Author's note: My 6th grade Geography teacher inspired this story when he spent a week on Ancient Greece and... Show full author's note »
BacktrackThessaly is a short ride to the West, and alone I could do more then a fast trot. A day or two of hard riding and a day or two in Thessaly would not get me caught. A patron of war should not be hard to find in Thessaly. Olympus’s peaks are just north of the city, and Ares would be around to test himself against the men at wrestling. The sun set and I rode through the cold night, wishing that I had my white cloak with me. The sun rose hours later, and I kept her running. I saw Thessaly ahead, and made way for the city, slowing the mare down so that she would not tear down the paths like a mad horse and get one of us shot with an arrow.
I stopped her; she was blowing a bit, so I tied her to a shady old tree, and walked towards some men who were fighting. When I went closer, I saw one man with royal golden blonde air that caught in the sun, and red eyes that looked like they had seen everything. His shoulders were broad across, and he was impossibly tall. The war god. I stepped forward, and bowed at his feet; he gazed down at me gently, like a herder to a lamb, and told me to stand.
“Ares, god of war, feared and respected as my patron in Sparta, the same as I march with Alexander of Macedonia… It is a true honor my lord.” I kept my head low in respect.
“No need for flattery,” he said, basking in my praise, but acting as if he did not like it, “You came for information, and I shall give it to you.”
“Really?” I asked, “I brought money, my sword, my shield.”
“No need, I have plenty, but I will tell you that; though you dislike Alexander, he will surprise you. Your destiny is not to kill him, but to do something much bigger, something that will shape the world we live in. I promise you that glory and honor will be yours eventually Spartan, I know this, because I have watched you. You are the first Amazon, next to my daughters, a female warrior, who acts much like a man.”
“Thank you lord Ares, though you will not take my offerings, I shall fight that much more valiantly in your name. May your battles be bloody and your plundering be rich.”
“As to you little Warrior,” he said, “farewell.” He snapped his fingers and disappeared, just like that.
“Hey Styra,” I whispered, “You will not like this, but we must go now.”