The boy stood quickly, entranced by the light that flooded out the open door of Mother’s forbidden room. It was the first time he’d ever seen the door unlocked, not once had he been inside. Sunlight poured through the gap and into the nursery, promising a wonderful world of treasure inside.
‘I’m going in.’ he said to his younger sister, and didn’t stop to hear her response.
The room was not the haven he expected. There was no furniture; the cream plaster walls were bare. Light brown shag carpet sent clouds of dust through the sunlit room as he scuffed his feet across the floor to the only thing of interest in the room: a plain, innocent cupboard door. Aching for treasure, he pulled it open and stared inside.
A glowing light shone from a distance much further back than the cupboard could ever be deep. Growing larger, it came forward, reached inside the boy and drew his soul roughly from his unwilling body. Coldness filled him; his eyes stopped shining. Numbly he moved away from the cupboard to the nursery. His sister, still playing with her blocks, turned to him with curiosity.
‘Did you see?’ she asked eagerly, her own eyes glittering with life.
‘Yes.’ said the soulless boy. ‘It’s where mother keeps the Christmas presents.’
Slowly he descended the stairs as his sister too toddled towards the open room, to the innocent cupboard, her eyes wide with wonder as she opened the door.