Born This Way by Jen Hughes

Everyone has their talents. My parents and teachers spent decades labouring over finding my quirks and talents, like they were mining for some valuable metal. They were disappointed when I flunked all my classes, out of disenchantment more than anything else. My poor mother and father enrolled me into every after school class imaginable, all coming up empty.

Then when I was seventeen, my Uncle Jim took me hunting rabbits. He thought the fresh air would do me good, and could have done with the help. He had a bit of a bad leg, which stopped him from doing it himself somehow. The rabbits had been allowed to thrive in his garden, but now they had overpopulated and were destroying it.

After showing me how to work his long air-rifle, he handed it to me and whispered “That one, there,” as he pointed out one of the little bastards. I knew what to do almost instantly. I got it in one shot. I felt proud. The other rabbits scattered, petrified of their own impending fates.

Uncle Jim smiled, “Well done, Sonnie!” He patted me heartily on the back, “Now try that one…”

I spotted the one. I took aim, and fired. I only just missed the head, but got the hip or the legs. It didn’t matter to me. It was still squirming at any rate.

Uncle Jim sighed, “Oh well. Not quite a clean shot, but you got it all the same. You’d better put the poor blighter out of its misery.”

So I strolled towards the rabbit with the gun in my hands. It didn’t take me long to find it. Before my uncle had even reached me, I started to bash its head in with the gun.

By the time he got there, the head was barely pulp. He yelled, “Jesus Christ Sonnie! You could’ve just broke its neck!” as he snatched away the gun.

I looked down at the corpse and smiled. Uncle Jim grabbed me by the jumper and took me back to the house. My clothes were covered in guts, so they had to go in the washing machine straight away.

As the blood ran off me and down the drain, I had a revolutionary thought:

Human beings are a bit like those rabbits in Uncle Jim’s garden. They eat, sleep, fuck, have kids. They multiply, and consume, and multiply until there’s no garden left. God gave us a habitat, a place to live and roam free, and what have we done? Overpopulated and destroyed it. Someone had to make sure they didn’t fuck it up for the other creatures.

And when I cut the water dead, I finally found my innate talent.

I was a natural born killer.


BIO: Jen Hughes is a writer from Ayrshire, Scotland. She has been writing stories from the age of 7. She has a bad habit of having an unrealistic number of creative projects going at any given time.

Her work has been published at Minus Paper, Jotters United, Seakay’s Guide to Storytelling, Pulp Metal Magazine and more. She also publishes work on her own website.


2 thoughts on “Born This Way by Jen Hughes”

  1. A wonderful flash story. I was even more impressed when I saw how young this budding talent is.

    Great job.

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