Tom and Molly lived in a little white house in the Kingdom of Troth.* No place could be more wonderful, for it was ruled by the greatest King ever! Nothing was impossible for Him.
Who but their King was wise and powerful enough to make great mountains, trees full of cherries, and funny little kittens? Who else could feed all the animals in the forest? Who else had the power to send rain to water the grass and sunshine to make flowers bloom? Tom and Molly didn't know of anyone.
Only their King--and none other--could have created people. People were special to the King. He wanted them to be his very own friends. And if they would only stay close to him, he would always keep them safe. That's what the King himself said, so it had to be true. Tom and Molly were glad the King took care of them, but since they didn't see any dangers, they didn't think much about it. They just had fun climbing trees in the King's garden, racing down his natural waterslides and splashing around in the royal lake. The Kingdom of Troth was full of fun things to do.
In school, they learned about a time when there were wars and fighting in Troth. But nobody that Tom and Molly knew--not even their parents or grandparents--had lived that long ago. They had all heard that in those bad years, people were afraid all the time. Now that everything was peaceful, people didn't worry about war. They couldn't see any enemies. Some had even forgotten how the King had saved his people long ago.
The King didn't want people to forget. So he invited them for breakfast each morning in the palace garden. There He read to them from his wonderful Book of Truth. Of course, almost everyone in the royal city came.
After the special reading, everyone would sit down at the lovely tables in the King's garden and eat the scrumptious food his servants had prepared. Some, like Tom and his friends, liked to sit on the palace steps or lie down in the soft grass. Molly's favorite breakfast was a big waffle shaped like a face with whipped cream hair, blueberry eyes and a red raspberry mouth.
When Tom and Molly looked beyond the royal forest, they could see a range of mountains. On the other side lay a mysterious land--a dark and dismal place, where thick clouds hung like a leaky ceiling above the ground and made everything damp and dull, even in the middle of summer. People called it Lucidia, as if it was a bright and happy place. They should have called it The Land of Gloom.
An evil Baron ruled that horrible land. All the children of Troth knew that he had attacked the King and started a war long ago, but the King had defeated him. Now the mean Baron could only hurt his own people--and he did that all the time. The poor people of Lucidia couldn't trust anyone, because everyone there lied, stole and cheated--and the Baron was the worst of all. Tom and Molly were glad the Baron stayed far away from the Kingdom of Troth.
One thing about Lucidia had been kept a secret. The two children had no idea how much the evil Baron hated their King. People just didn't talk about that. But it was true. Day and night the Baron schemed how he might cheat the King, steal his land and capture the people again. Of course, the Baron didn't dare declare war and fight openly. He knew that the King was far too powerful for him. And the King's people were much stronger than his own weak, fearful subjects. No, this time the Baron had to win by trickery. But how?
One night the evil Baron lay awake in his bed plotting the King's defeat as usual. Suddenly his mouth twisted into a sly grin. He had thought of a devious plan.
"Wake up, everybody!" he yelled. "Come right now, or you'll be dead! I want you to hear my plan to conquer the Kingdom!"
One by one, his servants crept into the dark chamber of the castle. Shaking with fear, they bowed down before their terrible tyrant.
"My plan is foolproof," shouted the Baron. "I know how we can conquer Troth and turn the people into slaves. Listen..."
Shivering in the cold, the servants and soldiers waited.
"We'll dress like his people," continued the Baron. "We'll infiltrate his Kingdom! We'll sneak into their towns and learn their language."
"It won't work," shouted one of his generals. "They know the King's mysteries. They can tell the difference."
"Many can't," argued a young spy. "Some children no longer listen to the King. They don't know what is written in the Book of Truth. They're easy to fool."
"It's true!" yelled the Baron. "This is a new age--and it's ours! We'll distract them, deceive them and destroy them!" His eyes sparkled with sinister glee. "They will never guess what happened until we've taken control from the inside. This will be our Invisible War!"
His cruel laughter echoed through the halls of the gloomy castle.
* TROTH means a promise to stay together. When we love and follow our King, He will care for us and keep us close to Him forever.
Next: Chapter 1
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