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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Aunt Dinah and the Stranger
By Judy Bowers


Most folks thought old Aunt Dinah was a little bit crazy.

Whenever she showed up unannounced in her noisy old Pontiac and knocked at the front door, folks in the family would sort of half-smile and get a little funny look on their face. Nobody disliked Aunt Dinah, it was just that she talked non-stop from the time she arrived until she left.

Dinah had one daughter, Rhea, who went everywhere that Dinah went. Among her numerous ailments, Dinah suffered from cataracts or other eye ailment, so Rhea dutifully drove her mother wherever she needed to go. Cousin Rhea was somewhat shy so she rarely said anything more than, “Yes, Mama.”

Dinah was a do-gooder. She always had some good cause with which she needed help. She would ramble on about the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in this world, clearly indicating that she considered the family she was currently visiting to fall within the ‘haves’ category and therefore their duty to share some of their God-given wealth with the ‘have-nots’. Her primary cause seemed to be finding donations of clothing with which she could help her neighbors who were so poor they would appreciate anything.

Nobody knew how much of the clothing actually found its way into her neighbors lives because Aunt Dinah’s own clothing always resembled clothes the family had worn in previous years. But since it is more blessed to give than to receive, something was always found to give to her. And in a strange way the family, who really didn’t have all that much, always felt richer for the giving.

Among Aunt Dinah’s loquacious ramblings was a story she told during every visit. It seems that one day she came out of the grocery store, put her meager bag of food in the trunk of her car, and got behind the wheel. As she was inserting the key into the ignition switch, a hooded man entered the passenger’s side.

Pointing a gun at her, he said, “Give me all your money.”

Aunt Dinah told him, “I don’t have much money. I live on just a small monthly pension that comes in the mail and that’s all the money I have in this world.”

The gunman persisted, “I’ll shoot you if you don’t give me your money!”

Old Aunt Dinah replied, “Well, if you shoot me, I’ll go to heaven and you’ll go to hell. Furthermore, Jesus goes with me everywhere I go and He is in this car with us right now.”

According to Dinah, the gunman turned to look in the back seat and when he looked back in her direction, he had big tears in his eyes.

And so she witnessed to that stranger that day while he pointed his gun at her. “Jesus loves you and Jesus doesn’t want you to go to jail for killing or stealing or breaking any laws. Jesus loves everybody and He wants everybody to love Him.”

The gunman answered that he would be sure to pray that very night when he got home.

But Aunt Dinah had not yet finished with him. She told him that he could pray any where, anytime of the day or night and Jesus would hear him.

She then opened her purse and said, “I’m going to give you this five dollar bill which is all the money I have in the world until my little check comes next month. I want you to promise me that you’ll not spend this money on liquor.”

It was always at this point in her story that Aunt Dinah would lean back in the chair and with arms folded across her ample bosom, conclude, “That man promised me that he wouldn’t buy liquor and when I handed him the money, he took my hand and kissed it before he got out of the car and ran off.”

The listening family members then told her how brave she had been to witness to a stranger—and at gun point, too.

Nobody ever asked her about it, but some folks silently wondered where Rhea had been on that eventful day. For some unknown reason, shy cousin Rhea had been spared the dangerous encounter with the hooded gunman. Old Aunt Dinah’s visits always left some folks wondering if maybe everybody really does get a turn at getting what they deserve, in one way or another.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom04/24/08
Love this character. What a hoot. Wonderful job with topic.
Beth LaBuff 04/25/08
I had the feeling you were setting us up for something with the names your characters had. :) I love this phrase, "Aunt Dinah's loquacious ramblings." Your gunman/robber story is great… in a "truth/stranger than fiction" way. Is this a true story? It's a fun story to read… I could imagine that you have great visits. :) Aunt Dinah is a legend!