‘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.

#60: I Have Spoken!

“No! Teach me to swim!” Dragon Little shouted. She was 4 and a half years old, and Dragon Father had just suggested flying Bonny’s Revenge to save a planet that’s in trouble.

“Joy! They need our help! They radioed in that—”

“No!” Dragon Little raised her hand and pointed at him, her long blonde hair billowing in the wind behind her. “I have spoken!”

Dragon Father burst out laughing. “You have spoken?”

“I have spoken!” Dragon Little said with determination. “Teach me to swim!”

“But what if we—”

“Tut!” Dragon Little said importantly. “I have spoken!”

Dragon Father laughed even harder, falling to all fours on the wooden deck. “ ‘Tut’? ‘Tut’?” He couldn’t stop laughing. “Say that again please!”

“Tut! You will stop laughing!” Dragon Little proclaimed again. “Tut tut tut!”

“Oh, my god!” Dragon Father wiped the tears of laughter from his cheeks and sat down, back against the railing. “We really do hang around villains all the time, don’t we? Which villain did you pick that up from?”

“Dad, take me swimming! I have spoken!”

Dragon Father laughed again. “Oh my god!”

“Tut! Tut! Stop laughing!” she was growing exasperated with him.

“This is going to become a thing, isn’t it?” he mumbled to himself. “All right, Joy, all right! You’ve convinced me we need to fight less villains. You need to learn how to talk from me, not from them.”

“Yai!” Dragon Little jumped up and down. “Now take us to sea! I have spoken!”

Dragon Father allowed his head to fall forward and hang as if in despair. “Oh, jeez, you’re going to be like this forever, aren’t you?”

Of course she did not continue to talk like this forever, as he feared. But she did do it for a few dozen more of his dreams.

—Told by The Red Dragon

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

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