‘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.

#101: Joy Vs. Mary

Dragon Little was two years old when she discovered that any time she touched the wheel of Bonny’s Revenge, the pirate ship they lived on would start moving. 

This was before Mary’s death. When Dragon Father was not around, but awake in his ‘real’ world, Mary would watch over Dragon Little and help her. 

But Mary was not always capable of handling Dragon Little’s speed and determination. 

Dragon Little and Mary were playing hide and seek on the deck, when Dragon Little hid behind the wheel. 

As she peeked to see if Mary saw her, she touched the wheel, and the ship lurched, turning to one side. 

“Ooh, lass, lass?” Mary immediately ran after her. “Don’t touch that? It is dangerous for little girls?” I never understood why but it always sounded as if Mary was asking a question. 

Dragon Little made a face, then spun the wheel really hard. The ship lopsided and both of them fell sideways. The ocean was now close to the deck. 

“Lass! Lass!” Mary stood up and stood between Dragon Little and the boat. “Listen closely, dearie, you canna touch that! Dangerous! See? Dangerous!”

Dragon Little leapt at the wheel again. Mary caught her and held her in her arms. “Come on, let’s not be naughty? Let’s playing somethin’?” 

She took Dragon Little to her room. 

Five minutes later, the two-year-old was sprinting out the door and towards the wheel. Mary came after her and stopped her just in time. 

“All right, let’s not do that, dearie? You must listen to auntie Mary?”

And so it continued for hours. Mary had to stand or sit between Dragon Little and the wheel, protecting it with her body, learning that she must never turn her back, not even for a second.

After two hours, Dragon Little fell asleep on the deck. 

Mary waited for the girl’s breathing to become heavier, then took her in her arms and put her in her cot. 

Mary would watch over Dragon Little when she slept without stop, because Marie was Dragon Father’s dream. She never slept, never drank, never ate. She just watched over Dragon Little… with varying success.

—Told by The Red Dragon

#102: Joy Without Mary: Taking the Wheel

#100: Love You More Than Anything