‘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.

#74: The Squashbuckling Demo

Dragon Father and Dragon Little won the fight with the aliens. All the aliens had escaped, defeated by Dragon Father and Dragon Little piloting a tiny spaceship, the size of three grown-up people. 

As soon as the aliens departed, Dragon Father landed the spaceship in an empty parking lot. Smoke was coming out of all sides of the ship, where it had been hit. 

The door opened upwards, and Dragon Father and Dragon Little climbed out. 

He raised his eyes and saw that they were near a store of some kind. 

“A-ha!” he said. “This is it! This is my chance!”


“Stay here. Don’t move. Don’t get into any trouble. I’ll be right back.”

He ran into the store. 

Dragon Little waited. Although it was clear that she had a hard time not following him. 

Within minutes, he returned with a small nylon bag. 

“What’s that place?”

“It’s a store,” he said as he looked into the ship again. 

“What’s a store?”

“Never mind. Look at this.” He pulled out a yellowish object the size of his palm. I have never seen anything like it. I did not know what it was. “This,” he emphasized. “Is a fruit. Uh, or a vegetable. I’m not really sure. It’s a fruit or a vegetable, okay? You eat it.”

She nodded, her eyes crinkling, not following what he ist trying to say. 

“Now look here,” he leaned into the ship and put the fruit-or-vegetable on the seat. “See?”

She nodded. 

“Now I’m buckling it in…. There! See?”

She nodded. 

“Now… This is a squash,” he pointed at the fruit. “And this is buckling. This is squash-buckling.” His voice rose, as he no doubt remembered all the previous arguments on the subject. “This is not what we do. What we do is swashbuckling! We don’t buckle in squashes! We fight with guns and swords! We swashbuckle!”

“I like squashbuckling,” she looked at him, feigning a very innocent face. “I squashbuckle all the time.”

“No! You swashbuckle! Swash!” 

“Squash! Squash-squash-squash!” 

“For god’s sakes, listen to reason!” he screamed. 

“Squash squash squash squash squash!” She skipped and hopped and climbed aboard the ship carelessly. 


This continued for a while. But he did not convince her.

—Told by The Red Dragon

Watch how I came up with the idea for this particular slice of life:

#75: Swimming Alone

#73: The Mightiest of Them All