Life at Gramma Jody's

Recorded: March 12, 2014
Characters: Gramma Jody (NPC), Jerry (NPC), Lena (NPC), Thor
Location: Gramma Jody's Ranch
Summary: Thor learns a few things about Gramma Jody and Jerry.

Days have passed since Thor came to Gramma Jody's farm and the old woman has gotten used to her unexpected workhand. At the very least, he's been helpful in keeping the animals in line and that's what really matters. Today, the chores are all done ahead of schedule and while Gramma cans goods in the kitchen, Jerry is rushing around pretending to be a hero. With a towel for a cape and a stick for a sword, he bravely chases off the horde of chickens that dare to step in his path. Old Bob trots after him but after a few yards, the hound is ready to flop on the ground and sleep in the warm sunlight.

That poor, unfortunate hound. The Lord of Thunder scoops the dog into his arms and scratches at his belly as if the beast were a puppy again. He finds the spot and won't quit until a leg is kicking and the tail wagging. "Jerry, you'll never save any damsels if your form is so sloppy." He calls with a playful chuckle.

Jerry stops and turns to look back at Thor. "Sloppy?" He eyes his stick as if it were a malfunctioning piece of technology and lets his arm droop, tapping the weapon against the tips of his sneakers. "It's a stick—I mean a sword. You just swing it and people get cut." He rocks on his heels and eyes the ground.

"Oh yeah?" Thor demands, broad jaw cracking into a boyish grin. "Get me a stick." He commands, carefully setting Old Bob back down. He takes a moment to roll up the sleeves to his flannel shirt several times then push the rest of the distance to his elbows.

The boy looks confused but complies. He runs to the nearest tree and finds a convenient branch laying in the dirt next to its trunk. His hands work to pull off any excess leaves and twigs while he wanders back to Thor with it. "Here," he offers, then rests his own stick over his shoulder.

"There are many things out there that can lead you to defeat, Jerry." Thor dictates, closing his fist around the stick and pulling it back with a deft flourish. "The trick is to give your opponent many more. Do you think you're tall? Strong?"

Jerry's forehead wrinkles as he looks up at Thor. "Not as tall as you, man…. Probably not as strong, neither." He lets the tip his stick flop to the ground with a thud and kicks at it with his sneakers.

"Not yet, no. Since you lack my size or strength, you cannot fight me like a stronger man. Where would you try to hit me? What would you do?" Thor asks, rolling the stick in his grip and widening his stance.

Jerry tilts his head, observing Thor's movements. "I dunno… Gramma wouldn't like it if I hit you…" His head tilts in the other direction. "Your foot, I guess. Maybe your leg."

"Come now! If you think you can harm me, you should have nothing to fear!" Thor encourages, tapping at his own foot with the tip of his make-shift sword.

Jerry looks back at the house, peering specifically in the direction of the kitchen. Small curtains are drawn over the window and since he can't see Gramma Jody, clearly that means she can't see him, right? With a precocious grin, he raises his sword and swings out strike at Thor's left calf. And while the child does not appear to be anything more than he is, his swing has the strength of a full grown man behind it.

Denied. Thor plants the tip of the stick in the ground and absorbs the hit entirely. "You fight like a man twice your size! Conserve your energy; conserve your movement. Quick, efficient." He instructs, slowly bringing his stick up and deliberately waving it towards Jerry. It is slow and made easy to dodge.

Jerry blinks at Thor, looking very impressed. But before he can comment, he finds himself dodging out the way of the sword swing. The boy laughs out loud as he tumbles in the dirt and quickly scrambles to his feet. He rushes headlong at Thor and jabs his own stick forward, swatting at the offending target weapon with that same, odd strength. "Hey! I'm s'posed to be the hero, here!"

Rather then block Jerry's strength head on, Thor instead flicks his wrist to parry the boy's attack from the other side. Now the child's unusual strength may be used against him. "Hold." He commands, gathering his brow and crouching to look at roughly the boy's level. "Jerry, you are mighty. Far mightier than a boy should be."

