Yes. You read that title correctly. In all other stories, tiny cracks in the ceiling let in a tiny ray of light every once in a while, even if the entire thing is tragedy from beginning to end. Some beacon of hope, some small joy allowed to the characters before their lives fall apart . . . something. Not in The Ugly Barnacle
The story begins in something of a dystopia. The titular character himself finds that he is ugly enough to garner pure, distilled hatred
from his peers. However, in a fantastic take on the nature of bullying, the story implies misery on the part of the rest of the population as well. They do not taunt the ugly barnacle because it brings them pleasure, but because he is ugly, they have come to fear for their lives, as to them, the ugly barnacle is not an animal, but a beast. The amount of character development fit into such a short time is astounding.
Unfortunately, as the tale progresses, it becomes clear that the bullies' fear is not unwarranted. In the end, everyone dies
. However you interpret the ending, it is a tragedy. Either the ugly barnacle is now, for the rest of his life, going to feel guilty about something he had no control over, or he's dead.
This thing is painted in various tones of pitch black. However, if you can make it through the cave, I think you'll find one of the greatest works of the 20th Century. Perhaps, however, it won't help at all.