Cut Above the Rite

Synopsis: Cut Above the Rite is about a young boy who lost his mother and is in the care of his Uncle Jesus. Thrown into this man's undesirable world of friendship, love, booze, and butchery, Sophia realizes that she must do something to save this young boy's life before it's too late.
10 min

MAN 1:
Don't be afraid.

MAN 2:
Do you believe in sin?


There's nothing to believe.

"The battle against the Devil, which is the principal task

of Saint Michael the Archangel, is still being fought today,

because the Devil is still alive and active in the world."

Pope John Paul II

What follows is inspired by true events.


-You finished?


Then wash up and come eat.

I've washed up.

Well, then eat.

And when you're done,

I'll need a hand with the casket.

How'd she do it?


Kill herself.

Michael, I've told you this many times.

We serve the dead,

but we don't talk about them.

It brings bad things.

We keep dead people in the house, Dad.

How much worse could it get?

-Are you kidding me?

-No, Eddie. I'm not kidding.

Wait, why?

So I can get out of here.

Why not tell him

you wanna go to college?

I mean,

you got the grades. You can do it.

-You think he'd pay for that?

-Sh*t, man. Seminary school?

Wait, wait, wait. Wait.

Seminary school, really?

Wait, is this your way of telling me

you're gay? I'm just joking. Okay? Joking.

Man, you don't get it. In my family, you're

either a mortician or a priest. That's it.

Well, then change your name.

It's too late. I took the entrance exam.

-You what?

I passed.

I'm leaving Monday.

That's-- That's crazy.

Dude, I've looked into it.

It's a four-year degree

before you even take your first vows.

If it doesn't work out,

I can always leave.

Wow. Such faith.

You know what, Eddie?

You're such a dick.

Cool. Awesome. Whatever, dude.

I will never confess to you.

You know that, right?

These are on the house.


-Gonna get heat for giving away beers?

Not if they don't know.

How about for banging the customers?

Screw you, Eddie.

Drink up. I'm off in 10.


"Lickety-split"? Pbbb.

You better make the most of that

before they chop your wiener off.

Goodbye, wiener.

Don't worry.

The pain is gone.

God has taken it...


Michael. Come.

Don't be afraid.

Four years later


This is always a special Mass for me... I look upon our new deacons... they prepare to go into the world

with Christ's message.

So in the next few months,

you will face your last assessments...

...and then be asked to take

your final vows to become priests.

So I leave you

with these words to consider...

...from the Gospel of Saint John:

You did not choose me... was I who chose you...

...and I send you forth

to bear fruit that will last.



Exam results.

You aced psychology.

-Art history too. Congratulations.

-Thank you.

So, what happened with theology?

It's like you blew it on purpose.

I've been distracted.

End of the year, that's all.

Drop by my office this week.

We'll discuss it.



Yeah, jump. Take him out.

Dude, honestly?


Michael, wait!



Call an ambulance!

Bless me, Father.


Bless me.

Please, Father.

I don't wanna die like this.

Uh, through the power vested in me:

Let the fire of the Holy Spirit descend,

that this being may be awakened... the world beyond

the life of this earth...

...and infused with the power

of the Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus Christ, I ask

that you receive this child--

What's your name?


I ask you to receive this child,

Sandra, into your loving arms...

...that she might pass in safety

from this crisis... you have taught us

with infinite passion.

By this sign, you are anointed with the grace

of the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ...

...and absolved of all past error

and freed to take your place... the world he has prepared for us.







I still don't even understand

how it happened.

You shouldn't think about it.

It was an accident. Really.

It's hard not to think about.

I feel somewhat responsible.

You know the average age

of a nun these days?


Three thousand parishes across the U.S.

don't even have a priest anymore.

You give this speech

to everyone who tries to leave?

No, just those I believe in.

I quit smoking and

now I'm addicted to these.

You know, what I saw the other night,

it was really something.

I know experienced priests

who wouldn't have handled that.

I just repeated a few prayers

over a suffering girl.

And the words meant nothing to you?

Father, listen to me,

did you understand my letter?

Yes, I decided not to

pass it on to my superiors.

-Why not?

-I think you're making a mistake.

I think this is the part where I say,

"It's not you, it's me"

and "Let's just be friends."

Here's the thing.

Tastes like sh*t.

If a seminarian doesn't complete

his vows, then under Article 15...

...the Church has the right to convert

the scholarship to a student loan.

That's over 100 grand of education

you'd owe us.

Why would you do that?

Oh, no, no, no.

I'm not saying I'm going to do it...

...just yet.

You were a mortician

before you joined us, am I right?

I imagine that means

you're not very squeamish.

What is this about?

Last year, the Vatican received over a half

a million reports of demonic possession.

-That's something of a record.

-I'm still not following.

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Jessica Johnston

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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