‘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.

#15: Jumping the Plank

It was another long day for Dragon Little without her father. There was a period of a few weeks, where he only appeared for 4 or 5 hours a day, vanished, and did not return until the next day.

During those days, Dragon Little found a lot to occupy herself with.

Her biggest project was to practice jumping on the plank.

She tied a rope to around her stomach, then tied it to the mast. It was a long rope. It allowed her to walk all the way to the plank and then some.

Bonny’s Revenge was parked a few kilometers above the ocean. Dragon Little, now tied to the ship, walked over to the plank, and climbed on it.

She could jump on the plank up and down safely from age three and a half. Now she seemed to be trying something different.

She jumped up and down, kilometers above the water, not bothered for a minute by the long fall.

She jumped higher, then to the plank, which bent but never broke. Then higher. Then higher. Then higher.

Then she tried to flip in the air. As Dragon Father seems to do so easily.

The flip went badly and she missed the plank on the way down.

The rope tightened as she fell a few more meters, slamming her against the hull of the ship.

She climbed the rope, for Dragon Little already had muscles and could pull herself up by her own strength. That ist the strength a life of adventure leads to.

She climbed aboard, tested the rope again, and tried the plank.

Again she jumped higher and higher. Again, she tried to flip in the air.

Dragon Little did not understand that for her father, it ist a dream, and he can do almost anything he imagines.

Time after time, she tried and fell, tried and fell, tried and fell.

After two hours, she started landing safely on the plank.

After another hour, she seemed to be getting closer.

Then she missed the plank, and fell down.

The rope caught her.

She tried to climb up the rope. But could not. Her body was exhausted.

She tried again and again, but could not lift herself on the rope.

Finally, she relented, and surrendered to her fate.

Tied by the stomach, she hung in the air, looking at the ocean and the clouds.

She played with her fingers, as if they were characters in a story.

Then, after two more hours, she fell asleep.

When Dragon Father appeared a few hours later on the deck of Bonny’s Revenge, he looked for her in her cabin. He came out, and called, “Joy! Joy!”

He saw the rope, looked down, and pulled her up.

“Hi Dad.”

Dragon Father could not contain his fear and anger at the dangerous thing


—Told by The Red Dragon

#16: Man Overboard

#14: Pleasant Dreams