Hover cars zipped by as morning sunlight gleamed through the windows of Brigitte Helm’s bedroom on the 138th floor of the Bradbury Towers. The rays illuminated her room, bouncing light across endless glass shelves holding uneven stacks of data files. The file labels, handwritten neatly in pink lettering, designated each file as either a history of television, motion pictures, or works of science fiction by well-known novelists of the 20th century.
An un-level telescope stood alongside Brigitte’s bed. With her new school blouse and skirt slung over its lens, the scope looked more like a clothes hanger than celestial viewer. The other embellishments to Brigitte’s room, apart from the Periodic Chart of Elements, were the posters plastered over the remaining free wall space. Each depicted various handsome members of popular boy-bands. The largest poster affixed directly above her bed, proclaimed: ‘Metropolis Boys World Tour–2084’. Last year, in honor of her sweet sixteen, Brigitte and several of her friends attended the concert held on the Moon at the Neil Armstrong Stadium. The tickets, interstellar pulse flight, and hover-limo ride to the show were gifts from her parents.
One of her parents, Mrs. Helm, was at this moment in Brigitte’s sun-drenched room consoling her daughter with a comforting hug.
“It’s all right, dear,” said Mrs. Helm. “It was only a dream.”
“I know it’s just a dream, Mom, but it’s the third one this week,” said Brigitte, sitting up against the headboard as the Metropolis Boys stared down at her.
“Yeah, this one was real silly.”
“Most dreams are. Tell me about it,” said Mrs. Helm taking a seat on the edge of the bed.
“I was a bachelorette on the old television show, The Dating Game, and all the bachelors and other characters were robots from movie and TV shows.”
Mrs. Helm gave her daughter a knowing look. “You need to stop staying up late watching your vintage media collection. Was your dream scary?”
“No, like I said, just silly.”
“Do you want to tell me more about it?”
“Well… I don’t know,” said Brigitte reluctantly.
“It might make you feel better to talk about it, dear.”
“Oh, all right. It started with an offstage announcer named Dave, who introduced the host of the show, HAL 9000, the computer with the big, red optic lens from 2001: A Space Odyssey. He started the show with a bunch of lame jokes like, ‘Sorry I look so tired, I got into town late on the red-eye,’ and ‘Hey Dave, the studio is a little warm, why don’t you open the pod bay door’.”
Mrs. Helm winced, then asked, “Were you sitting on that rotating stage with the bachelors hidden from view like on the old show?”
“Yeah, just like that. I asked a bunch of dumb questions and they bantered back and forth with me. In the end, the bachelors turned out to be R2D2 from Star Wars, Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still, and B9, the robot from Lost in Space.”
“Who did you end up picking?”
Brigitte blushed. “R2D2, he sounded cute.”
“Did you win a dream vacation like the contestants on the real show?” asked Mrs. Helm.
“Yes. The announcer said we had won a week’s stay in Westworld, where nothing can go wrong. Then R2D2 and I were joined on stage by the first winning couple–Rosie, the cartoon robot maid from The Jetsons and her date, Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet. ”
Mrs. Helm smiled, “Was that the end?”
“Almost; at the very end, with the theme music blaring, all of us simultaneously blew a big goodbye kiss to the audience.”
“Was the audience made up of robots too?”
“Mostly, but there were a few humans,” said Brigitte.
“Oh, good,” said Mrs. Helm. “You see, not everything was robot-related.”
“Well, yes and no. The three humans were Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick.”
“Oh,” said Mrs. Helm.
“Mom, am I crazy?”
“No, dear. Like you said, it was a silly dream. Everyone has strange dreams with recurring themes from time to time. You’re perfectly normal.”
She kissed Brigitte on the cheek then walked to the door.
“Now, dear, get dressed and ready for school.”
As she was leaving her daughter’s room, Mrs. Helm ran into her husband in the hallway.
“Is she all right?” he asked.
“She had another robot dream.”
Mr. Helm shook his head. “Well, as you know, honey, we were told the teenage years would be the hardest.”
“Yes, I know,” said Mrs. Helm. “I remember that nice man from Android Adoption telling us not to worry about her; it’s just a phase they all go through.”
Mark Rosenblum is a native of New York but now lives in Southern California. He has been published in Mindprints, Tiferet, Thirteen Magazine, Boston Literary Magazine, Pen Pricks Micro Fiction and has work upcoming in AlienSkin Magazine. He was also awarded Honorable Mention in the 2006 Mindprints Flash Fiction Contest.