Connor (A Beowolf Story)

📅 Published on December 8, 2021

“Connor (A Beowolf Story)”

Written by Justin Vinbel
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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His name was Connor. Dustin Connor, but he never went by that name. Some called him Con or Connor. I called him Mr. Connor.

Mr. Connor was the bravest and most imposing man that I and many have ever known. He stood well over six feet tall with a burly chest, the legs of a horse, and arms that suggested he spent two hours a day at the gym.

I remember when I met him, it was my first day working for Saco Bay Logging Company. I was eighteen and fresh out of high school. Some of the guys made jokes about my “beanpole” build and snickered at my running shoes. I had no idea what I was doing. In the rural town I lived in, there weren’t a lot of prospects for jobs. The lumber industry was the biggest employer in roughly a twenty-five-mile radius. It was also a family trade, being that my father worked in the business for over thirty years until his death from cancer.

I remember missing my father that day but also feeling proud. It had been six years since his passing. I still remember him to be a hard worker and a good father.

“You gonna’ lose them toes pretty quick,” said one of the older men.

“Yeah, Connor’s not going to like that,” remarked another.

At that moment, a trailer door opened and out lumbered a titan of a man. He walked towards us with his charcoal black boots and strolled into the grassy area where we were.

“Morn’ sir!” The older man said.

Mr. Connor replied with a simple, slow nod.

I remember this next part well. Mr. Connor took two steps towards me and slowly extended his hand. I remember his grip being firm but polite, not squeezing too hard. His hand was rough like sandpaper and callused. “Come with me,” he said sternly as he gave a nod.

I followed him into the trailer, and he had me sit down on a couch. “You’re going to need these.” At my feet, he dropped a pair of brand new, brown, steel-toed boots. “Put them on, and let’s get to work.” He said as he nodded and walked back outside.

I was stunned and not sure what to even say. I put the boots on. They weren’t a terrible fit, but they were a size larger than I usually wore.

My first day was him showing me the ropes and how to work safely. He also said one phrase twice that day: “Do it right the first time.” He didn’t speak all that much.

Don, the oldest man, mostly spoke. Don was in his late fifties and had worked in the industry for quite some time. He chain-smoked every day but always treated me like a nephew.

A few weeks following, I asked Don about Mr. Connor. “You seen that scar on his right arm?”

He nodded. “Bear. Big one. Meanest son of a bitch that ever lived in these woods.”

I looked at Don with wide, child-like eyes and waited for him to continue.

“Connor, of course,” he said next.

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“Dustin Connor is the meanest S.O.B in these woods.” He let out a raspy chuckle. He pulled out a cigarette, lit it up, and spoke again after taking a long drag. “ ‘Bout four, maybe five years ago, a big bear stalked us for weeks. Most bears are scared of our machines- not this one. He was an old and hungry bear. Seven hundred pounds and a natural-born killer he was. One day he comes into our camp, and he ‘approaches a fella named David who was takin’ a nap in his hammock. This bear bites onto his leg and pulls him down with the hammock. He was screamin’ and shouting ‘Help me! Help me!’ and we all ran up to the scene and then went and grabbed what we could. Jesse and Tim grabbed David by his arms and pulled. A few seconds later, me and Andy come with an ax and a shovel and start hittin’ it…”

Don took a break to take another long drag and then continued: “We weren’t doin’ any good. Bear just kept maulin’, and David kept screaming. We were sure David was going to die, but…then Connor rolls up in his truck and jumps out with his Bowie Knife..ya know, the one that’s always on ‘em? Yeah so, he runs up to the bear and is screamin’ so loud and…I shit you not he jumps on that S.O.B’s back and starts stabbin’ it.”

I sat there amazed at the story. I wondered how accurate it was and if it was embellished at all.

