Guy opened the door to Clyde’s, surveyed his surroundings, and took a stool at the bar. Being a Tuesday night, only a smattering of patrons were present. It was a fairly upscale establishment that would probably be packed with the office crowd in the evenings and socialite types on the weekends. The bartender casually made his way over to Guy and asked, “What can I get for you?”

Guy looked at the selection of spirits on the back wall, and after careful consideration, finally responded, “I think I’ll just start with a draft beer for now, thanks.”

The bartender returned with the beer and placed it in front of Guy.

“Would you like to start a tab? If not, it’ll be $4.50.”

Guy peeled off a $10 bill and slid it toward the bartender.

“Keep the change, my man. Hey, can I ask you a question.”

“Sure thing. Whatcha got?”

“I was wondering if you know anything about a fella by the name of Barry Jacobson. I heard that he came in here from time to time.”

He obviously knew something about Barry by the perplexing look that he gave Guy. The bartender appeared visibly shaken by the mention of this name. He looked down and shook his head back and forth slowly, before putting the money in the register and returning to face Guy.

“Obviously, you haven’t heard. Hell, where do I start? Yeah, Barry seemed like a good guy. He came in here one to two times a week on average. That is until…”

The bartender reached for a pack of smokes, pulled one out, lit it, and continued.

“…well, until the bloodbath happened. Barry was arrested for the murder of his wife. But it wasn’t just your typical ‘husband kills wife’ murder. No, my friend, it was much more gruesome than that. It was all over the local news. I’m surprised you didn’t hear about it. That poor woman was tortured, then basically gutted and dismembered. They said it looked like a scene straight from a horror movie.”

He asked the few patrons that were spaced out across the bar if they needed anything. Then he took a drink from a glass that was under the bar, a long draw off his cigarette, and turned back toward Guy.

“I couldn’t believe it personally. I mean, I wasn’t friends with Barry or anything, but he was a very personable guy. Not one that you would think could do some horrific shit like that. But that’s just it. He vehemently claimed his innocence, but the police and detectives found no forcible entry, no evidence of anyone else at the scene, and it definitely wasn’t a suicide. The investigators only found her blood on him and throughout the house, and his bloody footprints. He said that it was from him finding her like that, and that he was passed out drunk during the killing. Personally, when I saw his interview on the news, he seemed believable, but there just isn’t another logical explanation. You ready, sir?”

The bartender cashed out an older gentleman, thanked him for coming in, took another long pull from his cigarette, and proceeded with the story.

“I mean, it was none of my business, but I did see him in here with different women from time to time. I never saw his wife with him, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he would kill her. Although all signs do point to him. You can’t argue with evidence, circumstantial or not. I guess you never really know anyone. I would have never guessed that he was capable of such a thing, especially seeing his interview before they arrested him. He’s got some real good acting chops, aside from his story and all.”

“Story?” Guy asked, as he slid his empty glass away from him.

“Oh, goddamn! Yes, his story. That’s the best part. If this kind of shit could have a best part. Not only did he say that he was passed out drunk, and woke to find her like that, he claimed that a ghost had to have killed her. Do you believe that shit? Needless to say, the detectives didn’t put an APB out on Casper for the killings.”

The bartender started laughing, but quickly regained his composure.

“I’m sorry. Hell, I shouldn’t laugh. A beautiful young woman is dead, but holy shit, you’d think he would have thought that out a little more. You know what I’m saying?”

Guy nodded in agreement and said, “I know what you mean. So is he in jail now?”

“Jail? Hell no. They locked that crazy animal up at the Bellmore Institution. That’s worse than any maximum security prison that you could think of. That’s where they put the criminally insane. The absolute dregs of society are in that place. If you end up there, you aren’t getting out. There’s no parole or anything like that at the Bellmore. Rumor has it that they still do horrendous experimental treatments there, otherwise known as legal torture. But nobody really knows. No one has ever come out of there alive to tell about it. So, did you know Barry?”

“Yeah, Barry was my business partner a few years back and we became quite good friends. We started a software company together, then sold it for a fairly hefty price. We were living the dream, smoking good cigars and drinking the finest whiskeys. They left us on as consultants and things couldn’t have been any better. That is, until I found out that Barry was having an ongoing affair with my wife.”

“Holy shit. That had to be a blow to you.”

“You can say that again. I went absolutely crazy. I felt like my whole world crumbled, and I couldn’t trust anyone anymore.”

“Damn, man. I’m sorry to hear that. I guess the news about Barry fooling around doesn’t come as a complete shock to you, then. But hey, you’re doing a hell of a lot better than him now. You have that going for you.”

“Yeah, everything worked out the way it should’ve,” Guy said, with a slight grin and head bob.

“So did you divorce your wife after you found out?”

“No. I killed myself.”

Guy got up from his stool, walked out of the bar, and disappeared into the street.