There is a king I've heard of, greater than any before his time. Greater than any Solomon or Saul. Greater than any David. His name is Beowulf, the hero. And what a hero he is! He defeated Grendel and his pretty mother! He swam against the almighty Brecca!

But he hasn't met me. Not yet. Beowulf, that dear, little man, has never known true evil. He has never looked fate in the eyes and known, known he was going to lose.

I must say, I look forward to killing him.

I am not a forgiving, kind spirit. If you scorn me, you will die. Even if you don't, you will still die. Everyone must. It is the only true good in this world, to finally have an end and receive a gift of darkness and emptiness. There is no dying to self. There is no life after death. There is no God.

So I say.

But this is the final straw. I've given this ungrateful, barbaric land too much leeway. No more. That man, that slave, stole from me. He took my treasure, what was mine, and made it his own. He is less than human, something despicable and unworthy of even looking at my feet, and yet, he found it perfectly acceptable to take my cup. Who knows what they'll use it for?

I know. I do. And I certainly don't like it.

They'll put that wine, the so-called blood into it, and drink. They'll think it'll save them. Nothing can save them from me.

I am Draco, almighty dragon, bringer of death-wishes. I am your nightmares; I am your fear. Feel my hate.

There is a sick satisfaction whenever I destroy the little light left in this mortal world. I burned that village to a crisp, left no survivors. I still hear the children sob for their mothers, the men's battle- cries, the women's desperation. Their hopelessness flows through me. It builds me up, gives me life. I have taken theirs; I am full.

"Beowulf!" I screamed into the night. "Beowulf, king of the Geats! Fight me! Fight me!" I laughed an evil cry, the sound like a thousand desolate souls doomed to wander Hades for the rest of days.

"Fight me."

I could see him watching the wreckage of his kingdom, his body hunched over. He was silent and still; I could see that from miles off. There was no fight left in his body; he was a broken old man.

That king, son of Edgetho, servant of Higlac, knew his days were coming to an end. He had been given a choice, many years ago: follow me or die. He foolishly refused.

"Fight me."

From the many miles that separated us, I saw the determination. I wickedly smiled. All would end well. Fate had long since chosen a side. Beowulf, king above kings, would die at my hand. I swooped off into the night, delighted.

I returned to my castle on the sea. The missing cup caused a hole in my bitter, black heart. The room was empty without it. That gold-jeweled goblet had traveled from dragon to slave to master to king. That is not the way it should go. No fairy- tale ends with the monster losing; no hero wins over the evil. The treasure is mine. No disgusting mortal can take that away.

Beowulf finally came, at day's end. He spat some nonsense about his courage. It doesn't matter. He will soon learn to respect fear.

I waited.

The world was silent.

Man was still.

And I roared. Fire burned from my mouth, hot and poisonous. The son of Edgetho, slayer of beasts, struck blindly out at me. There was little fight left in him. He knew his days were over, yet foolishly resisted. His people were at stack. His kingdom. His legacy. He could not give up.

I watched, delighted as his followers fled. They had claimed to be brave and loyal, but in their master's final moments, abandoned him. It had been my goal to kill Beowulf, knowing he was alone in his final moments. It was my final victory.

A man by the name of Wiglaf stayed behind. It irked me to know that hero was not completely deserted, but I can't lie.

Scratch that. I can. But I won't.

Wiglaf, son of Wexston impressed me with his undying loyalty. I would have killed him, if not for this. I wanted to crush this man and bring him to his knees. It would be a nice little goal to set for myself once Beowulf was out of the way: Tear apart his one last follower from the inside, until he died mine.

"Look around you Beowulf! See your people flee! You are alone! No one cares if you live or die. And trust me, you will die."

"I am not dead yet, monster. Feel the power of my blade."

"Come old man! Finally run towards your fate."

Wiglaf stood aside and watched us fight. He was afraid of me, yes, but was more fearful of being a coward. It had been my mistake keeping him alive.

"My king, my hero! We have failed you!" He turned towards the dark forest that had separated me from man for centuries before. "You are the king's great men? Cowards! You promised to die for Beowulf! Liars! Come, fight for your king! Fight for your land, and your wives and children! Fight for your dignity!" With those final words, Wiglaf attacked me. It was an onslaught. I couldn't escape. They had trapped me, those evil men. I was desperate and sobbing, as I felt a silver blade cut through my skin.

"I am Beowulf!" that great king cried, before my world crashed upon me, my body split in half from a dagger, like the snake in the Garden. There was no soul to separate from me. All I felt was incredible pain as I was pulled into the fiery depths of Hades.

I watched from below as Wiglaf stole my treasure from my home, giving it to his dying king. Those despicable dogs slowly left the forest as their king's grace departed that wasteland. The hatred consumed me.

This is where the mortals decided to tell a boring, pointless story about their kings of old. Humans are too caught up in the past. I am the past, the present, and the future. There is nothing before me. There can't be anything after.

I burn in this place of death, the stench of flesh around me. There is a wailing and terrible grinding, like teeth crushing together. I roar, but no one hears. I cry, but no one cares. Above me, there is a horrible light. I desire to reach out and grasp it, but the pain is unbearable. I have been forced into a tiny hole the size of a pin; it is far safer than the light.

Wiglaf, that brave Geat, commanded the armies of the great country to destroy my only home upon that barren land. He wanted the hero to be sent out in flames of glory. As if.

There was no fear left in all Geatland. I had failed my final mission. It tore at the little remains of my spirit, threatening to pull me apart. I wished. Anything to escape this demise, this fate, I would gladly give all my treasure for.

It would be easy to take it all back.

But Beowulf left in a ceremony fit for the supposed king he was, as my body was tossed into the sea, as though I was nothing better than a common rat. I am the slayer of man, the destroyer of life! I deserved better than that!

Humans are the foulest poor that ever walked this world.

They built a tower that grazed the heavens, standing tall and firm on the rock. Wiglaf sat as king, as twelve rode out, telling the tales of the mighty deeds of Beowulf. I spat fire at the world, my maniacal laughter following their path, and consumed those too weak-minded to listen.

The End