old story, an

An Old Story

An Old Story is a short story by horror writer R. L. Stine, part of the Goosebumps book series and included in the collection of stories Still More Tales to Give You Goosebumps.

Plot Summary

Two young boys, Tom and Jon, are left in the care of their elderly Aunt Dahlia for a week while their parents are away. She forces them to drink prune juice every day, and when they become weaker and their hair starts to turn gray, they soon realize that the juice is somehow turning them into old men. They soon find out Dahlia did it as a means to sell them as husbands to her equally old friends, Lillain and Mimi. They eventually find a way to get young again by using anti-aging cream. They then toss a jug of the prune juice on Dahlia and she ages to dust. When their parents return, they realize that Dahlia was not related to either one of them and just assumed that she was the other's aunt.

At school during lunchtime the next day, Tom and Jon notice that a girl named Becca has a lunch comprised of a prune sandwich, cookies, and juice. She tells them that her aunt Susan is visiting, and she is really into prunes. Tom then gives her his lunch, and tells her to run for her life.


  • The story was adapted into an episode for the Goosebumps TV show, but the plot is slightly tweaked:

*Tom and Jon's parents don't appear in the TV version.
*Aunt Dahlia feeds the boys prune cookies, which turns them into old men.
*The antidote to the prune cookies is baby food.
*Tom and John only stay old for one day and only left alone for the weekend.
*The episode ends with Jon eating too much baby food and turning into a baby. Tom finds a piece of the prune cookie and tries to feed it to Jon.
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