Accidental Changes

26 Dec 2021  C. chou  10 mins read.

He stood there, staring at the dagger that he held in his hand in shock. It was covered in blood, and the body that lay before him… He hadn’t meant to. It was a friendly game wasn’t it? Didn’t he say that he say his defense was invulnerable? Why did the dagger have an effect?

“Arith!” He could hear his friend’s mother shout next to him as she ran toward the body. She shook the body, recieving no response. “How could you hurt him so? Didn’t you call him your friend?”

Yes. He did. The bloody dagger clattered onto the floor. He hadn’t meant to. He really hadn’t meant to. Arith had promised him that he wouldn’t be hurt. Why? He fell to his knees, as he watched his friend’s mother carry the body away.

It had been a year since the incident. He stood at the door. The door to the place that he used to visit so often. A place that used to be filled with laughter. He could still see Arith standing before him. He sighed and pressed the doorbell. He waited. No response. As he should have expected. He turned to leave.

“Renuth.” A familiar, but now cold voice said behind him. The door creaked open, and he could hear the sounds of the leaves crunching under wheels. He stopped in his steps and turned around. Arith.

“Come in.” Arith said in the same emotionless tone. A tone that was so different from that energetic child that he knew a mere year ago. Their friendship hadn’t been the same since. Never again did he see his friend smile. It was understandable.

Although the doctors managed to save his life, the accident had shattered his spiritual root. He’d never be able to wield his family magics again. He looked up, watching Arith roll the wheels of his wheelchair with a familiarity and expertise that pained him. For the remainder lifetime, he remembered the doctors saying. Not only did he lose his ability to practice magics, but he also lost his mobility.

Every doctor, even those that were magically capable, repeated the same statement. Arith was a cripple. And it was his fault. He sucked in a breath, as he approached his friend. A friend who he’d stolen freedom from. A friend who he’d stolen happiness from. A friend who would never walk on his two feet again. All because of him. A friend that he didn’t deserve to have.

But he was going to change that. Clenching his fist around the bead in his hand, he promised himself. Things would be normal again. Even if he would no longer be around to witness it. Even if he would never personally lay eyes on his friend’s smiles again.

Arith turned to face him, a cup of tea in hand. An offering. Yes. His eyes watered, as he tucked the bead into his pocket and accepted the cup. Yes. He was a guest here now. Gone were the days when he was considered one of them. A family member. One of them, despite a lack of blood relation.

His heart clenched. His hands tightened around the cup. Tonight. Things would become normal again. Taking a sip, he looked up at his once friend, and smiled. One of those smiles that hid the melancholy in his heart.

“How have you been?” He asked. But he knew the answer. Though their relationship hadn’t been the same since, he never stopped watching and doing his best to support his once friend. Sent to them was the best doctors that his allowances could cover. Hardly of age, his sources of income was limited. Still, he kept not a single cent.

But it was of no avail. Arith still had not recovered. His friend still continued to sit before him, bound to a wheelchair and sunken deep into the sea of depression. Nothing he’d done changed anything. Arith’s mother’s attitude yet another form of proof.

Gone were the days that she would smile and invite him in to see her son. Gone were the days that she would welcome him on her property. He sighed. He couldn’t even appear before Arith while she was around anymore.

No answer. As usual. Since the accident, this seemed to be the only response he could get from Arith. Given the tea offering, he had thought something might be different this time. But alas, nothing’s changed. “Goodbye Arith.” He whispered with a sigh, before turning to leave.

Stepping out, he turned to give the place a final glance. Pulling the bead out of his pocket and giving it a squeeze, he closed the door behind him. Blinking back tears, he smiled at the memories. At least, even if it ended this way, ,he had something to remember.

Night arrived seemingly sooner than he expected, coming just as he finished drawing the array. Wiping away the excess powder onto his vest, he walked over to the center. Kneeling in Its empty center and setting the bead before him, he clapped. A smile formed on his lips as his vision slowly faded. He lurched forward, toward the bead, feeling his strength sap away.

“Renuth!” A familiar voice shouted urgently, catching his attention despite his fading consciousness. Blinking his eyes, he did his best to look up. Even in his blurred vision, the short and wide shape. A person on a wheelchair. Arith.

Footsteps. The figure was running up to him. He looked up at the new floating and colorful sphere above him. A smile came to his lips as tears rolled down his face. The bead was working. Then it was all worth it.

