I should have known something was wrong straight away. The wardrobe door was open.
Let’s face it, wardrobes have got form when it comes to being gateways to weird, magical worlds, haven’t they? Or for concealing monsters in amongst the coat hangers. Or for having the kind of creaky hinges that ghosts seem to like so much. They are just big, wooden boxes stuffed with DANGER (and the occasional crumpled school shirt, odd sock, some comics and a half-eaten packet of biscuits). And anyway, I never leave the wardrobe door open. Not because I’m tidy or anything – I’m the messiest person in my family – but because my room is so small that if I leave the door open, I’ll keep bumping into it. But, all the same, there it was. Open. Just a tiny bit. But enough to be deliberate – someone had left it open. And inside, only darkness. An unnatural darkness.
I don’t know why I felt nervous. It’s not like I’ve never looked inside my wardrobe before. But something was making the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The room had an atmosphere, like it was holding its breath, waiting for something to happen. It was too quiet. I reached for the handle and slowly, slowly pulled the door towards me…