This is a VERY short story that I read in Junior High - either 7th or 8th grade, I would have been between 12 and 14 years old at the time, it was no later than 1989.

As far as I can recall this story was only a few pages long - I doubt it was more than 6 pages, possibly only a page or two.

I think it was a 'spooky story' handout for Halloween, part of a booklet/magazine that the school gave out, but, it may have been in a short story collection from either the school library or the scholastic book club.

The plot of the tale was that there was a rash of strange deaths in a city, bodies were found dry and flattened out, the corpses resembling a piece of paper.

It turns out that a sewer monster was doing the killing - he had huge hands covered in suckers, and he'd suck all of the liquid out of a person, until they were dry and flat, like paper.

The creature's limbs were rubbery and could stretch up around manhole covers and sewer drain grates.

That's all I can remember - the image of corpses that resembled sheets of paper has stuck with me, I'd love to track this tale down.

1 Answer 1


The story in question may be "The Clone" by Theodore Thomas. Written in 1959, it was anthologized in "A Shocking Thing" (edited by Damon Knight) in 1975. The story is somewhat longer than you're saying (14 pages) but does have many of the elements you describe. The rubber limbs (tendrils) and the consumption of anybody it encounters.

  • That certainly sounds possible - I'll see if I can find the story and I'll let you know if it's the right one. It occurs to me that it's possible that the school handout was only a 2-3 page excerpt from a longer story - it looks like "The Clone" was originally a short story that was eventually expanded to a full length novella. It shouldn't be too hard to track down.
    – Alex Bates
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 23:50

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