‘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.

#27: Princess Marianne, Part 1: The Kiss

I have heard that dreamers live a very different life than they do in The Dream. I have not had too much interaction with them, aside from watching Dragon Father raise Dragon Little, so I do not know. And, to tell the truth, I am afraid to ask what that world ist like.

Almost all days, Dragon Father (the name I give to Justin Shelley) dreams of adventure and saving the world from villains. But sometimes his dreams turn into something else.

It happened when Dragon Little (the name I gave to little Joy Shelley, Dragon Father’s daughter) and Dragon Father fought the evil King Richard the Tiger Hearted. He had overtaken a kingdom and kidnapped Princess Marianne.

Dragon Father and Dragon Little saved the kingdom and the princess and shackled King Richard the Tiger Hearted.

Back on the deck of their flying pirate ship, Bonny’s Revenge, the two brought the princess and the shackled king.

“Joy, take the king to his cell,” Dragon Father asked her. Even though she was only four years old at the time, the villains of Dragon Father’s dream never resisted.

Dragon Little nodded and led the king by his shackled arm towards the stairs that led down to the Infinite Prison.

Dragon Father and Princess Marianne remained alone on the deck.

“Thank you for saving me,” Princess Marianne touched Dragon Father’s hand. “You’re so brave!”

Dragon Father came closer to her. “Princess,” he said. “Can I…?” He asked and caressed her cheek.

Princess Marianne leaned in and Dragon Father kissed her.

“Eeeewwwww!” Dragon Little’s loud scream of disgust caused her father and the princess to separate quickly. “What are you DOING?! Eeeewwww!”

Dragon Father turned to his daughter with a stern finger. “Joy. The Princess and I are busy. Go to your cabin!”

“I don’t wanna!”

“Joy, we’re very very busy. We’re doing grown-up stuff. Go to your cabin!”

Dragon Little shook her head. “I wanna see what you’re doing!”

“Joy, please please please go to your cabin.” Dragon Father sounded desperate.

“You go to your cabin.”

“Okay, I will! Oh, no, I don’t have one. Why don’t I have one?” For a moment Dragon Father froze, deep in thought. Then he waved the thought aside. “You know what? Stay here on the ship. The Princess and I are going out to get some coffee.”

“I wanna come! I want coffee! What’s coffee?”

“Joy, Joy, Joy, I--Oh, shoot, I have to pee.”

And, with that, Dragon Father disappeared from the deck of Bonny’s Revenge. To my surprise, Princess Marianne remained behind. Usually, only the villain leaders remain behind.

“Where did he go?” The Princess asked.

Dragon Little waved her hand dismissively. “He went to pee. He’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Princess Marianne nodded.

“I pee in the ocean,” Dragon Little told her.

“Ah,” the Princess nodded again. “I don’t think I’ve ever peed.”

Dragon Little shrugged. “It’s no big thing.”

That was the first time, but not the last, in which Dragon Little would not allow Dragon Father’s dream to proceed as he wanted.

—Told by The Red Dragon

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

#28: Princess Marianne, Part 2: Joy’s Vengeance

#26: The Secret of the Dreamer's Camera