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The bar was busier than usual. Amazing what a bit of drama will do, he thought as he walked in. Morbid curiousity always brings people out.

There was a single free stool at the bar, and he slid onto it with a nod to the barkeeper.

“Whisky, no ice,” said the barkeeper, pouring the drink as he spoke. “As always.”

He took the drink with a slight smile. “As always. Business is looking up, eh?”

The barkeeper shook his head. “It’s amazing, isn’t it. I mean, poor girl and everything, but I can’t say I’m faring badly out of it.”

He sipped his whisky appreciatively. “Have they caught him yet? The guy that did it, I mean.”

“Nope. Not a clue, as far as I can tell. They went over that alley with a fine tooth comb, but they all looked miserable as hell when they left. It’s like a ghost did it.”

The barkeeper moved away to serve other customers, and the man at the bar sat slowly drinking his whisky. He closed his eyes, and listened to the conversations around him.

“… fourth one, they say. I saw it on the news.”

“You mean it’s like, a serial-”

“Yes. Terrifying, isn’t it? Right in our back yard!”

“Hardly surprising. They say there’s more than twenty of them around in the country at any given time.”

“Isn’t that in America?”

“I dunno, it’s something I heard it on the telly. Still, they’re not as rare as you’d think. Your sister still working at that bar in town?”

“Nah. She quit yesterday. Too scared to work late shifts any more. I think she knew the last girl, too.”

The man smiled to himself again as he sipped his whisky. It amused him to think that they only knew about four.

© Kari Fay