Two small boys found it in the ruins. They went into one of the unlit passages of the Emperor Nero’s palace. Something shiny on the wall caught their eye.

“Look at this,” Marius said. He held a disc the size of a dinner plate.  Baldo stared at the object. He wiped the surface with his shirttail. Suddenly a rosy glow filled the room. The brightness momentarily blinded the boys. They dropped it and ran.

Soon their eyes adjusted and they crept back. Baldo picked it up and exclaimed in wonder. “People are inside,” he said. Marius watched over his shoulder. The boys were spellbound.

A young man in an elegant toga paced back and forth. Jewels and delicate  gold chains hung from his wrists. A beautiful young woman, obviously pregnant, sat on the floor wringing her hands. The man turned to her and shouted.

Marius and Baldo watched wide-eyed. The young man sat on a marble bench and picked up a stringed musical instrument. He began to play. The haunting music hypnotized the boys.

They heard a click and bright white light filled the passage. “Hey, what are you doing here?” a rough male voice shouted. Baldo gasped and stuffed the disc into his shirt. Marius stood in front of him trying to obstruct the view of the man. “You know you’re not allowed in here. Out. Now, or I’ll call the Polizia,” he said.

The boys ran as fast as they could out into the sunshine.

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