She had found some money that her dad left for her, so she splurged it on the old car and a metal bat. Syd had to put her back to the car to protect her eyes of the glare of said bat resting in the backseat of the car. A couple of minutes rolled by until Syd heard the unlocking of the car. She quickly went into the car shortly after Jules hopped in. They peeled off as Jules waited for Syd to start explaining.

“Oh wait.”

Jules reached behind to the backseat and pulled out 2 bags. She tossed one in Syd's lap and put the other in hers.

“Need a listening snack for this.”

 Syd shook her head. She recounted the information Mr. Berman had. Jules had a straight face throughout all of it. The only movements were her chewing on the edamame she fished out of the back.

“So let me guess, You want to go find Brimstone?”

“Obviously! We only have the detail that it's North of here, but that's better than nothing.”

“Well, since it's close. I'm game. A couple of hour drive is nothing. I was afraid you would say it's 5 states away.”

Syd made a quick victory pose. With Jules on board, the spring break plan was officially set.

“But how are you going to convince your mom?”

The victory pose quickly deflated.

“Knowing you, it's not going to be a back and forth trip until we find Brimstone and when we get there. It's a permeant stay, which means you have to convince your mom to let you stay.”

Syd sat there thinking on a good rebuttal. It didn't cross her mind yet that she would have to find out a way to get mom to agree for the trip. She quickly shrugged off any negative thoughts that were brewing in her head.

“I'm sure my mom would be okay with it. Especially if you get permission….”

Jules loudly scoffed to interrupt  Syd.

“Please, Jerry got on my nerves last night, so I was going to ask to spend the break at your house anyway! I'll just tell my mom I'm spending the break with you. No need for any details.”

“Then my mom's permission is a non issue since she'll be fine if I'm with you!”

Syd beamed a smile causing Jules to smile too. 

At diner that night, Syd sat down to eat some spaghetti with her mom. Ms Craven resembled an older Syd with a few key differences, namely height being one of them. She could see that Syd wanted to ask her something. Syd playing around with her food was a noticeable giveaway.

 “Oh right! Spring Break started for you. No worries, I'll order snacks later, so they'll arrive on Monday.”

Ms Craven to a victory bite of her food. She was proud to have figured her daughter's problem so easily. That is, until Syd started talking.

“That's not it, mom. Jules and I are going to stay in a neighboring town for Spring Break!”

No amount of cheer in her daughter's words were going to make what she just said acceptable. Spending a week in a neighboring town felt to irresponsible for her to agree with. Even if Jules was going, this was not something she would be okay with.

“No. I'll order the snacks so you, but mostly Jules, have something to eat while you spend your break here.”

Syd's eye widen at the tone of her mother's words. Cold and abrupt, it was something she wasn't used to hearing. She had to think on her feet and fast.

“It's only three hours away. If anything happens, I'll call you right up, so you could come get me.”


Syd slammed on the table. She stared directly into her mother's eyes. It was the only other thing she could think of doing. She didn't want to be a brat about this, but she felt close enough to her mother that she figured staring at her would get her point across.Ms Craven looked at her daughter's eyes. The intensity behind those purple pupils reminded her of her husband. It caused a small pain in her heart to awaken. The way Syd was acting was too unusual. She stared at back, wanting to get to the bottom of this.

“Why are you so adamant on going?”

Ms Craven watched as Syd's eyes quickly flicker to the stack of mail on the counter. Two of which stood out the most. A large envelope and a letter with an eagle logo on it. Ms Craven immediately knew what was going on.

“So you haven't told Jules, huh?”

The intensity melted as the purple eyes returned to radiating the same old Syd that Ms Craven was familiar with.

“I haven't. I'm still deciding, you know.”

Syd shrank down, finally deciding to eat her food. Some time passed as Ms Craven thought about what to say. She was firm in not letting Syd go, but she kept looking back at the eagle on the open letter.

“Damn your father for lighting a fire in you. You better text me the location you're staying at.”

Sounds of coughing filled the air as Syd scramble to get some water. She was overjoyed to hear her mom was okay with letting her go.

“You won't have to worry, mom! Jules is going to be there.”

Ms Craven just laughed.

“I am still going to worry! You're my daughter. But you are also your Father's child, so i'm sure..... I know you'll be fine.”