Seventeen women writers from TV shows as diverse as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, Family Guy, and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD have grouped together to fight lupus.
The short-story collection Empower: Fight Like a Girl came about in reponse to Agents of SHIELD co-showrunner Maurissa Tachcharoen Whedon’s ongoing battle with lupus. Organized by her fellow TV writers Jennifer Quintenz and Pang-Ni Landrum, the book derives its title and theme from the fact that 90% of lupus-sufferers are women. The contributions span supernatural thrillers, crime mysteries, horror, comedy, and more.
All proceeds from Fight Like a Girl will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that unpredictably affects various body parts, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, skin, and joints.
The participating writers are:
Shalisha Francis & Nadine Knight
Below is an excerpt from Jane Espenson, a former staff writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica who currently works on ABC’s Once Upon a Time.
“Int. Wolf – Night”
Like the more common Medium Sized Morally Neutral Wolves, Big Bad Wolves make for poor accommodations. The inside of this particular Wolf was big for an inside, but very small compared with the outside. It was about the size of a spherical single-room cottage, one with a knee-deep layer of stomach acid on the floor, but it was severely overpopulated, and there was every reason to think that more edible sentient beings might join the group at any moment. Already, Hood was assigned one-sixth of the bed and only one-tenth of the blanket. She had to fold up her red cloak to use as a pillow at night. Food, at least, was plentiful, since they ate any vegetables and non-sentient animals that the wolf ate, after the wolf ate them, so that was all right, but the toilet facilities were best left unmentioned.
Every now and then, someone, whichever of them had been there the longest, got digested. It was a revolting process in which the person/foodstuff began to lose facial definition, and it went downhill from there. The person’s glasses, if he wore glasses, might suddenly slide down his nose around lunchtime, and by dinner he was a warm pool of mucus that wouldn’t respond even when asked simple questions, and which ultimately seeped away into the digestive tract. The whole process looked, sounded, and smelled unpleasant, and all who lived in the Wolf knew that it was their destiny.
All in all, Hood decided, it was high time to clear out.
Visit Empower: Fight Like a Girl‘s Amazon page.