“Next up is Leighton Decker.”
Leighton walked to the front of the class, dragging her feet as she walked so that her polka-dotted boots—her favorites, though entirely out of season—scraped loudly against the coarse carpeting. Twenty-three blank faces stared at her in wait. By the end of the year she’d be able to perform the multiplication to figure out how many eyes that was, but for now it was sufficient to say it was a lot.
“Go ahead, Leighton.”
She read from the hologram visible only to her. The text roamed around the room to make it appear as though she were making eye contact with her classmates in the audience.
“My Summer Vacation, by Leighton Decker. My name is Leighton, and this summer we visited my mom’s work. My mom is a doctor, but not the kind who tells the nurse to give you shots. She says she is a farmer, and I asked her what she grows, and she said Ropes. That doesn’t make sense to me, but my brother Brodie says it’s true and he is in high school. She showed me her farm, but it was inside a building and there was black string everywhere. I thought it was scary. It looked like a big spider’s web, but my mom said it was called nanotubes. Then we went outside and she showed me the elevator. It is like the school elevator that I got to use last year when I was on crutches because Kennedy pushed me down the slide, but this one goes all the way to space. It was very hot out. Next year I want to go to the beach. That was my summer vacation. Thank you.”
The hologram evaporated, and Leighton took a bow while her classmates clapped. When the teacher wasn’t looking, she stuck her tongue out at Kennedy before racing back to her seat.
“Thank you, Leighton. Next up is Nelson Edderly.”