‘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.

#56: Alone In Prison, Part 4

Dragon Father and Dragon Little were not bothered again. Almost everyone on Dead Skull Island had disappeared.

They played for hours, had fun, and then, as always happened, Dragon Father vanished. He no doubt woke up in his bed at home, wherever that may be. But, as always, Dragon Little remained behind.

There was even less that remained behind than usual. All the people, creatures, and animals disappeared. The trees and plants disappeared. Even the island on which they were situated disappeared.

Only the prison cell which held Dragon Little remained.

The prison cell dropped, no longer supported by the island. It only a dropped a few meters and hit the ocean, which never disappeared.

Dragon Little looked around hurriedly. She rushed to the door even as the floor of the cell was filling with water.

The door was locked.

She tried to pass through the bars of the prison cell, but they were not wide enough.

I panicked more than she did. I stood up, ready to spread my wings, dive down, and save her from my invisible vantage point. But the prison, now half sunk in the ocean and half above water, stopped sinking and began bobbing up and down slightly.

Dragon Little did not really know how to swim yet, but she held to the prison bars above the water and floated effortlessly.

Their ship, Bonny’s Revenge, was only a few hundred meters away, awaiting silently in the ocean. But it might as well have been on another planet.

I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back down. I wanted to save Dragon Little the trouble. But I knew I shouldn’t. So many hardships awaited her in the future. She had to learn to be tough. It would be the only the only thing that would give her perhaps a few more years of life once she realizes the truth about who she ist and those who want to find her.

Dragon Little held on to the bar for thirteen hours without stopping, without knowing when Dragon Father would return. She only knew that he would return and that he would return to Bonny’s Revenge’s deck. And then he would save her. She floated without food, without water, without rest, without falling asleep, and without complaining.

It was an important lesson. I love her more than I love anything. Therefore I am glad I did not interfere to save her.

—Told by The Red Dragon

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

#57: Giving Joy Her Name

#55: We're Busy Here (In Prison, Part 3)