With the greatest of care, I opened the Book of Dresh, a book that had been handed down through the generations with the highest regard for secrecy and protection. It was an ancient book, with ancient stories and even more ancient secrets.
My daughter was sitting with her legs crossed on the couch, looking at me expectantly, her breaths shallow little gasps as she saw the intricate detail in the hand-drawn artwork, the feathery-light pages and beautiful, bold script.
"Daddy, that has to be the most beautiful book in the world, I bet it must be magical."
I offered her a weak smile by way of reply, sat down next to her on the fairy blanket that lay draped across the couch, "You know, sweetness, that are you right - this is a magical book. Not only do you read this book and follow the story with the amazing pictures, if you believe in the story - truly believe - then you will be transported to all the magical places in this book. There are sights, sounds and smells that I will never forget in here. Friends I have made from other places and times that still exist to this day. But remember darling, for that to happen, you have to believe."
My daughter's eyes blazed like the fire in the hearth. "You know Daddy, I do believe - I believe in many things; you, fairies, elves, witches, goblins and all sorts of things. Can we start now Daddy, can we?"
"Of course we can, darling...which story shall we read first? Let's start at the beginning, that is always the best place to start." My daughter placed her head against my arm and waited for me to begin.
As I began reading, I could feel the pull of the wonderous, the attraction of the beautiful and the magnetism of the otherworldly. I could see the faint light in the distance, heralding our arrival in Dresh, the land of dreams. But once the swirling mists had cleared, I discovered I was alone, that the land was pure white and plain, and that the portal that had brought me here - which was available until I was ready to return - had disappeared.
"I thought you believed," I cried in despair, and I could almost hear the sound of the book closing for the final time.