Hi :) This is a little different from my usual fanfics. Haha.
Anyway, after reading Beowulf, my English teacher assigned our class to rewrite the part of Beowulf with Grendel but we had to change it. We had to make Grendel the good guy and Beowulf the bad guy.
The assignment was supposed to be three pages but I got a tad carried away :D I hope you enjoy!
Lovezz. Hugzz and Tacozz,
The Doleful Tale of Grendel's Offspring
I am the only one left. I am the last of my people to be on this god forsaken land. I am shunned by all, pushed away from society and forced to live amongst the horrible creatures of the forest. I am forced to creep through caves and curl up in holes, trying to stay hidden from the torturous creatures that call themselves human beings. I use to live as a Lord by courtesy of my father. My father was the ruler of a beautiful forest. It was small but prosperous. Within this forest was a lake, prosperous with succulent pikes, trout and eel. We were a fishing community, at least we were, before we were destroyed and my father fell into the grasps of a wicked creature.
My father was extraordinary. He was a master of all trades. He knew of Blacksmith skills just as well as the skills to wield the sword he created. He knew how to herd a sheep better than any hound that could be found in the land and could weave the sheep's fleece into robes fit for a queen. He knew of fishing before he even knew to walk. His mother, my grandmother, had been a widow. Her late husband had been a knight and after his death, by the side of our king, father of Hrothgar, my grandmother was granted this forest and lake as a present from the king for her husbands' bravery.
He was worshipped by the people of the village. Woman fell to the ground and kissed his feet. Men would pay for his ale in the mead hall and widows would offer their late husband's belongings as gifts. It was considered an honor to be granted even just a nod from the man. He was a friend of the lepers and brother of the hunters. He went to war with our king, just as his father had, whenever needed, and always returned valiant and victorious, riding his beautiful roan hackney mare. The people would cheer and sing as he rode back into the town, chanting with glee of his glorious battles. I knew my father was home by the sounds of the children singing and chanting.
"Grendel has returned! Grendel, our lord! He has returned!"
He was built like a Clydesdale, with muscles rippling and hands as big as dinner plates. He was worshipped by the woman. They lavished him with gifts of handkerchiefs and flowers. He was courted by many women but only one caught his attention. Her name was Ceolwen. She was known to be the fairest spinster in all the land. She was the daughter of a herder and my father's soon-to-be-wife. They were wed in early Winterfylleth and ten moons later, I was born. I was the first and only son that my Grendel fathered, for my mother fell into the grasps of a pox and was lost when I was just a little tike. My father, broken-heartedly, vowed to never marry again and he kept that promise until the day of his passing.
Though he was broken by the loss of my mother, he continued to serve our people as the righteous lord he had always been. He protected out people from the evils of the world not only through his strength and chivalry but also through his heart. Once, our forest was under attack by a bewitched giant. The poor creature that towered over our tallest men by ten feet had fallen in the spell of a horrendous witch. This witch used the giant as a weapon to destroy villages. My father took hold of the creature and shook the evil encrusted spell from his being. The creature, as it lay weak and shaking in the middle of our village, held out his sword and set it in front of my father and nodded gratefully. My father took that sword and hung it on the wall, in remembrance of the giant.
My father continued to serve as our lord until the day we were attacked. It was an army of witches. They appeared out of sky and massacred our people. I stood there and watched as children cried and men fell. Limbs were wrenched from their sockets and heads rolled across the grass. In the end, there stood only two men and one woman against the witches; my father, my grandmother and I. Their leader, a witch named Coralline, casted one last spell against my father and I and then banished us. The spell warped our bodies into the shapes of monstrous creatures, with long claws and ugly, goat-like faces.
It was not until several years later that we found that the lake we had made our home was a portal to an endless supply of pure energy. The witches had planned to suck the pure energy from the opening and used it to become more powerful. What the witches had not known was that when the portal opened, it destroyed all evil that stood near, and absorbed the power for its own. After the witches were drain to nothing, the lake had become nothing but a vat of pure evil, created from the deceased witch's souls being sucked into the portal.
We became creatures of the night. We lived in caves and crawled through marshes to hunt rabbits and elk. We did not dare to interact with the men that we once had lived alongside. Only once did I venture into a village on the outskirts of Herot. I was welcomed with horrified screams of woman and children. They cursed me and called me ugly and then pelted me with stones the size of pinecones.
"Away with you beast, you ugly creature," They chanted and bellowed, "Keep your evil and horrific face away from our people!"
After that day, I never looked into my reflection. I would close my eyes when I leaned in to drink from a creek. I did not want to see my face. I did not want to witness the creature that those people had called ugly and evil because I did not want to be that creature. I was a man, not an evil being and I thought that not looking at my cruel features would make it so.
My father and grandmother returned to the lake, in hopes of repossessing the land but instead were sucked into the portal. I waited for days for my grandmother and father to return. My wait ended the day my father crawled from the lake, gasping for air. He told me that a forest spirit had fallen into the lake and had been bewitched by the evil and now possessed the lake. He told me that the spirit had taken my grandmother and told Grendel that he would never release her until he was to bring him the heads of a thousand men. My father, having no choice but to do as the spirit wished, set out to collect his payment. While he was gone, I searched through the nearby woods until I found a cave that I could turn into a shelter for me and my father to reside in until we were able to set my grandmother free.
