Safari to Egaleo
by Alexis Kypridemos
Leon hailed a cab. The cab pulled over. The passenger's window came down and the cabbie leaned over.
"Where to?" he asked Leon.
"Egaleo," Leon said.
The cabbie didn't bother answering no. He just moved on to the next customer, a withered old man.
"Hell," the old man croaked.
"Get in," the cabbie said.
The old man gingerly lowered himself into the cab.
"And step on it, will ya? I'm in a hurry," he said.
Six hours later, clutching his aching belly in the hallway of the Nikea State Hospital, not far from Egaleo, Leon was pretty sure that incident had been an omen.
When the cab hadn't worked out, Leon had taken the subway to the end of the line, and walked the rest of the way to his old buddy Jimmy's house. On the way he witnessed a stray dog drink another's urine, straight from the tap, as it were. That too should have been an omen. Leon pushed on toward Jimmy's.
Once there, Jimmy had convinced Leon to go out for drinks. 'Drinks' meant wine in plastic bottles from the neighborhood liquor store. But that had been only the beginning.
Across the hospital hall, another drunk, also clutching his belly, nodded at Leon.
"Abelia," Leon answered the unspoken question, naming the brand of dirt cheap white wine which had put him there. "And you?" he asked the drunk.
"Queen Margaret," the drunk said, mentioning a brand of mature Romanian "Scotch."
Leon nodded compassionately. He had to admit, that topped his wine misadventure.
"And what about him?" the drunk asked, and jerked his chin toward two legs pointing up at the sky. The legs were Jimmy's, who was passed out on the floor.
"Molotov," Leon said, mentioning the most dreaded of the three euro vodkas.
The drunk winced. That took the cake.
Author Notes: "Safari to Egaleo" is part of "Fiction Fix," a collection of 46 short, funny stories, plus 196 bonus micro fiction budget stories, available at http://www.fiction-fix.com.