Chapter one


5-year-old Emily Bennett bounced outside into the seven o'clock a.m. sunshine. The brisk smell of leftover rain filled the air. She smiled. Her fatheralways read the newspaper in the morning and she was his special helper when getting the paper from the front steps. Humming, she picked up the paper and energetically skipped back inside. Oh, how she loved her life! She lived in London, the capital of England. Her father and mother were dears. Perfect parents, to dear little Emily. 'Mum and Dad will be happy to have the news today,' she thought joyfully. 'It looks like there are a lot of headlines.' As she stepped into the kitchen the aroma of tea and eggs tickled her nose. She saw her mother, with her gorgeous light brown hair, standing at the stove.

Mrs. Bennett looked up. "Oh, there you are, darling," she welcomed Emily, stretching her arms out. Emily was seized in a warm hug and kiss.

"Good morning, Mum," Emily greeted her mother. "Where is Dad?"

At that moment her father came in, singing, "Hot cross buns, hot cross buns." Emily and her mother started to sway to the music. Her father had quite a nice voice indeed. "One a penny, two a penny, hot cross bu—well, what do we have here?" he asked in mid sentence of the song. He pretended to be shocked. "Elizabeth," he questioned, turning towards his wife. He pointed to Emily. "Who is that pretty little girl standing by the door?" He strode toward Emily. "It couldn't be a princess, could it?"

Emily laughed. She ran up to him with a hug with so much force he almost toppled over. "Silly Dad!" she exclaimed, her voice muffled under his arms. "I'm not a princess! It's me! Your Emily!"

Her father smiled. "So it is, you've just grown so much taller and prettier, I hardly recognized you!" Emily remembered something, and held the newspaper out, ready for him to take it out of her hands. He patted her head. "And still my special helper with the morning paper, I see." He sat down on a soft chair. Emily scrambled on to his knee.

"Oh, Nigel," her mother laughed. She gave him a kiss, and then filled his teacup. Nigel shifted comfortably in his seat and took a sip of warm tea, while Emily nestled her little head on to his shoulder. "So, Nigel, how are things going at work?" her mother asked.

"Very well, thank you. Elizabeth, I've needed to ask you something…" Emily let her parents go on while she lost herself in her thoughts. She admired her parents when sitting on her dad's lap. Her father, Nigel Bennett, was a handsome man. He had broad shoulders and was very tall. Dark hair, he had, but the most brilliant blue eyes. Emily loved him very much, for she was "his Emily." Her mother, Elizabeth Bennett, was a very petite woman. She had dark curly hair, which was cut short, and gorgeous brown eyes. Emily was her "darling." Though no one told her, Emily knew she was a disappointment. She didn't have lovely brown hair at all. She had copper-colored hair that reached her chin. Instead of brilliant blue or gorgeous brown eyes she had pale blues ones, almost periwinkle. Suddenly, Emily noticed a teacup under her nose.

"Tea, darling?" Mrs. Bennett asked.

Emily took it politely. "Yes, Mum. Thank you."

Her father squeezed her. "That's 'My Emily.' Let's see, what's in the paper this morning?" He smiled and flipped open the paper. His smile turned into a frown, his face clouded like thunderstorms. "Elizabeth." He stood up, Emily slid of his lap. "I need to talk to you in the other room," he commanded gravely. Mrs. Bennett didn't hesitate; she nearly flew to the next room. Mr. Bennett started to make his way out too, but stopped when he felt a gentle tug on his sleeve.

"Oh, Dad," Emily whispered, her blue eyes enormous. "What's happening? What' wrong?"

Nigel looked down at his child, his dear, sweet Emily. He leaned down on one knee and gave her a hug. It felt like he never wanted to let go. When he did he said, "Nothing, dear. Stay here." He rose and left the room.

Emily stared after him. She wanted to follow but didn't dare disobey.

No; she had to.

Something was wrong. She plucked her stuffed dog, King, into her arms. As quiet as a mouse she crept toward her father's study, where her parents where talking and leaned an ear against the door. At first she didn't understand; that made her squeeze King tighter. But finally she did! Emily gasped. She dropped King. She had understood it. Something had happened and something was wrong…

World War II had begun.