Grendel’s Mother & Beowulf

He was here. And she wasn’t wasting anymore time. She’d watched her son crawl into their home, bleeding and in agony – barely able to conduct coherent sentences. He’d clutched onto his shoulder that was saturated in blood. She knew something wasn’t right, however due to her state of mind, she had no time to wonder what was missing.

She rushed over to Grendel’s side, in tears, mortified at the image that was before her. There he lay, her son, without his left arm, crying in pain. It was an educated guess that he had already began dying on his way to their abode, but it seemed as though now he was at his final breaths. She cried in anger and in discomfort, who would have taken her only son? She held him close to her, with only one question on her lips, who? He clutched his wound, and took sharp breaths in, attempting to reveal the name, but visibly struggling. He closed his eyes, using the last energy that dwelled within him, whilst she clasped his hand. Hoping for anything, but knowing reality was a cruel mistress. Beo…Beowulf…Beowulf was his name, and Beowulf was whom she was going to slay. To avenge her now dead son. She was going to slaughter him brutally, so that he felt every bone in his minuscule body tighten and crumble as she killed him. She descended her son into the murky lake that flowed between her legs, and stood looking at the crescent moon in the sky – she’d be patient, she told herself. Sooner or later, this Beowulf would come looking for her, and once he did, she’d destroy him. Destroy him along with any hopes and legacies that came along with the name Beowulf.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The wait was finally over. He was here and she was prepared. He crept through the cave, eyes alert and sword drawn. Slaying Grendel was not a task that Beowulf couldn’t handle, however he wasn’t going to assume the same for his mother. He knew the anger that ran through her veins and pulsated around her body was because of him – because he killed her only son. He’d come across a lake, but to proceed with his journey, he’d have to swim through the lake to enter her chamber. The path before him reminded him of his swimming contest with Breca, many moons ago. Even though he failed to win the match with Breca, he was sure he’d defeat any sea monsters that would cross his path. Just like he had during that contest. He placed the knife between his teeth, bit down and then dived into the lake.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Stupid human, she thought. She was the queen of her domain and now she was going to show him why he should have never trespassed her land. She saw his body swimming through the lake, without warning, her body lunged towards him, pulling him out of the water. As she held him, other sea monsters came to her side, attacking this outsider, clinging onto his armour and pulling at his weapon. However, this man was stronger than what she had anticipated. He summoned power from above and loosened Grendel’s mothers grip from around his waist, whilst pulling the sea creatures off of him.

Beowulf then proceeded to swim to the surface, revealing a golden aura within the cave. He drew his sword and faced Grendel’s mother, who was stalking her prey ready to strike. He turned to face her and for once was stunned; never had he imagined such beauty or elegance from such a monstrous creature like her. She managed to hold an unimaginable picturesque appearance that he physically couldn’t raise his arm to strike her.

But it wasn’t only he that was shocked, her son’s murderer was beyond any regular human, he was a god. A god with such features that any creature would bow to him under any command. She came close, not believing what she was seeing, she wanted to touch, wanted to feel, smell him even. The finest Gods from above made him. He was enchanted by her beauty, nobody had capsulated such exquisiteness like she did, he threw his sword to the ground and stripped himself of his armour. Not fearing the other sea creatures that lurked closely around him, instead he solemnly focused on Grendel’s mother and how a monster could hold such a beauty that would disarm a man without any words.

Advertisements

Him

When he spoke, all listened. His presence demanded attention and once he was amongst people, their knees bowed to his existence. He was their Messiah. The founder and creator. They worshipped him and glorified him, similar to the ways Jesus was exalted. He had no name, he was referred to as ‘Him’, he represented every single being in society, the women, the men, the children, the animals, he was all of them combined into one. When individuals had complications within their marriages, or between families, they called Him, and through the power God had given to him, he’d resolve all. This world had no difficulties, and they had Him to thank.

He kept order in society, kept the bad out of sight and professed the good. He was fair, they had no objections because he spoke for the people, what they wanted he provided, what they detested, he removed. Why would anyone have any grievances? Instead they showered him with gifts, to signify their thanks; gold, frankincense and myrrh was presented to him, and he accepted each one. He’d smile, and place two light kisses on each individual’s cheek, to show his appreciation. He’d then throw a celebration for his people. Music accompanied with food was presented, whilst the biggest gift of all was being in his presence. For the last hour of the celebration, he’d come and join in, greeting all the families, as he was familiar with everyone. He’d smile, laugh and say a prayer or two, but soon after, he and his guards would return to his temple. Some would cry, and others would plea for him to stay, but he always raised his right hand and smiled, reassuring them that he’d be back; and that was enough for them to suppress their pleas.

