What if the world was like a giant community, everyone living under the control of one government?
Ashley does. And when she is deemed old enough, she will go to the appropriate School of Learning, where everyone looks the same, acts the same, talks the same...
Unless she is deemed UNIQUE.
"Ashley... Ashley... Ashley!" Ashley's mother yelled. "Good grief, girl, you'd think you're going to see your old biddy grandmother."
"Coming." Ashley trudged down the stairs, sighing. It was her half-a-yearly check-up today: dentist, doctor, eye-care doctor whose title she could never remember.
Ashley had brushed her teeth constantly for the last week, been careful to not hurt herself at school or play, and wore unnecessary sunglasses too, so she wouldn't rub her eyes. But it was not enough to dispel the fear that she had. Maybe she would get braces, or find out she had some incurable disease, or even worse... get glasses.
Ashley climbed quietly into her child seat in the back of the car. Her mother got into the front, and the engine started without prompt, as all cars did. Soon they were heading down the smooth road to the big, white building that every child was afraid of.
"Good morning, what can I do for you?" the secretary asked, smiling gently, as all secretaries do.
"We are here for a check-up, for my daughter." Ashley's mother replied.
"And what name is this under?" Ashley wandered away to the play area, a section in the waiting room with toys for the children. Only one other child was there, a boy a few years younger than her.
"Hiyey!" he gurgled, turning around and displaying his teeth in a smile. Ashley recoiled. He had braces, and glasses!
"Do you have an incurable disease?" Ashley asked, frightened.
"Wha' a in'cerable dizzy?" he gurgled, then laughed and hugged a stuffed animal that sat beside him.
"Come, Ashley." Ashley's mother said, pulling the paralysed girl from the play area. "Dentist first."