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This is a short story, probably horror. May have been part of an anthology.

The setting is non-specific, but some event has occurred that causes some children to be born deformed. Rather than murder their children, the parents take the child down to a lake that is perpetually misty and send it out in a small boat or basket. They do this for many years, until one day a boat is seen coming across the lake. The children have returned. First encounters are peaceful, until something causes someone to fire a rifle or somesuch. Much fighting ensues. The narrator (I believe) and her husband return to their home where they find their own son who they sent off years ago. He is dying of a bullet wound, and dies in his mother’s arms. The son may kill the father.

Specific things I remember:

  • the child of the narrator has large eyes. I think they are either described as milky white and plate-sized, or pendulous and hanging from his head. He is also very tall.
  • The boat the children return in is covered with scales or plates of some kind.
  • One of the grown children has either a pincer arm or a pincer mouth.
  • The general aesthetic is Puritan, but could be wrong on that.
    • it was horrifically violent in parts.

I read it in school, around 2012. However, it was a photocopy from an book, so I cannot give any further details towards its age. I was in Australia, and the story was in English, but I don’t believe that it was necessarily written in Australia. It was read for a philosophy class, if that helps.

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    Sounds interesting. I hope someone can help because my interest has also been piqued. When did you read the story, what language was it in, and what country were you in? – Vanguard3000 Mar 27 '18 at 17:45
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    I read it in school, around 2012. However, it was a photocopy from an book, so I cannot give any further details towards its age. It was in English. It was was read within Australia, but I don’t believe that it was an Australian text. It was read for a philosophy class, so perhaps it had some vague philosophical implications? We also read Harrison Bergeron, if that aids in finding any anthologies it may have been in. – Gary Mar 27 '18 at 17:52
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    Welcome to SFF.SE! We recommend the tour to all new users. Your question is a solid start, but you may want to look at the answers to this question for tips on additional info to help identify your story. – RDFozz Mar 27 '18 at 17:52
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    @Gary Were the two stories from the same anthology? Here is the ISFDB page for anthologies and publications containing Harrison Bergeron... Are any of those entries jogging your memory? isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?41335 – Vanguard3000 Mar 28 '18 at 16:56
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    (Clicking the "View all covers" link at the bottom will show anthology covers containing Harrison Bergeron. Hope that helps.) – Vanguard3000 Mar 28 '18 at 17:05

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