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Gut Instinct

My entry into the 'Just a Minute' challenge

By Amber BristowPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
Gut Instinct
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash


Mother always told me to trust my gut. She said it was as if we humans had some form of sixth sense; something that couldn't be explained but was undeniably there. She told me to trust myself, to do what I felt was right in the moment and that in doing so, everything would work itself out.

If she could see me now, sitting here beneath the judges gavel, I know she would be conflicted.

"I trusted my gut," I'd tell her, "I did as you said."

I would watch as her eyes turned to glass at the realisation of what she had created. She would be ashamed of herself for not clarifying the rules, for not knowing what her daughter was capable of.

When I tell the court I trusted my gut the jury roll their eyes.

"Just another crazy female." I can hear them whisper as they scowl, leaving me to sit and wait for their verdict in a room of ice cold stares.


I know what they will say. They will say that I am guilty. They will say that I'm insane. They will try and twist my words and tell the world I hear voices, voices that told me what to do that night back in the city, when the trains rattled over my head in the darkness of the night.

I will try and explain that it was not a voice, but an instinct. Trust placed in the hands of a gut feeling that still to this day I deem to be right.

I will say that he followed me, picking up his pace as he lurked in the shadows, waiting for the perfect time to make his move. I will say that as a woman, we know when a man trails behind us. We can feel their eyes burning into our flesh as we try to cover ourselves and keep our heads down. We know what they want. We know what they think they deserve; and we know we stand no chance against a man twice our height who runs thrice as fast.

We know, at times like that, that we must react first. That waiting for his fingers to glide against your flesh would mean it is already too late.


The judges eyes meet mine as her expression softened. She knew how I felt. She knew that the fears that had been instilled in me from a young age were justified. She had felt them to. As a woman in this world, of course she had.

"The jury have found you," she stifled, her eyes weakening as she gazed down at the bench, "guilty of second-degree murder. You are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. You will serve this sentence at Her Majesty's Prison in Bronzefield."

As her gavel struck the block beneath her, the men that filled the jury rejoiced. They looked proud to have locked up yet another woman who was fearful of their kind. They felt accomplished that yet another victim had been silenced.


I knew my life would never be the same again. I knew as soon as the guards who were approaching me tied my hands behind my back, that it would be the end.

As I stood up from my chair and looked around at the people seated behind me, I saw her. Philip Harkinson's wife. An empty shell of a woman sitting beside her young daughter.

I had expected them to look at me with hatred and disgust. I had expected them to cheer with the jury about my sealed fate, but they did not make a sound. They remained in silence, cradling one another in their arms as they dabbed at their tears with the cuff's of their sleeves.


"I'm sorry." she mouthed, clutching at her heart as she fought to contain her emotions. She then gave me a knowing look, drawing her daughter in closer and planting a kiss upon her head.

They both watched me as I was escorted out of the room, their eyes pouring with injustice as their softened stares offered me comfort.

I had followed my gut, and I was right.

Justice had been served.

MysteryYoung AdultStream of ConsciousnessShort Story

About the Creator

Amber Bristow

Regularly participating in writing challenges and #writerslift on Twitter

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Comments (1)

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    Great challenge entry! I love how you did this. There were shadows of doubt...was she schizophrenic? was she paranoid? was she plagued with anxiety and fear? was she correct? was she really guilty? or was she innocent?

Amber BristowWritten by Amber Bristow

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