Author : J.R. Blackwell, Staff Writer

Marie-Christine looked into her mirror at her naked adolescent body, flat and slender. There were parts she was disappointed in and parts that pleased her. She was careful not to stare too long, her parents were sure to be watching her visual feed for abnormal behavior.

She was happy that she no longer had to monitor her words. For a whole year now, she had been free of the blasted chip that meant that she had to watch her mouth. The Children’s Rights Amendment 2112 had banned the use of audio monitoring in children because it restricted free speech and impeded the development of the independent thought, a resource and necessity for a citizen of a democratic society. For Marie-Christine, it meant that she could now curse, and that older kids would talk to her.

Marie-Christine went through all the motions of going to bed; she carefully laid her clothes for the next day on her desk. She counted the steps from her window to her bed, and from her bed to her desk. Crawling into bed, closing her eyes, she fought off the soft pull of sleep. After twenty minutes, she heard a tapping on her window, and she got out of bed, her eyes still closed. She opened the window and leaned out, groping the air with her hands.

When her hands touched leather, she squealed with delight. “Dean!”

“Hush kid, just cause your parents can’t see what you’re doing, doesn’t mean they can’t hear you from the bedroom.”

She smiled “Don’t worry about them, they sleep in a depro-tank.” Dean’s breath smelled like peppers. She could hear him clambering through the window. He was handsome, olive skin and high cheekbones, dark brows, blank white eyes. After Amendment 2112 passed Dean became very popular. All the kids wanted to learn how from him how to get around without their eyes. Dean didn’t mind the attention, but Marie-Christine knew that he only had ears for her. She was the only girl who liked him before the Amendment. No matter how many girls wanted Dean at their windows, Marie-Christine was the only one who would find him there.

They said that his blindness was cause by an act of tech terror, the insane scientists who claimed that the current political moralist was stalling technological development. Sometimes their acts would create seven armed musical geniuses, and sometimes blinded children.

“Stay still.” he said softly, and wrapped a soft cloth over her eyes. She touched her face, now she was really a sleepwalker. “It’s just in case you open your eyes by accident.”

“This is so weird.’ she said, excitedly. “Um, not that there is anything wrong with not seeing.”

Dean grabbed her hands and guided them to his face. He was smiling. “Come on good girl, lets go out tonight.”

She put on her clothes, and found Deans hand in the darkness behind the blindfold. Together they crawled out the window to the cool night, the strange streets, brave in their blindness.

People stared at the rebel children, the sleepwalkers, but the children couldn’t see them.

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