‘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.

#57: Giving Joy Her Name

“Yai! We won!” Dragon Little, my pet name for Joy Shelley, jumped up and down when the City of Devils exploded.

“We won! We won! We won!” She shook her shoulders and behind in excitement.

Dragon Father, the name I have given Justin Shelley, for he ist Dragon Little’s father, looked down at his 3-year-old girl and laughed. It ist the first time I have seen her dance. It was funny indeed. I did my best not to laugh and rain down on them a shower of small fires from the suns.

Dragon Father continued to laugh. “Oh, Joy, it’s so great to see you happy. It gives me joy, too!”

Dragon Little whirled around without stopping and hit his legs. “No! I’m Joy! You’re Dad!”

Dragon Father laughed again. “I know, I know. I’m Dad. ‘Joy’ is a word. It means ‘happiness’. I’m the one who gave you your name, Joy. I called you Joy.”

Dragon Little looked at him, with eyes wide in fascination. “You called me Joy.”

“Yes. I decided on your name.” He sat down next to her, his back leaning on the railing. “When you were just born… Just this tiny, itsy-bitsy baby that just cried her first cry, that just took her first few breaths…”

She climbed on his legs, sat on them, and looked at him. She had never heard this before. In fact, neither have I. I do not know how it ist that Dragon Father came to be Dragon Little’s father.

“And the second I looked into your eyes…” he continued and looked into her eyes now, “They were just like now. Just amazing. And I knew exactly how to call you. You would be Joy. My Joy. That was your name. And it is such a good name. it fits you so well. Because you’re happy and you make me happy.”

Dragon Little smiled and curled up in his chest, her legs on his. “Tell me again,” she said.

And he did.

She asked again and he would tell again. Many times.

Until he disappeared, to wake up somewhere in the real world.

—Told by The Red Dragon

#58: Beautiful?

#56: Alone In Prison, Part 4