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‘Avoid Attica, my friend,’ said Neleos. ‘Your wild talk makes you a heretic in their eyes. Heed the words of their magistrate, Krateros. Stay away from that township.’

‘Fear not, my drunken friend,’ said Alastor. ‘I shall tread the road that fringes the town.’

‘Set off tonight then, for the moon is voluptuous and bright,’ said Neleos. ‘By the time the sun kisses the dew drenched earth, you would have passed Attica. But even then, don’t forget your sturdy staff and trusty blade. And indulge no one on the road.’

‘You nag like my mother, but I know you mean well.’ Alastor dug into his pouch and produced a coin to pay for their drinks.

‘You are my friend, and to speak the truth, my only friend,’ said Neleos. He emptied his wine-cup. ‘Thank you for indulging me again. And come back whole, for I will not know how to engage in a conversation, if you were missing a head.’

*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2017 ***

Context: In our modern world, people travel all the time – whether a quick dive to the corner drug store or an international trip straddling continents – and hardly give a second thought. Back then, I believe, every journey was froth with danger.