Yuvoice

leaves with rainbows on the ground
Fiction

Rings of Magic

Country of Origin: United States of America

Trigger Warning: Violence

It was a hot day in the Colorado oil fields. The hottest day of the year. Robert stood on the platform of the new oil drill his company had just finished contracting and removed his construction helmet to wipe the sweat off his brow. He looked over at the young man with sandy blonde hair standing next to a large valve and computer station.

“All right Bert. Let her rip.”

A young man nodded and gave Robert an OK sign. “You got it, Sully.”

Robert rolled his eyes. “Would you stop calling me that already?” Years ago, his coworkers had started teasing him about his “sullen” face, and before he knew it everyone was calling him Sully.

“Sure thing, Sully,” said Bert with a laugh.

Robert seethed. “Bert, I swear. One of these days I’m gonna deck you for calling me that.” Bert simply laughed and Robert let out a sigh before turning back to his work. Now that the pipeline had been installed it was Robert’s job to monitor the first batch of oil that was pumped out for any air or abnormalities.

The booming sound of hydraulics and pumps filled the air as the pipe in front of Robert began to move up and down in the shaft. Soon, oil started to emerge and overflow from the shaft. The outside world vanished as Robert’s full concentration was on the oil, inspecting it for anything out of the ordinary as he quickly took notes. As the oil continued to pump, he suddenly noticed a small white speck floating in the tar.

“Stop the pump!” he yelled over the sound of the hydraulics.

The drill stopped and with a gloved hand Robert fished out the strange object from the black. Wiping it with a cloth he was surprised to find it was a ring. A beautiful gold ring with strange markings and a large pearl white stone in its center. The ring was unlike anything Robert had ever seen. The pearl white stone glowed with an almost otherworldly light. 

“Something wrong!?” came a shout from Bert.

Robert was shaken from his thoughts as he looked up at Bert. “Wait here, Bert. I found something I need to report to Zack.”

Bert nodded and Robert walked down the ramp to inform his superior of the ring he had found and the possible problem with the drill site it meant. Robert raised his hand to knock on the foreman’s trailer but stopped and looked at the ring once more, still glistening in the bright light. Its shine had an almost hypnotic look to it. Biting his lip, Robert looked around. Finding no one in sight, he quickly pocketed the ring and walked away to return to work. 

***

After a long day, Robert drove up to the small house he had just purchased. The house wasn’t much to look at, but it was perfect for a couple that was just starting out. He parked in the street and walked up the cracked stairs to the aged oak door.

“Andrea, I’m home,” he shouted as he stepped inside. 

“In the kitchen,” came a light voice that brought a smile to Robert’s face.

Walking into the kitchen, Robert saw the love of his life, Andrea, busy chopping some tomatoes on the kitchen counter. He and Andrea had been high school sweethearts and ever since graduation have been slowly trying to build a life together. He approached Andrea from the side, gave her a peck on the cheek and rubbed her swollen belly. 

“I got something for you.”

Robert reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring. Andrea’s eyes went wide as she gazed at the white ring. “Oh my god, Robert. It’s beautiful. Where did you ever get it?”

“I found it at work today.” 

Andrea raised her eyebrow. It was unusual for Robert to bring something home from work. She placed the ring on her finger and gazed at it, transfixed. The white glossy finish seemed to have an almost hypnotic shine to it.

“Andrea!”

Andrea shook her head and blinked. “Hmm?”

Robert looked at her with concern. “Are you OK? You seemed gone for a moment.”

Andrea blushed. “Oh sorry. The ring is so beautiful that I just got lost in it. I should get back to making dinner.” As she cooked, she kept looking at the ring, unable to keep her eyes off the glossy stone. As her gaze shifted back and forth from the tomatoes she was slicing to the ring on her finger, her hand slipped, slicing into her finger.

“Agh!” she screamed as she held her finger, blood dripping out of the open wound and onto the counter and floor. 

