Short Stories 366:90 — “This Will Not Happen To You,” by Melissa Lingen

coverThis very short piece packs one heck of a punch. It’s a single character voice, speaking out to the reader (as “you”), and there’s a kind of low-level fury throughout that I frankly loved. Basically, this is one person explaining what happened to them, but it’s framed throughout as a “but don’t worry, it could never happen to you” tone that… well, like I said, a kind of low-level fury.

It’s a very short piece, so I’m not sure there’s a lot I can say about it beyond how much I enjoyed it, but like most of the stories in Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, the sheer weight of the voice is flipping brilliant. That it feels so damn rare is, of course, an ongoing frustration, but as the voice tells everything they’ve withstood, and how every promised success came with odds we ascribe to always mean people other than us, the end result had me feeling that same, low-level fury and nodding along to myself.

“This Will Not Happen To You,” echoes. It’s science fiction rooted so firmly in a today, little touches like “being a good citizen” and how there’s “researched based off people like me.” It does the thing science fiction does so well: holds up a mirror to our contemporary world before breaking it in some important way.

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