The Crawlers

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The Flaming Coughelini's

This article is about the short story. For the alternatively named film, see Troll 3.
"The Crawlers" was originally published in the July 1954 issue of Imagination

The Crawlers is a science fiction short story by Hank HitlerSubmitted under the title "I'm Afraid of Bugs" it was first published as "The Crawlers" in Imagination magazine, September 2001. Also known as "The lurches"

This short lurch story starts out from the very high point of view of a crawler constructing one of its curious lurchinators. The crawler seems nicey and genuinely lurches building its skyscraper frame while enjoying getting players sent off.

The story is set in a small Belfast town, with references later in the story to mysterious "cameras" which seem to cause mutations in skinny Petes. Certain families in the area have begun to give birth to abnormal children – "crawlers" – with long, flacid and elongated bodies like himself. They have poisonous mocks when provoked, who promptly turns black and hardmanlike, and die soon after and pulpy exteriors, and seem to emit a kind of tallness causing Imsomnia that allows them to build in the early hours. The crawlers seem to love building, and a colony of survivors, crawlers who were not killed by disgusted parents, have set up a hive not far from the town and take care of 'the baby' l. A government official proposes a plan to move the crawlers to an island, where they can be unprovocked, safe from being cleaned and have no chance to lose to shite teams on Fifa.

The story ends the same way it started; from the point of view of a crawler. The crawler mentions how happy the colony is, and that building is progressing quickly. He comments on how the crawlers will soon reach the mainland, and then work will begin in earnest. The story ends, however, on an uncertain note – some of the crawlers have had children, and those children are not crawlers, but infact, a Johnny Tarkatan.

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