THE BEAST: GRENDEL'S RETELLING OF THE BEOWULF TALE

So, the Spear-Danes of the wondrous past

Liked to furnish hero's tales, of glory and

prize-winnings bright. Beowulf's was above all good.

But even monsters have life stories. My name

is Grendel, and this is my tale.

I was human once. Then in the dark,

Mother took me and birthed me to the night.

She laid the tracks, and bade me follow;

we became two demons bonded by a fear

of loneliness, I nurtured by her love and desperation.

I sought to but could not curb my thirst

for human blood. Hell was my constant

state of mind where the human struggled

with the savage. I broke into Hrothgar's hall

one night and killed them, every one of them

helpless and hating men. Their eyes bore

the unmistakeable stamp of horror

that stripped me of all humanity.

Knowing this, I resolved to become

the nightmare they had expected of me,

for I was nothing else.

So, the Danes longed for a great hero,

these strong men that slew dragons and claimed

virgins in the name of greed. These were rootless trees

that pretended to a greater cause.

And Mother would give me no answers

of heroes, or of demons. Thus, stealthy,

I waded through the rustling rushes of the

great hall, the house of death that I had

ordained so. It was empty as a tomb,

and my hunger was savage. Then I tore

into the dark – and found myself locked in handgrip from which I couldn't escape;

a death-defying, jaw-breaking brace! The moon-light creaked,

it fell onto a face with eyes of grey.

He was unarmed and calm as the great

whale-road, open and forgiving.

I did not understand; was I not a demon,

cursed by the mark of Cain, feared

and damned by all the world?

Was he not a hero ready to vanquish me

with some great ancestral sword?

Yet here he was, unafraid.

He was Beowulf, and he spoke my name.

Then a great fear came to me and I

tried to escape; couldn't. We were like

two brothers locked in one titanic struggle.

The more I pulled, the stronger he gripped;

he wanted to bring me to a better place. But

in that implacable moment I wrenched off my arm,

my last shreds of humanity, my last doomed love

for a foolish mother. I sped away,

him watching me with whale-road eyes.

Thus we are brought to the end of my story.

They say that I have died that night, that

Mother was to avenge my death in a fight

against heroic Beowulf; but that is yet

another tale to tell – after all, I was born

of her loneliness and not her flesh,

so her wrath was less anger and more despair.

But what is the ultimate difference between

my living and my dying? Time erodes my name,

disfigures my face, yet I continue on.

My name is Grendel, and this is my tale.

THE END

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I think this is supposed to go on Fanfiction or something but I hope I can be forgiven. This is Grendel's perspective on the Beowulf tale... In the original tale, Grendel was an evil monster that haunted King Hrothgar's mead-hall and slaughtered all his men. Beowulf was a guest of the King who volunteered to kill Grendel. One night, Beowulf and Grendel met face-to-face in combat, but Beowulf ended up ripping off Grendel's arm. Grendel later died. When his mother found out, she took revenge on the King's men. Then Beowulf had to kill her, too. The rest is etc. Sorry for the lengthy summary... but here is my ballad, with a little twist to it...