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I remember reading this story about 20 years ago as part of a scifi/fantasy compilation.

It's about a guy remembering a very weird event that happened when he was a child, and many years later returning to the place where it happened. He remembers a hole that he fell through, and this scary old man with no legs that lived down there. The legless man had a mute wife, that "quacked", and there were golden trinkets in his lair. I think the old man wanted the boy to stay down in the hole, and while the boy pretended to accept his new fate, was always looking for a way to escape. In the end, the boy tries to get out and the legless man tries to catch him, dragging himself through the tunnels with his powerful arms.

  • The boy tries to get out? Did he make it out, or not? (Don't worry about spoilers.) What does he find when he returns years later? Is the old man or his wife or the gold trinkets still there? – user14111 Aug 17 '16 at 23:17
  • Eventually, the boy gets out. And years later, when he tries to make sense of his memory by returning to the scene(and to see if he could find some of the gold), he's almost convinced that it was all imagination..until he sees one of the trinkets sticking out of of the ground. But it turns out to be just painted plastic. – kith Aug 18 '16 at 17:23

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