Seventeen-year-old Matthew Richardson has a recurring dream about an anonymous house.
Once the dreams give him information enough to search out the building, the teen goes off to investigate and finds more than he could ever have expected.
The kid made his way through the suburbs, composed of well-kept family homes, searching for the one he'd seen in his dreams.
He'd no idea why he should've had an insistent, recurring, dream about the self-same house, one he'd never seen before. Worse, he'd begun to feel scared at the way his mind delivered an identical image every night.
He'd debated on confiding in his mom, but she'd just have shrugged him off, classifying it as some adolescent wet-dream or some such, but Matt wasn't in the least convinced.
It seemed as if the house was calling to him, waiting.
But only with the static image, there was no way Matt could ever identify the area. Maybe, as what his mom would've said, it was nothing more than a singular dream of no importance.
That all changed a couple of nights later when the image in his dream zoomed in on the front door and an address became visible.
Matt had woken, a sheen of sweat sticky on his body. It was as if the frigging dream was teasing him, adding a useless second piece to the puzzle. The address was far too generic without the addition of a town.
But not too many nights later, the puzzle completed itself with the appearance of a car in the driveway, a banner with the name of a city stuck on the rear window - Springfield, Missouri.
For Matt, that had clinched the matter.
A couple of days later, instead of heading for school, he'd packed his back-pack with a couple of bottles of water and some snack food, pocketed his meagre savings and bought a bus ticket for Dallas, on the first leg of his journey to Missouri.
He left a note for his parents, telling them not to worry.
This was something he needed to do and he'd call them in a day or so.
So here he was, after an exhausting bus journey, finally standing in front of the house he'd seen so often in his mind.
He was having second thoughts for the umpteenth time, wondering if he'd done the right thing running off to follow the diktat of some weird dream - not to mention what he'd have to face from his mom and dad when he went back.
Well, he was here now and the sooner he worked out the mystery, if there was any, the sooner he'd get home.
His curiosity egged him on, and he made his way up the path to the front door.
The car he'd seen in his dream was parked in front of the garage door - a dated Ford of some kind. Matt wasn't particularly into cars, so he couldn't be more precise on the model.
At seventeen he was concentrated on getting good grades for entry into a decent college, though he hadn't decided what kind of career he was aiming for yet.
Hovering at the front door, he looked around. The place seemed to be a perfectly normal family home, well-kept and cheerful with colourful flower-beds and nicely-trimmed lawns.
'Well, here goes nothing,' Matt murmured to himself, pressing the doorbell.
He heard the tread of footsteps as someone approached from the other side of the door. Matt took a step back when a young guy opened it
'Uh...' Matt babbled, not knowing what to say. It wasn't as if he could tell him he was here because he'd dreamt of the house.
'You a friend of Dale's?'
'Uh...Yeah.' Matt replied, nodding his head energetically.
'Well, he's not here right now. Shouldn't be long till he gets back though. Want to come in and wait?'
'No, it's fine. I'll hang out here until he gets back. Study up on my maths.' He pointed awkwardly to the wooden bench on the sidewalk.
With a nod, the door was closed in his face and Matt made his way thoughtfully down towards the seat, collapsing onto it, more confused than ever. Why on earth was he dreaming about this frigging house?
But it wouldn't be long until his question had an answer in the form of a tall kid strolling along the sidewalk towards him.
As if a radar has begun to beep in his head, Matt studied the approaching figure. This is why you're here his mind told him. You're here for him.
Getting to his feet, Matt wiped his sweaty hands on his jeans, before taking a step forward.
'Erm... You must be Dale.'
'That's right. Who's asking?'
Once again Matt found himself at a loss as far as an explanation was concerned, so he just came out with the truth.
'I'm Matthew Richardson, Matt to my friends, and I'm here because I dreamt about you.'
Dale raised an eyebrow. 'Sorry, kid. I don't swing that way, and definitely not with skinny little dudes like you!'
Matt's cheeks suffused with pink. 'No. That's not what I meant. It wasn't you I dreamt about. It was the house.'
'You gotta have better things to dream about than a house, dude. I'm talking about girls!' Dale gave an amused smile.
With an exasperated huff, Matt sighed. 'I'm making a real mess of this. Can we go for a soda or something and I'll try to explain.'
Dale was asking himself why he was even considering the idea of wasting time with a boy he'd never seen before in his life, yet he was intrigued. Moreover, the kid looked tuckered out.
'Fair enough. I can give you ten minutes of my time, then you go your way and I mine.'
Both ensconced at the table of a nearby diner, Matt launched into his tale, describing his dreams and their conclusion with Dale's address.
'After nights of the same stuff, I had to see if there really was a house at this address and if it was the one in my dreams. When I knocked at the door, a young guy answered but I didn't have a zen moment or anything.'
'That was my big brother Ben,' Dale broke in.
'Anyhow,' Matt continued, 'he assumed I was a friend of "Dale's" and said you'd be back soon. So, I waited.'
'This has to be the weirdest story I've ever heard,' Dale huffed. His eyes grew narrow. 'You sure you're not pranking me? The kid brother of some ex-girlfriend who's got it in for me.'
Matt shook his head vigorously, his bangs bobbing from side to side.
'No. I'm from Kermit, Texas. I took a series of buses to get here. Check my ticket stubs. Not to mention my mom and dad will skin me alive for going off like this.'
Dale glanced over in alarm. 'You ran off to come here?'
'I left a note saying not to worry, and I'd call... eventually.'
'Well, it might be a good idea to do that right now, dude. You don't want them to go out of their heads with worry.'
'I suppose,' Matt agreed. Now though, he was absolutely sure the reason for his being here was Dale. Yet knowing it didn't answer the question of why.
'Tell me something about yourself,' the younger boy asked.
Dale lounged back in his seat. 'What's there to tell? Names Dale, as you already know. I'm nineteen, got a big brother -Ben. There's mom and her partner Dave. How about you kid?'
'I'm an only child. Mom's a veterinarian and dad runs a taxi service. That's it. I'm not very interesting.'
'Listen, kiddo. This is what we're gonna do. You come up to the house, call your parents, have dinner with us tonight and tomorrow morning I'll see you on the bus back home. That sound okay?'
Matt nodded. Maybe something else would come to him once inside the house. Otherwise he'd be on his way home tomorrow to face his parents, without having a tube to show for his long journey to Springfield.
When Lisa Braeden returned from work that night, she almost fainted at the sight of the kid sitting on her sofa next to Dale and Ben.
He was the spittting image of Sam Winchester.