Authors: Gwynn Jones
Bride of Grendel
Viking Lore Erotic Tales
Sigrun stared out her tiny window at the snowflakes falling fast and thick against the dark outline of the woods. It was almost time. Soon she would be free of this place — free of this life entirely. She shuddered at the thought of what lay in store for her, what thing, lurking somewhere within or beyond those woods, would soon have her in its terrible grasp.
She looked at her room — her cell. A fire blazed in a small hearth, keeping the place warm against the harsh elements. The walls of the turf hut were thick. At first she had thought she might burrow her way out, tearing fingernails in the process of digging away at the wall, until she realized that the turf covered a layer of stones. It was like she was housed in a burial mound. She was as good as dead as soon as she had arrived, the newest wife of the great king — the latest sacrifice to the terrible monster that haunted his mighty hall.
She heard the scrape of bolts at the door.
Unferth. The heavy door swung open and a hooded figure ducked inside, shaking snowflakes from his cloak. His eyes met hers and then dropped to the floor.
“Wealhtheow, your highness.”
“Wealhtheow is not my name.”
“It is your title, and I must call you by it.” He closed the door behind him, shed his cloak, and stepped toward her. “We don’t have much time. Tonight is the night, the darkest night. Tonight he comes.”
She smiled, not without some bitterness. “I’m glad of it. This is no life. I’m ready to be done with it all.”
“Ready to be done with me?”
“Do we have any choice?”
He took her in his arms, pressed his lips to hers, buried his face in her neck. “I wish we had.”
“Then we will have to enjoy this moment, if it is to be our last.”
Sigrun dropped her shawl and unclasped the brooches that fastened her dress. Unferth pushed the fabric from her shoulders, revealing the creamy white flesh of her breasts, the rosy tips. He took a breast in his mouth, sucking and pulling at it. The feel of his beard against her skin and his hot mouth on her tit, the tug of his lips and tongue on her sensitive nipple, sent a charge running through her. She felt herself getting wet. She let her dress fall to the floor. His hand went to her, fingers gently massaging her moistening cleft, his palm against her clit. She could not help but sigh as her body reacted to his touch and her nerves began to tingle with pleasure. He rubbed harder, and her sighs became moans. He slipped two fingers inside her, and her moans became a gasp.
He laid her down on the pile of sheepskins and furs that served as her bed. Still fucking her with his fingers, he covered her neck and breasts with kisses, sucking her nipples until they were so hard, they hurt. He dropped his mouth to her clit, sucking and licking it until it too was hard and swollen. His movements were slow and steady, like he wanted to prolong the pleasure, to savor her for as long as he could. But she could feel the pressure mounting, felt her body tensing as his teasing lips and tongue brought her closer and closer to a climax. He gradually increased the intensity, pumping her harder with his fingers, relentlessly working her clit. Soon she was writhing under him, her body arching, her pelvis thrusting up to meet his mouth and hand. She could feel sweat springing up on her belly, drenching her loins along with the gushing juices of her cunt. She was right at the edge. When he slid his other fingers into her, filling her with the better part of his hand, he sent her over.
She let out a cry, her body shuddering with the force of the orgasm. He raised his head and planted his mouth on hers, his lips and beard wet with her, salty and sweet. She arched against him, wrapping her legs around his. This first climax only left her wanting more, her body singing. She nipped at his lip with her teeth. He fumbled with his trousers, freeing his hard cock, rubbing it against her.
“Take me,” she whispered, “take me now.”
He pressed the head of his penis against her hot, wet lips, dipping just inside, pausing, moaning softly at the feel of her. “So beautiful, so perfect,” he whispered, before plunging the full length of his shaft deep into her, as though he wanted to bury himself in her womb. Her body already primed, the feel of his full, hard member thrusting inside her immediately triggered another wave of bliss.
“Harder,” she gasped, “fuck me harder!”
