Readers Gazette Short Stories


Short Story Thors Hammer

Thor's Hammer by John Pirillo Fantasy short story

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“A Cartoon Story”
Johnnie woke up that morning with a headache that wouldn't quit. He had been up most of the night studying Norse mythology for his history class. Mister Morgan, his Professor, was a buff on the stuff and Johnnie loved mythology of any kind. The ancient myths were kind of parallel to the comic books of today, except with bolts of lightning, chariots and flying horses. But in this case it was more a case of a one-eyed god, Odin, who used his favorite son, Thor, to hammer some sense into the villains of their mythic world.
“It is believed.” Professor Morgan had recited from an article clutched in his bronzed hands, that had hair thick enough to make an ape jealous. “It is believed that ancient man had closer ties to not only nature, but to the gods. That at one time the gods walked the earth, sharing their knowledge and uplifting humanity.”
Randall Garrett, an obnoxious twerk from the south side of town, raised a hand.
Professor Morgan winced, knowing what was to come, but being a patient and kind man, he nodded. “Yes, Mister Garrett?”
“I've heard that mead they drank would knock your socks off!”
The class burst into laughter, except for Johnnie and the Professor, who glared at Randall for a moment, then continued to read, ignoring the question. “One such god has been fictionalized and made quite popular by the Marvel Comics people.”
He looked up. “Anyone guess who?”
Johnnie's hand bounced up first.
“Yes. Johnnie.”
“Thor.”
The class cheered.
Johnnie blushed. “A straight ace who is always fighting Loki and huge snakes that want to cause the end of the world.”
Professor Morgan nodded. “Very good, young man.” He turned to look at the rest of the class, who knew he had more to say. “The Ragnarok, as Johnnie so aptly pointed out, is the equivalent of modern day science's Big Bang Theory and the collapse of matter into Black Holes. The Norse were quite adept at the sciences, hiding much of their intellectual prowess in intellectual documents of mythology in order to avoid over scrutiny of the royalty at that time, who were short sighted and quite violent.”
Randall jumped up. “Sorta like the way Galileo was treated by the Catholic Church for theorizing that the earth wasn't the central work of God.”
Professor Morgan's right eyebrow rose. “An apt description. Very good.”
Johnnie sighed. Somehow that jerk always got his neck out of the noose he made by coming up with something bright at the end of it all. Some day that game wouldn't play anymore for him, he thought as he prepared to write down the assignment for the weekend.
“This weekend's assignment. Draw sketches of two of the main Norse Gods and give a short history on both and how that history and their powers might be related to modern day history and science. That will be all. Have a lovely weekend.”
He nodded to the class, then turned his back to shuffle his paperwork into a neat pile and scoot it into a large manila folder. He was about to walk away, when Johnnie stopped him by joining him.
“Yes?”
“What if the gods were real?”
Professor Morgan gave Johnnie an appraising look. “As in truly gods with horrific powers to demolish humanity and demons?”
“That's the drift.”
Professor Morgan considered the thought a moment, then said. “Tell me more.”
Johnnie started to speak. The Professor held a hand up. Smiled. “In the essay you will bring me on Monday with the sketches I requested. Good afternoon, Johnnie.”
“Good afternoon, sir.” He replied, then on the Professor's nod, rushed back to his desk to gather his books and notes.
He was almost done packing everything into his backpack when he felt someone behind him. He turned around and Randall stood there glaring at him. “Sucking up to the Professor ain't cool, man.”
“I wasn't sucking up.”
Randall looked him up and down. “You for real?”
“Are you?” Johnnie said, then since his front path was blocked, he scooted along the aisle of desks and exited from the side door out into the quad. He sensed Randall exit after him, but ignored it. He wasn't afraid of him. Just annoyed. The kid had a chip, not a block on his shoulder and someday it was going to get knocked off. Just not by him.
“Johnnie!” Cartoon's voice called to him, interrupting his thoughts.
He sat up, stretched, and rubbed his temples, easing the pains somewhat. Cartoon walked into the room, her skin emitting a soft golden glow. Her huge almond shaped eyes smiled at him as they always did. He always felt like he was somehow drowning in those gorgeous orbs.
“What?”
“I made breakfast.”
“Oh.” He said. “Great.” He went on a bit too quickly.
Her smile fell away. “What's wrong?”
“Nothing. Nothing. Just some problems at school and a massive essay I have to get done before the weekend's out. I also have to work the whole day at Al's Shop.”
“Then you'll need a good breakfast.” She told him.
He nodded. “Give me a sec and I'll be there.” He told her, dashed into the bathroom, did a quick wipe of his face, put on deodorant and aftershave. He didn't shave. His face was always hairless. He slipped on his favorite Hulk Tee Shirt and jeans, then a pair of white socks. He whipped a hand through his long hair, sweeping it out of his eyes and ran into the kitchen where Cartoon was placing everything.
Bacon. Burnt. Eggs. Runny. Toast. Even more burnt. The smell in the kitchen was. Burnt.
Johnnie sighed inwardly, but made a brave show of it. “Looks great.”
He dropped into his chair and she sat on the opposite one, watching him as he forced himself to eat the food without grimacing. “I love to watch you eat.” She told him sweetly. “I'm going to make lunch for and dinner when you come home. I'm really getting a hang of this cooking thing.”
Johnnie gulped the one good thing on the table. Orange juice. He slid from his chair. “Practice makes perfect.”
She rose and gave him a hug. He hugged her back. He might have felt like he had just been subjected to ten minutes of harrowing torture, but he still loved her. “I love you.” He told her, inhaling her fragrance. She always smelled like vanilla. Something about the makeup of her cartoon nature. Even when she had blood all over her from a battle, she never smelled like anything but sweet vanilla.
“I love you too.” She told him and gave him a kiss that made him forget about homework.
She stopped him. “That essay?”
