“Dylan? Dylan, love,” his Mum is saying.
“Where am I?”
“You fainted at school. Dr McKenzie says you’ve got a stomach bug.”
“Where’s the pipe? The pipe I found in the garden yesterday.”
The anxiety in Dylan’s voice is unmistakeable.
“I don’t know. Someone in your class has probably got it for you. What do you want that old thing for?”
“It was Felix’s.”
“Who’s Felix? Isn’t Felix…?”
“No Mum, not cat food! He’s a Roman gladiator. I dreamt about him last night. He knew I had found the pipe. He said I was honourable and would make a good gladiator.”
Mrs Reynolds wonders if her son is hallucinating? Is he telling the truth? He’s made things up before.
“Oh Dylan! Don’t start all that nonsense again. A gladiator talking to you! Whatever next?”
“He did. I’ll dream about him again, and then you’ll believe me!”
“Do you want to come downstairs and watch some TV?”
Dylan spends the afternoon snoozing on the couch, under his duvet, with the telly on. But try as he might, he cannot seem to summon up Felix. He is determined to make his Mum believe that he dreamt about a gladiator. When she brings him some toast, he tries –
“I am sorry about the ice cream lie, Mum, but I’m not lying about Felix.”
“Sorry I didn’t believe you, love. I was just worried about you. Fainting like that.”
Later on, he falls asleep again. Suddenly, he is back in Pompeii with the mighty Felix.
“Ryan, reputation is important. If you are honourable in your dealings, you will be seen as honourable. And the clay pipe, my friend, is not in safe hands.”
“Felix! I tried to find you. When I closed my eyes, I asked to dream of you. But it didn’t happen. Yet now you are here!”
“Why do you think that is, Dylan?”
(to be continued)
© Vicky Newham 2012. All rights reserved.