Housed Elsewhere

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly blog link-up based on a photo prompt. The Challenge – write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle, and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.) The Key – make every word count. Up to the challenge? Join in



“Before you ask,” our guide said, “this isn’t the real wardrobe. And neither is the writing desk.”

“Excuse me,” said a woman, “is there a bathroom?”

“There’s a water closet behind you. But, as I was saying, the desk and Lewis family wardrobe were purchased at auction ten years after his death and are in a collection in Illinois. Now, proceed down the hall to the kitchen.”

“It’s not the real wardrobe?” Joy whispered.

“Apparently not,” Jack answered.

“But that was the whole point in coming here,” she sighed.

We can still explore the ‘wood between the worlds,’” he said.


100 words. Realistic fiction. The wardrobe at The Kilns, CS Lewis’ home in Oxford, England is not the same wardrobe CS Lewis and his brother Warnie used for imagination as youth and inspiration as adults. The real wardrobe is in Illinois, at Wheaton College in the Wade Center Museum. I found that out while on a tour of the home.

Feedback is always appreciated. Comments of any kind, really–so long as they are related to the post.

What story comes to mind when you see that picture? Join in

P.S. I just adore The Bitter Southerner. Every Tuesday is Bitter Tuesday, and a new story is published about life and living in the South showcasing a Southern artist–writer, photographer, videographer. And they’re establishing a proper business, asking folks from all over to #yallcome, give, and join them in their new venture–public radio style (or television, public TV too). Last day is August 17.


*Featured and Post Image Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

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24 thoughts on “Housed Elsewhere

    • I was wondering if anyone was going to notice the names. 🙂 Yay!
      I have seen Shadowlands, but it’s been about ten years. Perhaps it’s time I dust it off and watch it again.


    • Shadowlands is a sweet story, and a bit sad. It’s the story of CS Lewis (known as Jack to his friends) and his love affair with American poet Joy Davidman Gresham.


    • lol! Yes! The bathroom was real (though I think the toilet had been updated in the 40 years between when Lewis died and when I needed it).


  1. Nice story – I enjoyed the sense of listening in on the children’s secret conversation as they trailed behind Mum and Dad, and the piece of real history you slid in there too.
    If I could offer a critique, it would be in the speech attributions for the two children – you’ve varied the verbs which seems to me to draw attention to them, but it’s still 4 quotes each with an attribution afterwards. I wonder if you could make it flow better by removing one or two, or switching it up so that one or two of the attributions are indirect (“Jack grabbed his sister’s arm” for example, instead of “Jack whispered”.) Does hat make sense? Anyway, a small thing and not to detract from my applause of the story as a whole.


    • It does make sense. I didn’t need the attribute after every sentence. I did waste four words with that, four words I could have used elsewhere for some action. I didn’t even look there when I was editing. Thank you!


  2. Such a creative piece. Really well done, Melanie. It’s not quite the same when it’s not the real thing! I imagine you’d feel a bit let down.


    • Thank you Susan.
      It was a great experience to be in his home and to see the world around Oxford that inspired him, and Tolkien too. Gathering at the Eagle & Child pub where Lewis and friends often met was another great experience.


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