Me, Myself, and the Macabres

Written in response to: Write about a character pretending to be someone they’re not.... view prompt


Science Fiction

My name is Argen Macabre, of Worblen’s sector G. I am a 21. I require entrance to Sector C in order to act on a scholarship to Central C’s Corbinex University. I will be staying with my uncle, Miconedus Macabre until the start of the semester.

My name is Argen Macabre...

My name is Argen Macabre.

My name is…

A family grouping has just passed the checkpoint. It consists of two female sevens with hair of Sun and teeth of stars, a female thirty-two of similar appearance, but with silver, rather than purple irises, a male thirty-four with the irises of the sevens and hair of Audest mud, and a male twelve with similar attributes to the thirty-four.

The hair is the same, the eyes similar in hue, but unlike the others of the group he wears a frown which he schools into a formal smile.

They pass and two twenty threes, male and female, mates? Step forward. 

They hand over their IDs and turn to reveal their sleeves.

They are of sector C of... Zannanil? The crest on their sleeves is of the Zannilion foxdove. Below them are six bands each. On their chests are their personal codes and their sector codes.

The number of bands typically displays status, six being high class, but the male’s hair is too auburn, skin slightly purple, and through his shoulder-length locks the tip of a pointed ear sticks out.

Shouts ring out and the male takes off at a sprint. A guard in his gray uniform rushes out, tackling, and pinning the man to the ground. He pulls out his stun baton and the man is dragged away unconscious.

The female is led away, not to regular entry, but to face reprimand.


“What was it this time?” one guard whispers to another.

Just breathe.

“I can't say for certain, but the male was Rohmisain. You know? One of those popular serving species in most of the Zannilian territories”.

“What? Don't tell me,” a third guard pipes in. “The little princess became awfully close with her favorite servant and when people started getting suspicious, she ran off with the boy”.

“Ah, star-crossed lovers,” the first guard says. “We had something like that a couple of months ago didn't we?”.

“That is not necessarily the case,” the second guard says. “But yes, younger though”.

My name is Argen Macabre.


Of Worblen’s sector G.

Mother and son step forward.

I am a 21.

They display the sleeves of their white uniforms.

I require entrance to Sector C.

They are waved on.

In order to act on a scholarship.

One group before the checkpoint.

To Central C’s Corbinex University.


I will be staying with my uncle.

An older couple and a 17 step forward

Miconedus Macabre.

They are slowed.

Until the start of the semester.

They speak.

My name is…

They pass.

My name is…


I am…

I shuffle forward.


My name is…

“My name,”  I say. “Is Argen Macabre”.

She looks at me blandly, then types something on her computer. This is significant, is it not? Yet to her, I’m one of a million.

She looks up at me, scanning the codes on my chest and glancing at my sleeve.

A guard moves for his baton. For what feels like millennia I stand, quivering in my white uniform, watched by the guards, like a little snow bunny surrounded by a pack of great gray wolves, just waiting to strike.

A ball of ice grows in my stomach, as they continue with predatory smiles on their faces.

They know.

“Checks out, next”.

The words barely register, as I stand unmoving.

Clear? I'm clear?

The clouds seem to part for me, sunlight banishing the chill.

“Are you alright, miss?” A younger, silver-haired, guard asks, extending one of his four hands to me. His smile once seeming beastly now seems friendly with a slight bit of concern. “You don't look so well".

I snap out of my daze and reply.

“Yes, yes, I am fine, just a bit shaken from my travels. You know what Danskanu is like, right?”.

“Ah yes, Danskanu,” he says as I move out of the way of the next group. “Not exactly the most...relaxing of vacation spots. I heard a young died attempting to escape there not that long ago”.

“Ha,” I say, trying not to cringe. “Nothing like slums, pollution, death and the constant scent of rot to wind down to”.

He gives a grim nod. “Some people are inherently unlucky, born to lands and positions that are…” he pauses, considering for a moment his next words. “Less than pleasant. We are lucky”.

You have no idea.


A fire burns in my lungs, spreading outwards, engulfing my limbs. The blackened mud squelches and gurgles under my feet as it attempts to drag me into its maw. My left tromper has long since been consumed by the mass and I hold white-knuckled to the right one.

Mud, everything is mud.

I move a leg forward to my muscles' objection.

A wet slapping sound rings out. I cough, wheezing as mud attempts to fill my lungs.