He did. He rammed himself into her, pumping faster. She wanted nothing less than complete oblivion, and as Unferth fucked her and the orgasms overwhelmed her, she lost herself in the sensations. She couldn’t have counted how many times she came, or if it was one long, extended, rolling, mounting orgasm that finally reached its peak when Unferth climaxed, himself, drilling into her, a hoarse sob escaping from his mouth as he pulled out and squirted a spray of semen across her belly.
He collapsed beside her, and they lay together silently for several minutes.
“You could have come inside me this time.”
“What fear of impregnation now? The king my husband gives me away tonight. And I’m likely to be dead before morning.”
Unferth sat up, a pained look on his face. She thought she could see the shine of tears in his eyes.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry it must be this way.”
But must it? She wondered. Must it, really? Why couldn’t this man take her away from here, right now? Sneak her away, thwart King Hrothgar, leave him to face the anger of the monster, himself. But he would not. She’d never imagined, really, that he would. She’d had no illusions when he first took her in his arms that this warrior would ever love her enough to defy his king.
Unferth was Hrothgar’s right-hand man, the warrior who sat at his feet, who enjoyed his greatest confidence, who did all his dirtiest work. This affair was no betrayal, even; Hrothgar was an old man who had long since lost either the interest or the ability to dally with women. He apparently did not care whether anyone else dallied with the maidens he made his fleeting queens, and she suspected that he might even have directed Unferth to play the lover. She had asked him, after the first time they made love, whether it hadn't been important that she remain a virgin.
“If the monster wanted virgins,” he’d replied, “It wouldn’t keep taking Hrothgar’s queens.” Perhaps, she had wondered, the old king wanted to keep up appearances, in case the creature was somehow mindful of its victims’ state of womanhood.
She had not minded. Unferth had been kind — as kind as could be expected from a battle-hardened warrior in the service of a cruel and selfish king — and Sigrun was in fact grateful for the pleasure and solace he had provided her. She was glad to have felt what it was to be a woman before she died, even if it had been at the hands of the enemy. For he was the enemy, however tenderly he may have treated her, however ardently he may have come to love her.
“It is growing dark.” She stared at the tiny window. “You should go.”
They both sat up. She wrapped herself in one of the furs from the bed. He set his clothes right and gathered up his cloak. He turned to her, dropped to his knees beside her and took her face in his hands.
“I wish — Wealhtheow — Sigrun — I just wish it could be different. You will haunt me forever. You are special. Precious. Like none of the others. I am so sorry.”
He kissed her. She allowed it for a moment, but then she pulled away.
“You must go.”
He stood up. A tear ran down his cheek. He looked at her, at her dry eyes and calm face, and shook his head.
“You do not cry. You have never cried.”
“What good would it do?”
He left. She heard the bolts sliding shut. She sighed. She climbed out of the bed, shedding the fur and stretching her naked limbs, relishing the shaky feel of her muscles, the languidness of her nerves after sex. She must appreciate these sensations while she still had them. She went to the small hearth, where a basin of water stood warming by the fire. She dipped a cloth into the water and sponged herself clean, wiping away the stickiness of sweat and cum. She pulled her dress back on, carefully fastening and arranging it, wrapping her shawl around her shoulders. She brushed and braided her long hair. Then she sat down in a chair by the fire and waited for them to come fetch her.
King Hrothgar belonged to a line of great warriors and powerful kings. As a younger man, he had deposed one of his brothers to become the ruler of the region, and he had ruthlessly expanded that rule, forcing countless chieftains to submit to his overlordship. As he grew older, he decided to commemorate his accomplishments and remind everyone of his power by building a great and lavish mead hall. He called it a monument to the peace he had brought to the land; many saw it rather as a monument to his tyranny. He carved out a new settlement, a space at the edge of the wilderness, a wild and beautiful prospect ringed by forest and crags and moors, overlooking the sea. It was a formidable location for a formidable structure, a massive hall with a roof of shields cast in gold. It was allover carvings, intertwining vines and beasts, dragon heads rearing up from under the eaves. No one would disagree that Hrothgar's hall Heorot was the greatest structure of its kind. But the monument to peace would enjoy very little peace, itself.
