‘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.

#104: The Red Dragon's First Days in the Dream

The first few days after I had met Dragon Little and Dragon Father, after they had rescued me from my enslavers and gave me my freedom, these first few days were hard for me. 

It was hard for me to get used to freedom. It was hard for me to close my eyes without imagining my enslavers hitting me with their painful prods or whipping me with electric whips. 

During those days I hid behind one of the planets, where I thought I could escape. It was hard to sleep. It was hard to stay awake, for I was always afraid that the evil ones will return, searching for me. 

It would take me a year to find good sleep. It would take me more to find a better hiding place. 

But watching Dragon Little and Dragon Father have their adventures gave me calm and peace whenever they were together. He did not seem to know it, but he was grooming her to survive. 

She would need it. Because at some point my enslavers would find this dream. They would find me. And if they learned what Dragon Little was, they would take her. They would amass armies to take her. 

Even though I believed I loved her enough to protect her with my life, I knew I would not be enough against entire armies, especially not an armada of dragons. 

I watched. I got used to what I understood to be my temporary freedom.

Those first few days were hard. And right in the beginning, as I watched Dragon Little from afar, it was harder still. For it was clear that she would not survive for long in the Dream. 

I wish to tell you that story, but… Remembering those days has tired me. I will tell you of the first time I learned that Dragon Little ist always a few hours or days away from death. I will tell you that story tomorrow. 

—Told by The Red Dragon

#105: Water Water Everywhere

#103: Taking the Wheel 3: Aaaaaah!