Looking up into the face of Robot Valerie, Astrid screamed again. She looked around, but for a moment couldn’t remember where she was.
“Are you all right, Astrid?” asked Regular Valerie, looking down at her from above.
“I told you we couldn’t all three fit in the bed,” said another voice, and Astrid saw Denise looking over the edge of the mattress.
“Denise? You’re not in prison?”
“Valerie, you’d better go get one of my dads. I think Astrid hit her head and knocked a screw loose.”
Regular Valerie hopped off the bed and hurried out of the room.
It was coming back to her now. She was at the Brown family home for a sleepover, but she still flinched when Robot Valerie reached toward her.
“I just wanted to check your head for a bump,” said the mechanical girl in a hurt voice.
Her flesh and blood sister returned, followed by Denise’s brother Dennis and both her dads.
“Dennis,” said Astrid. “Thank goodness you’re alive.”
“Are you all right?” asked Dennis Brown Sr. “Do you need a doctor?”
“No,” Astrid replied. “No, I just had a bad dream.”
“And Valerie pushed her out of the bed,” added Denise. “Me too. I’m fine by the way.”
“That must have been some dream,” said Mr. Brown.
“It was. It seemed so real. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream that seemed as real as this one.”
“Well, what happened?” asked Dennis. “Obviously I was in prison, so that sucks, but what else?”
“I traveled in a time machine twenty-five years into the future into a dystopian world ruled by… ruled by an evil military dictator, with robot storm troopers.”
“Oh my,” said Robot Valerie.
“It’s your own fault,” said Denise, and when Astrid looked questioningly at her, she said, “You’re the one who wanted to watch The Hunger Games last night.”