“So, you just thought you’d go have a look?”
“It was in the story,” Peter tried to explain.
“Yeah, I know,” Tracy said, putting a weary hand to her brow. “I read it to you.”
“Yes,” the small boy said.
“So you opened the door and it was there. At the back of the wardrobe.”
“Yes, but not a world. Just a room.”
“Okay, lets go see.”
Tracy got up from the seat she had just sat down on and looked longingly at her tea. It would go cold, again. Then a small hand held onto hers and she couldn’t help but grin. The little monster was worth it though.
Going up the stairs they turned, not into Peter’s room but into the spare room. Oh, now that is coincidence. The spare room, in the wardrobe… C.S Lewis had a lot to answer for…
“There,” Peter said pointing at the huge wardrobe.
Tracy felt a small spike of cold slip up her spine. She hadn’t really liked the wardrobe but when they had moved in it had been there. The woman had met them on drive the day they had arrived.
“The wardrobe in the spare room, I’m afraid that we couldn’t shift it. It was just too heavy, so I guess it is yours.”
And that was it. They had inherited a wardrobe. The one that Peter had found a door in. A door to another room. Except the wardrobe was on external wall. There should be nothing but a wall the behind the wardrobe. Peter had already opened the main door to the wardrobe and was pointing. Tracy crouched beside him and peered into the gloom. She could just see another smaller door.
“That’s the door?” she asked Peter.
He nodded and turned the handle. Light blinded Tracy for a moment before she could see into the room. Then she saw that Peter wasn’t beside her but stood inside a circular space. A space that ought not to have existed.
“Peter, come back here,” Tracy said.
He shook his head and carried on walking away. The room was a pale blue and seemed to hold a chair and a jumper. It was a pink and had apple buttons. In fact it was exactly the same as the one she was wearing.
“Peter! Come here!” she said sharply.
Peter laughed and moved to the back wall.
That was when the door started to close. Tracy didn’t even think she just lunged forward, tumbling out onto the rooms floor. The carpet was thick and soft, and so dark she felt that it was made from night. Behind her she heard the door click shut.
“Peter?” she called but there was no one there. The chair was empty and the jumper gone. But there on the wall was a drawing, a little boy smiling and waving. It looked identical to Peter.
* * * * *
Peter stood next to the bed. He was scared. Dad said that Tracy was just asleep and she would wake up. But he had tried to yell and scream, nothing had happened. Instead, she just lay there. So pale and still.
“Is she dead?” he asked.
“No,” Dad said. “She is just sleeping.”
A nurse looked up and smiled at Peter. He smiled back, she seemed nice. “Why don’t you think of a good place she could go while she gets better?”
Peter thought. “It’s a room,” he said. “A round room.”
The nurse smiled indulgently and Dad patted him on the head.
“You get to it by going through a wardrobe….”