‘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.

#72: Battle of the Eyes

“Okay, these are the rules,” Dragon Father told Dragon Little. They were having a slow morning on Bonny’s Revenge. He had woken her up leisurely, she had eaten breakfast and brushed her teeth, all very leisurely. 

The bad guys, if they would come, would probably come later. Dragon Father was in the mood to be a father who talks to his child today.

Then talking turned to games. 

He was sitting down in front of her. At three and a half years old, she was now able to look straight at his face. 

“Okay,” he said. “The game is that we look in each others’ eyes, and don’t look away. Whoever looks away first loses. You can’t blink! Whoever blinks first loses! Got it?”

She nodded. 

“Ready?”

“Ready!”

He took a deep breath. They stared at each others’ eyes. “Now!” He said. 

They stared at each at each other for a few seconds. Then, “You blinked!” he pointed at her. “I win!”

“No fair! No fair!” She was angry. “I wasn’t ready. Again!” 

“Again.” They looked into each others’ eyes with intensity. “Ready?” 

“Ready!”

“Now!”

They stared again. This time the seconds passed by. No one blinked and no one looked away. 

Then Dragon Little’s little foot started twitching, as did her hand. She was probably fighting the urge to blink. 

“Mmmmmmm…” she said, as if holding something in. “Mmmmmmmmm!”

Then, all of the sudden, she shot a finger into her father’s eye. 

“Ah!” he yelled in surprise and vanished. 

“Ha ha!” Dragon Little raised her hands in victory. 

Dragon Father immediately reappeared in the middle of the deck on Bonny’s Revenge, right next to her. 

“I win! I win!” Dragon Little jumped up and down and pointed at him. “Yai!”

“No way! That was not fair! And you don’t do that!”

“I win! I win!”

“Joy! Joy! You do not poke out someone’s eye. And you will never poke out my eye! Got it?”

Dragon Little was still jumping up and down. 

He bent down and said through gritted. “No fair. Rematch.”

She thought about it for a second, then smiled. “Rematch.”

What happened in the rematch? I will tell you about that tomorrow.

—Told by The Red Dragon

Want to see how I came up with the idea for this post? Check this out:

#73: The Mightiest of Them All

#71: The Tall Grass