Dawn Arrot dropped her trowel and looked up at the sky. The sun was hot, and mercilessly beat down on her as she planted carrots. Dawn’s father, Crat Arrot, owned the Arrot carrot farm. His smiling face was on every single bag of carrots sold at the supermarket. During the holidays, her carrot-crazy parents sent her and her older siblings, Tye and March, to work on the fields.
Dawn dug deep into the rich dirt and threw the mound of worm-packed dirt off to the side. But this time, as she lifted her trowel of dirt away, it was heavy. She brushed away the dirt to reveal a heavy tin box. It was the size of a match box.
She pried off the dirt-encrusted lid. A strong tinkling sound came from the box. Pink dust and sparkles flew out and around Dawn. She closed her eyes as she fell down a dark tunnel and landed with a thud on a soft pink rug.
“What…where am I?” mumbled Dawn, opening her eyes. She pushed herself up, and her mouth fell open.
Dawn noticed a tall lady standing beside her. She was very tall, and very pretty. She was dressed from head to toe in pink. She had silky pink hair, like a fairy princess from a fairy tale.
Dawn heard an icy voice that made her head writhe. “If you are done staring, I would like to introduce myself. I am Sparkle. A time gripper guide." She nodded at Dawn.
“Ah yes, I’m Dawn.”
“Follow me,” said Sparkle.
“Uh, Sparkle? I have a lot of questions, like how did ---"
“All you need to know is that you are a time gripper. Time grippers have the ability to go back or ahead in time and fix problems-"
“Wow!" said Dawn, as she clamped her hand across her mouth. I should win a most frequent interrupter award, she thought.
Sparkle led her into a room. One half had counters with knobs and buttons and screens. People wearing the same dress and shoes as sparkle were pressing buttons, glaring at the screens and shouting orders. On the other side of the room stood rows and rows of coffins
Dawn bit her lip so she wouldn’t scream.
"Alright Dawn!” yelled Sparkle above the chaos. "I’m going to send you through the time-stamper OK? You go and fix a problem!”
"You’ll be fine! You get back when you fix the problem!"
Sparkle pulled a necklace out of her bag and handed it to Dawn. It was a gold disk on a pink ribbon.The gold disk had a butterfly on it.
"Hey Sparkle, where is the -" started Dawn, but Sparkle was already dragging Dawn toward the row of coffins.
"NO Sparkle! I’m too young to die!" shouted Dawn in fear.
"You’re not going to die, silly! These are the time stampers!" Sparkle pushed dawn in, shut the door, and the coffin began to whir and click.
Dawn opened her eyes to find herself in the middle of a busy city. To her amazement, people were flying! They were standing on things that looked like iPads, and which were zooming around. Everyone was completely wired. They were all wearing headphones and holding paper-thin iPhones.
A man who was holding a BlackBerry pressed a button and the phone popped open, and where the blackberries were stored, he popped one in his mouth.
The future, breathed Dawn.
It was interesting, but also creepy. Dawn spent all her time in nature, not staring at a screen. OK, thought Dawn, fix the problem. That’s when it hit Dawn: The screens were the problem.
She ran around telling people to put away their screens, but people just pushed her away.
The majority of people just stood around watching a huge flat screens TV attached to the buildings. I need their attention, thought Dawn desperately, but they only like their screens.
Dawn had an idea that she would have bet a carrot cake on. A light bulb switched on in her head. She ran toward a building, where she presumed the TV's were being controlled by. She was right. People bustled around, giving orders and switching ads.
She saw a woman telling the news. It was live, which meant it was going straight to the wired news watchers. She ran towards the news desk and pushed the news lady aside, and then pressed a button that locked the door so that no one could come in.
“Hello everyone! Please listen to me! Throw away your screens!" Dawn could see people were rushing towards the door, telling her to stop.
"Without screens, life can be fun," she continued, "kids can play at parks, you can explore your hobbies, there is so much more to life than screens!" Dawn’s necklace glowed, and a scene of the past shone out of it and into the cameras. People couldn't believe their eyes when they saw how people lived, and how happy they were without their screens!
Some people broke down the door and grabbed her. I have not fixed it yet, she thought, but already I have helped. I am a time gripper!