A far future Detroit where those that lack cortical implants also lack upward mobility. A group of young pirates work to find access, while also throwing raves in abandoned building, as white saviors fall and fail around them.
This was written back in 2005 while on a writing escape in a house in California that had no internet. I was there because I had started getting hives from stress. My face kept swelling up, repeatedly, lips and eyes like red balloons. I needed to write, but was allowed zero creative time, zero time to work what-so-ever. I needed sleep, and was getting maybe four hours a night. I wasn’t holding it together. My sister was away. I could stay at her house for free. It was summer, my teacher wife wasn’t working, so I kissed her and my daughter goodbye and booked a cheap flight. Writing this helped me survive. I have not had hives since.
I wrote this particular story specifically for a Pirate themed edition of a magazine John Joseph Adams was editing, but I didn’t get the editing done early enough, and submitted it in the last few seconds possible. Too late really. It didn’t make it into the anthology, but some months later John ask me to write a story for his first anthology, one on social justice, all because of this story.
Don’t search for that anthology. I wanted to write that story, but by the time he asked for it school had started again, my wife, who was suffering from a severe anxiety disorder, was back at work and in a state of panic. My daughter was a baby, and I was the primary care for her for many years. I was not allowed to write. My daughter was not allowed to have naps. I could not go off on another retreat, so alas (who gets the in-joke of that word?), the opportunity this story brought to me slipped through my fingers.
Life can be like that for us people that stubbornly give up their lives for others. I’m not recommending it, it just is what it is. My wife is on meds now, a long story of it’s own, and doing so much better. My baby girl is a smart, creative teenager. I had time this summer to record this old story, write music for the dance scenes, add effects, spend time being creative. No escape across the country necessary. Like in the story above, some journeys are rough, yet eventually find a better path forward.