‘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.

#118: The Genie in the Lamp, Part 1

Dragon Father had disappeared after their adventure, leaving 5-year-old Dragon Little to clean the mess and put the villain’s leader in the Infinite Prison in the belly of Bonny’s Revenge

It was not hard for Dragon Little. She was used to it. 

But when she emerged from the stairs leading to the Infinite Prison, a floating blue creature greeted her. 

“Oh!” She was surprised. Then smiled at it, even as her hand felt the dagger hanging around her belt. “Hi.”

“Hello, little girl,” the creature greeted her in a smooth, deep voice. “What is your name?”

“I’m Joy. What’s your name?”

“I am called the Genie in the Lamp. I have a name, but it is too complicated for you to pronounce.”

Dragon Little pointed at old, golden lamp the genie was holding. “I remember that lamp! We rescued it as part of the treasure the pirates stole! It was yours?” 

“Yes. I was in it, and now you freed me from its prison. So now you get three wishes.”

She pursed her lips. “Three wishes?”

“You can ask any wishes you want, and I will grant them to you.”

Dragon Little thought about it for a few seconds. “Okay,” she shrugged. “You can make anything happen?” 

The genie nodded. “Anything!”

“Okay. I want Dad here. Bring Dad back.”

“No problem!” The genie began to chant and move his arms in strange ways. Then, when it was over, he looked around. “Uh… I can’t bring your Dad back.”

Of course he could not. The genie is part of Dragon Father’s dream. He could not bring the dreamer back from his waking world, and nothing can create an image of the dreamer except a dreamer. 

Dragon Little exhaled. “Okay. Bring me Red.”

“‘Red’?” The genie was confused. 

“Red. The Red Dragon. I want to play with her.”

“No problemo!” the genie exclaimed and began to chant in the same way as before. 

Soon enough came the verdict: “I can’t summon the Red Dragon.”

Of course he could not summon me. I was already there, far above them, well-hidden in my hiding spot and looking in on Dragon Little. Even if I was not there, I have never seen a dreamer able to summon a dragon in the same way he can summon almost anything else. 

“Then what kind of a genie are you!” Joy was exasperated with the blue creature. 

“I am the Genie of the Lamp,” the genie recited. “I can make your every wish come true. Make a wish, and I will make it so.”

“No you won’t!” Dragon Little waved him away. 

“I can! I can! I know that I can!” 

“Go home!”

“I’m holding my home in my hands! Come on, make a wish!”

“What’s the point, Genie of the Ramp?”

She headed to the ship’s wheel. 

The genie floated after her. “Please please please give me another chance!” 

Dragon Little stopped and looked at him. “Are you sure you can create anything?”

“Anything except your father and Red!”

“Hmmmm… I’ll think about it,” and she continued to walk to the wheel. 

She did think about it. But I will tell you more of what happened tomorrow. I grow tired easily.

—Told by The Red Dragon

#119: The Genie in the Lamp, Part 2

#117: To Not Pee Or to Not Not Pee, That Is the Question