In the half light of the full moon crawls a boy. The undergrowth through which he makes his way is simultaneously his protector and attacker, shielding him from view and yet inflicting countless wounds upon his bony limbs; a dichotomy of nature. From time to time he stops and sniffs the air, then presses his nose into the damp earth like a dog tracking a scent. His hair, matted with juice of berries he has harvested for food, is festooned with unintentional regularity by twigs and tiny insects.
Even the most untrained eye would see the boy is feral. His skin is worn like leather that has spent a decade in the sun. His eyes, black like ravens’, reveal the true nature of the instinct by which he is governed. His movements are not clumsy as one might expect from a boy of his age – Six? Seven? Surely not more – but rather fluid and considered, swift and exact.
Devoid of anything resembling human emotion, the boy follows his senses to survive. He scavenges, preys on the weak. He creeps into the homes of unsuspecting householders and steals their food. He watches their children as they sleep, in silent and uncomprehending curiosity.
He was human, once, a long time ago. He is not human anymore.