Cletus T. Broshus & the Blue Ridge Beast: Chapter One - 4.

 

*****

 

Darren watched as Lester drove off from their meeting, turning back to his three associates, leaning against the front of his hotel room. 

"So, what did I tell you, Chris?" Darren said excitedly to the guy he didn't have to kick out of the room.  

"He met a weird guys named Cletus from Florida... That's like being shocked you met a Mexican girl named Maria." Chris replied, seeming unimpressed by the story.

"Edgy guy from Florida claiming he is running from a ruined life... Seems to be a missing piece to that weird strip club massacre about a year ago." Darren replied, digging into his pockets for his room key. 

"This is what? The third time you've found some weirdo drifter from Florida that you immediately think is linked to that fucking nightmare story. A strip club burned down, a bunch of creepy weirdos died. It happens, man. Not everything is a mystery wrapped in riddles." Andy chimed in, garnering him a second dirty look from Darren. 

"But that's not what happened. Everybody but two people died in that wreckage. Whoever it was that vanished and one of the girls..." Darren replied, giving him a stern look.

"Excuse me, no one but some tweaked out Florida backroad stripper survived, telling her insane tale..." Andy replied sarcastically, shaking his head mockingly at Darren as he did. 

"She claimed a wendingo ripped her legs off, the only thing sparing her from death was the shotgun blast of whoever it was that walked away from the mess. Said there were goblins and this bizarre nude woman glowing red with fire cackling as the monsters tore through the room. Fourteen people died there that night; she claims ripped apart by the very creature that would have killed her before being burned to cinders in a blaze." 

"And you buy that shit, seriously?" Andy continued, seeming annoyed that Darren clung to his beliefs. 

"Andy, I have spoken to the tweaked out stripper, as you call her. Her name is Mandi and she's been clean for months now. And she swears still what she has always said. Her wounds, the ripped off legs, are those consistent with other victims of animal attacks, giving her claims of having them ripped off by a fanged demon more than just passing credibility." Darren said, winded when he finished. 

"It's your life man, spend it talking to who you want," Andy replied, walking away from the group. 

"Send me the shots we got today so I can start working them into the film. But, seriously, stop dragging me into this Florida shit. It's stupid, and I don't care." He said, walking towards his car. 

Darren could feel his face burn red as he stood there watching Andy drive off, his undercarriage rattling as he pulled out of the chewed up lot onto the road. 

"He's an asshole, Darren..." Chris said to his friend, patting his shoulder as he stood there. 

"He's right, though," Steve, the remaining associate, spoke up. 

"Did we even need to get these shots, Darren? Or did you just want us all to hear Lester tell this bullshit story about the Lizard hunting idiots..." 

He stomped off annoyed, flipping off Darren and Chris as he walked to his car. 

"I take it Steve's an asshole too?" Darren asked Chris, a tinge of dejection in his voice. 

"No. Pissing off Andy is a guarantee. But pissing off Steve... The man's a saint." Chris replied with a sarcastic grin.

"So you gonna stomp off after telling me to never bother you with this shit again too?" 

"No, Darren. I'm not. It wouldn't do me any good. You'd just get your sister to make me go just to keep you alive. Figure it's more fun to play along."

"But what about this Cletus story... It's a good thread, right?" 

"Honestly, it's thin as rolling paper. But, seeing as you really don't care how thin it is, it's worth tugging on... If Lester's memory holds and this drifter wasn't lying, sure... He could be your guy. Too bad finding him is going to be next to impossible." 

"It'll be rough, that's for sure. But nerds invented Google for just such a thing." 


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