‘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.

#67: Face to Face

Dragon Little was three years old when she confronted her first alien fleet.

A massive alien invasion of almost a thousand ships descended upon the Earth. Usually Dragon Little and Dragon Father sail in ist an ocean, with an occasional island here and there. But this time, for Dragon Father’s dream to make sense, an entire continent appeared in the horizon and the alien ships hovered above the continent. 

Dragon Father sailed Bonny’s Revenge to the shore. “We don’t want to show them yet that we can fly,” he told Dragon Little who watched the sky in amazement. 

The alien ships began to broadcast loudly to the cities in the continent: “People of Earth!” they announced. “We are your new masters! You have two hours to send your complete surrender!”

This message repeated again and again without stop for an hour, while Dragon Father examined the spaceships, looking for patterns and weaknesses. 

“People of Earth!” The ships announced for the hundredth time, “We are your new masters!”

Dragon Little has had enough. She jumped onto the plank. 

“We are your new masters! You have two hours to send your complete surrender!”

“You come down here!” Dragon Little shouted at the ships and shook her fists. “You bring your leader here! I want to see your mouth! And I want to see your legs!”

Dragon Father looked at her suddenly and began laughing uncontrollably. 

“You want to see their mouth and legs?” he repeated, laughing. 

Dragon Little looked at him as if he was acting strangely. “No, no, you’re absolutely right. The mouth and legs are the most important p--ha-ha-ha-ha!”

After a few seconds, Dragon Father stopped laughing. A massive bullhorn appeared in his hands. He aimed it at the sky and called in a voice so loud it echoed through his entire dream: “You aliens! Send us YOUR leader! We want to see their MOUTH! And we want to see their LEGS! You have five minutes!”

He looked back at Dragon Little. She nodded at him in approval. He nodded back. 

The bullhorn disappeared. 

“Now,” Dragon Father clapped his hands once. “Let’s see what happens!”

Needless to say, they defeated the aliens.

—Told by The Red Dragon

#68: Don't Go, Dad!

#66: Joy's First Swim