Pain and mud.

An acidic smell grabs at my nostrils, penetrating the thick coating of mud. For a second I just sit there on my knees, a pathetic little Dansani seventeen, destined to continue the loop of trying and failing to escape servitude, becoming more broken, slowly chipped away to an empty husk neither alive nor dead. I tilt my head down. The measly contents of my stomach lay before me, splayed out across the mud. The taste is dull. Mud. Some copper.

I’m blinded.

I flop back down in the mud.

Searchlights? Car beams? They found me. NO. No. No no no nonononono.

Salt mixes with the mud. I rub at my eyes. The black that had been fighting for dominance takes over, just in time for me to see the two figures approaching, before finally caving as exhaustion takes over.


I move past the checkpoint with a bit more confidence, collecting my carry bag from the baggage carousel without issue. The rest of ‘my’ stuff has been picked up and delivered to Uncle’s house. Now to find it.

Remember, you have not been here in several years. It is acceptable to ask for directions.

I stop, looking at a grouping, then down at my uniform. I think...I will ask after I change.

It is not uncommon for those that have recently passed through checkpoints to continue wearing their uniforms, but that lacks ‘class’. That is ‘unbecoming’ of someone such as myself.

At first chance, I slip away into one of the designated changing areas. When I exit, I am decked out in a vanilla blouse, a caramel-colored Zannilian waistcoat, matching shoes, a dark brown skirt, and a similarly colored scarf tied around my neck.

My sublime overseer. I have never worn anything of this quality in my life...Is what I would say if I was a peasant…

A railbus comes down, opening its doors to passengers.

Maybe the driver will know my stop?

I only take one step towards the bus when he calls out.

“Argen, my dear. That will be unnecessary”.


The two men stand over the unconscious girl.

“Is that...Is that her?” the shorter, slightly younger man asks.

“No, Crawson,” Torben, the man with steel slit eyes, replies. “If anything, she would be the runaway that the local cane class has placed an alert on. Though I do see the resemblance,” he says after pondering it for a moment.

“Is she though?” The two share a look.

“Crawson, I do believe you have an idea”.


The ride with my uncle was unbearably awkward. I don’t know this man, yet he knows me. At least he thinks he knows me. The man in question is sitting on a set of seats facing the back of the multi-rail limo, towards me, telling tales of my childhood.  He is dressed in an auburn and brown pinstripe suit complete with wingtip shoes, an ascot, and a watch which I am almost certain is an authentic Venimeir.

“...that is how you almost managed to acquire transport to Ardamia. Your mother, bless that woman, she about had a heart attack, you gave her a fright, but she recovered quickly enough, flip a switch, and you are grounded for a month, make it two, oh but your father. That brother of mine. His knees were knocking even after he had you in his arms. He took a week off of work just so he could watch you. Made sure you did not go on any more of your ‘little adventures’ that week. He was pale for weeks. I swear it”. He chuckles at that.

Now I really wish I had not zoned out. That...sounded like a really interesting story. It also sounded like a story that my parents ought to have told me a million times.

The limo slows to a stop, then lowers to the driveway of the...mansion?

It’s huge. I knew it was big, but that…

“Welcome home sweetling,” Uncle says, placing a hand on my shoulder. “Welcome home…”


The bed is hard and stiff, but unusually clean. My eyes fling open and I jerk up only to fall back, wincing with a groan.

“She’s awake?”.

“Yes she is”.

The first voice came from a man with bright blue hair. The second came from a four-eyed, blond, woman, with pointed, furry, ears and a brilliant smile.

“You’re gonna recover just fine now aren’t you, sugar stick?” she says, flashing me the aforementioned smile.

The blue-haired man starts quietly discussing something with another, taller, man, which I have yet to hear speak clearly.

What is this place?

Medical supplies line the counters and stuck to the white wall is a poster with a cartoon animal putting emphasis on the importance of good hygiene.

Is this the doctor's?

We have a medical ward down...home, but, was a shack with a bit of gauze, a thermometer, and the absolute most basic medication on a really good day.

I attempt to get up. A searing pain shoots up from my...bandaged feet?

Why would anyone waste supplies on ME? I’m no one.

“Oh, careful, sugar stick. We had to wrap your walking flaps. You had some real nasty bleeding. A bit of an infection too”.

I shift my weight, wincing with the next round.

“Where...Where am I?” She grins at me.

