"Now Lester, I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about Cletus T. Broshus..." Darren started, making sure he spoke clear enough for the recorder to pick him up.
"Cletus is a friend of mine."
"And how did you guys meet?" Darren poked, having heard this all once before.
"I was at the bar, killing my sorrows while telling the fellers what done all happened. They took it like how they always do... The laughing, the snickering... Ain't just when I tell them either... It's at church, at the store... My wife hears it too. Kids as well. Why it took me so off when someone actually asked me to tell them more..."
"Yes sir... The very same. He said his name was Cletus as he bought me a drink and pulled me off to the side. He was a big feller, tall, not so much fat as uncared for... Looked like he could be trouble, if'n you get the gist... We get to talkin', the two of us... Seemed alright... Little edgy, but who isn't these days..." He takes a drag off his hand rolled cigarette, a few loose strands of the brown curling leaf bits hanging off his cracking lips as he pulls the resin soaking paper away. His white frosted tongue dabs at the strands, taking them in before quickly spitting them out haphazard.
"He pulls you aside and then what, Lester," Darren prodded further, leaning in a little to help his microphone catch every breath. He'd spoken to Lester enough to know he needed to be moved along lest he get sidetracked.
"We talked for a good while. Told him about my Lizard Men, which, again, shockingly he didn't laugh a lick at. Seemed legitimately concerned actually, like I'd said a rabid bear was lurking the lot. We parted the night as friends, Mr. Broshus telling me he'd like to come by my place some time and maybe hunt for one of these damned things..."
"And you took him up, I assume..." Andy, one of the men behind Darren, offered, rolling his eyes a little as he looked to his colleagues.
"Yessir, damn right I did..."
"Of course he did... Two strangers who meet getting sauced at a bar decide their second date should include walking armed in a dark forrest looking for Lizard People..." Steve, the other member of the peanut gallery tossed in sarcastically, getting laughs from Andy and a cutting dirty look from Lester.
"I'd suffered for years with these damn things plaguing my family... Killing my cattle, ripping up my crops... I tell this man I hardly knew and he was ready to join me in my hunt. That man was as true a friend as I ever had." Lester said, a tone in his voice implying that the next cute comment would be met with force. He eyeballed the two men, thin pale legs poking out from under shorts he felt were too short for a man. And too bright as well, each man sporting an oddly bright pastel of his own.
"I'm sure he was, Lester... Ignore those snarky assholes," Darren echoed, signaling for the two opinionated observers to leave the room (which they did).
"I'm sorry..." He lied, hoping the offense wouldn't cut this interview short.
"They ain't the first to laugh at me, mister. Ain't gonna be the last either, if'n we're being honest." Lester replied, taking a long drag off his butt.
"Now. As for Cletus.. Next night, round six, he comes pulling up. Climbs out of this beat up old truck that looked like he lived in it, wearing the same duds he had on the night before. But he was sober and serious, grabbing a bag of gear and a shotgun from his cab as he jumped out. My wife cringed a little as she saw him come up..."
"Did she happen to say anything to him?"
"Civilities... Hello, I'm Lester wife... Nothing more. She was scared of him a little, I think. Scared enough to urge me to bring my side arm... Cletus noticed it, she made sure; bringing it to me as we were half way up the drive way headed out. But it didn't seem to phase him none, and as I can now attest there wasn't a malicious intention his being there that night or since. We stayed out all night, just the two of us... Walking the wood, checking shadows and shagging noises... I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't a little fun..." He recounted, his mind thinking fondly over the time.