Robert turned around. “Andrea!” He rushed over to her as she tried to hold her finger and stop the bleeding. He rushed to the bathroom and grabbed the first aid kit.  

As he set the kit on the counter and opened it, the ring on Andrea’s finger began to glow with a bright otherworldly light. Bandage in Robert’s hand, they both watched as Andrea’s finger miraculously healed on its own. Within only a few seconds, the wound was completely healed. With not even a scratch to suggest it was ever there.

 Neither one of them said anything about it at first. Too shocked to utter a word.

“Did that just really happen?” Andrea questioned.

Robert simply stared at Andrea’s finger before shaking his head. “No, that’s…that’s impossible. I think we’re just stressed out over the baby,” he said.

While Robert chose to ignore the incident, Andrea couldn’t let it go and stared down at her new ring.

***

For the next few days, Andrea stared obsessively at her ring. Admiring its beauty for what seemed like hours. 

A few weeks later at one of their routine clinic appointments, the couple received the heartbreaking news that the baby was not developing right. The doctor informed them that if Andrea carried the child to full term there was a high chance that not only would their unborn son die, but that so would Andrea. 

Andrea broke down in tears and Robert did his best to comfort her. Somewhere between leaving the building and entering the car, Andrea became quiet. Quieter than Robert had ever seen her. The entire ride back to their apartment she simply stared straight down at her ring. Even when they arrived home, Andrea simply sat on the couch and stared at her ring.

Unsure what to say, Robert sat down on the couch next to his wife. “Andrea, honey, are you OK?”

Andrea looked at Robert and gave him a wide, unnerving smile. “Of course, I’m OK honey. Everything is going to be fine,” she said in an even tone. Not at all what Robert would expect from someone who had just received the news she had.

“But the baby?”

“The baby is fine,” injected Andrea. “Everything is fine.” 

“Andrea I…” Robert swallowed. He knew what he had to say but the thought of it killed him as much as he knew it would kill her. “I know you don’t want to hear this, but we have to terminate him. I can’t lose you too.”

Andrea began to turn the ring on her finger and turned to Robert with a slightly creepy smile. “Oh, Robert. Everything will be fine. This ring you gave me is a gift from God. And it will protect our baby.”

Robert looked at Andrea in confusion. “A gift from…Andrea, what are you talking about?”

Andrea lifted her hand and showed Robert the ring on her finger. “I told you how my grandfather used to tell me about old legends, right?” 

Robert nodded and raised an eyebrow. Unsure why she would bring up her grandfather’s old tales. She had been acting odd the last few days. Ever since he gave her the ring it seemed like she paid more attention to it than to anything else. “Honey, you don’t really think that ring is magic, do you? I told you, the blood from that cut was probably mostly just tomato juice that came off when we wiped your finger.”

Andrea frowned. Upset that Robert still refused to acknowledge what had happened a few days ago, she got up from the couch and walked to the kitchen where she grabbed a large kitchen knife from the counter and stabbed her hand. She screamed in pain as blood poured out of the open wound and all over the kitchen floor.

“What the hell are you doing?!” Robert shouted in panic and grabbed Andrea’s wrist. “We need to get you to the hospital!”

“Wait, don’t!” Andrea hissed. Still in pain as she held out her shaking and bloody hand to him. “Just…just watch.”

Robert was about to scream at her and drag her to the car when the ring on her finger began to glow, just as it had done before. Just like before, the wound on Andrea’s hand began to slowly heal. The muscles fused back together as new skin seemed to sew the wound shut so well it was impossible to tell the wound had been there at all. 

Robert was at a loss for words. There was no rationalizing away what had happened this time. The large puddle of blood still on the floor made it impossible to argue.

Andrea smiled and held out her hand as she gazed at her ring. “See, good as new?” she said, seemingly speaking more to the ring than to Robert. “These rings are a gift from God. A gift to help us save our child.” 