Don took another long drag and then spoke again: “The bear moved or did something to knock Connor off. Connor was on his back, ready for another go, when the bear threw itself on him first. We all yelled and threw what we could at it, but it seemed to do nothing. Connor had put his arm in the damn thing’s mouth all sideways. Givin’ it something to chew on, I guess. He punched the bear over and over. He even managed to push one of the bear’s eyes with his finger. After that, the thing backed up a few feet, actin’ like it was confused, and Connor grabbed his knife and ran at it again. It ran off and fast! We got David and Connor to a hospital. David made it okay but quit the job and moved to California soon after. A few weeks later, some hunters killed that bear and gave one of its claws to Connor. Man, you could see the fear in the bear’s eyes as it ran.”

I remained in total awe. I had gained an incredible amount of respect and fear for Mr. Connor.

For the next nine months, I became buddies with all the guys and even with Mr. Connor to a degree. I learned from the others that he served in the Marine Corps for four years and saw action in Iraq and Haiti. I also learned that he had once had a wife and a son that died in a car accident. Maybe that explained his emotional distance. I never pried for more information, but the guys seemed to respect him and care enough to share what they knew. They mainly boasted about him. Even Jesse, who was surly and kind of an asshole, spoke well of Mr. Connor. Some days he worked us hard, but he was always in the thick of it with us. Whenever there was a dangerous situation, he’d always jump in and take care of it. Need I say he was an idol to me. Maybe even a father figure.

One day the head boss of our company got a call from a government contractor in North Carolina. They were requesting our company’s help on a major project. The pay was tripled the usual rate, and it included hazard pay. It was odd because even though North Carolina was an expanding state, it was not known for having vast amounts of Woodland, at least not like it is in Maine.

We didn’t question it because the pay was so great and the hotel was covered entirely. We were scheduled to work for six months and six days a week from eight in the morning to six in the evening.

The first week on the new job went by without incident. We had no idea why they offered us hazard pay because the trees we felled were smaller than those we were used to up north. I wondered if it was the heat because it was so darn humid. Every day we’d work long and hard in the humid North Carolina Forests, and on our first day off, we went to the beach. Our hotel was inland, but the beach was just a twenty-minute drive, and it was a welcome escape from the woods.

“Beer?” Asked Don.

“Ugh… sure,” I replied and accepted an ice-cold lager.

Don chuckled at my reluctance and threw one to Jesse.

“You boys hear about the attacks in those woods?” Asked Jesse before chugging his can.

“Yeah, heard one of the contractors talkin’ about it. Creepy shit!” Don answered.

I inquired, and they shared with me what they heard. A tale of pets and people going missing and locals starting to think the disappearances were connected.

Mr. Connor had been taking a long swim and was now returning to the beach. A couple of ladies tried making conversation with him, but it did not last for long. He wasn’t rude. He just wasn’t interested. Tim and Jesse made comments about how he always got attention from women but never entertained it. “You fight any sharks, boss?” Tim asked.

Mr. Connor replied with a simple, “Na.” He wrapped a towel around his shoulders and sat down on the beach next to us. We all sat and enjoyed the cool wind and downed a few more beers. That night at the hotel, I remember sleeping well. The combination of a day in the sun and a couple of beers and burgers from a local restaurant made a perfect mixture for a sound night’s sleep.

We were up at six-thirty the next morning, bright and early. We stopped at a local Hardees. Each of us grabbed a biscuit and a coffee on the way to the camp. As you could probably guess, Mr. Conner took his black. It was cooler than morning than what we had experienced so far. It gave the day a more upbeat feel. The workday was moving along normally when I walked into a Port-A-Jon to relieve myself. After I finished, I glanced out of the vent and saw something odd, a single boot lying in the dirt with what appeared to be blood on it. I stepped out for a closer look, and to my horror, it was blood, a lot of blood. I held in my urge to vomit and ran over to tell the crew. After some questions asked, we found out the boot belonged to a Hispanic man named Juan, one of the government contract supervisors. About an hour later, two policemen and a Game Warden showed up and began a search. They returned in what we felt was too brief a time to find a missing man. They said it was probably a bear. We were told to take the rest of the day off and call us when it was safe to return.

