Double-Checks

This gruesome humanoid/insectile species is most commonly referred to as 'double-checks'. This name is a reference to one of the most popular urban myths about these mysterious figures; Scary tales are told of these human imposters surprising children who stay out late at night and kidnapping them, stealing them away from their families and into a horrible life of slavery and physical labour.
 
It's said that if you're running late and out alone after sunset you must avoid allowing your shadow to cross the shadow of any stranger you pass. If your shadow crosses that of a stranger you must both stop and exchange names. The folklore says you should always give your full family name, wait three seconds before you turn away from your new aquaintance. When you turn 180' you repeat their name aloud, and they repeat yours. Supposedly this confuses the 'double-checks' because they're tricked into attempting human speech, which they cannot properly mimic with their insectile mandibles and they'll flee after losing their surprise advantage. In modern culture it's more often observed by facing eachother and bending at the waist in a slight bow, making eye contact only if it feels comfortable. This doesn't serve the same result and this break from tradition has allowed the 'double-checks' space to metaphorically burrow themselves into their host cities like ticks.
 
These eerie humanoid beings are internally as different from humans as sharks are from sheep. One of the most chilling creatures that supposedly haunt the urban streets of Allegri, the so-called 'double-checks' are a malicious and predatory type of volsun that are significantly less powerful but comparatively more numerous than others. Despite appearing to have a mostly human physiology, these insectile creatures have an organ in place of where a human would have a mouth that outwardly resemble small mandibles beneath a very human-looking facial mantle and chitinous scalp. The 'upper lip' mandibles are covered in coarse hair that apendages can be used to vibrate and produce different sounds that have eventually evolved into an intuitive language.
 
Most people don't even believe these ghostly abominations exist, thinking of them as rumour or urban legend. Stories children tell late at night to frighten each other have resulted in many sleepless night but many contain a kernal of truth, or so they say. How teenagers end up with this information is a mystery but the stories and myths largely correct but in convoluted ways, almost like they were intentionally being led to a conclusion by an outside influence.
 
Originally from an humanoid species of ant-like creatures that lived in hives deep beneath the surface of the Allegran prairies, the few dozen who persist within the human cities are truly monsters when held up to the virtues of mondern society. It shouldn't be surprising considering thier physiology is barely even comparable to other humanoids, unlike typically mammalian species, these people are nearly more beast than man. Most are capable of learning on par with the average human, however it can take them significantly longer to learn new concepts, especially abstract ideas with no physical object as representation.
Geographic Distribution

Comments

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Aug 5, 2023 18:41 by Marjorie Ariel

These are delightfully creepy. I feel like the writing style reflects the nature of the species in that it seems to hint at a mystery that's always lurking in the dark. I like how the way to deal with them has evolved over time, and turned into what most people think is mere folklore. All of this implies that the double-checks are out kidnapping people more and more. I'm interested to know how the people in the cities are responding to this, as well as what they do with the people they kidnap.

Aug 15, 2023 21:39 by Mickey

Thanks for the comment! I have a lot of editing to do but overall I'm glad the tone I was aiming for came through!!!