Amber Steenbock

May 1, 1977 - December 17, 2014

Ability Anthems

This story was originally meant to be submitted to her cousin's site at Seeking the New Earth.

Flash fiction entry: not sure how long it is supposed to be; 200 words or 500.  Sorry if I get it wrong.

Ability Anthems (Part One?)

The year is 3014. In 3000, the people of Earth have decided that all people with any kind of disability and their primary caregivers should be transported to an outlying planet.  I am Andrea, one of them.  I use a power wheelchair.

They left us here to die.  But we found ways to survive, if not thrive.  We have named our little planet Ability.  I think it's corny, but whatever.  I'm only a writer for the local newspaper, and even though I'm only approaching middle age, I'm one of the few who still admit to remembering what it was like on earth.  The pity.  And everything else.

Here, it has become mostly like I used to dream.  The exact opposite.  The people who are our caregivers, and otherwise able-bodied people that happen to be born to disabled parents; we treat them well, but they are in the minority here.  There are ramps everywhere, or elevators. No stairs and everything within a sitting person's reach.  If you are not a sitting person, you have to ask the building Corporation for a home modification.  All TV channels have ASL interpreters, and everything has the option for Braille inlays if needed.

Earth forgot about us, only sending us new inhabitants when a disabled person happened to be born there.  Otherwise, we were nowhere in their thoughts.  But things are changing.  Someone back there saw one of the articles I wrote in the newspaper (I don't know why we still call it that, because everything is on screens now.  Maybe we are just nostalgic.  The good old Ability Anthem) about how we are producing our own goods from the junk they send up here twice a year.

For some reason, they do not like that.  So there are whispers on the horizon about sanctions.  I worry for my family, yet I am part of an unknown and unnamed group of people who have been quietly storing things away for a time like this

(If you like this I will continue it.)

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