Now you might be wondering why we didn’t go home that day. The truth is, we’re loggers, and we were accustomed to seeing bears and wolves while working. We also had Mr. Connor with us, who was a well-known bear fighter amongst our group. I even had the privilege once of seeing him scare off a bull moose by simply walking towards it, yelling war chants. All of that being said, I was a bit nervous about going back.

Three days went by before they called us back to work. They never found the remains of the supervisor or how it happened. His bloody boot was so close to camp that one of us should’ve heard something. It was bizarre.

We finished the workweek without incident and spent our next day off at the beach. Mr. Connor took another long swim while I sat back and chatted with Don and Tim. Jesse was busy trying to pick up married women nearby. “So, you got any plans for college or anything?” Don asked me. I took a few moments to think and ended up just shaking my head. “Eh, that’s alright. Man can make a good livin’ in the loggin’ business.”

“You would know, wouldn’t ya, Don! You’ve been doing it for 70 years!” Tim chimed in.

“37 years shithead!” Don retorted.

We all had a good laugh.

The truth is, I never really thought about college. Being from a long line of blue-collar workers, the idea of college had never been instilled in me. For dinner, we stopped at a busy seafood restaurant and had a delicious meal. Afterward, Mr. Connor and I stood in the parking lot by the truck, waiting for the rest of the guys to come out of the bathroom. They were all relatively drunk, and the restaurant only had single bathrooms. “You doin’ okay, kid?” Mr. Connor asked me.

“Yes, sir,” I responded quickly.

“Good. Going to be a hot week. Probably long too. I got us a new cooler. It can fit twice as much water it, keep you boys hydrated.”

“That’s very kind of you, sir. I know the others will appreciate it.” I responded with a grin.

“Hey, listen, kid, this week, help me keep an eye out. You seem to have a keen eye.”

I perked up hearing this. It sounds dumb, but Mr. Connor had given me a charge, a mission, and I wasn’t interested in letting him down.

Mr. Conner turned out to be right. The week had been long and hot. We were three days into the workweek when a nasty storm blew in. Rain and thunder pounded the forest around us. We were taking shelter in various places. Don, Tim and I were in one of the trucks with a few other loggers. “This shit sucks!” Exclaimed Tim. “Might as well call it a day.”

“Na, North Carolina storms come and go real quick,” Don replied.

He was right, less than ten minutes later, the storm was gone, and the sun was coming back out. We got out of the truck, and I went back to the chain saw. I sawed three logs and was about to start on the fourth when a scream echoed through the woods. I knew it was loud. It had to be because I heard it even through my ear muffs. I stood there for a moment and listened. A nearby worker stopped and took out his earplugs. A second scream came moments later, making the hair on my arms stand up. It was a yell of pain and fear. We were alone in this corner of the woods, and everyone else was on or around loud machines in other parts of the forest. I debated for a while if I should find help or go looking for the source of the scream. I turned to face the worker to get his reaction, but he was gone, already in his truck. I watched a wave of mud rise from behind his tires as he sped away.

Another scream carried through the trees. This one was farther away. I decided on action and started moving towards the scream with my chainsaw in hand. I began calling out. I received no reply at first, but after about fifteen seconds, another yell and a harried voice yelled, “Heellp mmmee! Oh please! Help!” I moved faster, almost at a jog, careful not to trip. I rounded a thicket and saw blood spatter on a tree and a sheet of grass. I was completely terrified. I kept on, and I knew I was getting close. I couldn’t feel my face nor my body. The air was humid and blistering, but it was no match for the frigid chill that fear had brought me.