Once again the boy tumbles but this time he ends up face-first in the dirt. He lets off a huff that blows dust up around his face, then turns and looks up at Thor from a seated position in the dirt. "Heroes are s'posed to be mighty. That's what my dad always said." His brow furrows again as he fixes on a grumbling sound coming from the front of the house. Three motorcycles are riding on the edge of a dirt cloud on their way down the road that connects each farmstead in this area. They're headed towards the fence to Gramma Jody's property but still have a bit of a distance to ride before they're there. Jerry is noticeably distressed by the sound and as he picks himself up out of the dirt, he moves closer to the house to make himself inconspicuous.

Thor would grill the boy for more information were it not for those harpies. He tosses the stick aside and moves towards the gate, throwing a commanding finger in Jerry's direction. "Go to your grandmother, child. Escort her to safety." He growls, halting at the edge of the property to stare at the motorcycles' approach.

Jerry drops his stick and heads inside. The goats closest to the front fence shake their heads in irritation and begin migrating away from the noise. The three motorcycles speed down the road but soon slow down as they come close to Gramma Jody's property. All three stop at exactly ten feet from the gate and set their legs down to keep their bikes standing.

Lena runs her hands through her hair and smirks at Thor. "Shoulda known this is where you'd be hiding with that strong jaw of yours, sugar. Why don't you come out and play, hmmm?" Despite her confidence, the woman and her friends don't many any attempts to move closer to the gate.

"I shall be fine as I stand." Thor declares, tucking one hand in his back pocket and leaning into the gate with his other arm. His keen eyes flick from face to face, searching for some explanation to the strength displayed in their prior encounter. "What business do you have?"

"Looking for you, of course," Lena winks and props her chin on the back of her hand, leaning forward over the handlebars of her bike with a sultry grin. "Why are all the good ones always hiding out at Gramma's, hmmm? You should come out and let me take you for a long ride. I promise I'll return you home before curfew." Her friends chuckle and look Thor over with predatory grins.

The concern fades into curiosity as Thor studies the women closely. "When last we spoke you had no qualms overpowering others with your unusual strength and going where you pleased." He calls, responding to that unwholesome grin with a disapproving frown. "To see you shrink before Gramma's is…surprising."

The smirk painted on Lena's face becomes more crafty with Thor's question. "Well you know what they say. Good girls always respect their elders." For the briefest moment, her gaze flicks to the fence posts surrounding the gate that Thor is leaning on. With another toss of her fiery mane, she sits up straight and grips the handles of her motorcycle. Her fellow trouble makers have already started up their bikes and begun backing up to turn around. "You can't stay on the farm forever, sugar," Lena calls over the engine roar. "Come up to the bar sometime and I'll give you the ride of your life." She backs up her bike, seemingly ignorant of the wide space between her and the fence, then peels off with her cohorts. They make sure to add random shouting to the din caused by their pack of hogs.

"None of this makes any sense." Thor snarls under his breath, sharpening a glare in their wake then turning to study the house. There is far more to this town than he had expected. More still that he has to learn.

The house has nothing in particular that stands out. It's old and the paint is peeling from its walls. The only thing that's different now from when Thor was staring outward is the presence of Gramma Jody, posted firmly in the doorway with her thick arms folded across her broad chest. Jerry tries to peer around the matriarch but her body traps him inside, and so does the screen door once she comes down off the front step. "What'd them no-good tramps want."

He hesitates a moment before answering. "I do not know. They meant to lure me from this farm. From what I can only assume is safety. What is transpiring here, Gramma Jody? Why do these women have such strength to them? Why does Jerry?"

There is the vaguest hint of surprise etched in the curve of Gramma Jody's firm brow. She studies Thor silently, then her gaze drifts to the fence posts behind him. Her head shakes as she turns to head back inside. "Goats're wanderin' around. Put 'em back where they belong and gets the chickens in the coop. Lunch is gonna be ready soon and then I'm gonna have some hay for you to haul." She marches inside with nothing more to say about the matter.

The topic is far from abandoned. For now, though, Thor remains obedient. He answers Jody with a nod and moves to intercept those mischievous goats. He has much to ponder during today's chores.

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