The day continued...

His mother prioritized her children’s schoolwork, as she knew it was their way of practicing what they had done in school earlier on that day. It was their chance to reflect on their knowledge, even if they didn’t know it. “Come inside kids, it’s starting to get dark!” Mrs. Spencer called out to her two little ones. The pair raced inside to get the best seat at the homework counter.

“But mom-” whined Nelly. “School was so boring, and we didn’t even get to do anything fun. All I could think about was playing outside!” Her mother gave her an empathetic look and continued shuffling through their backpacks to fetch their nightly work. The kids finally settled in and their minds began to toil.

“Momma- I…I... can you help me? The teacher, Mrs. Beverly, gave me this homework about division, but I just don’t get it. I feel so confused.” Mrs. Spencer glanced over her son’s homework to read the problem she didn’t know if she could do herself. Sure enough, it was another method of learning division- something Mrs. Spencer knew she couldn’t do alone. She would have to look up a refresher on this stuff.

“I may even have to teach myself again before helping Reid,” she thought. “Uhm… just a moment sweetie!” She shuffled through her purse for her gadget that brought her into the world of the internet. Knowing very well that this was something she was never supposed to do unless behind closed doors, she extracted the portal from her bag. Mrs. Spencer held the screen down below the counter so the children could not see. She realized they would wonder what was going on. They would never understand that there was this regulated but endless world that could tell her anything she wanted to know. One that forbid anyone under the age of 13 from even knowing about it. Mrs. Spencer knew it was for the greater good, but sometimes she wondered if her children were missing something. When she was growing up the internet was still developing, but when privatization of the “net” flunked in 1996, she knew her world would continue to change and that it would affect even her children’s children. She held the screen and waited for the verification process that came with every log in to the net. The government required that every individual scan their fingerprint as well as provide a photo of their face in order to proceed. Mrs. Spencer knew this was a lot of information to share, but she didn’t care- the internet was something they couldn’t live without. Something so intriguing to the human mind.

“Mommm what’s taking so long? What are you doing?” Reid inquired. “Nothing!” Mrs. Spencer shouted as she clicked the internet portal gadget off and stuffed it in her pocket. “Ugh going to have to go through the whole log in process again” she thought to herself. Reid had appeared by her side before she could even look up. He reached for her leg pocket that bulged in the shape of a rectangle. “Mom what is that?” he questioned.

“It’s um, something I have to use for work honey! Nothing you need to worry about” as she sweated with fear. If her children repeated the fact that they had seen her access the internet at home at school the next day, she knew she would be punished. Mrs. Spencer looked down in terror as her child grabbed the outline of the screen. “Momma are you hiding something from us?” Nelly mentioned looking up from her paper to finally engage in the conversation. Mrs. Spencer picked Reid up and put him back on his stool. “Why is your pocket shining a light? Woah!” Nelly pronounced as Mrs. Spencer stood close to her.

“You kids just wait here, I’ll be right back!” she shuffled hurriedly into the other room. She panicked, struggling to find the key to the safe where she kept the portal. Frantically pulling on the door, it finally broke free as she threw the portal to the back of the 25-pound metal case. Twisting the key as fast as she could she spun around and sighed. “What am I going to do” she contemplated in her mind. “What ever will I tell them?” The children of the world were prohibited by all means from the internet. Any contact or knowledge of the portal would mean they would have to go through extensive mind regulation therapy so they could forget. It made sense that the world didn’t want their children exposed to the dangers and black holes of the internet. Children seemed happier. They got outside more, were closer with their fellow neighbors, and made it a priority to spend time with their family every day. Reid approached the doorway leading to the “safe room” where all things children could not see were kept.


I’m sorry if I misbehaved. I was just wondering what you were doing.” He hung his head in shame as he knew his mother was fearful from what he had done. “Just making sure everything is put away in here.” Mrs. Spencer knew that the slight glimpse of the “glowy thing” meant a lot of work ahead. What would the kids say to their teachers? Would they ask to see their “glowy things?” The kids weren’t allowed to be exposed to this world of the “glowy things.” They were not of the “Internet Age.”

Mrs. Spencer restrained her tears as she prepared for the extensive forgetting therapy her children would soon endure. She knew her kids didn’t need the internet. They would grow up to be better people without it; No exposure to the horrors of the rest of the world. Mrs. Spencer walked over to the homework counter, picked her children up, and squeezed them as tightly as she could. Her children were growing up to be some of the most intellectually curious and well-rounded individuals due to the fact that she continued to hide the portal from them. They would eventually understand, but for now they lived in a world of peace and quiet, sheltered from the cruel world beyond their backyard. It was in that moment that she knew they were going to be just fine after all.


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