Help me identify this short story based on the plot!
February 12, 2011 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Help me find the name/author of a short story with the following plot: human children are the work slaves of gremlins (goblins?), and made to do manual labor underground. Those with good behavior and who are getting older are "graduated" and told that they're being freed, but after a gremlin-only "ceremony," are killed for food instead.

Other details I think I remember:
children who behaved badly were made to work in the worm pits, and some were punished by being bled. In the short story, eventually some children learn the secrets of "graduation," and manage to escape, bringing adult men who come and destroy the gremlin hive, freeing the remainder of the children.

Thank you, MeFi-ites!
posted by NucleophilicAttack to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Ugh. I think I know what book you're talking about, but I definitely can't think of it. Sounds sort of Holly Black / Clare B. Dunkle, where the fey / goblins are not necessarily nice creatures at all. Dark fantasy. Ugh, why can't I think of it...
posted by DisreputableDog at 1:32 AM on February 13, 2011

Look into Catherynne M. Valente's _The Orphan's Tales_, which is basically a story about a girl who tells stories. Very, very basic synopsis, I know, but I read it a few years ago.
posted by DisreputableDog at 1:51 AM on February 13, 2011

Response by poster: I recalled some more text, and managed to find it after all! It's 'Faith' by Poul and Karen Anderson, in After the King: Stories in Honor of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Martin Harry Greenberg.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 8:00 AM on February 14, 2011

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