Finally, there I was, staring at a sight that would burn a hole in my memory forever. I saw the man first. His chest was facing me as he lay on his side. His orange vest was shredded along with his torso underneath it. Blood and tissue were visible through the tares. His face was ghostly white from blood loss but even more from complete and utter terror. He stared at me with wide eyes and opened his mouth slowly. That’s when I noticed a long, black finger following the contour of his neck- not a human finger but the finger of a monster. It had a few hairs on its knuckle and a spear-shaped claw-tipped the end. Two ears popped up from behind the man, they were narrow and pointed like that of a horse, and they too were black. Its head was revealed as I realized it was rising. To say that the creature before me was anything but a demon from hell would be a total lie. In its dog-like jaws, it had a rib bone, flesh hanging off it. Its snout was like that of Doberman, but its eyes were more like a cat. The thing had no tail, and it stood on two hoofed legs that were crooked like a goat’s. It had to have stood seven feet tall.

I stood still as I quaked in fear, unsure of what I should do. The beast scanned me from head to toe. It grunted a dog and resumed eating. It didn’t view me as a threat. It gnawed on the hip of the man who I was sure was dead, or so I thought. I watched his eyes blink twice, and my heart sank like an anchor in the ocean. I had to do something! I remembered the chainsaw in my hand. The adrenaline coursing through my body gave me a momentary feeling of courage and anger. I pulled the cord three times, but it didn’t start. I was dripping with sweat and only ten feet in front of me was this monster. “Damn!” I said quietly to myself. I tried three more times with no luck, and the monster perked up its head again and gave me a snarl. I pressed the primer bulb a couple of times and pulled the cord again. Success! The noise made the monster stand up defensively. I squeezed the trigger, and the saw revved loudly. The beast almost looked scared as it took a step back while snarling at me again. I boldly stepped towards it, and it stepped back again. My confidence had grown. I continued toward it step by step while holding the trigger down. The thing kept retreating while keeping its gaze fixed on me. When I made it to the man, I carefully walked around him and stood between him and his attacker. I revved the chainsaw repeatedly, and finally, it was enough to get the thing to turn around and run deeper into the woods. My shoulders dropped when it was out of sight. A feeling of victory washed over me but was quickly replaced by one of dread. I gave attention to the man who was a gruesome scene of gore and devastation. I kneeled beside him and knew he had passed on. I sat there on my knees for several minutes, taking it all in.

The snap of a fallen branch took me out of my stare and made me stand up. All the fear returned to me when I laid on eyes on the monster again. All of its fear was gone and in its yellow eyes was rage and hunger. It stepped towards me at an alarming speed. I lifted the chainsaw but didn’t have time to get it started. The monster was right in front of me. It raised its clawed hand above its head and struck down against the chainsaw with such swiftness that I had no time to do anything as the tool dropped from my grip.

My hands throbbed with pain from the impact. The beast let out a growl that was both guttural and high-pitched. I turned around quickly and took off sprinting while yelling for help.

I could hear it pursuing me, and it was fast. It passed me, and it springboarded off a tree in front of me. Its agility far surpassed mine. The beast now confronted me. I was out of breath and unable to do anything but try and breathe. Terror and dread, even worse than what I felt prior, had overtaken me. I watched, frozen as a northern lake in the dead of winter, as the horror stepped closer and closer. It was only six feet away, and I braced for death.

“Die, you son of bitch!” A voice shouted from behind me. I turned around to see a large, two-headed ax flying past me. With a wet thud, the ax impacted the monster’s thigh. Dark blood oozed out around the ax head, and the beast yelped in agonizing pain. It took a few seconds before the thing used its claws to dislodge the ax from its flesh. It limped a few feet towards me and stopped, letting out a pitiful whimper. Mr. Connor was right beside me now, and he inserted himself in between the beast and me.

“Get the hell out of here, kid,” he said to me in a severe voice. He stood his ground, with his knife in his hand, and locked eyes with the demon.

Mr. Connor took a step forward and shouted, “Come on, you bastard! Let’s go!” The thing recoiled and put its arms out in front of itself defensively. It feared this new beast that was approaching. For the first time in that demon’s life, it was the prey. When Mr. Connor closed in, he slashed at it and shouted like a warrior with every swing.

