The Prologue is the Beginning
Bare feet pattered down the wood-floored hallway, finally reaching the comforting soft rug at too fast of a sprint. Little feet flew up and in front of the head of red curly hair as a small whimper penetrated the silence.
"Evy?" A deeper voice asked. Wiping nose and getting to her feet, the little girl made a beeline for her collection of stuffed animals. Arranging each one in tiny rows, she spoke to them as her furry, inanimate confidants.
"Sleepy time. We go to sleep now," she tucked them in with one another, folding a blanket gently around them. She picked up a floppy eared hound.
"I don't wanna go to bed!" she voiced the dog's whine. Shaking her head she gingerly set the stuffed pup down.
"No, Kibby, you haft to sleep now," she told it matter-of-factly. "Just like everybody else."
"Evy, honey. It's bedtime, not play time." A handsome, tall, blonde man entered the room. He scooped the giggling redhead in his arms. Spinning her around, the man gently tossed her in the air, quickly catching her in his arms and holding steadfastly to his chest as she laughed heartily. Her little fingers gripped his shoulder as he leaned down making room for her on her fluffy bed.
"Daddy!" she squealed. "I put Kibby to bed, but he was diffy-cult."
"Well is Kibby tucked in?"
"Yes, but he doesn't like it," she explained, as he pulled back the covers of her purple comforter.
"I'm sure he'll fall sleep soon enough," the man smiled. "Have you said your prayers?" The little girl's eyes widen as she jumped out of the cocoon of blankets to the ground and began whispering her nightly prayers. Eventually the man realized that the little girl was drawing out her prayers to include every single stuffed animal in the room. He gently placed his hand on her shoulder and she looked up with a sheepish grin.
"Amen," she finished quickly, climbing into her bed. Her father plugged in her favorite owl night light and readjusted her comforter again so that she was comfortably nestled in the soft down blankets.
"Daddy?" she asked. "Can we have a story tonight?" He sighed, but pulled a chair up to the edge of her bed and took a seat.
"I think we can do a story tonight," he reached for a book, when the little girl stopped him.
"No, daddy. I want a 'real' story," she explained.
"A 'real' story?"
"Yeah, I want a story that really happened." She punctuated the word with a grand gesture. The man leaned back and pondered for a moment.
"You want a 'real story?'" he asked and she replied with a nod. "All right...Once upon a time..."