Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.
Fantasy Trope: “wǔxiá (武侠 — literally ‘martial-arts chivalry; or ‘martial arts heroes’, and pronounced roughly woo-seeah in Mandarin) stories are tall tales of honorable warriors (侠 xiá) fighting against evil, whether it be an individual villain, or a corrupt government.”
Rishika Memon said, “Hang on just a second! I’ve never worn a sari before!”
Akshay Vora, her “partner in crime”, said, “Like I’ve ever worn a sherwani? Are there any buttons?”
Rishika sighed and finished wrapping the lime green garment over her shoulder and said, “It’s not the thing itself, it’s the intent.”
“You mean I’m doing all of this...”
“It’s worth it. We’re going to be fighting, not walking a runway,” she said. “I’m ready.”
“Great. I’m not. I don’t even think I can make my moves in this thing.”
Rishika shook her head. “There won’t be any moves to make.”
Akshay stared at her, “What do you mean, we’re here to fight, aren’t we?”
“Sort of,” she said, holding up her hand as he opened his mouth to talk. He scowled fiercely instead. She swallowed hard. “We’re here to fight – but not with our hands. We’re here to fight with our words.”
“Our words,” Akshay said.
"Don’t give me any of your attitude! Swords and karate chops don’t always stop wars!”
He shook his head, “China chops don’t do anything but give me gas.”
She sniffed and stepped forward to the heavy oaken door. “We’re in this together. There’s a corrupt government out there that we have to overthrow!”
“Did you ever stop and think that we’re the corrupt government we’re trying to overthrow, my oldest friend?”
Rishika paused and looked over her should at him. “That’s not true, and you know it.”
“It all depends on how you look at it!”
“What do you mean by that?” she asked, turning around.
“Being that we’re royalty, we’re the government.”
“But neither one of us will ever inherit an actual…like…throne. Your oldest brother and my little sister will be the King and Queen. We aren’t actually the government.”
Akshay looked at him then said, “We could be walking into a slaughter, you know. Us included. There’s only one way to stop this whole thing and that’s if we fight them.”
Rishika went to the door and made a motion over the elaborate carvings, standing with his hands flat over the door, not touching it. He said, “There’s a crowd over there and they’re ugly.”
“Must be your side of the family,” Akshay said.
She scowled, “It’s an angry crowd, Akshay. They’re mad at us...”
“They aren’t mad at us personally, they’re mad at the institution. That’s what we’re here to change.”
“We still haven’t answered the question of how.”
Rishika took a deep breath, held it, then said softly, “We change it by becoming heroes of the people.”
Akshay shook his head and said, “Sounds pretty socialist of you,” he stopped her retort with his hand, “But I agree. We become heroes of the people – sort of like the heroes of the Cultural Revolution. Rénmín Yīngxióng.”
“Exactly.” She pushed the doors open on the square as lightning split the sky...
Names: ♀ India; ♂ India