Fatal Embrace

Slinking around the sleeping mead-hall, I stealthily stalked in the darkness of the shadows, slowly advancing until my right paw found its way to the gold-adorned front doorway. Into the grand dining hall I stepped, a broad smile spread across my face as I took in the sight of all the sleeping men. The rage that surrounded my heart only moments before is replaced with hope of a bountiful night’s work. Their chests rising in synchronicity with foolhardy smiles spread across their face quickens my heartbeat. Ravenous, I slither over to the man closest to my right. Jerked awake from a blissful sleep, face registering terror, I slice him open before his screams can be heard. Devouring every appendage and slurping the marrow from his bones, the rush of adrenaline my carnivorous eating habits supply matches no other known to beast.

Silently and seamlessly I approach the next man on the ground. Outstretched, my hand reaches for the man’s neck, but before I can succeed he grasps my forearm bringing me closer to him. Using my arm as a crutch, he propped himself against me and stared straight into my eyes. I began to panic for the first time in my existing memory. I was isolated in that enormous mess-hall surrounded by men sleeping peacefully, dreaming pleasantly, but it was not the first time. For twelve years I have returned to this miserable place slaying the people who caused me a life of suffering and solidarity.

The grip tightening around my arm, I look this brave monster in his face and instantaneously know that he has been awaiting my return, eager to hunt and defeat me. Never has a man responded to my presence with anything other than a shriek accompanied by a face portraying dread. However, this man exuded courage and physical strength. My head told me to flee and my heart sank as I assessed my options, realizing there was no to safeguard for me to run too. Longing to disappear into darkness, I began to wriggle in my opponent’s grip. A lump began to build in my chest, a hot hatred dripping down my throat, a fire in my stomach burning as hot as Hell itself until finally my vocal cords burst and I let out a loud whimper. My body slumped in defeat and for a moment stood there allowing the humans attempts to stick their spears in me and swipe with their swords. After realizing their weapons on no effect on my body, the men stopped prodding. All but one. Beowulf as I heard him addressed, the courageous warrior who still held my shoulder. Our eyes lock as I endure a sharp pain in my arm and his face lights up with malicious intent.

As I try to regain balance the pain in my side body intensifies and I begin to stumble home following the slits of moonlight shining through the trees. Extremely weak, I collapse, into the still swamp water, quickly turning crimson with my blood. I peer down at my side and behold a hollow socket where my arm used to reside. I shake my head in disgust, those creatures must be rejoicing over my arm at this moment. Little are they prepared for the moment I grasp my hands around Beowulf’s neck.



3 thoughts on “Fatal Embrace

  1. Julianne – I really like the way you got inside Grendel’s head, allowing the reader to see what he was thinking and feeling throughout the encounter. You added a lot of great descriptions – my favorite line is “A lump began to build in my chest, a hot hatred dripping down my throat, a fire in my stomach burning as hot as Hell itself until finally my vocal cords burst and I let out a loud whimper.” It’s so vivid, and it made me pity Grendel in a way that I’ve never done before. Also, I thought it was very clever to describe Beowulf as the “monster” and the Danes as “creatures” – it really humanizes Grendel and makes the reader question if Grendel is the monster or if it is Beowulf himself.


  2. I really like the alliteration and how you represent Grendel as an animal. It’s also interesting how you describe Beowulf as the “monster” from Grendel’s point of view– it creates an interesting parallel or symmetry between Grendel and Beowulf. You also have some really language, like “slits of moonlight” and “chests rising in synchronicity.” I love how Grendel is so eager for revenge, because it reminds me of Beowulf and the men…


  3. Wow – you take alliteration to a new level in this piece! And that hollow socket is haunting. What would it be like to see that? For Grendel to feel that? Nice work!


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