Little Paige Turner had a lot to say but didn’t say a lot.
That’s because nobody talked to each other. All their words went into their gadgets.
Nobody listened to each other, either, because something was stuck in their ears.
[Show people on phones and tablets with earbuds, headphones, and bluetooth—faces glowing blue from the screens, oblivious to each other—zombie-like. Funny words jumping off the screens—Pshhh! Boo-woop! Wa-pop!]
TAP TAP TAP
SWISH SWISH SWISH
“What are you looking at?”
“Can I play?”
“Am I invisible?”
[She makes a face at a pigeon and scares it away—a close-up shot.]
“No, I’m definitely here.”
[Paige walks away, head down, with her dad. We can see only his legs and hands holding a device.]
One more thing about Paige Turner: lights fascinated her…
[Series of visuals: Paige watching from a distance the flickering lights in the Center City skyline. Looking up at the twinkling light bulb canopies over a street festival.]
...especially glowing gadgets.
Whenever she got close to the glow, Paige felt like a moth drawn to a porch light.
Because people flicked her away like a bug.
One day, Paige spotted a thin, flat rectangle poking out of a recycling bin by the curb.
“Is that what I think it is? A gadget to play with like everybody else?”
[Paige plucks the gadget out of the trash and runs up the stairs to her building past her dad, who’s on his device.]
[Once inside her apartment she examines the gadget.]
Strange. There was a picture, but no glow.
She tried to wake it up.
tap tap tap
swish swish swish
TAP TAP TAP
SWISH SWISH SWISH
RUB RUB RUB
SLAP SLAP SLAP
Maybe the light was broken.
[Series of illustration showing her trying out different “lights.”]
[Ties a strand of Christmas lights around it.]
[Puts it under the light inside her lizard aquarium. The pet looks nonplussed.]
[Puts her light-up pink wire cat ears headband on the book.]
[Scotch tapes a firefly to the cover; firefly looks annoyed sitting on a loop of tape, legs and arms crossed.]
“Maybe I need to talk to it.”
[She picks up the book.]
“Hello. Hello! HELLO!”
The gadget slipped through her fingers.
[Show book faced down lying open.]
[Paige from behind bending over book, distraught, hands are on her head. She speaks in a whisper.]
“I cracked it.”
[Series of visuals: Paige sobs as dad’s hand reaches for the book and takes her hand. Dad wipes her tears. He sits her down on his lap. They open the book together.]
Paige discovered that this gadget only worked when it was open. And the sound—the sweetest sound she ever heard—came from her dad.
“Once upon a time…”
And so, little Paige Turner finally got her glow—and a friend.
[Homemade sheet tent with dad’s feet sticking out. Silhouette of Paige hanging on her dad’s shoulders, holding a flashlight as he reads from an open book. Outside the tent, a pile of books, her dad's tablet, and the firefly hovering.]