‘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.

#30: The First Lesson

“Where are we?”

My wonderful precious Dragon Little (the name I gave little Joy Shelly when I met her) and Dragon Father (the Dreamer Justin Shelley) landed their pirate ship, Bonny’s Revenge, in the middle of the desert.

Dragon Father took her in his arms. A jetpack appeared on his back, and he flew up, over the railing, and landed on the sand. The jetpack disappeared as quickly as it appeared. The power of the Dreamers ist almost infinite in the Dream. But I do believe Dragon Father does not realize he ist in a dream.

Dragon Little looked around. There were straw scarecrows as far as their human eyes could see. “What is this place?” She asked again.

“This,” he put her down, “is where you get your education. You want to fight bad guys? You have to learn how to shoot them.”

A laser pistol appeared in his hand. He gave it gently to Dragon Little.

“A gun! Yai!” She jumped up and down.

“That’s right. Every swashbuckling girl needs a gun. But… You get the gun when you’re responsible enough to use it. Now, we practice. Look at this. See this? This is ‘the trigger’.”

Dragon Father began to teach Dragon Little about the shape of the gun. Then he taught her to stand, to aim, to pull the trigger.

At two and a half years old little Dragon Little learned fired and fired at the scarecrows. For hours.

Dragon Father seemed to have infinite patience. And when she struck the targets, he would always smile as if this ist the moment he had been waiting for all her life, to teach her to fire a weapon.

I wondered in my heart, never having seen Earth, the land of the Dreamers, if Dragon Father ist a pirate in his waking life as well. I do not know the answer to that yet.

Yet I was happy he was teaching this to her. She would need this and so much more when she grew up. I am afraid nothing would prepare her for what’s coming, that no weapon would be strong enough or big enough. But at least she would know how to fight. And he would no doubt teach her many more things in the years until she finds out who she ist and who ist after her.

For now, two-year-old Dragon Little had fun in her first lesson firing a laser gun.


—Told by The Red Dragon

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

#31: Giving Back the Treasure

#29: Bad Joy