Emily and Elixa are six years old, and are like sisters.
But there's a problem.
Elixa is Emily's soul. Only Emily can see her.
"Come on, Emily, don't mess about," Julia Greene pushed her daughter into the house. It had been a busy day and Julia still had to make dinner. Her husband, David, was still at work and wouldn't be home for another hour. Emily normally has one or two friends round to play with, but at six years old, this couldn't happen every day. So now, Julia had the job of cooking, cleaning and looking after Emily.
"Mummy, I need you to help me with my homework," Emily told Julia, beginning to get her spelling homework out of her book bag and showing the sheet to her mum.
"Oh, Emily. I haven't got time. Can't you wait 'til your dad gets home?" Julia sighed.
"But Daddy never helps me!" Emily moaned at her. "I want you to do it!"
Julia started to fill a pan with cold water. "No, Emily. Try it yourself for a bit."
Emily frowned and looked at the words on the paper. Some of them were easy, like 'the' or 'it'. Others were harder, like 'bowl' or 'think'. Then there was the word that all the children in year one were given to learn how to spell properly: because. Along with the word, came a little saying to remember it. Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants. Emily liked this little phrase a lot. So much, that she had even drawn a few pictures about it, which were now stuck to her bedroom wall.
Emily started to fill in the 'copy' column in her big, messy handwriting. It took her five minutes and a lot of rubbing out to complete, but she did eventually manage it. Next was the '1st try' column. For this one, she had to fold the paper over the words she had already written, and try to remember how to spell the word without looking. However, she had to look at the word to know what the word was, but that would be cheating.
"I need your help, Mummy," Emily asked of her mother again. At the look Julia gave to her, she pleaded, "Just for a little bit."
"Give me the list of words," Julia said, slightly annoyed as she tipped spaghetti into the pan of boiling water. "Right," she told her daughter when the sheet of paper was handed to her, "The first one's 'it'," Julia put the paper next to the cooker and went to the fridge to get mincemeat.
"Done it," Emily told her after a few seconds.
"Alright," Julia leant over to see the sheet. "The next one's 'wall',"
This continued for another minute, until Emily came to the column marked '2nd try'.
"No, I can't, Emily. I have to make dinner. Please, just wait 'til your dad gets home."
"Emily. Do as you're told. Go and put your book bag in your room"
"Emily!" Julia exclaimed. "Just do as I tell you. Go upstairs and put your book bag away now."
"Fine," Emily groaned and walked upstairs to her bedroom. Emily's bedroom was quite small, with just enough room for a bed and a chest of drawers. It was a cosy room, with a navy blue carpet and pink walls. The window, framed by white, frilly curtains, showed a view of the garden. Sellotaped messily to the wall above her bed were pictures Emily had drawn and of which she was particularly proud.
Emily threw he book bag carelessly on to the floor and ran back downstairs. She sat back down on the chair she had been sitting on not two minutes ago and took a sweet from the packet of Haribos on the table.
"What are we having for dinner?" she asked after a while of watching her mum cook.
"Spaghetti," Julia answered, stirring bolognaise around in the pan.
"I like spaghetti," Emily said. "When will it be done?"
"When I've finished cooking it."
"When will you finish cooking it?"
"When it's cooked."
Emily sighed dramatically. "I'm bored,"
"Well then, Emily, go and play outside," Julia smiled at her daughter.
"OK!" Emily grinned. "Call me when we can eat dinner!" and she ran into the garden.