“You, Miss Argen, are in Danafri’s health and recovery house”.

Health and-wait, Argen, my name is-

“Yes, Argen. We were worried about you. Your condition was less than satisfactory,” the taller man says.

“Very much so,” the shorter man with blue hair agrees, nodding.

Does that mean...they DON’T know who I am…


Servants swarmed us as we approached the door. They asked questions that I assume were standard, before rushing off to continue their tasks. One remained after the others left.

“Henryk will lead you to your room,” Uncle says. He looks tired, I realize. His step has slowed, and his posture slaked. His eyes are...I don’t know...slightly sunken, distant too.

“Arden,” he says. For a monument he seems to contemplate his words, shaking his head, and decides on,  “I need to speak with you tomorrow. Have one of the servants show you to my quarters at the ninth hour”. He then walks off, slowly disappearing down the long halls.

“Are you ready, miss?”


I’m in a car, driving down an unpaved road toward the city. The taller man is at the wheel, his eyes focused on the road. The electric blue-haired man is doing the same thing he has since we got in the car: Drilling me

“Your name is Argen Macabre, you got that? Say it”. I hesitate.

“ name is...Argen. Argen Macabre”.

“More confidence,” he says.

“My...My name is Argen Macabre”.


“My name is Argen Macabre”.

“Good, good,” he says. “Now say, of Worblen’s sector G”.

“Of Worblen’s sector G”.

“Good, Good. You’re doing great. Now put them together”.

“My name is Argen Macabre, of Worblen’s sector G”.

“Perfect, perfect,” he says. “ Now add: I am a 21”.

Piece by piece, pothole by pothole, we piece together Argen Macabre.


Last night’s sleep was the best I have ever had. The soft, plush bed had room for entire families, my silken, burgundy pajamas were suitable for royalty, and no one else was there to disturb me other than the servant who brought me my mourning pastry.

When it came to be about nine I summoned a servant. Miette led me down the hall, pointing out different rooms, as we went.

Now we stand in front of a large, intricately carved, mahogany door. “The master is right inside. If you need anything, ring me, and I’ll be back in a zept,” Then she is gone.

I stare at the door, unsure of what to do. Then I knock. I am about to knock again when the door opens. “Come on in, sweetling”.

The room is warm and comforting, for more reason than just the massive fire going in the fireplace. The room is a rich brown color, with polished wooden floors and log cabin-style walls. Centered around the fire are two armchairs the left of which is well worn. Between them sits a table on which is two cups of hot buli, steam dancing across their surfaces.

“Helia, please take a seat”.


This is it. This large shiny white building will take me...home.

I step forward. I am now wearing a white uniform with the Worblin Crest. On my left arm, there are eight black stripes.

My name is Argen Macabre.

“Are you ready?” the taller man, Torben, as I have come to know, asks. It takes me off guard. Torben does not talk much, at least not to me, and when he does it is almost always cold and curt, yet there it is. His steel-gray eyes are soft as he asks again. “Are you ready?”.

“I-yes, I am ready”. He nods at me approvingly.

“Good luck, kid”.

I don’t know what compelled me to do it, but I did. I threw my arms around him and squeezed. “Good luck,” and then I was gone, lost among the sea of white uniforms, as he stared on in shock.


My heart drops.

“You knew?”

“I knew”.

“In truth, I wished they were wrong”.

“You did?”

“My niece is dead. You saw the news”.


“The body of escaped char class, Helia Canaski, has been discovered by cane search parties yesterday morning in the sector B mud plains. Her identity has been confirmed. As of now, the search has been called off. In other news…”

I don’t hear the rest.

My name is Argen Macabre. I am not dead.


I thought maybe there was a mix-up. I prayed there was”.


“I prayed when a girl was found,” he says.

“I had hope when they sent me your picture”.

“I mourned when they left the body”.

“I feared when you were on your way”.

“And I knew when I saw you”.

“You are not my nice, I know for certain”.

I wait to be certain he is done speaking before I ask. “Then why do you keep me?”

Hundreds of thoughts cross his mind, his eyes too, shouting for dominance. The orbs, windows to the soul, leak vulnerability. There are thousands of things he wants to say, to shout, to cry, but all he does is sip from his buli, then, staring at me, his eyes taking on a callus facade, he says “Because your fiance has been calling”.

August 20, 2021 17:43

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.