‘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.

#33: Wrath of the Red Dragon

Within moments after Dragon Father summoned me, Dragon Little was on my back. She sat on the groove of one of the big scales in the center of the back of my neck, a groove chiseled out by my former enslavers.

Dragon Father and Dragon Little had saved me from my enslavers and given me freedom three years before that, and ever since I have been watching them from my hiding place, and helping when summoned.

Now, Dragon Little, grown up and five and a half years old, was sitting behind my back and screaming: “LET’S GET THEEEEEEEEEEM!!!”

Reacting to her movements I turned around in mid-air and flew towards the swarms of man-sized Flying Flies that engulfed Bonny’s Revenge and blocked out the suns.

“Come on, Dad!” Dragon Little yelled. “See if you can keep up, slow-poke!”

I aimed myself at the swarm, opened my mouth, and engulfed the swarm ahead of me with flame.

The Flying Flies did not burn, by the way, nor turn into dust. The Flying Flies simply disappeared when the fire touched them, as some dreams do when they die.

Behind me, Dragon Father (the name I give Justin Shelley), was at the helm of the ship, rising to the air, and blasting the swarm with cannons.

“Yeee-haaaaaw!” Dragon Little yelled when I spun around and blasted another part of the swarm with fire.

“Go, Red, go!” Dragon Little yelled as, in the middle of battle, I swatted dozens of Flying Flies with my tail.

“Fly higher, higher!” She shouted with Joy as I shot up towards the sky to get a better view of the swarm from above.

“She’s back! Red is back!” Dragon Little shouted again as I fired at another swarm.

And so it went, with Dragon Little so happy to be reunited with me and in the middle of an adventure. I was no less happy. For those few moments, I felt like she was my daughter. Of course she wasn’t, but I have always wanted her to be. For those precious minutes, I felt she was my Dragon Little. I hope perhaps she felt the same.

Within minutes of pure joy, the swarm had been defeated. I came to rest in the air next to Bonny’s Revenge.

“So awesome you could help, Red!” Dragon Father told me and stroked my nose. “We couldn’t have done it without you!”

“I am always available when you need me,” I said softly.

“Then what would you say,” Dragon Father whispered in a conspiring voice, “we take this fight to their king and settle this feud once and for all. Yes?”

“Yes!” Dragon Little jumped up and down on her seat in the back of my neck.

“Yes?” Dragon Father asked me.

“Yesss…” I whispered. “Let’s do it!”

“Yes!” Dragon Little whooped. “Let’s do it!”

And so we did. I will tell you more about that tomorrow.

—Told by The Red Dragon

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

#34: Do Dragons Have Jokes?

#32: Return of the Red Dragon