Piece of the Moment

When I was in high school, I joined a young playwrights competition. I didn't get picked, of course, but I thought my idea would be an interesting play (or read, if it was a novel). A reverse-gender Man in the Iron Mask. (I hope to Goddess I didn't call it The Lady in the Iron Mask! Fortunately, I can't remember and can therefore spare myself the possible indignity.) It's been sitting in the back of my mind for a decade or so and sometime back–possibly even in 2012–I started putting names to characters.

I saw a bit of the 1998 movie the other night (we don't lose the premium channels until next month) and I guess that's all I needed for a push in the right (write? hee hee) direction, because I spent part of last night and some time this afternoon world-building. At least Alexandre Dumas died in 1870, so I don't have to worry about copyright infringement…and with the reversed genders, younger characters and different setting, I don't think I have to worry about infringing on the movie, either.

Dos Infantas (as it's tentatively called–Two Princesses, in Spanish) takes place in Spain, and instead of historical royals, tells the story of Queen Ana Amelia and her long-lost sister, Princess Ana Isabel. (As a point of interest, the real queen in 1527 was Catherine of Aragon's sister, Juana la Loca.) The musketeers in this story are the young daughters of the historical/literary figures who all retired two years before the beginning of the story (save for Jasmín, the daughter of {the equivalent of} D'Artagnan, who–as her father in the movie–is still the Captain of the Queen's musketeers). Dame Sofía is now a lay sister in a priory in Ciudad Real; after Aramis, who became a Jesuit priest. Dame Catalina is now a seamstress…mainly because I have no idea what Athos supposedly did in the movie, other than mope after his son was killed. (I thought seamstress sounded good.) And Athos, who became a womanizing lush in the movie? Dame Raquel is now a barmaid and sometime prostitute.

I wasn't sure what would make the ladies retire all at once, but I think I finally hit on it today. The foolish (and bitchy) Queen Amelia recalled their fathers to the musketeers and sent them off to fight. And die.

One more change? Princess Isabel is being kept in a copper helmet. I realize that copper is softer than iron (much softer, I am told), but the fun little trick with that is if your skin is acidic, the copper will turn your skin a lovely shade of teal. So if anyone ever freed the princess, the queen would immediately know it was her, because her skin would give her away! (I guess you can wash off the teal, but I didn't know that when I had a copper ring, so I let the color fade…I think it took several hours. I should think, however, that seventeen years in a copper helmet would take a lot longer to come off.)

Ten year class reunion tonight…not a lot of time to figure out what Las Mosqueteras are going to do first. I have a plan for how Sofía will find Princess Isabel, but that will have to wait…

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