Aunt Wilbur’s Horror Story


            “Let me tell you a story,” said Aunt Wilbur.

            “Beep.  Boop.  Beep.  Boop.” was the reply.

            “Hey, I’m talking to you,” bellowed Aunt Wilbur, who regularly had a lot of anger in her voice.  This was mainly because her parents named her Wilbur.

            “We’re playing X-Box,” squealed the children.

            “Not anymore you’re not,” she yelled while yanking the cord out of the TV.

            The children, who weren’t often frightened by adults as any kind of minor reprimand sent them threatening to call social services, were afraid of Aunt Wilbur.  Besides having a man’s name, she shaved her eyebrows and drew them on with black eyebrow pencil.  The summer humidity caused her to sweat, and the sweat made her eyebrows run down her face.

            It was summer.  She was sweating.  Eyebrows were running.

            Bug-eyed children were listening.

            “When I was a child, we didn’t have video games,” snarled Aunt Wilbur.  “We told stories to remember family times.”

              The children, whom she often referred to as “little crumbsnatchers,” knew they’d never forget her.  Or her eyebrows.

            “One day a great flood came into my basement,” she began.

            “It did?” asked Dolly.


            Dolly wet her pants before Aunt Wilbur could get the word “snatcher” out of her mouth.

              “As I was saying,” Aunt Wilbur continued, “during a horrible storm, the substandard window well drains in my basement clogged…”

            “What’s substandard mean?” asked little Bobby.

            “Ask your father,” she spat.  “We use it to describe him all the time.”

            “When the drains clogged, the water rose up, high behind the windows,” Aunt Wilbur said while raising her hands above her eyebrows, which were now down by her chin.  “The pressure built up, and the great flood began pouring into the basement.”

            “What did you do?” squealed the children, actually mesmerized.  And temporarily unafraid.

            What Aunt Wilbur had done was stand there in a stupor watching water cascade down her basement wall.  But acting like a “deer in the headlights” didn’t make for good story telling.

            “I shook my fists and told the water to stop,” roared Aunt Wilbur.  “And it did.”

            The children didn’t doubt this for a minute.

            “Your Uncle Wilbur (yes, this unfortunate woman had married a man also named Wilbur) brought home a wet vac big enough to suck up small children,” she exclaimed, eyes blazing, arms waving, eyebrows running.  “He sucked the water up in one fell swoop.”

            Really, he spent hours down there sucking up water, and ruined his good pants in the process.  But that didn’t make for a good story either.

            “The great flood never came again,” Aunt Wilbur said with a smirk.  That’s because they had the basement waterproofed.

            “Great story, Aunt Wilbur,” the children said while they clapped.  Aunt Wilbur smiled and plugged in the X-Box.

            The children were good liars.  The story stank.

            But at least they could go back to playing Simpson’s Hit and Run.