‘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.

#65: Justin's Dark Mood #5: Making It Right

(To read this Squashbuckler Diary, you need to check out what happened earlier today. It started here. Then this happened. Then this. Then, of all things, this happened. And now this happened:) 

Dragon Father returned to the deck. For the first time today, it seemed like his obsession had disappeared. He was truly looking around. 

Dragon Little was sitting on the deck, her back against the wooden railing, her feet close to her, so that both legs made small triangles as high as her nose.

Dragon Father sat down beside her. 

She made a face. 

He made a face back at her - it was the same, but it was apologetic at the same time. 

She kicked him softly with one leg. 

“Ow! Ow!” He grabbed it in exaggerated pain. “You hurt me! You kicked me so hard!”

Dragon Little almost laughed and caught herself. She kicked him again softly. 

“Ow! Are you the strongest girl in the world?! Is that possible?! How are you hitting me that hard!”

She laughed now. 

She slid her foot slowly over to his, then, at the last moment, slowed it down even more and hardly even touched it. 

“Ow! Ow!” I think you broke it! Why are you kicking me so hard?!”

Dragon Little gave a full, rolling belly laugh. 

After a few more kicks, Dragon Father hugged 4-and-a-half-year-old Dragon Little. “I’m sorry,” he said softly. “That wasn’t about you. I was… crazy. Because of something really bad that happened at work.”

“What’s work?” she asked, not moving away from the hug, staying in the safety of his chest. 

“Work is… “ he sighed. “Its someplace where bad things happen. I never want to talk about work.” 

She nodded.

“But… I shouldn’t have behaved like that. I won’t do it again. Okay?”

She nodded. 

“So… Wanna catch some bad guys!”

She jumped to her feet. “Yes!”

“Want to break into an impenetrable castle?!”

She jumped up and down in place. “Yes yes!”

“Want to save the world again?”

“Yes! Yes! Yes!”

And she ran to get her laser pistol.

—Told by The Red Dragon

#66: Joy's First Swim

#64: Justin's Dark mood #4: Parenting Advice from a Murderer