“Daddy, read me a story.”
“How about I tell you one?”
“But where’s the book?” Holly scrunched her freckled nose.
“I’m going to use my imagination instead.” Daddy tucked his daughter under the covers and tousled her blonde curls. “Once upon a time there lived a little girl named Princess Holly.”
“Hey, that’s my name,” Holly yawned.
Daddy smiled. “She was the most beautiful princess in all the land. One day, her father the King decided to bestow a gift upon her of epic proportions.”
“A pony?” Holly fluffed her pillow as her eyelids grew heavy.
“Even better,” Daddy exclaimed. “The King had his men lead a pink unicorn into the castle. Princess Holly fell in love immediately.”
“What did she name him?”
“Princess Holly thought her new unicorn had the prettiest deep green eyes ever. She decided to name him Emerald. Emerald and Princess Holly galloped up the highest mountains and down into the deepest valleys. They outran the King’s armies and their swiftest horses. Life was grand for the companions.”
“It sounds fun, Daddy.” Holly stretched her thin little arms and hugged her teddy bear to her chest.
“But one fine afternoon Princess Holly realized she missed her father the King. She asked Emerald to return to the castle.”
Daddy noticed his daughter’s eyes were closing.
“Emerald swiftly took his friend home. He would do anything to make the Princess happy.”
“Uh huh,” the little girl mumbled, not feeling her father’s kiss on her warm forehead.
“And we all lived happily ever after.” He gently shut the door. “Yes, so happily ever after.”