Travis sat huddled, hugging his knees, in the small shack his father had built on the little island deep in the swamp. He was filthy and hungry. Though hunger was not a new sensation to him, four days was a long time. He had to go look for food. He had been waiting for his daddy though. His father had told him if there was trouble to come here and that he would make his way too and for him to wait there for him. But daddy hadn’t come. So, it was hunger that drove Travis back outside. He had been drinking from a small tin cup, catching water dripping into the shack but he needed more water than the little bit that dripped in, and his stomach was aching.
Travis looked around the tiny island, biting his lip–a nervous habit–and pushing his hair out of his face. He whispered. “Where are you, daddy? I’m scared.” More tears came to his eyes and he whimpered a little as he went looking for food.
Travis was too young still to change, that wouldn’t happen until puberty his father had told him–whatever puberty was–when he was older, his father had said. But he was faster than a normal child and had strong regenerative abilities. Already the bruises, cuts, and welts from before were healed now, without leaving a scar.
Travis sniffed the air and turned south, smelling a squirrel nearby. He looked up in the tree where he had tracked the squirrel, standing very still. The squirrel sat on a branch looking down, shaking its tail and chattering at him.
Travis knew what to do; his father had taken him hunting before. So, in a blur of movement, Travis climbed up the tree like a spider and had the squirrel in hand and was biting its neck, his teeth instinctively elongating for the purpose. He couldn’t fully shift yet, but he had some of his were abilities even at his young age; survival instincts. Claws and teeth when needed, besides his regeneration, enhanced senses, endurance, strength, and speed.
The squirrel went into a frenzy of death but Travis didn’t care. It was food for him. He tore at the fur with claws which had appeared on the ends of his fingers in order to climb the tree as he had; tearing it off in a frenzy to get at the meat beneath. His digestive system could handle raw meat; as a matter of fact, it preferred it.