I, Grendel

By Kari Raines @ [email protected]

This is a project I did for my senior English class. I'm quite proud of it, so I thought I might as well post it here. If it's read, great! If not, oh well. Be sure to review if you read it. =)

This is based on the epic BEOWULF, from the Grendel's POV.

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Day after day, night after night, I, Grendel, lived in the darkness, alone and exiled,
doomed to spend eternity in the dark marshes. The music I heard every night was loud and
maddening, and the abnoxious laughter of the men from the Herot hall was enough to drive
intense hatred and envy into my heart. That is, if I even had a heart. I could almost
remember a time when I once might have, but that time was long gone. It left with my
banishment and the harsh reality of my fate.

After that there was nothing--nothing but the hate and pain and envy; envy that this
fate had been bestowed upon me and not that of the loud and infuriating men in Hrothgar's
hall. I wanted them to know the misery and suffering that I knew only too well. I wanted
them to scream and writhe in pain when I tore their throats out with my bare fangs and
viscous claws.

At that moment, I knew I would do just that. I would exact my vengeance upon
them, kill them all, and only then, I thought, would I feel some satisfaction in knowing that
their fate had almost been as horrible as mine, if not a little more merciful.

That very night, I waited for the voices and the music in the Herot hall to die--waited
for them to stupidly drink themselves into unconsciousness, oblivious to my wrath and their
own impending doom.

Then the silence did come. Shaking with anticipation and rage, eyes growing with
evident bloodlust, I struck. They never knew what happened. Hungrily, I tore them limb
from limb, and drained the sweet blood from their veins. They didn't have time to react, so
unsuspecting were they. I tore my claws into their flesh, eating them alive, their howls of
pain and terror exhilarating me. Victory. My first moment of victory, but it wouldn't be my
last. I killed at least thirty of them that night, but my bloodlust still burned hot.

My feeling of victory didn't last long. It didn't take long for a dull emptiness to takes
its place. I needed more. I needed to kill more of them. Then they would know that I,
Grendel, am the most powerful being in all the land. All would know my wrath, my power,
and the fierceness of my vengeance.

For twelve winters, this was to prove true. I ruled the land of the Danes, ripping any
who sought to conquer me to shreds, and Hrothgar, once king of the Danes, was defeated.
All lived in terror of me. I was omnipotent, immortal, or so that is what I thought.

Like countless other times, I began to receive word of a brave, young warrior, but
this particular one, called Beowulf, was from the far away land of Geat. Beowulf had sworn
to defeat me, like all the others, but, unlike the others, I had heard of the great deeds of this
one. This Beowulf was supposedly young and handsome, with impeccable courage and
strength. He was said to have drove five giants into chains and hunted monsters out of the
ocean.

What a fool I thought Beowulf to be--that he would have the arrogance to believe he
could slay me, Grendel the Unconquerable. I would show him how clever and undefeatable
I was. I, Grendel, would rip this mortal apart, piece by piece. I had slain thirty men in one
night. I conquered Hrothgar and took over the land of the Danes. Men trembled in horror at
the mere thought of me. I would slay Beowulf and his men in their sleep.

Later that night, once again, I, the renowned demon-fiend and devil to all, waited in
the marshes near the Herot hall, which had been deserted by Hrothgar and his men. Tonight,
though, it was full again. Beowulf must have thought me a fool to think I didn't know what
he had planned. He and his men were waiting for me inside the hall, pretending to be in a
drunken sleep, hoping to fool me. I smiled then, a bitter smile, monstrous fangs biting into
my lower lip. All my hatred and rage I had been feeling for years was focused now on that
small group of men in the hall.

I waited no longer to attack. If Beowulf expected me to strike, I wouldn't have
wanted to disappoint him. I crept out of the fog of the marshes, wanting nothing more than
to murder. The familiar engulfing bloodlust was back, all-consuming and enrapturing.
Beowulf would pay.

