The 1998 educational commercial (never aired) featuring the Brontë sisters as action heroes, got my attention, and touched on a ridiculous fantasy of mine: What if the Bronte sisters were superheroes??? So this morning, weary from grading, writing, and editing, I let my mind wander…
If the sisters were superheroes, they would undoubtedly have to wake up very early, to train on the moors. Upon the cold, windy moors, they practice fencing, knife-throwing, all the sharpest training to defeat and control rebellious fairies. The sisters are a formidable group, keeping the bad fairy population under control. But their work is not without its turmoil.
1) EMILY is of course smitten with her broody trainer, Heath— and never can quite separate her work from her personal life. Emily’s disastrous affair with Heath, is a source of frustration for Charlotte, who, as the eldest, leads the group. Charlotte would fire the Heath’s Byronic ass if she had a choice.
But she does not.
Simply because Heath is the best trainer west of Russia, the only trainer in England with skilled knowledge of the weaponry of Silat. So Charlotte endures his love-hate war with her sister—until he decides (villainously) to hang Emily’s favorite toy poodle, Tootles, from a nearby tree; this is a relationship dealbreaker for Emily, and she unceremoniously murders him with his own sickle.
2) CHARLOTTE, frustrated that her sister can’t maintain better control over her love life (or her rage for that matter) leaves Yorkshire for an important assignment in the country where she has heard that a wealthy gentleman conceals his wife—possessed by a deranged fairy—in his attic.
Charlotte disguises herself as a travelling Methodist missionary and stays at the house just long enough to make the gentleman fall in love with her while she exorcises and destroys the troublesome fairy. She completes the job swiftly, glamours the gentleman to love his wife again and leaves, hoping the best for them.
3) Meanwhile, ANNE Bronte disguises herself as a governess ant employs herself to the wealthy Robinson family with six children—one of which is reported to be a changeling. This assignment is unusually difficult and she is distressed to find out upon arriving that not one, but all SIX children are fairy changelings. The house is in an uproar—the children are all running about naked, terrorizing the servants and household pets. She tries to summon Emily as backup, but Emily, still grieving the loss of Tootles and wishing that she had made Heath’s death even more painful—is too distraught to help. With a deep sigh, Anne decides to summon Branwell…
4) BRANWELL, the good-for-nothing brother of the Bronte sisters, has never possessed their fighting skills, and is, in all the sisters’ opinions: “handsome and quite daft.” But Anne is desperate, the children have just strung up their mother up by her bloomers to the front foyer’s chandelier. To his credit, Branwell helps Anne bring back the human children and restore order to the house—but not before he realizes that he quite likes the sight of Mrs. Robinson’s bloomers, and embarks upon a torrid affair with her. Anne exiles him from the manor, fearing that he has caused more disorder in the house than the changelings had.
O.k….now back to work.