‘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.

#112: The Stubble

Dragon Little was 3-year-old when she saw something strange on her father’s face. He was holding her in his arms, about to put her down, when she touched his cheek. 

“What’s wrong?” he asked. 

She touched his cheek again. “You have thorns.”

“Thorns?”

He put her down and a mirror appeared in his hand. He looked at himself and laughed. “That’s a stubble!”

“A busttle?”

“A stubble. It’s something natural. It happens all the time.”

She raised her eyebrows, not understanding. “No, it doesn’t.”

“Just means it’s time to shave. Take a look!” A shaving razor appeared in his right hand, and a bottle of something in the other. He sprayed foam from the bottle to his hand and put it on his cheeks. 

“What are you doing?”

“I’m shaving,” he said, and seemed to brush the foam with the razor. “I do it every day.”

She crinkled her forehead. “You do not!”

He brushed it again and again with the razor. “Ah, right, only on days I have to go to work. Otherwise, I just let it grow a bit. I think it grew too much lately,” he continued to shave. He put his hand forward, and a wave splashed against it, cleaning it. 

“Grew what too much?” Dragon Little seemed to not understand what he was doing or what he was talking about.

“My beard.”

“What’s a breed?”

“There. All finished. How do I look?”

As soon as he asked, showing her his clean, stubble-free cheeks, a full beard sprouted on his face in a second. 

He sighed. “I guess I’m going to shave again.”

Dragon Little’s forehead crinkled even more. “What happened to your face?”

“It’s nothing. I just have to shave… Just a little bit more… There!”

He looked at her, clean-shaven, and smiled. 

His beard sprouted even bigger this time. 

“Dammit!” Dragon Father shouted. “Guess I’m gonna need a bigger razor.”

Dragon Little shook her head and walked off. “I’m going to practice flying Bonny,” she muttered. 

“All right. I’ll be done in a second.”

He was not done in a second or an hour. The beard haunted him in this one dream. It kept growing endlessly no matter how much he cut it, and it always grew bigger and longer.

That was the only thing that occupied him during that dream. It was an obsessed, disturbing dream. Thankfully, it did not repeat. At least now while I was watching over them.

—Told by The Red Dragon

#113: She Sells Seashells, Part 1

#111: The Nuclear Bomb