Drink It by Maria Delaney

Mom always said don't play in the woods.

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Amrita Sarkar
10 months ago

Hi Maria,
Wow! That was such an engrossing read! I don’t think I stopped anywhere, just kept reading till I got to the end. I kind of had anticipated the end but that never stopped me from taking the fun ride you have sketched with your words. Some memories came back to me as I read of the ritual the friends perform to get a trip to purgatory. Back in our school days, planchette was a craze. Everyone wanted to have a one on one with some spirit. We tried it too in an empty classroom, but were only disappointed. I wonder though, what growled in the kitchen? Such an exciting read! Thanks for sharing!

10 months ago

Wow, Maria! You delivered this tale in signature style, and took me on quite the roller coaster ride, and through Purgatory no less! I always thought of purgatory as some blah, boring place, but I love your description of it, as well as of the four friends who share this experience. So much happens in this story, you’ve told it so well and in just 500 words! Great work.

Susan O'Neal
10 months ago

Another excellent story! I loved it and as Amrita did, I raced through it, it was so well put together. I thought it very clever to lull your reader into thinking Aubrey’d got away with the escape, just before the final twist and that final laidback line. Loved it.

Hyle Bathurst
10 months ago

Oh wow, Maria!
This is so creepy and cool! My kind of story!
I love the little tidbits you give about Devin, Bristol, Ember, and Aubrey. The tension rising as they try to drink the potion and then having to restart at the beginning like a bad video game is exciting!
Great job! December is the last month of this year! Can’t wait to see your next story!

Paul J P Slater
10 months ago

Hi Maria,

Congratulations on spinning an engrossing yarn. I love the character names … “Aubrey, Devin, Bristol, and Ember”. They are a fitting choice.

Be careful of who is relating the story … “Demonic growls echo, sending a profound chill through us all.”
In the above extract, how does the MC know the chill passes through us all. Perhaps the MC is confident it passes through herself only.

Watch out for repetition … “I must … I pinch my nose … I pass”.

Prior to the last line, convinced by familiar surroundings, the MC believes she is home.
Should the last line suggest she may have brought something with her?

Thank you for sharing. Keep writing.

10 months ago

On the surface a spooky story but with an undercurrent of malice. I like Paul’s suggestion of ‘having brought something with her’ … the dangerous reality of dabbling in the occult.
A thrilling read and take on the prompt Maria xox

Charles R.
10 months ago
Reply to  maria delaney

Maria I dug your story. You were able to cram an entire novel into 500 words. There was urgency and nice tension in it. Also I thought the ending where there was a little mystery – was nice touch. You left us all with a cliffhanger – so a sequel to this story is a must

10 months ago

Hey Maria

I loved the tone of this story – it makes me think of the movie Sin City – dark, sarcastic and full of danger.

the only note I have is to watch your pov – I thought you were in omniscient, but then you head-hop to 1st person pov.
reset that and you have a competition-worthy entry!

loved your storyline – and the theme of that loop playing over and over until what….there’s the real terror of this story! ???❤❤❤

10 months ago

Hi Maria,

I loved the pace of this story. The opening has a great, hurried malevolence. Whatever they have to drink made me gag as they suffered through it.

I have an issue with the ending. It’s great that they made it home, ( I probably would have killed one or more of them, LOL ), but it’s confusing that she’s surrounded by the trappings of her family home and then we’re told that she’s not home… yet.

Otherwise, it’s great, entertaining and well written.

Keep up the good work!

10 months ago

Hi Maria. Nice job with the story. Like the other commenters, I thought you did a great job with the mood and the setting. And I liked your choice of visiting purgatory. There’s no tension in heaven and hell, purgatory is where the good stories live. My only quibble, and it’s a minor one, is that the goth teens with their booze and dope seems a little cliched. But given the word count, it would be hard to flesh them out.

Lionel Mullally
10 months ago

very creepy and thrilling. thoroughly enjoable. you managed alot of action and excitment in the 500 words. very enjoyable read.

10 months ago

Hi Maria,
I thoroughly enjoyed your story. I liked how you started it in purgatory then slipped back the the graveyard to explain how they got there. I also liked your descriptions of the foul liquid with a life of its own. And the fact that you gave purgatory one thing of beauty – the purple night sky with the twinkling lilac covered stars. I felt that she was finally home safe too but then you have left me wondering is her home an illusion or did she bring the awful beast home with her……
I only found what I believe to be one small typo error: I pinch my nose and take a swing – I think you meant swig instead of swing.
Very well done and thanks for sharing.
PS I hope you continue this story on

10 months ago

Hey Maria, um, question to start…what did YOU sip to come up with this story? *LOL* Joking aside, I’m left amazed by what you managed to capture in 500 words or so. Absolutely loved this exchange, “She pointed to some spell, and the question slithered from her ruby lips. “Wanna visit purgatory and make it back in time for school?” We answered in unison, “Yeah, sure.””, because it so succinctly captures the devil-may-care attitude so many young people have about risks associated with so many things they dabble with or experience.

Furthermore, this bit of imagery, courtesy Aubrey “I will admit, the night sky is the most beautiful hue of purple I’ve ever witnessed. Purgatory’s twinkling lilac-colored stars are the only joy any soul will experience during their postponement.”, implies that you could appreciate, if you weren’t dead and being, um tortured. All told, I loved the fact that you gave this story stakes that not only paid off but the ending not being a tidy resolution leaves the chance to continue said story. Hoping to see a revisiting and conclusion. Will definitely look out for that. An enjoyable read.

SM Prasad
10 months ago

HI Maria,
I really liked your story. It reminded me of Stranger Things, the story on Netflix of a bunch of teens visiting an occult world with demons. I liked the routine everyday details juxtaposed next to the evil demons in a dangerous place. Your description of Purgatory with the lovely purple sky and lilac stars was great. The line where you write, ” Purgatory-a sad, depressing wasteland of horror, pain, and sorrow” threw me off because it felt too vague. You showed more in all your other descriptions, but here you just threw in the descriptions. I would suggest you do the same here. I love the description of how foul the drink is. And the ending intrigues me. I am thinking either she brought some creatures back with her, or she’s still in some sort of purgatory, that cruelly, looks a little like home…looking forward to the next installment. Great Job!

Debbie Gravett
10 months ago

Fantastic story Maria true to your form. I loved the cracking pace as I devoured the words wanting to know their fate. You do a great job of absorbing the reader in your scenes.

Well done. I’d love to know where they landed.