Some said it was the specter of Hrothgar's bloody climb to power, come to haunt him. Others suggested it was merely a matter of location. Hrothgar had encroached too much on the wilderness, they said. And now the wilderness was come knocking. Whatever the cause, the result was horrifying. The hall, so shining, so new, filled with Hrothgar's loyal men and delighted visitors come to see its glory, was invaded in the dead of night by a terrible creature, a ravening stalker that tore down the doors and slaughtered Hrothgar's men.
For one long, harrowing autumn, the monster terrorized Heorot, striking randomly but repeatedly, sometimes killing several men in a single attack, at others emerging only briefly, to quietly crush a single unfortunate's skull before disappearing back into the shadows. Then, on the night of the winter solstice, after a season of unspeakable horrors, the truly unspeakable occurred: the creature stole Hrothgar's own beloved wife.
The king was devastated, the people appalled. They searched the woods, the crags, the moors for any sign of her and found none. They mourned for her, and they mourned for themselves. And then, as days passed and stretched into weeks, they realized with no small measure of bewilderment that the monster had stopped its attacks.
Some thought it odd when Hrothgar remarried in the late spring, so soon after his terrible loss. Others wondered at his choice, a relatively nondescript young daughter of one of Hrothgar's subject chieftains. He did not seem particularly fond of her, even. But when the winter solstice came and the monster returned, carrying off the screaming young queen into the dark night, it was hard not to appreciate the crafty king's foresight. And so a grisly tradition was born.
Every spring, Hrothgar took a new bride from among his people. Every bride was given the same name — Wealhtheow. It meant "foreign servant," a nod to the service the girl performed for the sake of her people — really, for the sake of her king and his hall — and to the fact that once chosen, she stood apart. Sigrun personally thought that the naming was cruel and dehumanizing — and that was probably the point. The queen would enjoy the remainder of the year as the closely-guarded consort to the king, until she was sacrificed to the monster on the solstice, the longest, darkest night of the year. The survivors could then rejoice in the return of the light and another year's peace bought with a maiden's blood. If anyone had dared suggest to Hrothgar that maybe he ought to move his abode to another, less monstrous place, he had ignored the advice.
Sigrun was not surprised when she was chosen. She had never quite fit in. She was a foundling, discovered by a farmer in his pig stall, of all places, when she was just a baby. Whoever had left her there had left no clues to her identity other than a rune stick inscribed with her name. But she was a beautiful baby, and the farmer, having no wife or children, decided to raise her as his own. She grew into a beautiful child, tall, fair, with hair so pale blonde it seemed white, and bright, icy blue eyes. The little girls all shunned her. She spent most of her time alone, wandering in the woods. The boys were in awe of her. When she was twelve, a particularly confident, handsome young fellow attempted to steal a kiss. A pair of ravens descended on him out of nowhere, driving him away and pecking his face so badly that he was decidedly less handsome from then on. The other boys kept their distance after that.
When she turned sixteen, it was rumored that the old farmer had gotten it into his head to marry her, to turn his foster child into his bride. She was achingly beautiful by then, so beautiful that few men could keep their wits about them when she was nearby. Whether the farmer, who had always been a perfectly fine and honorable guardian, had indeed succumbed to this temptation, no one would ever find out. Before he had the chance to make public his intentions, he was found dead in the woods, gored, it appeared, by what must have been a very large and vicious wild boar. She lived alone after that, tending the farmstead and keeping to herself. Those were peaceful times. But when Unferth came to the area scouting for the year's Wealhtheow, the local chieftain's wife convinced him to get rid of the bewitching foundling before more harm was done. Sigrun had no one to defend her. She was alone in the world. She could see no good reason, herself, why she shouldn't be the sacrifice. So now here she was.