It’s funny where inspiration comes from.
In one episode of BBC’s The Musketeers, Porthos is preparing to shoot a melon off Aramis’ head (don’t ask). Athos and d’Artagnan have the following exchange:
Athos: Don’t worry. He’s done this shot a hundred times.
d’Artagnan: He’s drunk.
Athos: He’s never made it sober.
Naturally, my mind asked, “Well, why’s he always drunk when he tries it?” Throw in a possible scenario from the previous episode and you have instant fanfiction.
The quote “With great power comes great responsibility” supposedly originates from the original Spiderman comics. But what if you were never supposed to have the power? What if you weren’t prepared for the responsibilities and had no idea how to handle them?
Enter Isabel Monray, a girl who’s carrying a lot of anger inside her when her story starts. She’s determined to be strong – and not to be afraid. She’s going to take control of both the power and the responsibility, because she’s the only one who can.
One night I dreamed that myself and someone else (I can’t remember her name in the dream) were hiding a girl in a café. She was concealed in a room that only women could enter (and no, it wasn’t the ladies’ toilets). Two or three men came into the café looking for her; they had no idea where she was, and they were on a time limit.
Then a woman came into the café and that was when things changed, because she could enter the room and find the girl. Luckily, she didn’t.
I’ve never been able to forget that dream, because it raised some very interesting questions. Why was the girl hiding? Why were we hiding her? Who were those people and why were they looking for her? Why was there a time limit?
Meet Marsella Layden, or Marsie as she likes to be called. She lives in a world where anyone from the ages of thirteen to seventeen is watched very closely for signs of illness. Illness could be a sign that you’re developing an ability that very few people want to have, because the ability is actually the result of a virus and anyone who tests positive for it – or who shows they have an ability – is taken away to a place called the College until they turn eighteen. Whether or not you actually want to go doesn’t matter. Eighteen-year-old Marsie is helping her older sister Maria run the family café – oh, and they also help fugitives from the College hide from their pursuers.
Then one day Marsie is offered the chance to have a real, paying job. At the College. This way, she can help more kids escape and see their families – and anyway, she’s not seventeen any more and doesn’t have to worry about catching the virus. It’s the perfect opportunity.
Nothing can go wrong.