He is gasping for a drink. His head is spinning with images of swords, screaming crowds at Pompeii, and Felix, the gladiator.
Where have they all gone? Where am I?
He sees his bedroom, and the bunk beds. And then he remembers. He was dreaming. Frantically, he checks that the little piece of Roman pipe is still on the bedside table, wrapped in toilet paper.
When Dylan arrives at school two hours later he scuttles straight into his classroom. His friends are there, and Mr Parry, their teacher, has just arrived.
“Sir, Sir, I found a bit of Roman pipe in the back garden …. and then I dreamt about the amphitheatre at Pompeii …. and then I talked to a gladiator called Felix …. and then ….”
“Welcome back, Mr Reynolds, glad to see you’ve recovered, and have plenty of stories to share!”
“But Sir, it’s true. The Romans used to smoke. The gladiator showed me his sword, and talked to me about honour and pride.”
Mr Parry smiles. He likes Dylan, and is every bit as fascinated by Roman history as the young boy. Dylan produces the pipe from his pocket, and shows Mr Parry and the crowd of six year olds which now surrounds him.
“See! Mum says it’s from the Roman Palace at Fishbourne. Felix knew I had found it.”
“And who is Felix? Isn’t Felix a cat’s name, or cat food, or something?”
“Oh, Siiiiir! He is Lucius Raecius Felix. The famous gladiator at Pompeii! He was fighting Marcus Attilius. Sir, it was awesome!”
And with that, Dylan, faints and crashes to the floor.
(to be continued)
© Vicky Newham 2012. All rights reserved.