"I've lived here all my life"
He rocked back slightly. Unseen, his left hand glided a pipe to his mouth. It looked old but made with care. A quality you could not buy easily.
"Mind if I smoke, boys?"
The sun caught agent Brent in his sunglasses. It drew a bright line to his teeth. He smiled.
"It's your home"
He lit, drew, and presented to him a thick and dark mushroom cap of smoke. His face was invisible for a moment, shrouded in sweet embers and mystery.
"It is, isn't it"
He looked away and then his eyes darted right back.
"There is only one reason why F-A-A would come round these parts "
"Bull Run is such a nice unincorperrrr..., um town"
"I thought the accident happened closer to Chantily"
"It did. We're still asking you folks in Bull Run though"
Agent Hector said little and moved only slightly. His presence made the man of the house all the more present in his situation. He could not conversationally dart his eyes away from Brent for a moment's reprieve without seeing another tall, solid, clean and collared authority figure.
This time it was Brent's turn to lean in. He had gone through a lot of chit-chat and he wanted to end his day. This, this man right here seemed to be the only one in this town to know something. He just felt it. The polite way he tried to move him along quickly as possible. What was his angle? Moonshine, meth, stolen parts? You can usually smell or see something like that. Those sorts of things were not his specialty but its not like he could just ignore them. Plus suspicion like that could give him all the access he needed to tear this place apart. He wasn't sure what he was looking for or what he wanted to find, but he was tried of dicking around with the salt of America.
"So what is that one reason, sir?"
He put his head on his hand and sighed.
The agents looked at each other. Foreheads were furrowed.
"You sound awfully fond of him"
He tilted his head.
"We all were. He was, just, a little small town magic. That's what he was"
He closed his eyes and thought of better days. He opened and looked around.
"Okay this is going to take a bit. Why don't you sit a spell and I'll have Jess bring us tea JESS! BRING US SOME TEA PLEASE! WE'RE GOING TO BE...."
"I CAN HEAR YOU FINE, JOHN. NO NEED FOR A HOLLERIN' THOSE NEW CO-CU-LER EAR RADIOS ARE WORKING GREAT!"
"Thanks baby. That's not how you pronounce it but so anyways boy let me tell you all about the pride of our town"
"Was he your quarterback?"
"No but he's a distant but not too distant....eight. No David was our kicker. Couldn't do much else but Goddamn was he a good kicker"
"Are you talking about David again? Oh, John you know I miss him too but the doctor said we all got to get over him"
She bounced in and dropped off a pitcher with three icy glasses.
"You don't get over a little small town magic, baby. You just pick up the pieces and live the rest of your days"
Husband and wife looked to the ground. Ashamed in their own home. The wind picked up slightly. The agents felt...sad? More certain than that, they were confused.
"Tell us about David, if you please could."
The agent in the back who had said little elbowed his co-worker.
"We're sorry for your loss"
John nodded, accepting his solemn burden.
The wind blew again. It shushed the outside so that all present were paying attention.
"David he, he was a good man. He sometimes did not so good things but he was something special. He made us all feel special too, special enough to be here in this little town at this time right now, well, now its back then but you get my point"
The agent wondered if it was okay to butt in
"What was so special about him?"
and did so before he finished his thought. The man of the house tilted his head. It was one of those things, explaining something so central, so important in your life to a stranger, it was heard to tell where it began and you ended.
"Dave could, and I hope to God he still can, kick a small dog over three miles into the air"
Both agents breathed heavily and curled their lips. The one in front turned to his co-worker, gave him a look, and pulled out a pack of smokes. He grabbed, held, and lit the match in one flick of his thumb. He lit his cigarette and smothered the match, placing it in his breast pocket. Not throwing match sticks onto people's property was one of the first unexpected lessons he learned on the job.
"I know what you are thinking"
"The amount of force required to launch an animal that distance, at the high velocity we witnessed..."
"They moved real fast, real real fast" His wife said from inside the house.
"That's what I'm saying baby, so yeah, I know that the amount of force needed to do something like that would tear the dog apart but it never did. Don't think we just saw local boy pull a crazy hick trick and took his word for it! We checked, we didn't find them all but we did retrieve a couple of goldies and various shepherds. They were dead of course, some from hypothermia but most from the landing but they were there! Most of them"
Both agents took a moment to reflect upon the meaning of their careers and the people they choose to protect. Hector whispered "And we had to take the time to get him to talk about this shit"
"We first knew of David's wonderful gift, a spiritual talent if you will, in a pretty unexpected way. See David wasn't always the legend he is now. He used to be kind of a goober. See, being a kicker for your local high school team is kind of like being Stone Wall Jackson's favorite saddle maker or a sidekick's sidekick. You are there, you are needed, but that's it. Even if you score you're still mostly sitting out, a thought only for specific scenarios"
Brent thought of fluency in Portuguese and how little use he had of it lately.
"It's not like David was bad at his job. He wasn't, he was pretty great. But a great kicker is just not really something people take notice of. Maybe if he was the only good player on the team, and he wasn't, it would have made a difference. The 2002 Feralcats, that's a cat that was once domesticated and then breaks free and regains it's wild instincts again...."
"We thought there too many schools out there that used the name 'Wildcats'"
"Yes dear, thank you, this was a recent thing, someone just kind of mentioned it at the PTA and it all kind of snowballed into a vote. It was the most we ever got done at one those"
Hector bit his tongue slightly to keep his eyes from glazing over.
"David had okay grades and his daddy ran a few convenience stores. He wasn't very talented in anything else and he was not really good looking or nothing. Just an average guy who did well at one thing"
John leaned back a little bit and tapped his ashes out again. This was not a fun thing to discuss but it was part of what made Dave so special.
"And that's not enough, is it? Being a, feh, field goal kicker in a small town in particular. We put these limits on ourselves without realizing it. I think its because we are all so familiar in a such a small setting. Sure its easy to be the big fish in the small pond but that's more about being something special all around. It can't be just one thing, especially kicking a damn field goal"
He inhaled again, the hurdle was over. The banality had been established so that the magic could be the contrast that made John so special. John let the smoke slowly seep out of his mouth. It shrouded his face.
"So David became all that much better at his one thing. I do not know if it was intential, I doubt it, because the first time it man-uh-feasted was in an argument with Toni"
"Doooon't get me started on her let me tell you...."
It was faint but angry enough t