Elle by Chirin Barikan

Posted on October 21, 2012 by


Elle is a Writing Club project. Learn a little bit about her here.


I get called “bitch” around five times a day. It comes with the job, but it wasn’t on the job description.

“Parasite” one of them murmured as he stretched out his arm.

“My name is Elle 1101” I calmly said, concentrating all my power on keeping a straight face.

I prepped his forearm for what was to come then carved my needle deeper into his skin than what was usually required and let the hate seep out of me. It’s the hate I held towards these savages that kept exerting all their powers to withstand civilization. It did not leave easily or quickly. Hate is a lingering thing. It likes ruling the body.  With a steady hand though, I tattooed the thirty-four randomly spaced straight black lines and the thirteen numbers onto his skin. Our eyes met for a fraction of a second and I was not the least surprised to find hatred that mirrored my own.

“Your bar code is ready; make sure to scan it in the reception before you leave, and keep it clean at all times to avoid infection. Thank you, and have a nice day.”  I said all the unpleasantly nice things my job required me to say, and wished deep down that his bar code would get nastily infected.

My mission on planet Earth was not as easily completed as I had initially expected it to be. Creating an identification system for a race that had for long believed that they were superior to all other races was no easy task. Not that marking them was much of challenge, but having to deal with these emotionally unstable creatures was far beyond my comfort zone.

Now, after twenty-three Earth years of service, I have merely accomplished seven billion five hundred and eight million seven hundred and eighty-five thousand and twelve bar code combinations and patterns; all safely stored in my photographic memory. I have also earned the nickname “the disgraced tattoo artist.”

You certainly wonder what awful and unfortunate event placed me on this unbearable planet. You see, back home, hundreds of light years away, I did some terrible things that I am not particularly proud of. Therefore, the Head Council exiled me, and I was forced to serve a minimum of twenty-five local years on planet Earth. So now here I am, and the sooner I complete my mission, the sooner I will be offered a second trial.

“Yo bitch, these mo’fuckers dragged me in here for your tattoo, so sit yo ass down hoe and get it over with!” The deep male voice startles me, and I jump involuntarily. I turned around and faced the oversized dark-skinned man and told him to have a seat. I was not fond of his attitude, but since I didn’t understand half the terminology he used, I let it pass and concentrated on the next combination.

He took off his jacket, sat down, and stretched out his arm. A beautiful woman with hair of green vipers stared back at me from his shoulder. It was the most sophisticated piece of art I had ever seen. I stood there, transfixed and hypnotized by its beauty. With her deep blue eyes, full red lips, high cheekbones, and a piercing stare. She could have been a portrait of an ancient Olympian. But then again, how could these savages that still haven’t reached their neighboring planet,know of Mt. Olympus?

“What is that?” I asked him, my tone friendlier than usual.

“A tattoo.” He answered abruptly; then slowly continued: “Your ferocious race banned these when you first landed 48 years ago…”

I was no longer paying attention to the words that were coming out of his mouth. They seemed as irrelevant as this entire planet. A prison where criminals like me were banished to and dreams only existed in these so-called tattoos.

I don’t know why I did what I did next. All I knew was that I wanted that piece of art in my own possession.  No, I wanted it on my skin, around me, inside me. I grabbed the closest knife and plunged it deep into his chest. I could see the fear and surprise in his eyes seconds before he died. I knew what I had to do; I peeled off the tattooed part of his skin and left him bleeding on the floor. I stitched what was left of him onto my own arm, and hurried out of my lab.

Now, wanted and already in prison, I had no choice but to flee. I had to run away and get lost in the universe. Because every once in a while someone comes along who is a little more primitive than the rest of us, a little closer to our beginnings, a little more in touch with the stuff we’re made of. And I, I wanted to become that person.

I climbed into my hover-car, and prepared myself to do the impossible. I turned on the engine and started elevating. Little by little, the ground below me was getting more distant. The buildings were getting smaller, and the shape of the earth rounder. I made a silent wish that my hover-car would be able to escort me out of the Earth’s atmosphere. And while I was impatiently waiting to find out if it was possible to leave, I lit a match and glanced down at the masterpiece on my arm. I noticed a small inscription;

 “Beauty is that Medusa’s head

Which men go armed to seek and sever

It’s still deadly when most dead

And death will stare and sting forever”

I read it, and then the world went black.


Death Report

  • Name: Eleanor Alexandra Court
  • Date of Birth: June 26th, 2225
  • Date of Death:  June 26th, 2248
  • Time of Death: 03:13 a.m.
  • DeathType: suicide
  • Facility where death occurred: Marianne Mental Institution; south wing elevator
  • Cause of death: The deceased set herself on fire in an elevator.
  • Diagnosis: Ms. Court had been previously diagnosed with Process Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Posted in: Elle