78 Drink


(Credit: JoelAmatGuell on DeviantArt)

Maude lifted the cup to her lips. The drink smelled strongly of mint with a hint of citrus. It did not look especially magical. The ticking of her kitchen clock seemed abnormally loud. She lowered the cup without drinking.

‘So I just have to drink this before midnight?’ She asked the devil, who was still standing in the darkest corner of the room.

‘Yes,’ its voice rasped.

‘And that’s really all there is to it?’ Maude raised her eyebrows.

‘There is always a price.’ The eyes of the devil glinted from the shadows.

‘But what will the price be?’

‘The price will match the power you receive.’

As Maude raised the cup, the devil took a step out of the corner and some of the shadows followed it. Maude sucked her teeth, then lowered the cup again.

‘Will I be able to make myself smarter with the power I get?’

‘You want to use your powers to modify yourself?’ The devil’s eyes flickered to the clock, then back to Maude.

‘Yeah, I mean, I could ask for more brains, but then I thought: What if come up with an even better wish right after getting what I thought I wanted? So I want power to modify my wish, so to speak.’

‘You’ll be able to, if you just drink,’ said the devil, claws twitching.

Maude lifted the cup and took a deep breath. Ginger and apples filled her nose. There was a sigh from the devil as she lowered the cup again.

‘It smells different now,’ she said, ‘did you change it?’

‘The drink is whatever you want it to be,’ said the devil, ‘you changed it.’

‘What, but then it’s the same problem,’ said Maude, ‘I have to be absolutely certain of what I want before I drink.’

‘Wishing for power to change your abilities, should serve you just fine.’

‘But what if I find out that what I really want is to change something outside myself?’

‘Don’t worry too much about it,’ said the devil, ‘just drink.’


‘The clock is ticking.’



Maude snorted.

‘No,’ she said.


‘I don’t like your tone.’

‘I don’t have time for this,’ growled the devil.

‘Well I,’

‘I’ll pour it through your nose if I have to!’ the devil strode towards Maude and she threw the drink in its face. The devil stopped in its tracks as the now clear odourless liquid made the shadows boil.

‘What,’ the devil stumbled, ‘what’s happening?’ the shadows began melting away.

‘It seems the drink turns into anything I want it to be,’ said Maude, ‘even if I want it to be holy water.’

When the clock struck twelve, the devil was a puddle on Maude’s floor.

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  1. Moral of the story – never deal with a devil unless you’ve stacked the deck! Well done. 🙂

  2. What a great example of character agency. 🙂 I’m sharing this with my students.


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