The Crawlers

Second Variety and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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First published in Imagination Jul 1954

A radiation lab in a small Tennessee town causes humans to give birth to mutant slug-like creatures. Investigator Ernest Gretry wants to transport all these so-called crawlers to an island unoccupied because of an H-bomb test, but the crawlers have different plans as they have already started reproducing and building intricate tunnels underground. The crawlers were creepy and gross. I’m glad this wasn’t a long story.

Cast of characters

  • Ernest Gretry – investigating the crawlers
  • Mrs. Higgins – lives in a farmhouse near the radiation lab