I've been searching most of the morning, trying to identify a short story I read in an elementary school English textbook.

The story is the first-person account of a soldier fighting off an alien invasion. The soldier describes how the aliens showed up, and everyone was excited, but then without warning, the aliens attacked; now the soldier and his comrades are fighting back. At the end of the story, the soldier says he can see one of the aliens coming toward him, so he shoots the thing, cracking open its spacesuit and revealing the hideous creature within: a creature with soft pink flesh and no scales (or something similar).

This story began my lifelong love affair with sci fi, and I'd love to find it. I've googled about every term I can think of and looked extensively through the archives here, but just can't find it. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!


1 Answer 1


It's the classic Sentry by Fredric Brown. Great short story! TVtropes (you are warned etc etc) calls it an example of a tomato surprise that is a story revolving on a not-mentioned crucial detail.


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