Robert simply nodded. Too dumbfounded to know what to say. “Honey I…we don’t know anything about how these rings work. What if something goes wrong? I just don’t want to lose you too.”

Andrea smiled, her eyes still focused solely on the ring on her outstretched hand. A faint glow continued to emanate from it. “Don’t worry, my love. All will be well.”

***

For the next few months, things continued as normal, though Robert noticed Andrea was still transfixed by her ring. Finally, the day came for Andrea to give birth. Robert rushed her to the hospital, as fast as possible, breaking every speed limit in the county. Robert stayed with her the whole time as she screamed in agony. Robert was pale the entire time, terrified for his wife’s safety. The only thing that calmed him down was the steady glow of the ring on her finger. A sign that her body was healing itself just as fast as it was being torn apart. 

After three hours of screaming and pushing, Andrea finally stopped and fell back against the bed, panting from exhaustion. The sudden silence and lack of a baby crying unnerved Robert as he looked at the doctor with hopeful eyes.

The doctor looked up from between Andrea’s legs, gave the couple a solemn look, and shook his head. “I’m sorry.”

Andrea broke down in tears as Robert hugged her.

As the doctors prepared to leave, Andrea asked to see their stillborn child. The doctors hesitated, but ultimately allowed it. As Andrea held the unmoving child, she placed the ring on his cold forehead. “It will be alright little one. This will make it all better.”

The ring, however, did not glow. It simply remained the same dull white as it always was. Andrea continued to whisper to her dead child. Moving the ring around his body and trying to force it to heal him, but to no avail. Finally, the doctors took the child from Andrea, forced to pry it from her arms as she wept. 

***

A month passed and Andrea did not leave their bedroom. She barely ate or spoke to her husband. When she did speak, she simply mumbled while staring at her ring, turning it over and over on her finger. 

Robert returned home one evening to an eerily silent apartment. Not even the sound of Andrea’s weeping greeted his ears. He walked towards the bedroom to change and once again attempt to get her out of her depression. When he opened the bedroom door, his blood ran cold and the color drained from his face.  

There, in the middle of the room, just in front of the bed, was his wife’s body hanging from a noose tied to the rafters. A note taped on her chest in her handwriting. 

“My fault. So sorry. I failed.” 

In a panic, Robert tried to pull Andrea down but the noose was too tight. He rushed to the kitchen, grabbed the biggest knife he could find, and began to frantically cut the rope. In his haste, he ended up slicing his hand, but ignored it. The rope snapped and Andrea tumbled to the floor. Robert rushed to his wife’s side. Finding her body cold to the touch, he began to shake her. “Come on Andrea. Don’t you do this to me. Don’t leave me!” he cried.

 “Why? Why would you do this?” 

The question was redundant. Robert knew why his wife had taken her own life. She blamed herself for their child’s death. For not being able to save him. For not being able to heal him.

“Heal!”

Robert’s eyes darted to his wife’s finger and realized that the ring was no longer on it. Frantically, he looked around the room and spotted the white gem at the foot of the bed. Desperately hoping for a miracle, he slid the ring onto Andrea’s cold finger.

The moment he slipped it on, the ring fell right off. Frustrated, Robert put the ring on again and held it in place. Yet there was no glow. Just a plain white ring sitting on his wife’s cold finger. In one last desperate attempt, Robert put the ring on his finger. He felt a sharp pain shoot through his body, but he ignored it. He laid his hand with the ring on Andrea’s chest.

“Please come back to me, Andrea. Please come back. Don’t leave me all alone.”

The ring’s white gemstone began to glow once more, and Robert smiled. He felt a surge of energy wash through his body. His hopeful smile turned to horror when he felt the cut on his palm beginning to heal.

 “No! No!! Not me! Her!! Heal her!!!” It was no use. The ring refused to obey. Robert could do nothing but hold his wife’s lifeless body as he felt his hand slowly stitch itself together. When the healing was finished, the ring stopped glowing. Nothing Robert tried could make the ring heal Andrea’s body. 

