Flash Fiction Contest Winner #13 – “The Conqueror”

Please note: Flash fiction stories are submitted by members of our Discord server. Many contain adult themes and may be objectionable to some readers.

“The Conqueror”

When he met her, he knew he wanted her eyes. They were twin orbs of roiling waters, gray and temperamental. They were boundless oceans of mystery waiting to be sailed and discovered.
     “What beautiful eyes you have,” he said. “Would you give them to me?” She shook her head, and he, thinking that she preferred not to go blind, said, “I will return them to you.” 
     She smiled sadly at him. “They are not mine to freely lend, but if you ever have them, you will not want them.”
     He would not accept such an answer. “Then I will follow you until you give them to me,” he resolved. That day, he walked away from his old life and began dogging her footsteps. They hiked through dense forests, waded through musty swamps, and trudged through hot deserts where the wind whipped sand into his eyes. Unbothered, she kept going.
     “Where are you trying to go?” he asked.
     “Away from myself.” She barely rested, but she waited for him as he slept. At night, before sleep overtook him, he would stare into her eyes, which shimmered with the caps of newborn waves. He dreamed of being lost at sea.
     He admired her tirelessness and the way she strove towards a goal that was not known to him. There had to be something that mattered deeply enough to her that she would travel so far to have it. There was treasure beyond this shore, and he would dive for it.
     When they stopped and she looked unseeingly towards the horizon, he would ask her questions. “Where did you come from? Who created you? What do you desire?”
     Each question was met with silence, but her lack of response did not turn him back to the safety of the shore. Instead, he weathered it by creating his own answers. “You came from the bottom of the sea. You were born in a pearl that a fish carried in its mouth until a fisherman caught it and brought you to the surface. You desire love.”
     Lightning flickered in her stormy eyes at that.
     He stopped eating. All the sustenance he needed could be found in the pools of her eyes. He no longer thought of having them for himself. In her every blink, he counted dark eternities.
     They reached the ocean. He had forgotten that such a thing existed outside of the great expanse of her expression.
     “The sun is setting over the horizon,” he said, but he only knew because he was watching its reflection in her eyes.
     “I will give my eyes to you,” she said.
     “But I don’t want them,” he said. “I want you.”
     “It isn’t a choice anymore,” she said. She walked backwards into the sea, the waves snaking around her ankles. He asked her what she was doing, even as he found himself entranced with the briny backdrop to her beauty, a large-scale rendition of the watery worlds inside her eyes. Her clothes clung to her body, the thin tendrils of her hair ropy and limp. The waves battered her body, and she fell into its frothy wake.
     He ran into the water, salt flying into his mouth, but she was nowhere to be found. The tide brought him to his knees, and seawater collected in his eyes as he bemoaned what he had lost. He crawled ashore and fell asleep with sand in his hair, but the ocean reached him even in his dreams. 
     When his eyes snapped open again, waters roiled within.