Conan found an open field and slumped down against a tree near the outskirts to rest. The fourteen year old was tired and hungry and hadn’t eaten in several days. While out and about, he tried to find some odd jobs to feed himself, but had no luck for a few days. The young boy was no longer in rural England, but had gone on to neutral Ireland.
After the confirmation of his siblings' deaths, along with the deaths of Joseph and Gertrude, Conan had been taken into custody in town. Many villagers didn’t believe the stories and neither did the town authorities. They brushed them aside and claimed it to be the ramblings of drunk soldiers and the frightened imaginings of a child. Even though the physical evidence pointed towards a very large animal attacking the little farm and murdering the household— minus Conan. Most folks just chalked it up to a wild fox or a rogue dog attack. Conan acknowledged that it was something he wouldn’t have believed either.
Even more strange was how the wound on his neck —despite how deep it felt to him— it had just disappeared in a few days. He thought that was insane, but everyone else seemed to turn a blind eye to that as well. The wound had fully healed by the time he got on a train to another village a week later; after they sent his siblings' bodies back for burial. However, once his train arrived at the platform and he descended, he didn’t wait for anyone to pick him up. Instead, he wandered off and decided to go out on his own. He worked odd jobs for many people in exchange for room and board, but even those jobs were becoming harder to come by. Many people didn’t have the money to feed their own families, let alone a strange teenager roaming the countryside.
It took less than a month for Conan to realize what he had become. The hell-beast Seath had turned him into. When he first turned into a wolf, he ended up hunting and killing a small fox on the first night and woke up smeared in its blood. Dry clumps of fur and flesh were caked onto his skin, forcing Conan to clean himself beside the frozen winter river. The water was unbearably cold and it bit at his skin as he tried to clean up.
This became young Conan’s routine after each full moon. He purposefully made sure he was in the wilderness when he turned. If he fed, he didn’t kill anything, but could cover many miles— waking up much further than he had been before. And so, Conan did his best to keep that wild part of himself away from humanity and its towns.
Tonight was different. Tonight was so different. He was so hungry; so incredibly hungry… It had been three days since his last meal and he desperately wanted to eat something, especially before the sun set and the moon rose up above. If he didn’t, he imagined he’d have to wash up before heading into the next town. He prayed he wouldn’t have blood smeared all over his clothes this time.
The field in front of him was very empty and he saw nothing he could eat. Even searching the forest yielded nothing; no roots, berries, or wild vegetables. It was late fall and the frost every night killed most of the plants.
‘Damnit, I’ll have to just suck it up and hunt what I can tonight. Let the wolf take over,’ Conan thought.
He was far enough away from any village that he wasn’t too worried about coming in contact with a village or farm— thankfully, because he was sure tonight would be a doozy. The likelihood of him finding an animal to hunt this time of year was very slim.
Conan watched as the last of the sun began to fade over the horizon and the sky darkened. He could feel the pull of the moon wash over him. With a sigh, he began to undress, neatly folding everything in a pile. He picked up some brush from around the tree and covered them to hide from anyone who may wander past. It was his only set of clothes left and he needed to keep them safe.
Once he was satisfied with how they were hidden, he could feel the transformation starting as his body warmed up. The ache was so strong… the need to turn. The beast inside him was calling and begging to be let out and Conan knew he had no hope of actually fighting it anyways. His body then began to shift and change form— he fell to his hands, struggling until there was no resemblance of humanity left… only what appeared to be a young wolf. He let out a drawn out howl and Conan lost what little power he had left over the creature.
The wolf’s lanky form dashed through the field, in no particular direction. He stopped and paused, ears pricked at the sound of a not so distance howl. The wolf-boy sniffed the air and the scent of fresh meat wafted over to him. His body burned with desire, the hunger was coming over him and he felt like he would die if he didn’t taste that raw flesh. He let out a determined howl and raced towards the direction of the noise and the smell of food. His brain was only filled with thoughts of hunger and the delicious meal awaiting him as he ran.
It felt like hours of running… but he was getting so close! Conan only stopped once he reached a small cabin with a campfire— a meal hanging above the flames, cooking over top. It smelled like pork. The fatty meat was stuck cooking over the fire and the little wolf hadn’t felt such desire for sustenance in his entire life. The wolf was salivating as he crouched down and inched towards the fire.
“Whoa! What the hell!?” came an adult male’s voice.
Conan’s head turned and he growled at the human in front of him. The man froze, his eyes wide. He had just stepped out of the cabin and was holding a big plate; no doubt to take the meat inside, off the fire.
“Kid, it’s okay, calm down,” the man said “There is plenty to share, but you have got to stay calm.”
Conan continued to bare his fangs, his hungry wolf side giving no indication that he could handle this situation rationally. There was another growl from behind and Conan jerked around to see a completely black wolf staring down at him, a warning growl on his curled lips. It was just about the same size as him, but he felt no personal threat. All he wanted was that feast of meat.
“Alison, don’t get involved,” the man said to the black wolf “He’s just a hungry kid.”
Conan’s wolf side didn’t take care for the man’s words, and if Conan had any control over the situation, he would have stopped already. Alison didn’t seem to get the memo either, because she bolted forward and jumped at Conan, taking him down. He didn’t accept that with ease, however, and fought back. The two wolves rolled around on the ground entangled in one another, while the man continued trying to shout over them— neither listened.
Conan had the black wolf pinned down and was snapping at her throat, ready to kill her by ripping it out. Suddenly, there was a metallic “clacking” sound that drew his attention away for just a moment. He saw a rifle pointing at him, but the wolf didn’t observe the threat and took a leap at its holder. The man proceeded to panic, squeezing the trigger just enough for the gun to fire. Conan took the bullet to his upper back; he was instantly on the ground and the black wolf pinned Conan down. All he could do was let out a low groan of pain.
“Shit, shit,” the man said, tossing the gun aside. “Kid, come on kid. Keep your eyes open. Alison, get a compress!”
Conan’s eyes felt heavy and he could only blink a few times, before his eyes closed.