‘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.

#4: Where's Joy?

“Ha ha!”

Dragon Father (My name for Justin Shelley) likes to shout “A-ha!” when he sword fights with pirates. It ist one of the things he likes the most, I believe.

On this day, when Dragon Little (Joy, my sweet human pirate) was three years old, Dragon Father and Dragon Little were battling pirates, led by Captain Bad-Ass, a peg-legged pirate.

When Dragon Father saw Captain Bad-Ass’ ship approach, he thrust Dragon Little on his back, and his favorite sword appeared in his hand.

Dragon Little laughed.

“What?” Dragon Father exclaimed. “I hear Joy laughing, but I can’t see her!”

Dragon Little laughed some more.

The pirates boarded, and Dragon Father fought them flawlessly, a sword in each hand.

“Have you seen Joy?” he asked the pirate he was fighting?

“Huh?” The pirate said, looking at the child on Dragon Father’s back.  

Dragon Father kicked the pirate off Bonny’s Revenge and into the ocean water. He then spun around, “Is she behind me?”

Another pirate was behind him. Dragon Father was immediately engaging with his swords. “Nope. She’s not here. Have you seen her?”

Dragon Little laughed again.

“I hear her laughing. Do you know where she is?”

This pirate was confused as well, and Dragon Father used the opportunity to stab him with his sword. The pirate disappeared.

“Come come, pirate,” Captain Bad-Ass walked towards Dragon Father slowly on his wooden leg, sword in hand. “This is not becoming of you.”

Dragon Father turned to the Captain. “Have you seen Joy? I can’t see her anywhere?”

Dragon Little laughed and Captain Bad-Ass sighed.

“I mean it, Captain Bad-Ass. I haven’t seen Joy anywhere all day. Have you kidnapped her?”

Captain Bad-Ass sighed again, but could not resist. “She is there, right there on your back.”

“On my back?!” Dragon father spun around. But of course he could not see his own back. “Nope, can’t see her. She’s not there.”

Captain Bad-Ass sighed again. “You are being disrespectful, pirate.”

“Captain Bad-Ass, have you kidnapped Joy?”

Dragon Little laughed.

“I hear her laughing. She’s close by. Have you kidnapped her.”

Captain Bad-Ass turned around, shoulders slumped. “All right, if you are not taking this seriously, we’ll just go. Everybody! Back to the ship!”

“No! Don’t go!” Dragon Little shouted.

Captain Bad-Ass whirled around, eyes squeezed almost shut, as if he was trying to killl Dragon Father and Dragon Little with his gaze. “Goodbye! You have disrespected me! I am leaving!”

“Don’t go! Don’t go!”

Captain Bad-Ass and his pirates boarded their wooden pirate sail ship once more and sailed into the sky.

—Told by The Red Dragon


Watch how I came up with the idea for this post:

#5: Back When Justin Thought Squashbuckling Was Cute

#3: The Hurricane Game