Ty knew he was having a nightmare, but he couldn’t wake up. This felt different from a
regular dream. It felt too real. The details were too sharp. The sounds were too authentic.
He was standing outside a house, at night. Snow crunched under his feet and an icy blast of
wind sent a shiver down his back. He stared at the house in front of him. It was dark out, but a
lamp post from the corner gave enough light for him to see. The house was white. The grass,
brown from winter dormancy, was covered in a dusting of snow. It looked normal enough but
felt sinister. He didn’t want to be there. He certainly did not want to have this kind of dream
again, but he couldn’t manage to wake up.
He stamped his numb feet and released a breath that instantly turned into fog before him.
Resigned, he decided he’d better pay attention. That’s how it was with this kind of dream; you
could decide things. He knew he was supposed to gather information here. So he began.
The house was small, the neighborhood fairly run down. He didn’t recognize the street or
the house. His eyes were drawn to the small window on the left side of the house. A bathroom
window? Why did he feel drawn to it? Was there something he was supposed to do? He stood
and tried to figure out why he‘d been brought here. That’s how he thought of it: brought here.
I guess I should go in. Then he noticed a low fence by his knees, a white picket fence,
around the yard. A white picket fence? Maybe this is just a dream. He smiled at the thought. Why was he joking with himself in a dream? This was serious; he needed to concentrate.
He pushed open the low gate and walked slowly up the cracked cement path that divided
the yard in two. With each step, his dread increased. His heart became a hammer in his chest.
He paused in front of the covered porch and stared at the peeling white paint on the front
door. Should he go in?
A scream pierced the air. Ty’s heart squeezed painfully against his ribcage and his breath
caught in his throat.
He sat bolt upright in bed.
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