I remember reading a short story when I was younger, and I would like to read it again, as I feel I'd understand it better now. The story was in a collection of short stories, but honestly I don't remember much about the collection itself, other than there was a story about a girl who turned into a troll during school and ate her classmates.

The story I'm looking for, though, is about a group of people who were attacked by some creatures. I think the people might have been farmers. I think the story started after the attack, and I remember there being something about burning the bodies of the people who were killed. After the attack, the survivors decided to go to the castle or fortress or wherever the monsters lived and fight back. I remember they killed one of the creatures, and I think they actually disguised themselves as the creatures by wearing their skin, or something like that.

That's all I can really remember, but if anyone else has read this story and can point me in a direction as to where I can read it or find it again, I would really appreciate it!

  • Approximately when did you read it?
    – mkennedy
    Aug 11, 2016 at 1:43
  • 1
    @mkennedy Hmmm, it probably would've been early/mid 2000's, probably somewhere between 2003-2007. I think I got the book from my local library, but I don't remember when the book was published, or what kind of shape the book was in.
    – Sean Cogan
    Aug 11, 2016 at 12:50
  • It was a pretty small group of people who actually went to the fortress. I think it was three, but it could have been as many as five. I think the story started and ended with some type of government warning, although I don't remember what was said. Maybe something about a test site or the subject of an experiment. But I believe those messages were the very first and very last bits of the story.
    – Sean Cogan
    Aug 15, 2016 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


"Uncle Joshua and the Grooglemen"

This sounds like "Uncle Joshua and the Grooglemen." It was collected in Bruce Coville's Book of Monsters: Tales to Give You the Creeps, which also contains a story about a boy who "turns into a troll and eats his classmates."

The grooglemen do burn the bodies of those they kill:

The farmyard told the rest of the story: nine burned patches in a straight row, nine tidy black rectangles on the hard-packed earth, and in each rectangle, a lump of burnt bone and blackened meat. Dan Henchard said later that you could tell which one was which, almost -- the big one would have been Rafe, who was tall, and at the end of the row, the little patch no more than two feet long and half that wide, that one would have been the baby. Its bones were gone entirely.

One of the protagonists wears the "skin" of a groogleman:

Before they had gone the hundred paces, Uncle Joshua joined them again. As he had promised, he was dressed in the skin of the groogleman -- with nothing to show he wasn't real except his face poking out of the wrinkled white neck, and a dribble of blood running along the loathsome hide. He carried the skin of the groogleman's head, still dripping, in his hand.

The story ends with a "government warning":

5. (TS) Implementation.  Biologic Sampling and Sterilization Command [BSSC] is hereby established under direction of SECEC. Existence of this command shall be close-hold to avoid alarming of civilian population. Full biologic safety is a priority. Assigned personnel shall wear full anti-contamination suits, to include boots, gloves, gas masks and self-contained breathing apparatus at all times when in contact with non-approved environments.


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