‘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.

#31: Giving Back the Treasure

Dragon Father and 3-year-old Dragon Little fought valiantly against the Ancient Spirit of Blackbeard. They foiled his plan, found the treasure he stole from King Midas, and did it all without Dragon Father waking up even once.

Now the spirit was gone, and they were alone with the treasure chest on the ancient, blackened, broken and decaying ship that used to belong to Blackbeard.

Dragon Little held the golden necklace she found in the treasure chest and admired it.

“Great job!” Dragon Father said. “You were really awesome! Come on,” he closed the treasure chest. “Let get this treasure back to the king.”

Then his eyes rested on Dragon Little who was trying to put the necklace around her neck.

“Come on,” he reached with his hand.

Dragon Little shook her head.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“It’s mine!” She held it close to her chest.

Dragon Father smiled. “Yours, huh? Come on. It belong to the king. We have to bring it back.”

Dragon Little fell on her stomach, holding the necklace underneath her body. “It’s mine! Go away!”

“You want me to go away?”

“Go away! You’re NOT my father!”

Dragon Father started laughing. “I’m not your father, huh?”

“You’re NOT my father!”

In the beginning, this amused Dragon Father. But after a few moments of Dragon Little not relenting (she never relents!), he lost his patience. There was anger in his voice when he said, “Give it to me! Now!”

“You’re not angry at me!” She shouted at him, still lying on top of the necklace. “I’m angry at YOU!”

Dragon Father eventually wrestled the necklace away from her to Dragon Little’s intense screaming protests.

He had to grab Dragon Little by the hand to lead her back to the ship, and withstand long minutes of screaming until Bonny’s Revenge reached King Midas’ palace and parked in the air outside the window to his personal room.

Dragon Father went by himself, taking the treasure chest (with the necklace) with him. He returned to the ship.

“You’ve behaved abominably!” he told her angrily. He turned the wheel… and vanished. He had finally woken with up. The entire palace and the entire city, and everyone who was in it vanished at the same time.

Dragon Little looked over the railing to see that the city was no longer there. Only the sand that it had stood on remained.

But an object fell from where the king’s room had been: a golden, shiny object.

Dragon Little smiled.

She steered the ship down to rest on the sand, climbed down the rope ladder, and picked up the golden necklace.

She climbed back on the ship, necklace in her mouth.

She went to her cabin. And from my hiding place behind the suns’ bright glares, through her cabin’s window, my sharp dragon’s eyes saw her put it underneath her mattress.

—Told by The Red Dragon

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

#32: Return of the Red Dragon

#30: The First Lesson