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Beowulf v.s. Grendel a Battling Mind
By: Mindy Burgess
My life began like any other kid. I had great parents, friends, brothers and sisters, I had it all. Most of all I had a cleansed mind. I had done nothing wrong, or should I say nothing terribly wrong. I got straight A’s, went to bed early, and rarely watched television (it would fry my brain). I was the good kid, the one every parent wanted their little boy or girl to be friends with, I was the golden-child.
If only I could have kept this up, but with every “hero” these days they have their downfall and tend to fall quite hard. It started for me one cold winter morning. It was dreary outside and inside only felt a bit warmer. I dragged myself out of bed and scuffled to the bathroom. That is where my world spun completely backwards. I splashed sharply cold clear water on my face to wake up my swollen eyes. I glanced up in the mirror, and I swear I thought I must have still been asleep. Because what stared back at me was this hideous, furry, and fanged thing. The worst part, making my stomach turn, was the blood that covered almost half of my distorted and horrifying figure. “I must have done something horrible last night!” I said to myself. Only being about thirteen at the time, my first thoughts were how can I hide this from my parents. “No, there is absolutely no way you can keep this from them,” panic kicked in. I ran to my siblings’ rooms. “OH MY GOSH!” There was blood everywhere. What had I done? Well, I had murdered my brother and sister. “I love them, I couldn’t possibly do this in my right mind.” Then I remembered the state I was in when I rose from bed. I wasn’t in my right mind. Something took control of me and my thoughts. I ran in my sister’s bathroom and stared into the mirror. There I was, as I had been two nights before, an average thirteen year old boy. “What has come over me?” I went downstairs only to find my parents carrying out their normal routine. They didn’t know yet.
I fled the house, I couldn’t stay knowing what I’d done. I couldn’t bear to see the pain that would stain their faces. Days passed and my night excursions continued, each time I became more alert during them. I called myself Grendel, that was my name for the night. I preyed on whoever I could find. Dangerously having connections with each. Because of my appearance changing I could never be caught. I was living in a nightmare and could never be awaken from it.
I was able to get a job at a local hiking shop uptown. No one suspected a thing. People came to me at work, “Did you hear about the brutal killings twenty miles south of here!? I heard that the bodies were completely mutilated, they think it had to be an animal that did it.” They never knew, How could they? I never wanted to fall asleep, knowing what was in-store when I did. I would battle with Grendel during the night, but he always came out stronger. He had a snarling voice, forced viscous thoughts into my mind, and had the strength of three well built grown men. He was a force to be reckoned with. He was my master of the night.
After countless murders, after countless sleepless nights, and countless days where I was nothing more than a zombie; I decided I had to end it. I had to find a way to gain control of my body, twenty-four-seven. I began to question Grendel, asking him why this was happening, why he was so angry, and how could I help. I only got a few short answers, “You were suppressing evil thoughts unknowingly. I am the living form of those thoughts that went through your mind so quickly you didn’t even know. I felt abandoned, jealous, and was able to gain strength and take over when you were at your most relaxed state.” I couldn’t believe it, was I such an evil person to have thoughts so strong and quick that could take over me for parts of my day? Obviously according to what I’ve been going through, the answer was yes. I now knew what I must do to end this struggle and bring safety back to my community. I had to end my own life. I had to rid this world of Grendel, even if it meant taking myself away too.
I walked home, pondering what was about to come. I had written a letter before I set out and planned to slip it under the crack of their door, under the door and into the house where I had once been so happy and had such a bright future. I stood for a while reminiscing and thinking of what I won’t get to experience. I knew what I had to do. So I walked off and into the woods in the distance. No longer will the world need protection from a mysterious animal who killed in the night. Grendel was defeated that night and Beowulf won the battle with a sacrifice of his own.