‘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.

#120: The Genie in the Lamp, Part 3

“Okay, okay!” Dragon Little turned and shouted at the floating blue genie holding the lamp. “I’ll ask for something!”

The genie had been pestering her for the last few minutes now as I have told you in the last diary entry. Dragon Father had vanished from the dream, no doubt into his waking world whatever that world may hold, and the genie had stayed behind. But two failed attempts at wishmaking had made 5-year-old Dragon Little very short with him. 

He pestered her so much that she just gave in and agreed. 

“If I ask for three wishes you’ll go away?”

“Yes, yes! Thank you!”

“Okay.” Dragon Little stood firmly on Bonny Revenge’s deck and concentrated. “Give me a cake!”

The genie close his eyes as he floated in front of her and muttered something into the air. 

He opened them and looked around. 

“No cake?” Dragon Little made a face. 

“I don’t understand,” the genie. “My powers worked just fine before you and your father rescued me.” 

“I don’t care. Make it rain!”

The genie concentrated, but nothing happened. 

“I don’t… I don’t…” he muttered. 

I began to suspect that I knew why the genie could not make any wishes come true. Unlike all the other creatures of Dragon Father’s dream that stay behind when he wakes up and disappears, the genie is the only creature who can summon things out of nothing. But the truth is that only dreamers can summon objects out of nothing. Without the Dreamer there, his dream supporting the genie’s powers, the genie can summon nothing. 

“I want night! I want rocks! I want shoes! I want a ball! I want a trampoline!” 

The genie tried to summon each item as quickly as she said it, but nothing happened. 

“I’m sorry… This is the first time this happened to me…”

Dragon Little turned away from him. “Don’t care. I made three wishes. You can go away now.”

“But… But… But…” 

“Three wishes! I made eleventy wishes! Go away!”

“But… But… I can’t leave! I have to make your wishes come true!”

Dragon Little spun around. “Are you serious?”

“I can’t go!” the genie seemed on the verge of crying. “I’m a bad genie. Bad genie!”

Dragon Little sighed. “Come here,” she said, even as she walked away. 

The genie followed her. She went down the stairs and into the Infinite Prison at the belly of the ship. The genie followed her and I could not see either of them now. 

But my dragon ears were still sharp. 

I heard them take a few steps, then Dragon Little said in a loud voice to the hundred or so villains imprisoned in Bonny’s Revenge, “Which one of you can kill a genie?”

Tomorrow I will tell you about what happened next. 

—Told by The Red Dragon

#121: The Genie in the Lamp, Part 4

#119: The Genie in the Lamp, Part 2