I made it to the door and ripped it right off its hinges. Inside, the Geats were nestled
together, their facade giving the appearance of drunken hibernation. Quickly, before they
had a chance to react, I snatched up the first one I came to. Effortlessly, I hefted him up and
ripped out his vocal cord with my teeth before he so much as had a chance to let out a yelp of
surprise. I savored the taste of his blood in my mouth, young and sweet, like the nectar of a
ripe piece of fruit. Lustily, I ripped at his flesh, devouring him, relishing in the sound of his
bones snapping under my teeth. Caught up in my pleasure, I momentarily forgot about the
waiting Beowulf. I suddenly realized I had no idea which one of the men he was.

Roaring in my feverish lust and covered in the blood and gore of my latest victim, I
looked around for my next victim. All this happened in mere seconds. The men were only
now stirring, no doubt waiting for their leader's command to attack. Reaching for one of the
men who remained unmoving in great anticipation, I grabbed him roughly by the shoulders--

--And was unexpectedly seized myself. Before I realized what was happening, my
claws were being bent painfully back. I wanted to do nothing but recoil back in horror when
I realized that this was Beowulf. It was Beowulf who had him locked in a strong, unearthly
grip. Before that moment, I never believed it possible for a human to be so strong. I snarled
barbarically and spat in his face but the warrior, hero of Geat, was unfazed.

"Fiend!" Beowulf hissed at me. "Devil! Go back to the hell where you came from!"

"You don't yet know hell," I retorted, right before we both hit the floor, still locked in
our deadly grip, "but you will soon enough!"

Our battle was viscous and gruesome. All my hatred and pent-up fury was released
in this single battle. Hatred towards this man who called himself a warrior, and who, the
thought struck me like thunder, might actually defeat me; hatred towards the God or gods
who had bestowed upon me this inevitable fate; and hatred towards my ancestor Cain for
granting me this horrific and unspeakable birthright. Why fortune had been so cruel, I
would never know.

We fought mightily, each determined to do away the other for good. "Die," I hissed
through clenched teeth, attempting to grip my claws around his throat.

"Perhaps today," the warrior gasped, managing to get his grip back on my claws and
straining to remove them from his neck, "is a good day to die," he finished. "But perhaps it
is an even better day for you."

The battle raged on like this for what seemed like eternity to the fierce components.
The floor and the walls around them literally trembled as the building absorbed the heat and
fury of their combat. Lunging my full bulk and force towards Beowulf, I made a move to
sink my fangs into his bare neck, be he reacted quickly, grabbing my fangs and shoving
upwards as hard as he could until there was the sound of a sharp crack, and an intense burst
of pain shot through my body, from my head on down.

Angry and in pain, I blindly tried lunging at him again with my claws, but this time,
when he caught my claws in his grip, he crunched them tightly in his large fist. Another
cracking sound that time, mingled with the howl of my agony and bewildered confusion.
Taking advantage in my lapse of concentration, the Geat hero twisted my right arm painfully
behind my back.

I screamed, believing that point of pain was the worse it could possibly get. I was
gravely wrong. Beowulf continued to twist my arm until I thought I was going to pass out
from the pain. I couldn't see or think past my agony--not even of my hatred. Unable to
make a coherent thought, I struggled instinctively against the persisting torture.

Through the hazy cloud of my pain and the noise of my own screams, I saw my own
arm being twisted out of the socket. I could see blood--my own blood everywhere--and the
white of bone jutting out from the stump where my arm was once attached. Horror-stricken
and blinded by the rage and pain, I barely comprehended what was happening to me. The
only thing I knew was that I had to escape. And escape I did--fleeing as fast as I could out
the door of the hall and into the marshes, leaving a trail of blood in my wake and gasping the
entire way, the loss of blood greatly slowing me down.

Back in my lair, I lay in the mud, bleeding to death, humiliated, and waiting to die. I
had been defeated by a mere man and I was going to die, doomed to spend the rest of eternity
in hell, but could that hell be any worse than the hell I'd lived? Finally, in these last
moments, my anger tired. My hatred tired and I accepted defeat and my own, imminent
death. My time had come and I would at last be released from this monstrous form.

Then I, Grendel, loved by no one, mourned by no one, died. My death would be
rejoiced and celebrated throughout the land of the Danes and beyond. Fate, once again, had
been cruel.

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Thanks for reading! Please review! =)