He never walked alone; guards always surrounded him, one in front of him, two at each of his sides and one behind him – he had eyes at every angle, the way he liked it. Every night they’d walk him to his room, which was draped in silk and duchess satin, with fine oil and perfume positioned in every corner. He lived like a king, he was wealthy, never had to struggle, and he wanted to make sure none of his people had to struggle too. Whilst he slept, his guards took place outside his door, protecting him day and night.

But, what they couldn’t protect him from was his dreams. Things he attempted to conceal, memories he buried so deep, he was unsure he could find. But dreams revealed all. Every breath he took as he slept revealed more of the past, opened more of the closed doors he’d oppressed many years ago.

What he feared to tell all, was spoken so clearly in his visions. And it always started from the beginning, because in the beginning, there was no land or sea, no creatures to roam the earth, no humans, no day or night, or no sky. There was just a void. God looked upon this Earth and saw potential, he created what we are all familiar with today, light, dark, sky, land, sea. But something was absent; something was missing from this world. He placed six men unto the Earth and gave them the grace to never age nor die, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Xyloism. Each man held the same beliefs, but all in different perspectives. God wanted each man to work together, to build the Earth into the strongest form where religion and the word of God was taught and spread throughout many nations. Each man agreed to do so, and swore an oath to work hand-in-hand to turn Earth into the greatest planet known to man. For many years, the men came together and worked cooperatively to build Earth.

Until one day.

October 31st, the day when one man understood his power and strength was above natural. He realised he didn’t have to work with these other men to fulfil the realm he’d always desired. They’d done most of the work together, but what he now knew was that he didn’t need them anymore. He knew he could run this planet without them overruling his plans. On this fateful day, he used his power to create an abyss within the grounds of the Earth.

Before any man could stop him, he had gained control over each and every one of them, and sent them into this darkness he had created. He had become impractical and selfish with his powers, greed had consumed him, he no longer treasured the gift God had given him, but he had now begun abusing it. At first he relished living the life he believed he created, took pleasure in living in the world alone. He had plans, he wanted to build a society that only looked onto him for help, that saw him as his saviour, but the only people on the world at that time were the other men he’d thrown into the abyss he’d created.

He needed to create his own man, and woman even. He wanted to build a society that worshipped him, and believed in him. He had morphed into a man who had lost the power to sympathise, but gained the power to purely focus on the microcosm he was so sure to build. No one could stop him, not even God. But what he hadn’t known was that God had seen everything, and had let him get away with all. Because God knew justice was coming, no matter how long it took; it would come, and be his Achilles heel.

It was mid-day, many people had already overwhelmed Him with gifts, prayers and thanks, and like routine, he kissed both cheeks and accepted each one. Today he thought he’d give his people a celebration, a chance for them to rejoice and him to be glorified by these blinded people. As he sat amongst them, children ran around and played with each other, elders sat around a table and ate, whilst others praised his name. But what He hadn’t known, was two children had run into his temple, playing the traditional hide and seek. It was normal for children to play around with each other, they were told to view each other as family, blood or no blood related.

But, they were told never to play in the temple. That was the one place no one had ever stepped foot in. But they were young and fickle, who could blame them. You see, Adam was quick, too quick for Eve, he thought he had the best hiding spot, he’d ran down these grand stairs and pushed open a door with bars. He then hid in a cupboard and waited until Eve found him, which he was sure would be a very long time.

Eve saw him run into the temple, she knew it was wrong, it was the one place they weren’t allowed to go, but she couldn’t stop him, even after she chased him into the building and down those stairs, she still couldn’t catch up to him. She didn’t really know where she was. It was dark, with candles to substitute for light, it was even cold there, she wished Adam hadn’t run into the temple. She came across a black door, there were no windows nor was there any light seeping through the cracks of the door, just pure darkness. She knew how Adam could be, she knew he thought he was the best at hiding, so she turned the knob and pulled the door open.

It was dark, no light seemed to have roamed this room, she took a candle and called out for Adam once, twice. No reply. She took a step inside, her fears slowly increasing, each step seemed to horrify her more and she couldn’t explain why. She never had a reason to be afraid of the dark before, but this wasn’t just a room with no light. It was a room with no life, nothing. Comprehending this room was something Eve couldn’t do. It made no sense to her. She shone her candle forward and jumped seeing five men chained and tied down. To what, she couldn’t see, but they were prisoners in this room. One man looked up at her, a tear rolling down his unclean cheek, whilst his eyes became dilated due to the light. She knew she needed to call for help, what she was seeing wasn’t right. She turned around to get some help but ran into Him.

He wasn’t the same, something had changed about him, he wasn’t the man she saw everyday. He had dark eyes and a pale face. He lifted her up, head between his hands and without hesitation snapped her neck, and threw her lifeless body to the side. Adam held his mouth and forced his cry back. He didn’t want to believe what he had seen, let alone understand it, but everything had sadly become so clear for such a young boy like Adam. He tucked himself deeper into the cupboard and closed his eyes, hoping he wouldn’t find him there, and kill him like how he had just done to Eve.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun