I, Grendel, woke up like any other day, to the grumble of my stomach, in the cave I inhabit within the hills. Again like all other days my hunger wouldn’t be sated by anything, not mice, not deer, nor even bears can sate my stomach. I remember how feasting upon human flesh lent me a vague sense of satisfaction, and I knew that I would end up in Heorot again, where the men were big and strong, and their blood felt like fire singing down my throat.
However in Heorot, instead of just victims, long since given up fighting, I found Beowulf, a warrior with ten times the strength of any man I had fought before. I supposed that a man such as this, a warrior with such strength and pride could quench my hunger once and for all. My mouth watered at the thought, and I couldn’t even imagine how it would feel to no longer have this beast tearing away at me from the inside out, leaving me no more than a beast.
I did not find the solution to his woes in Beowulf; instead, Beowulf solved Heorot’s problems, by tearing me apart with his bare hands. It was a cruelty unlike I had ever known. Knowing I could not win, I fled Beowulf’s might; leaving in my stead what pride I had left and sought solace once again in my hills. Thereafter, I spent many sunrises laying in my cave, waiting for what seemed inevitable, while my flesh took it’s time sewing itself back together. I thought often, that this would be the end, the end of me and thusly the end of the pain brought of my unquenchable hunger for flesh.
When I no longer felt as if my flesh would fall off my bones at any slight squirm, and the protests of my stomach reverberated against the hills surrounding, I got up, to find some nourishment, no matter it would do nothing until he could get his hands on the finest specimen humankind could offer, the answer the answer to his prayers: Beowulf.
I started searching to become stronger than any beast known to this land, I sought them out, and I challenged them to duels. They were dumb, and did not accept until I landed my first blow. As much as this was about Beowulf, and in knowing I could not escape whatever torture occupied my belly until I had feasted upon him, I did not happen upon someone with such strength as I felt from him until I happened upon the Cyclops. As there were many, and surely not to be missed, certainly not by me, I took to fighting them all until I was half dead, only to try again.
When the time came that I had gained victory over the last Cyclops standing, I knew it was time. I could face my foe, and win. I just had to find him.
I went back to Heorot, the place that saw the blow to my pride, and after I had acquired the news I sought, I feasted upon what was left of them. Beowulf had returned to his homeland, Geat, long after I had fled and long before I had gotten there.
So consumed in tasting the flesh of Beowulf, it did not concern me how I would get to Geat, just that I would. I found a ship at the Heorot’s shore and unsure in how to make it move, the first week was spent in Heorot’s harbor. I put the sails down as I have seen ships like that dotting the sea. I waited for the winds to blow me in the direction of Beowulf, for I was sure that the Gods would help. Was my mission not a noble one? Sure it would help no one but myself, save for the fact that I wouldn’t need to prey upon dinky humans any longer. They could live their lives, and I too, could live mine.
I had forgotten perhaps that Poseidon, God of the Seas, was also father to the Cyclops. My biggest mistake yet perhaps. The wind may have help breach me from the harbor, but my journey was never peaceful. The sea was tossing and turning and doing its best to sink the ship, whenever I wasn’t aching from the inside out. I grew careless in my excitement, once I could finally spot land on the horizon. The sea took advantage and I was separated from my ship.
With the stature of a boulder, I ended up sinking; I struggled to stay afloat. How could a land-dweller such as myself, not sink like a rock, and succumb to the mercy of the sea? I was truly baffled, but I could not comprehend reaching this far on my journey, only to stop now. I was far too close to the end of my suffering.
I moved my limbs around as fast as I could reaching out as if I could grab air and pull myself towards it, or it to me. Flexing my legs seemed to make a lot of difference but could I make up for my weight? I had to, with the strength to be able to fight Beowulf, surely I could take on the sea. With that thought I soon breached the surface, but it wasn’t even half the battle. I must try to swim to the horizon. Something that once looked so close seemed to be so far away now that I had to use my own power to get there.
Make it to that island, I did, however, and I screamed my victory to the waters surrounding. Could not Poseidon see? He and his ilk were no match for me.
It didn’t matter however. I really had found Geat. I almost cried, I would be set free today. I called out to Beowulf, to come get me, to face me again.
The Fates began to measure the rope.
Beowulf stood before me yet again. Our true battle, I was salivating, finally, finally I would get some respite.
And the rope was cut.
I was right, my suffering ended, I was finally at peace.