Every day my father would return, broken from battle but even more injured by his soul. He would go into the mead halls and kill men that he had once fought beside, men that he called brothers. I could mend his wounds to his flesh but never could I stop the aching that he felt in his heart. He did not sleep nor eat for weeks. He would do nothing but drag himself, grudgingly back to the lake and give the spirit what he hungered and then come into our cave just as the sun would hit the peaks of the mountains to the east and fall onto his cot made of woven branches and stare at the eroded rock. Rarely, he would drift off into a fitful sleep, only to awaken with a jolt and start to sob uncontrollably.
It destroyed me to see my father whom had once been a strong, loved lord, become this tortured creature on the brink of death itself, only to save the life of his mother. Being so vain, he was unable to ask for help but I, being the more logical of creatures, decided to find a way to help. I snuck off during the day as my father slept, and traveled towards Herot, home of Hrothgar. I arrived at the mead hall of the king, hoping to beg for some form of help. The men were resting, all fast asleep, after a long night filled with ale and Danes. I crept through the men, hoping to find the king before they awake. The room was dark, too dark to see. A fallen chair caught my ankle. I reached out to catch myself on the table but the darkness deceived me and I fell, crashing to the ground with a loud crash.
"The murderous beast is here again! The creature has returned to kill our king! Kill Grendel the beast!" The men screamed and called as they rose from their slumber and surrounded me. I must have looked like my father in the darkness because the men continued to chant his name and
I tried to defend myself without the harming of the men but the numbers were too many. There were too many spears, stabbing at my side. There were too many swords ripping at my skin. I had nowhere to turn. I pressed my eyes shut and lashed my claws out blindly, catching flesh and ripping it. I opened my eyes slowly and stared down at my claws. A dark red trail of blood dripped down my claws. The man I lashed fell to his knees in front of me and dropped.
My entire body went numb as a dozen men fell on me and ripped at my skin and stabbed me with their spears. I twisted my body and swung my claws outwards, throwing the men off of me. I started to run, grabbing men and ripping their heads as they marched towards me, spear in hand. I felt something in my mind snap. I could feel my blood boiling as my adrenaline started to rush and overwhelm me. Suddenly my world went black with confusion. I could hear men screaming as I floated away from the scene and escaped I into a faraway place in my head.
I came to, staring at the floor before me. The iron stench intruded my nostrils with a bitter sting. Blood was splattered everywhere. The bodies of lifeless men scattered in front of me, limbs and body parts ripped and torn lay across the stone floor. I stumbled back, feeling my stomach turn. I sobbed out turned. I ran from that place. I ran as fast as I could, as far from Herot as I could. My felt as if my heart was going to explode as I cried and screamed into the dark forest. I collapsed in front of that cruel lake. I pulled myself towards the bank and stared down at my reflection. An eerie, blood splattered face of a horrific creature stared back. I had become the monster I had, for so long, tried my hardest to deceive.
I pulled myself along the ground until I was in front of our cave and cried out. I could feel myself weakening as I sobbed into the grass and rocks. I curled up and cried for hours until my father found me on his return from his nightly hunt. He dragged me into the cave and lay me on my cot as I stared blankly into the broken limestone of the interior of the cave.
That night broke me. I no longer felt anything. I had gone numb. I did not leave the cave again until the day that my father returned, injured beyond repair. He was torn. His entire upper torso was ripped and where his arm had been was an open socket, spewing dark blood.
"I have gathered nine hundred and ninety-eight heads in the past twelve years," He whispered as he coughed up a bulk of curdled blood and fell onto his knees before me. He sobbed out in pain and stared up at me, his eyes loosing color, "I have stolen nine hundred and ninety-eight lives."
In his other arm he held a head of a soldier by his hair weakly. He held it up to me. I took the head and stared down at my father.
"My son," He said softly, "Please do your father one last favor before he dies."
"Anything father," I said quietly, choking back the cry that burned inside my throat.
"Take me to my mother," He whispered, "Take me to the lake and throw me into the waters, along with this poor man's head. Throw me into the black abyss and then that monster will have his thousand heads and my mother will be set free."
"But father," I cried, "You can't do this. I can save you. We can mend this wound."
"No," He whispered, "I have lived a glorious life. It is my time to go. I need you to do this for me."
"I can't," I whispered, my voice braking with sobs.
"Please," He said, barely audible, "Please."
I nodded slowly. I could feel my tears fall down my cheeks as I carried my father to the lake. I set him at the bank and picked up the head of the dead man. I set the head into the water and watched it as it sank into the darkness. I turned and fell to my knees in front of my dying father.
"You are not to avenge me my dear son," He whispered as I stared down at him crying, "That man did what he thought was noble and we must respect that."
"Yes father," I mumbled quietly.
"My son," He whispered with a soft smile on his face, "Do you know that you have your mothers' eyes?" I nodded though I did not know for I did not quite remember my mothers' face. He smiled up at me, "You have the face of a beast but you have the heart of your mother. She was beautiful, my son, as you are."
I felt the life of my father draining as I lifted his large structure and rolled him into the lake. I left that lake that night. I'm not sure if my grandmother ever came out and I never returned to find out. I became a hermit of the marshes. I stayed hidden for years until the day I found an empty castle and made it my home. Years later, I was turned back into my true form by a beautiful woman, but that is another story to be told. This story was of loyalty. The honor that my father felt he had to gain and the life he lost in the process.