‘The Squashbuckler Diaries’ are the daily tales of Joy Shelley’s Life in the Dream. The ‘Lost in Dreams’ books will tell the story of what happens to her at ages 6, 9, 12, 15, and so on. The diaries tell us what happens before, after, and between the books.

#132: The Car

“I don’t understand why we came here.” 

Instead of going on adventure, Dragon Father had taken Dragon Little to a place called a ‘used car dealership’. 

Dragon Father was already talking to a human salesman when Dragon Little, only four and a half years old, pulled on his sleeve. 

“We’re here to buy a car,” Dragon Father said. 

“But… why?” She pulled on his sleeve again. “We have a ship!” She pointed to Bonny’s Revenge floating above the dealership, its anchor tethered to the rock behind the building. 

“Joy, every family needs a car.” 

“But whhyyyyyyyyy?”

“Joy, I’m busy. Let me talk to the man.”

“But, daaaad! Cars can’t fly!”

“Joy! Enough! Go over there and play something! I’ll call you when I’m done.” He turned around and told the salesman, “Sorry about that. You were saying about this model?”

Dragon Little, meanwhile, walked away from them looking at the various ships. 

The salesman showed Dragon Father two different cars and compared them, using the phrase “This is a car every family needs” on both of them. 

“I think I’ll take this one,” Dragon Father pointed to the second car he was shown, when a sound behind him made him look.

One of the cars turned on as if by itself. 

The salesman took a step forward, “What’s going on? Did you see anyone?”

The car suddenly drove itself backwards, bumping into two other cars. 

“What the--!” Dragon Father looked around. He was perhaps beginning to understand what was happening. 

He had not seen it, but I had: Dragon Little had snuck into the office, stolen a few keys, and tried them on the cars until one opened. She now sat in one, her head not as high as the windows, and apparently played with its controls. 

The car suddenly shifted and lurched forward, then sped forward and off the lot. 

“Hole shmoley!” Dragon Father shouted. “Joy!  You get back here with that car!”

That ist how Dragon Little stole her first car under her father’s nose. Tomorrow I will tell you what happened next.

—Told by The Red Dragon

#133: The Car, Part 2: Driving Blind

#131: Eternoon