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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2209553
They brought it upon themselves. Screams! 1/6/20.
A Man-Made Monster

Am I a monster? If I am, it is mankind that has made me so.

In the distance I can hear the hounds, barking almost hysterically as they pick up the scent of the fox who is working with us. I concentrate on the vibrations that reach me through the ground. The horses and riders won't be here for a while. Good; for that gives me time to summon the others.

Don't feel pity for them, these two-legged beings who persist in feeling superior to all other species. What is about to happen is a direct result of this, for without the large-scale slaughter that they had brought about, the mutation would not have occurred. I, along with the other survivors would not be as we are.

Rabbits are pests. At least that was what the people decided. We were too adept at escaping for them to rely on hunting as a means to decimate our numbers. Instead they set to work on developing a virus that would wipe out the Leporidae species. When they unleashed it, hares were just as likely to be infected along with the intended rabbits. People did not care, for why should they?

Many rabbits died a slow and torturous death. It didn't matter if they were young or old, the virus took days to kill. If we could have put our fellow rabbits out of their misery we would have done, but we were not killers, any of us, at least not at that time.

Then something strange began to happen. There were some like myself that became infected, but instead of becoming sick, we began to change. It was a painful process, I have to say.

Our bones grew, stretching our skin from underneath. Our muscles and tendons took longer to grow and for a while we did believe that we were just more victims and were desperate for the relief that death would bring. I can remember well the agony of my head reshaping; my jaw elongating and my teeth increasing in number.

I think we all were waiting to die, but it did not happen. Slowly, we recovered, becoming what we now are. Our pelts are white now; our eyes are pink-rimmed, blood red. And we hunger for one thing and one thing only - revenge!

If they were to spot us in our new, man-made form, they would almost certainly pick up those shaped sticks of theirs and aim their explosions at us. We might have become much stronger but we were unlikely to withstand that kind of attack.

The foxes approached us. Although many of us had been killed by the likes of them, that was in the way of nature, rather than slaughter for slaughter's sake. They would not touch us now. Perhaps there was a fear that they too could become infected, or perhaps they sensed that we would no longer be reluctant to fight back. It was quite possible that we would now win.

They had suffered at the hands of the two-legs too. Inhumanely trapped, hunted to the point of exhaustion then torn apart by their canine relatives in service of mankind. The foxes proposed that we work together. They would lure, and we would lay in wait, ready to attack.

There is a fox out there now, running towards the woodland where we are strategically placed, ready to take our revenge.

As much as killing goes against my nature, I can feel the budding blood-lust. We won't hurt the dogs or the horses; they will flee when they are confronted by our rage and anger. The two-legs might try to escape too, but they will not have a chance.

We are what they made us; and for the life that they have condemned us to live, along with all the thousands that they killed, they will now have to pay with their blood.

I feel not the slightest sense of guilt.

(658 words)

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