by Edd Vick
With all of time and space at their fingertips, Cait and Ron ran away to meet in the Jurassic. “Somewhere on the east coast of what will become Africa,” said Cait, “overlooking the Tethys Sea.”
There was a brief confusion when Cait appeared 160 million years BCE and Ron chose 180 million, but they soon united. The heat hit them, and the atmosphere higher in carbon dioxide made their hearts beat harder. “It’s love,” joked Ron.
They linked hands and strolled a beach beneath a flock of pterosaurs snapping up fish and mammoth insects. The Earth baked, and they with it.
Cait flopped down beneath a fern. One of the insects sheltered there, a butterfly if butterflies were the size of house cats. Its wings were filigreed and shone with iridescent colors.
“Lacey,” she said, passing her hand over it, not quite touching. “Now you’re the only one here with a name.”
“Besides us,” said Ron. Whistles sounded from down the beach. Ron shaded his eyes, looking back the way they’d come. “Besides our pursuers.”
“Is it your family this time,” she asked. “Or mine?”
“Meet you in Rome,” said Cait, catching hold of something that took her out of then and there.
“Wait,” said Ron. “When? When in Rome?” But she was gone.
He smiled. It didn’t matter.
After he was gone, Lacey hopped to the edge of the fern’s shadow to peer up. The sky was clear of predators. She spread her wings and flew.