What Would Grendel Do?

Wordy Wednesday

I have absolutely nothing to update as far as my current writing projects and attempts at getting published are concerned, and I just ran across some old writing assignments from high school (for those of you not hailing from the US, that’s ages 14-18, approximately), and so I thought it might be fun to throw one in here, if for no other reason than so you can see that I’ve always been the aspiring writer that I am today. It’s amazing how long you can sustain aspirations.

A little background information for this story: Apparently we had read Beowulf for English class and were supposed to write something from Grendel’s point of view. We were not made aware of the book Grendel, so no plagiarism was possible, and anyway, I was a student at a small Christian high school who had not yet had my mind blown by literature (that happened a little later in my high school experience), so it’s not like I was going to compose anything overly gritty in this assignment, although there are a few vivid moments in this piece that kind of please me, 25 years later . . .



Composed on 9/9/88

[Which is kind of a cool date, if you think about it.]

Day One

When one lives on sea dragons for fifty-three years, one begins to get tired of it. I needed a change–it’s a nuisance to worry about getting scales stuck in one’s teeth.

So yesterday I went out and ate a shepherd. It was just a snack, of course, but it was so juicy and tender–not like dragon flesh at all. I’ve heard that many me go at night to that “mead hall” or whatever it is, in the valley. I think I”ll pay them a visit. Thirty thanes or so should be sufficient for dessert.

Day Two

Last night was wonderful! I’ve never enjoyed so good! It’s very satisfying to feel one’s teeth sink into good, soft flesh. The rich, warm blood spurted out delightfully and trickled in a red stream down my chin. Of course, my mother made me clean it up, but it was worth it. I’ll go back tonight.

Day Three

Very disappointing. No one was there. Oh, except the guard, who was pretty scrawny anyway. Maybe I’ll wait–give them a break tonight so they’ll come back.

Day Four

It didn’t work. I’m addicted to people now, so I couldn’t stay away. But a bunch of that Hrothgar’s soldiers were there, to fight me. Silly little creatures–they actually thought those spears could hurt me! After I ate the soldiers, I used those self-same spears as toothpicks. They were a little large, but they did the trick.

Day Five

Hrothgar sent some thanes out hunting for me. They call me a scourge and an affliction. I really can’t understand human prejudice against giants. After all, we are distant cousins. And surely humans aren’t so base as to expect a relative to starve!

Day Six

Now they are praying against me. I wouldn’t admit this to anyone, not even Mommy, but I am scared to death of their prayers. Their wimpy little weapons are no problem, but God and I have never been on the best of terms and, well . . .

Anyway, I’m staying home for a while. Maybe they’ll forget about me. But I’m too terrified even to sleep at night. I have to have all the cracks in my room sealed up, because I’m scred of the light. I have been, since I was a giantling. Some things you never grow out of.


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