“My name is Lucius Raecius Felix. Welcome to Pompeii. You found a piece of my master’s old pipe in your garden today, Dylan. I gather that you are surprised that the Romans smoked!”
“I, I …. wow! You’re a gladiator! That is so cool! How did you know …..?”
Felix smiles, and his swarthy-looking, unshaven face transforms. His sword gleams and sparkles in the Pompeii sunshine. Dylan’s dream seems timeless and vivid.
“Can I see your sword? You are very brave to fight.”
“I do not fight out of choice. It is a matter of honour and pride. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the life of a gladiator is glamorous. It is highly dangerous, as you have just seen. What is your life like, Dylan Reynolds?”
“Um. I’m in a bit of trouble at the moment. I lied to my Mum.”
The six year old boy had been beaming with admiration and awe at the famous gladiator, but now his eyes fill up with tears.
“Oh dear. Why was that?”
“I ate all the ice cream, and didn’t know what to do. So I lied. And I know I shouldn’t have. I was doing chores for my Mum when I found the pipe in the garden. To make her mend.”
“To make amends!,” says Felix, laughing. “Well, that’s good. It is honourable. You have the makings of a gladiator yet.”
Then, drenched with sweat and shaking with exhilaration, Dylan wakes up…..
(to be continued)
© Vicky Newham 2012. All rights reserved.