"It's Georgia, Darren. Cletus Broshus is what they call their John Does."
Their bickering was broken up as a woman approached their table. She was tall, with broad shoulders for a girl. Her body was lean and fit, but with an appealing womanly shape to it; a few other patrons taking notice of her as she walked past their tables.
"Sheri said you fellers wanted to see me?" Dixie asked, her tone slightly combative as she eyed them up. She had a pretty face, though she wore the day heavy on it; light brown bags slowly puffing under tired crystal eyes.
"Yes, hi... Dixie, I presume?"
"Yea, I'm Dixie... You serving me court papers or something, mister? Cause I'm swamped..." She asked, eyes rolling around to the floor of packed tables.
"Oh, please... There's no rush. We can talk at your leisure. Take our orders, please... No need to interrupt you." Darren said, hoping to smooth things as much as he could. He figured it would be better if she was agreeable when they spoke.
"So what do you want?" She replied, the frustration not helping her already soured mood.
She took their orders, leaving without saying a word; the pair watching her leave like lions do prey.
"You sure do like picking pretty girls to get mad at you," Chris said, his eyes continuing to follow Dixie as she made her way to a few other tables before disappearing into the back.
"I hope she isn't too mad,"
"Yea, yea... God forbid you can't finally find this Cletus T. Broshus and blow him or jerk him off or whatever it is you want to do with this fucking guy," Chris said before stopping. He happened to catch sight of Darren wincing as he was attacking his motives (purely in a humorous effort; Darren's obsession with locating this man a bit of a running joke among their friends).
"Anyway, so to the real reason we are here... This Beast of Blue Ridge... I mean we are here to find that, right? Or was this really just a bullshit excuse to get me to help with that Stripper thing..."
"Yea, we're really here for this Beast, Chris," Darren said, picking up his energy a bit at the change of subject; his guts in knots the longer discussion lingered on Broshus.
"So, off this piece of federal land outside of Blue Ridge, there's an Indian Holy Land... Some primeval Romeo and Juliette shit between an Indian princess and some hunter boy from a different tribe... Rumor has it, there's a curse that went along with the suicide..."
"Rumor has it? Or pre-colonial wives tales have it..." Chris asked, his tone mocking (his role as team skeptic well understood).
"Mostly wives tales... But there is one official account..." he said, pausing as he opened his phone, quickly navigating to documents he had uploaded onto it,
"... Of a magistrate..." He said, stalling as he cycled through the file names before finding what he needed.
"Here it is... September, 1862... Signed by Magistrate Lew Chelsea Bowman, Captain of the 39th division of the Georgia Regulars. He was placed here at the start of the war, to hold the mineral deposits under Southern control. Says right here that during the attempt to apprehend a suspected witch and Union sympathizer, a Mary Catherine DuBeax, they came across a creature; not quite beast but most surely not man. It slaughtered twelve of Bowman's posse; leaving him and two others- wounded and barely alive- to crawl their way out of the brush."
"Sounds like a bear..."
"Except Bowman was an expert huntsman. He'd been tracking bear his whole life, he distinctly say-"
"Here's your pulled pork sandwich," Dixie said, rudely interrupting as she drops a steaming plate of shredded pork in front of Darren.