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Z Lequidre and the Amazing Grendel Conspiracy

by Allain Atienza

Chapter 49

Zorikh flushed with pride at her faith in him. Beowulf merely made a murmur of agreement and went to Grendel’s side. “How goes it friend?” he asked sincerely. When Grendel nodded, Beowulf said gently, “You know, you could have held a bush in front of you and your pursuers would have mistaken you for an oak, they’d have passed you by…”

At first Grendel stared blankly at him but then laughed out loud when he saw Beowulf’s bright grin. “No one’s ever made light of my height before. Thank you.” The other warriors, seeing Grendel’s reaction, allowed themselves to join in the laughter.

“No thank you,” Beowulf said, clapping Grendel lightly on the arm, “up to now, I was the big one. Now you can take the name. You’re welcome to it. Now I can be the handsome one.”

Herrig leaned forward and barked, “No, that’s me, remember?”

Beowulf laughed and said to Grendel, ”Do you see what I have to put up with?” He added seriously, “You know, we thought you were the night walker at first.”

Grendel nodded “My footsteps have a way of alarming the unexpected.”

“No I mean the grounds were silent a moment before you and Theodora came into the hall.” Beowulf said, “Zorikh and I went out to the palisade and there were no night sounds. No crickets or birds, nothing.”

Theodora and Grendel exchanged dark looks. “I’ve never frightened the animals enough to hush the night…” Grendel began just as a terrified man, bleeding from a grea jagged gash on his right arm, ran into the great hall.

“Winstan!” Beowulf shouted. “Help him! Herrig, see to-” but the order was cut off as a colossal black shape bounded from the hall to block the arched entrance.

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