Thursday, November 3

Mama Kat Thursday: The Case of the Scary Holes


Today's Mama Kat prompt is, "Share something that scared you when you were young and whether I'm still afraid."

Back when my sisters and I were kids, our parents were friends with another couple named Lucille & Virgil. They lived in a suburb of Indianapolis, so a family jaunt up to visit occurred fairly regularly. Conveniently, they had 3 children just like us, though we were closer in age to their youngest daughter, then her older brothers.
Lucille & Virgil lived in a red brick home with a double garage. It had a septic system. I recall this because their drainage field, unlike ours which was set far away from where anyone might walk, ran out upon a grassy slope not terribly far from the back door and I was forever stepping in that stinky mud.
Their house also had a feature ours didn't. It had a basement. Not the finished sort. Just a plain ole' basement with gray cinder block walls and the traditional basement musty smell. I vaguely recall something like a large pool table or ping-pong table in the center of room.
The thing that scared the snot out of me lay in the back corner, close to the wall: two perfectly round holes in the cement floor, both filled with inky black water. They were even with the floor, each about 16 inches across.
I didn't know what they were and I was afraid to stand too close.
 They looked like bottomless pits to me and I was sure, if I stood to close to their smooth edges, I might slip and slide right into that murky water and disappear.

The first hole had a pipe running down to it from above that had some kind of small device attached on the end that was submerged slightly into the water and seemed to be giving the water a slight spin. The second hole was just black water.
That a device in the middle of the water didn't seem to matter to my imaginings. I could still picture myself slipping over the edge right past it and sinking out of sight.

 It wasn't until I was long grown-up before I finally understood what those holes in that basement really were.
Did you already guess?
Why, those holes were merely sump basins--not bottomless at all, and the little device moving the water was a sump pump. So seeing one again wouldn't bother me, though I live in Florida where no one has basements.
There's just something special about the over-active imagination of childhood that can make something out of nothing.
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3 comments:

Abby said...

Your description creeped me out even though I've had a sump pump in a cement basement floor!

John Holton said...

I would think that someone would have explained what they were. Seeing things you don't expect and don't understand can be scary. Great description of the basement; were there special rules about ping-pong/pool balls that ended up in one of those holes?

KatBouska said...

They sound terrifying. I would not have gone near the edge either!

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