‘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.

#83: Missing, Part 4

Dragon Father had been running for four hours, following General Hawk’s tip about where Dragon Little was. 

By now Dragon Father’s breath was getting quicker. It wasn’t the running, of course, for he was in a dream and he could not get tired unless he wanted to. It was no doubt the long time where he had still not seen Joy and doubt probably seeped in the General Hawk, a villain after all, was lying. 

I am too big to get into the Infinite Corridor, but I have heard Dragon Little and Dragon Father talk about it. It ist a narrow corridor with steel-barred jail cells on every side. For the better part of four hours, he was running next to empty cells, for they had not imprisoned as many villains as that in all their years. And now, Dragon Father was no doubt asking himself if the corridor really was infinite, and how far his daughter had managed to walk while he was away. 

Then, his sounds only muffled to even my ears, I heard him stop. 

“Joy,” he said, but in a tone of impossible relief. “Joy, Joy…” 

I heard him fall to his knees and exhale slowly. 

“Joy, sweetheart. Wake up! Wake up!”

“Mmmnnn?” I heard her voice mutedly. 

“Wake up!”

“Where am I?”

“You’re in the Infinite Corridor, remember? You walked down the--”

“I’m thirsty.”

“You’re thirsty? Thirsty?!” I heard him shout and stand up. “Of course you’re goddamn thirsty! You walked down an infinite corridor for a whole day without water or food! Do you know what could have happened to you?! Do you how worried I was?! I thought you were dead! I looked for you at the bottom of the freaking ocean to see if you drowned! You know what? You’re walking back home!” And I heard his footsteps begin in my direction. 

“Dad, I’m thirsty!”

I heard him stop. “There! Take a goddamn bottle!” I heard him throw something on the floor. I’m sure it was a bottle of water that appeared in his hands. “I’m leaving! Get back by yourself, the same way you got here!”

He began running back, and he did not stop for hours, until he emerged back on the deck, huffing and angry. 

I will tell you the last piece of this story tomorrow. 

—Told by The Red Dragon

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

#84: Missing, Part 5

#82: Missing, Part 3