‘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.

#36: The Red Dragon, Defeated!

When the Lord of the Flying Flies initiated the battle, I expected a battle like the ones that I had seen Dragon Father and Dragon Little hold every day.

But that was not what happened.

As soon as Dragon Little unsheathed her sword, the wall behind us exploded. A wall of Flying Flies, flying together behind it, seemed more menacing than before. They used their wings together to create gusts of wind like I have never felt before.

Dragon Father was lifted by the wind into the air, sent crashing through the window far away.

The wind was powerful enough to topple me on my back. Dragon Little was thrust at my neck. She caught on and held.

“I’m holding tight!” She shouted at me. “Fly! Fly us out of here! I can hold on!”

I shifted my weight and turned around enough to flap my wings and break through the high ceiling of the palace.

Even as I did so I realized the ferocity of the dream was beyond anything I had seen Dragon Father create before. I have seen enough dreamers to believe that his subconscious had separated us so that he could fight on his own. He trusted me enough to guard his Dragon Little and save her from any harm. He would throw hardships at us and at himself, but he would not be here to see that his hardships cause no harm.

All this passed in my mind in a second.

The Flying Flies did not give me any respite. Another powerful gust of wind threw me towards another of their floating buildings, and I crashed into it.

“Whoa!” I heard Dragon Little say, then felt her lose her grip on me. That was a good thing, as I slid across a building, destroying it, then felt the lower half of my body fall into a pool of liquid.

The liquid burned me, and I screamed.

I leapt out of the pool, smoke coming out of my body.

“Ah! Ah!” I yelled like a whimpering child and cried.

I was no longer a threatening dragon, a weapon of strength that no one can defeat. I was the slave, captured and tortured by vile creatures, as I had been all my life. There was no bravery in me, only fear.

I blubbered and moaned in pain.

Then I felt a soft, small hand caress my nose.

“Shh, shh,” I heard Dragon Little’s voice. “You’re in pain. That’s okay.”

Now I could see her as well, and the specialized swarm of Flying Flies approach us above. I saw her turn around to look at them.

“Don’t worry, Red,” Dragon Little said, her voice as strong as steel. “I’ll save you.”

It ist hard to remember that day. I will rest now and tell you the rest tomorrow.

—Told by The Red Dragon

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

#37: How Joy Wins

#35: Do Villains Have Jokes?