An arm wrapped around his now limp body. “Stop it!” Arith begged.

It was no use. He hadn’t the slightest intention of stopping. As long as the array remained undisturbed, the spell would either reach it’s goal or it would continue until it’s caster perished in it’s effort to do so. Either way, it would get him what he wanted: A better life for Arith. Still, he hoped that he was sufficiently endowed to fully repair Arith, to the state that his friend deserved. With the sacrificial spell’s multiplied exchange requirements, he wasn’t certain he’d be able to ensure a full recovery.

Suddenly, the force drawing on him ceased. He drew in a breath, shocked. Opening his eyes, he looked up at the blurred figure that was Arith. “Why?” He asked.

“You really thought that this would fix anything?” Arith asked, nearly screaming. “Even if I could walk on my own legs, fix my magical abilities, do you think I could live with myself if I knew it all came at the cost of my friend?”

“I…” He started, his voice trailing off. He honestly never considered it a possibility. He didn’t tell Arith about his decision. It didn’t occur to him that his friend would catch him in the act. The sacrificial spell was known for consuming any resources that it could obtain, and all that was needed to succeed. He had thought, either he would die, without even a body remaining, or he would take whatever was left of himself off the cliff.

“You thought I wouldn’t be able to feel my body repairing?” Arith asked, his voice demanding. “You really thought that I couldn’t piece it all together?”

He really hadn’t. He coughed a laugh. He should’ve considered the possibility, and planned better. Arith didn’t need to have his actions on his consciousness. Oh well, there was nothing he could do about that now. The world swayed around him. At least, his friend had a shot at his dreams again. Shouts seemed fade into the background. The world finally seemed at peace. At least, his friend was no longer a cripple. He smiled, a lone tear falling as a sheet of black consumed his world.

It had been nearly a decade since the incident. Youthful laughter surrounded him. Arith’s children. Children that he imagined to be just as beautiful. Children he imagined to be as colorful as the glass bead he could still feel on his finger.

He had asked Arith to make it into a ring after waking all those years ago. A reminder of the beauty that still existed in the world. A smoothness that he could still feel. A replacement for the colors stolen by the black that greeted him these days. He smiled, satisfied, despite the changes that came to his life that night. News told him that Arith recently achieved his childhood dreams.

Footsteps. That familiar pattern. A smile formed on his lips. Arith’s happiness was all that he needed. A hand landed on his shoulders. “Thank you.” Arith whispered by his ear. He couldn’t remember the sensations of his feet on the ground. But finally, his friend understood. His happiness wasn’t dependent on his body nor his abilities. He was happy, so long as he still had Arith. So long as their friendship persisted. For the first time, since the accident, their friendship had finally returned. Nothing could make him happier.


A errant blade
A scratch
A drop of blood
And things were no longer the same

A smile
A false promise
A misunderstanding
And things were no longer the same

A friendly game
A misjudged step
An unintentional injury
And things were no longer the same

He looked up at his friend
Gone were the smiles
Bound on wheels
Things were no longer the same

But it didn’t have to be that way
He wouldn’t let it stay that way

A glass bead in hand
A glistening rainbow reflection
A fragile present
A shattered gift

But it didn’t have to be that way
He wouldn’t let it stay that way

A broken piece of beauty
Fragments scattered over the floor
A fleeting memory
Gone as quickly as it came

But it didn’t have to be that way
He wouldn’t let it stay that way

A token of their friendship
The proof of his existence
The last gift that he could give
A favor that he long owed

In the darkness of the night
A planned good bye
A wish for happiness
A favor that he long owed

A bright light
A sad face
An unexpected response
Toward the favor he long owed

At last
A debt repaid
Closed eyes
Finally, returning a favor that he long owed

A shake
Opened eyes
A smiling greeting
Tears of forgiveness
A rekindled flame

A grateful hug
A regretful embrace
Debts cleared
A rekindled flame

A rekindled flame,
A new light,
A renewed hope,
A new beginning,
To a once fractured friendship.

This story was inspired by a writing prompt from the “Promptly Written” Publication.

Write a ‘Redemption’ poem. You may write a story based on the theme. Up to 500 words

C. Chou
C. Chou

A writer that loves cabbages and bamboo, but also enjoys writing and sharing fiction (particularly the fantasy genre). Find me on Medium at: