Ms. R. stormed into my life in 2005, rearranging the furniture in my brain. So I wrote this letter for her not knowing what she would think. And I let her see it before publishing it. She said it was sweet and the nicest thing anyone wrote for her—poor girl.

for Rachel H.

I know a woman who dreams and whose dreams feed upon the Earth—dark dreams where the living dead seize this Earth one agonizing victim at a time. With one bite, the heart pumps infected hemoglobin down dark arterial paths that twist and branch and broaden from species to genus and from genus to phylum where they terminate in the Kingdom of the Dead.

But until now, zombies have always failed to seize me…

For my dreams are not earthly dreams, they are dreams forged in the arid and attenuated atmosphere of Mars, tempered in the Olympos Mons—a place where old minds give birth to old patterns of alien logic; a place where strange thoughts rise from red dust and move with the deliberate grace of the Martian war machine; a place where fear and terror and the death ray stalk the dead of night.

But it is our great misfortune the robots and not our monsters have inherited our Earth.

Robots everywhere spin their webs from their positronic brains. Robots want a moment of your time. Robots want you to join their cause because there is safety in their numbers. And robots smile their mechanical smiles.

Do some robots find some solace in their programming?

Perhaps, but salvation comes only in dreams of monsters (not robots).

Has she worked herself into the wrinkles of my brain? Has she seized the beating of my heart? Does she haunt me through my days and nights?

The mere thought of her rushes on me with the ferocity of a zombie horde and the unbearable heat of a death ray.


©2005 Kent Gutschke. All rights reserved.