“What do you think?” Ilyen asked, taking another bite out of his dinner. The burrito juice dribbled out of the end of the paper wrapping, spilling onto the metal of the car. It sizzled gently when it hit.

“Think?” Gyn replied, looking over at his husband with confusion.

“Of the view,” Ilyen asked, gesturing out to the spilling canyon below.

Gyn looked at the view. The canyon was as spectacular as the stories said it was, blood coloured soil turned orange with the setting sunlight, meandering through the desert mountains around them. One of the last places on this land which were untouched by the magics wars.

One of the last places they could find peace in this hellish world.

“It’s good,” Gyn said.

“Good?” Ilyen asked, “that’s it?”

Gyn shrugged.

“I don’t care for the view,” he said, “just the fact they cannot find us here.”

Ilyen smiled, grabbing Gyn’s hand and squeezing gently.

“They won’t find us here,” Ilyen said gently, “not here. There are too many wards, too many protections-”

“But,” Gyn said, squeezing his eyes shut. The images always lived behind his eyelids, the blood, the bodies, the massacre when the Authority found the pockets of magic users not registered to the System.

“No buts,” Ilyen said, kissing Gyn gently on the cheek, “just safe.”

Gyn opened his eyes, drinking in the sight of his husband. He hoped with every core of his being that Ilyen was right.

That they were safe here.

This flash fiction was first posted in 2020

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