‘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.

#29: Bad Joy

“You locked her up?!”

Dragon Father returned the next day, appearing on the deck of Bonny’s Revenge. He was just as interested in Princess Marianne, the princess he had dreamed of and then saved, as when he had disappeared.

Dragon Little was already awake.

In the beginning, she claimed she did not know what happened to Princess Marianne. But when he saw she was lying, she admitted she had put her in a cell.

“You locked her up?! In the prison?!” He ran down the stairs into the Infinite Corridor. “Like a criminal?!”

A few minutes later, he brought the princess back up.

“Joy!”

Dragon Little made a face and looked down.

“Joy! What the hell were you thinking?! That is not how we behave towards friends!”

Dragon Little looked away.

“Look at me! Look at me! Do you realize you just did to her what the King Richard did to her? It’s like you were a villain this time! Do you realize that?!”

Dragon Little looked up immediate to meet his gaze. She looked at him defiant, and at the same time tears were forming in her eyes.

“I am not a villain!” she shouted at him.

She fell on the deck, covering her face, and started crying loudly.

Dragon Father turned to Princess Marianne. “I’m sorry about that, Princess. Are you all right?”

The Princess nodded. “It was such a trauma. I thought I would die!

“Yeah, she’ll calm down in a couple of minutes, then maybe we can get that coffee?”

“I am not a villain!” Dragon Little yelled. “I am not a villain!”

This time, when Dragon Father looked down at her, his face changed, softened, and immediately showed pain. Perhaps he realized how a girl who fights villains her entire life might feel if her father called her a villain.

“Oh, Joy. I’m sorry.”

Now Dragon Father pursed his lips together and sighed. “Joy, you’re no a villain.” He came down to his knees and caressed her head. “You’re not a villain, Joy. Of course you’re a hero. I shouldn’t have said that. I didn’t mean it.”

Dragon Little waved his hand aside and continued to cry.

“Are we getting that coffee or what?” the Princess said.

Dragon Father stood up. He reached under Dragon Little’s armpits, and raised her to his chest. “I’m sorry, Joy. Look, Princess, your Prince has come!”

A flying chariot appeared and parked in the air, a few meters above the ocean, right next to Bonny’s Revenge. A handsome young prince emerged, offering his hand to Princess Marianne. “Ah, my love! I’ve looked all over the world for you!”

The Princess kissed him, and joined him on the chariot. As they closed the door behind them, I heard her say, “Can we get coffee? Do you know what it is? I hear it’s good.”

The chariot flew away.

“I’m sorry, Joy. Sometimes I get carried away. I wanted something so badly that… that I forgot to ask myself how you feel. Of course you’re not a villain. You can never be a villain. We fight villains, right?”

Dragon Little looked at him and nodded, now longer crying.

“You just did something that now you know not to do, right?”

She nodded.

“The prison is only for holding villains. Right?”

She nodded.

“Good! Want to eat breakfast and save the day again?”

She nodded and smiled.


—Told by The Red Dragon

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

#30: The First Lesson

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