He drove the beast off. If it had a tail, it would’ve been in between its legs.

“Let’s get back. Probably should call someone about this,” said Mr. Connor.

I nodded and went on to tell him about the beast’s victim. Don and Jesse met us a few minutes later. “Boss, you done took off running like that it scared the hell out of the rest of us. ‘Specially with that ax in your hand,” Don said with concern.

“Call the police,” was Mr. Connor’s only reply. I shared my encounter with Jesse and Don. Don walked away to call the police.

“Shit, man. That must be why they were paying so much for this job,” exclaimed Jesse.

“Yeah, it sees–” Mr. Connor’s reply was cut short by the blood-curdling scream of Don. He was nowhere to be seen. “Stay here,” Mr. Connor said as he charged off in the direction of the scream. Jesse and I remained still, our ears listening for anything.

Agonizing silence lasted for several minutes. It was broken when the beast could be heard screeching as if it was in a battle for its life. We heard Mr. Connor’s yells of ferocity mixed with pain. I ran towards the fight, picking up a sturdy branch about as long as my arm.

More battle sounds echoed through the trees. “Mr. Connor!” I called out. “Mr. Connor!”

“Overhear, bud,” Don called out. He was wounded pretty bad but still managed to be enjoying a cigarette. His right thigh resembled ground beef, and he had taken his belt to make a tourniquet to stem the bleeding. He had deep bite wounds down his leg. “Cops should be here soon.” He said as I took off my shirt and put it on a nasty gash above his knee.

“Hold this here, Don,” I instructed him. After he had a firm hand on the wound, I took off in search again of Mr. Connor and his foe. I could hear Don protest, but I ignored him.

I found a blood trail. Tim was an avid hunter, and he had taught me a few tricks, like how to track. I followed the trail and found Mr. Connor’s Bowie knife under a tree. It was blood-soaked, and two inches of the tip appeared to be broken off. Further along the trail, I found what looked to be one of the monster’s ears, or at least most of it. It had been torn off. I cleared a small field of grass, and on the other side, I found Mr. Connor’s baseball hat. It had blood spatter on it.

Now I was running. The sound of the fight was nowhere to be heard. I cried out to him a few more times. Frantically, I continued at a rigorous pace. Faster and faster, I ran until I came upon the scene. The beast lay flat on its back with a twisted face and bulging eyes. It was covered in stab wounds. Its black, hairy torso was stained with blood. Its long, grey tongue was hanging out of its mouth. Around its neck were the beefy forearms of Mr. Connor. He lay underneath it, unmoving and silent but alive.

The beast was surely dead, slain by the fearless hero that was my boss.

That afternoon the whole forest was taped off by the police. Fish and Game was out there helping the police with the investigation as well as some local hunters. We gave our statements, and I spent most of my time getting interviewed. Mr. Connor and Don spent several weeks in the hospital recovering from the battle. Don recovered in a few days. Mr. Connor, however, had six broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken arm, his right eye been clawed, and he had minor and severe lacerations all over his body, including his throat.

His sister flew from Florida to see him. She planned on taking him home with her to recover. She was younger than he was and tall, about six feet. Ms. Connor was kind and very concerned about her brother. We never knew that he had any family. “He talked very well of you.” Ms. Connor said to me. Apparently, they talked often.

When Mr. Connor was better, we parted ways. Ms. Connor took him to Florida with her. The doctors said he would probably never speak again.

We were flown back to Maine the next day by the company. I cried for a few minutes on the flight home. I knew I would miss Mr. Connor. I had saved his broken knife and forgot to give it to him, so I mailed it when I got home.

A month later, I received a package from Mr. Connor. He sent me back the knife, now with a new blade, sharpened. A single note was with the knife, and it read: “A man’s worth is not in his brains nor his brawn but in the courage of his heart and the will to act.”

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Justin Vinbel
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Justin Vinbel

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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