“Right. The essay.” He said, working to subdue his savage hormones. She gave him a knowing smile and a promise of later, then began cleaning up.
He went into the living room where he'd dumped the library books he'd checked out after his class. He thumbed through them. All were heavily illustrated. Like historical comic books, he mused to himself.
When he lifted the one on Odin. he could have sworn he saw a lightning flash through the blinds of his living room window, but that would have been impossible as there were no clouds in the sky that morning. It was a perfectly clear sky.
He quickly closed that book, then looked at the one with Loki. The man was dressed like a circus clown, but with a look like the Joker from the Dark Knight Batman series. Hideous, but with a kind of pleasant grin. Then it struck him. What he had been missing all that week. When Randall had entered the class at the beginning of the week there had been this tremendous lightning storm and everyone had been drenched.
It was Randall's first day in the class. For a brief moment Johnnie had looked his way to see the kid staring directly at him. He had waved, then looked away, thinking nothing of it.
But now as he eyed the sketch of Loki on the cover of the book, he noticed how close the resemblance was. Take away the scars and the hideous outfit and...Randall!
“Oh crap!” Johnnie groaned. “How did this happen?”
A swirl of cloud spun into existence in the center of the living room and lightning bolts shook in and out of it, lancing the living room air with bright strokes of incandescent light. Johnnie fell off the sofa, knocking the books off with him. He didn't notice that his right hand had fallen across one of the books.
Cartoon shrieked in the kitchen.
Johnnie started to get up, when the door blasted off its hinges and landed against the wall behind him. Randall walked out, clutching Cartoon by her right wrist. She was struggling to break free from him, but somehow he managed to hold on.
“Just like the Midgard serpent, hey glow lady?” He asked Cartoon.
She tried to slap him and he caught her other wrist. Then he flung her hard across the room. She landed in a heap against the front door. She was so stunned by the movement, she didn't move for a long time.
“Cartoon!” Johnnie cried out, leaping to his feet.
The moment he did something big weighted down his left fist. He glanced that way and almost dropped it. It was a huge hammer.
Randall's eyes widened a moment. “Thor!”
Johnnie said nothing. He was in a state of shock. But after another moment, he regained his senses and moved to step in front of Cartoon. “No. Me. What do you want, Loki?”
“The End of the World. What else would a god want?”
Johnnie's eyes tightened into a glare. “Not on my watch.”
Loki waved a hand.
The front door to the apartment swung open and a huge snake's head flung inside and darted about, stopping once it located Johnnie. “I'd like to introduce you to one of the children of the Midgard serpent. His name is...” Loki paused, a finger to his chin in a thoughtful manner. “Ah, that's it. Your death!”
“Eat him!” Loki ordered. “Then eat her!” He finished.
The snake struck at Johnnie, its mouth opening to reveal huge fangs that were dripping poison. Without thinking about it, Johnnie ducked to the right of the snake head, then struck it with all his might on the side of its face near its right eye. The eye splattered into orbs of blood and goo. Johnnie whirled around and smashed the hammer in his right hand into the back of its head. The snake's head exploded into globs of matter, blood and goo.
Johnnie stood there, his body immersed in gore, and Cartoon rising to stand next to him. “Get behind me.” He warned her.
Randall eyed Johnnie thoughtfully. “Oh, I don't think so. You've got much worse to deal with than me, Johnnie.”
Randall vanished in a cloud of lightning and thunder, which whipped past Johnnie, almost knocking him and Cartoon down, then shot up into the skies.
Cartoon threw her arms around Johnnie. “We're safe.”
Before he could reply...
“Ahoy Mateys!” The Landlord said from the open door. “In a bit of a mess, are we?”
Johnnie felt a sense of relief, and then horror as he realized what it must look like with him holding this huge hammer and gore all over the place.
“Don't worry. I'll have it all cleaned up before the day is out. I was practicing a fun little lab experiment for my finals.”
The Landlord looked at the mess. “What you kids call fun these days is disgusting!”
Then he saw Cartoon. His face brightened into a smile. “Look, whenever you get tired of this college brat, I'm just ten doors down and one floor up.”
Cartoon smiled at the Landlord, but when he exited from view. She slammed the front door shut and grimaced. “He is disgusting.”
Johnnie looked at the mess on the walls, ceiling and floor and himself and Cartoon. “I have to go to work and everything's ruined.”
Cartoon shoved him towards the bedroom. “Clean up. Go. I'll take care of the mess.”
Johnnie did as she said, but when he ran down t he stairs and to t he street to catch a bus, he hoped her idea of cleaning up wasn't the same as cooking. If it was, he'd have hell to pay.
He grinned. As if he didn't already!
He caught the bus and sat in the back. He watched the homes go by as the bus wound along the street towards his job. Someday he'd have to get a car.
For a brief moment a huge chariot appeared next to the bus, floating there, its wheels golden and sparkling like fire was living in them. Other bus passengers saw and screamed. The chariot followed them about another block, as passengers gestured and shouted, then a very beautiful and huge man dressed in Viking Armor appeared in the chariot. He smiled at Johnnie and raised his hammer, then he and the chariot shot up into the sky and vanished.
That night the news on every channel reported a very unusual UFO in Sacramento.

To see more of John Pirillo's work, click the link to his website or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view his member details Visit John Pirillo's Website.

Images used for the story are from John Pirillo

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Johnnie woke up that morning with a headache that would not quit. He had been up most of the night studying Norse mythology for his history class. Mister Morgan, his Professor, was a buff on the stuff and Johnnie loved...

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