‘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.

#111: The Nuclear Bomb

Dragon Little was five years old when she handled her first nuclear bomb. 

I do not know exactly what a nuclear bomb ist. In the hundreds of years that I have lived in the dream, I have seen many weapons, but never something called a nuclear bomb. 

All I know about it ist what Dragon Father told Dragon Little as they were off to save the world from the terrorist pirates who stole the bomb. 

It ist very dangerous. One explosion could destroy an entire city and anyone around it. No one knows what ist the thing that makes it explode, not Dragon Father and not the terrorist pirates. 

The terrorist pirates stole the bomb from the Ministry of Science on Jupiter. They Ministry of Science asked for the heroes’ help: Dragon Little (5-year-old Joy Shelley) and Dragon Father (Justin Shelley, her father, whose dream this ist and whose dream she lives in). 

The pirates were trying to make the bomb explode in their headquarters by putting it in a fire.

Dragon Father and Dragon Little tracked down their whereabouts. Dragon Father, with Bonny’s Revenge’s cannons, attacked their ships, making so much noise the terrorist pirates ran out of the room and began to fight him. 

Dragon Little snuck in through the window from the opposite direction. She saw the bomb on the fire. Immediately, she ran to the faucet, filled a bucket and took out the fire. 

Happy with what she’s done, she reached in to take the small, shiny, silvery ball that was as big as her head. 

She grabbed it with both hands, raised them, then screamed and threw it into the air without thinking. “Hot hot hot!”

She put her hands to her chest automatically, no doubt trying to cool them. Even from here I could see part of her fingers were too red - she had been burnt. Then she looked up, realizing the bomb was about to fall. 

I was afraid. I did not know if her father’s dream would protect her in from such a bomb while he was not watching her. I did not know what would make the bomb explode, but there was no time for me to swoop in and grab it before it hit the floor. I was too far away, even with my speed. 

Dragon Little reached out to catch the hot nuclear bomb. She caught it with both hands and this time held on. 

“Ah! Hot hot hot hot hot!” She said as she ran around the room, looking around for someplace to put it. She gingerly put it in the bucket and only then let go. 

She sighed with relief then looked at her hands. They were all red. She grabbed the bucket and headed out of the terrorist pirates’ headquarters. 

Even though her skin would peel for the next few weeks and hurt, which means the bomb had been as hot as the fire when she held it - she was able to handle the pain of getting burnt to save the world. I felt heartened at this. I knew many of the things that were coming for her, the dangers that would eventually catch up with her because of who she was, not to mention the mention of the dreams - worlds where everything is possible and her father would not always be there to protect her.

Perhaps she did stand a chance to survive. Perhaps she did.

—Told by The Red Dragon

#112: The Stubble

#110: You're Not Angry at Me