***

Time had no meaning as Robert spent days and nights either on his computer or at the local library. Every ounce of time that he wasn’t passed out from exhaustion, he spent trying to research the cursed ring that refused to come off.
He found various articles and stories on magical jewelry from different cultures and religions, but Robert’s focus was just rings. He read about rings with magic powers ranging from giving the user tremendous luck to being able to raise the dead. He even found tales of rings that had healing powers, but nothing he read or saw looked like the ring he had on his finger. It was unique, the gem was shining white, and the metal band had strange symbols engraved on it. He wasn’t sure if it was a dead language, runic symbols or tribal marking, but the unknown was taking him to his breaking point.

Days turned into weeks as Robert researched. After a while, he wasn’t even sure what information he was looking for. A way to get the ring off, information where it came from, what its purpose was. The only thing he found that gave him some strand of hope was a myth on a ring that gave the user the ability to fly. The pictures used to depict the ring looked similar to his, the gemstone a light blue color with similar symbols on the metal band.

“Knock, knock, knock.”

“Robert are you in?” came the sound of Bert’s familiar voice.

Robert’s eyes opened in a blurry mess. He rubbed his temples as he sat up. A book fell from his chest as he realized he passed out while reading again. 

“Robert, man, open up.”

Groaning, Robert stumbled to his feet and walked to the door to unlock it. He tried to focus his barely working eyes on Bert.

Bert’s eyes went wide in horror as he took in Robert’s appearance. “Jesus man look at you. You look like you rolled out of a grave.”

Robert groaned. He had no idea what he looked like. He hadn’t bothered to keep it together since Andrea’s death. 

“What do you want, Bert?” he barked out in a gruff tone. His voice choked and hoarse from disuse.

Bert frowned but said nothing. “I want to help you man. Lenny says if you don’t come back to work tomorrow you’re fired.’’

Robert blew smoke through his nose as a ghost of a smile appeared on his face. The first since Andrea’s death. “Lenny can go shove a drill up his ass for all I care,” he said and plopped down onto the couch. “I don’t give a shit about that stupid job anyway.’’

Burt walked over and put his hand on Robert’s shoulder. “Come on man, you gotta snap out of it. Look I know you’re going through a lot after losing Andrea. But you can’t just let your life collapse like this.”

Robert looked up and glared at Bert. “Andrea was my life.”

“Come on, Bert. I’m your friend. I want to help you.”

It was then that Robert noticed something on Bert’s finger. A ring. One that looked exactly like Andrea’s, only with an orange stone instead of a white one.

“Bert. That ring. Where did you get it?”

“Oh, this. Found it at work when we were digging another pipeline. Figured no one would mind if I kept it. Dangest thing, though. For some reason, I can’t get it off. I think my dang finger has swollen around it or something.”

Robert stood up. His large six-foot frame easily dwarfed his coworkers. “I need that ring Bert, now.”

Bert looked up at his coworker. The taller man’s face was obscured by the shadows of the dark room. He began to feel a chill run down his spine from the dark glint in Robert’s eyes. “Hey man, I’d love to give it to you. If I could just get it off.” He demonstrated his inability to remove the ring as he tried to pull it off.

Robert’s hand shot forward, he grabbed Bert’s ring in a tight grip and started pulling.

“AGH!”

Bert screamed in pain as it felt like his finger was about to snap. He tried using all his strength to pull his wrist from Robert’s vice-like grip, but he couldn’t. Then, suddenly, the orange gemstone on Bert’s ring began to glow and he felt a sudden surge of strength within. Robert noticed this too and, just before he could do anything, he was suddenly thrown ten feet away and hit a wall. Bert was shocked, unsure where that sudden strength came from and why he was able to throw Robert so easily. “Shit. Robert, are you okay? I’m sorry I’m not sure how that happened.’’

