‘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.

#26: The Secret of the Dreamer's Camera

“Dad, I want to see the camera!”

It was the day after Dragon Father appeared with a digital camera and disappeared with it as well. During their adventure, it was almost the only thing he cared about.

But now was the next day and the dreamer’s mania was gone. “Camera?” he asked Dragon Little as the two stood on the deck of Bonny’s Revenge. Dragon Little had not yet brushed her teeth or eaten breakfast. “What camera?”

“Yesterday. The camera. You took my pictures. While we were fighting the--”

“Oh, riiiiiight. Yes. The camera.”

He felt around his pockets. “I don’t have it. Where did I put it? I don’t think I have it.”

“Dad. Come on. Find it. I want to see the pictures from yesterday.”

“Okay. Okay…” he spun around himself in slow circles. “Where did I put it? Where did I put it? Maybe I dropped it on the deck?”

He started scouring the deck. Dragon Little joined him. But the camera was not on the deck.

“This is taking much time,” Dragon Father stood up and sighed. “Eat your breakfast and let’s go find adventure!”

“You have to find it, Dad!”

“Joy…”

“Come on! You took so many pictures!”

Dragon Father nodded. He produced Dragon Little’s breakfast and said, “You eat. I’ll find it.”

Dragon Father searched Dragon Little’s cabin and found nothing. He searched the Infinite Corridor: Nothing. He searched atop the mast: Nothing. He even looked at the ocean around him.

I was looking at his search and knew what neither he nor Joy did: He had woken up and the camera had disappeared as part of his dream. Now, because he did not know he ist a dreamer, he did not know he could just produce it at will, and there was something about him that did not want that camera to appear.

I could have told them. But I knew I shouldn’t. The longer it takes for Dragon Little to learn where she lives, the longer it will take her to learn who she ist. The longer it takes her to learn who she ist, the longer she stays out of harm’s way.

I was sorry to see Dragon Father find nothing. I was sorry to see Dragon Little’s terrible disappointment.

She cried when he told her, and she felt bad during their entire adventure.

But it was better than her knowing why he could not find the camera.

—Told by The Red Dragon

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

#27: Princess Marianne, Part 1: The Kiss

#25: Pictures of Joy