Okay, picture this.
It’s called THE SCARLET SCHOOL FOR PROSTITUTES.
I’ve got you hooked right there, right? Right. But wait, there’s more.
In a world different from our own, either the future or the past, or on another planet entirely, there has been a disaster. The population has been reduced to the bare minimum. And so–
Wait, I’m going about this all wrong.
In a world where no one can love who they want, one girl rises up! Um…
Okay, so here’s the situation: In this world (or city — we’re not picky), we’ll call it Plantagenet, only a very few people have true rights. If you are a girl, then there is a chance — a very small chance, mind you — that when you grow up you’ll be chosen by a man of means to be his wife. If you’re a boy, you are pretty much out of luck. As soon as you are old enough to leave school, fully trained and in the flush of your youth, you are sent to tame the wilderness, or to complete menial, dangerous jobs, and you will probably die in a few years. Though their are rumors that not all the boys who disappear die…
In The Scarlet School for Prostitutes, the girls are taught everything they might need to know in life if they are chosen to marry, i.e. how to be a lady. But they are also taught the skills necessary to living in the Scarlet Schools, because that is where most of them will end up: first aid, diplomacy, self-defense, and midwifery, especially. Because there is no birth control, the Scarlet School become baby factories.
But one girl (who doesn’t have a name yet, because I haven’t gotten that far — okay, let’s call her Johanna) doesn’t want the life she’s been born to. She’s made friends with a boy, and when he’s sent away to the wilds or to clear the sewers of ravenous beasts, she begins to plan. She’ll seduce a man into choosing her for a wife, because then she’ll have the power to save her friend, but she ruins everything by getting pregnant, because if you become pregnant than you and your baby become property of the Scarlet School.
And that’s as far as I’ve gotten. What happens next? I don’t know except that it’s the end of the world as Johanna knows it.
Would you read it?