Robert picked himself up from the floor. There were some cuts from the glass frames he crashed into. Robert’s wounds began to heal and he simply looked at Bert, no longer seeing his friend. His eyes solely fixated on the ring. “I need that ring, buddy,” he said menacingly.

In a flash Robert rushed to the kitchen. Unsure if his friend was okay, Bert followed and watched as Robert rooted through the silverware. “Robert man. What’s going on? Are you okay? I just threw you across the room and I’m not sure if you’re even okay. You’re freaking me out a little here.”

Robert turned around as he held a large cleaver in his right hand, his eyes wide and wild. “I need that ring Bert. And you are going to give it to me.”

Bert’s eyes went wide and skin pale. He tried to back up and his back hit against the kitchen’s island counter. ““Th…that’s it man. I’m calling the cops!” said Bert. He pulled his phone out and began to dial. As the dial tone filled the air, Robert’s hand darted out and smacked the phone from Bert’s palm.

Robert slammed Bert’s hand down on the counter. Bert tried to pull away but, before he could, Robert punched him in the face. Bert dropped to one knee. His head rattled from the hit. His hand on the kitchen counter, he soon felt Robert grab his wrist and hold it like a steel trap. Bert looked up at Robert who was towering over him.  “Please don’t do this,” Bert whimpered. “Please Rob. It’s me. It’s Bert. Your friend. P-please.” 

It was no use. There was a crazed look in Robert’s eyes as his vision centered on the ring. He looked the man in the eyes. “I’m sorry, but I have to have that ring on your finger,” he said. His tone was calm. Almost kind.

Bert choked on his tears. “P-please. If I could take this ring off, I’d give it to you! I swear!”

Robert sighed and nodded. “Oh, I know you would.”

Without an ounce of hesitation Robert raised the chef knife high. Time slowed down. Adrenaline rushed through Robert’s veins. In a state of panic, Bert desperately tried to free his arm as his heart pounded in his chest. His ring’s orange gemstone began to glow, but before anything could happen, in a single motion, Robert quickly brought the knife down.

SLAM.

“AGHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Bert screamed as in an instant his hand was severed from his wrist. Blood flowed and pooled from the new stump onto the countertop. Bert instantly collapsed onto the floor as crimson red blood gushed over the dirty white tile. 

Robert didn’t even look at his friend, his eyes simply falling to the bloody ring still attached to a hand on the counter. He pulled the orange ring off the still warm middle finger and slid it onto his left hand. He winced in pain as the ring tightened onto his left middle finger. He felt the same flash of power as before surge through his body. With the ring on his finger, he finally looked at his bleeding friend. A small spark of regret filled his heart as he looked at the result of the cruel but necessary deed before him; but he pushed it away.

Bert looked up at Robert in a mixture of pain and fear, as he held his bleeding hand to his shirt to try and stop the loss of blood. Without another word, Robert marched to the front door. 

“Rob. Where…where are you going!? Don’t just leave me like this!” came Bert’s pain filled cry. Robert paused for a brief second and then, without turning around, walked to the door. He looked at the new ring on his left hand. Images of Andrea played in his head like a silent film. “I will find a ring that’ll bring you back to me my love. Even if I have to kill every last person with these “blessings” of God’s power.”


Thank you to Brian Green for their inspired edit on this piece and everyone else on the Fiction team.

If you are interested in submitting a piece to the DG Sentinel, please visit our submissions page here.

Luis Amaya is a fellow nerd who loves a story with an amazing plot, character development, and memorable scenes. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado, has been writing creatively for more than three years and just recently began a career in freelance writing. Luis has written a full length book with more than 80,000 words and 21 chapters that can be read for free online. His love for movies, TV shows, anime and video games is what inspired him to become a writer. Luis enjoys creating his very own unique characters, the worlds they live in and their stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *