Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors holds out a little longer. Today I’m offering a sonnet depicting the brutal death of Æschere, King Hrothgar’s closest friend. He is said to have spoken of the unseen; the mysteries hidden about their world of Midgard. This is why I believe Grendel’s mother chose him specifically. My theory sums up the notion she was a witch. A magic user can sense another, and Æschere was not only a companion to the man ordering her son’s death. He was a threat to her and her whereabouts. He had abilities; powers we never got to see explored. Perhaps he could have handlers her in a battle of wit and mystic arts. Cleverly, she took him out swiftly, never giving him a chance to cast his own spell. Beheading him alleviated any chance he could open his mouth and utilize his powers. Leaving his head at her door, so to speak, came as the ultimate slap in the face to Hrothgar for making her son’s arm a trophy. Though her plan failed, it made for some fun composition. Enjoy! Beowulf: The Midgard Epic arrives soon! Adventure awaits …
(A Sonnet for Grendel’s Mother)
Sifting through the murky depths below her
Grendel’s mother came to wreak her vengeance.
Gentle stealth she used, and they did not stir-
Seeking someone certain in attendance.
Lo, Æschere, speaker of their myth’s lore
Fell, beheaded by her need to destroy.
Death upon the sleepers in the hall wore
Blood about their bodies, hers to employ.
Grendel’s arm became her next ambition.
Ripping it from its perch, she took the head
Taken from Æschere’s new condition …
Plowing through the door, a death for the dead.
Beowulf sought her shores and found it there
Stationed as her own trophy; as a dare …
James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is coming soon from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies.