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Jamie Thomas, 30 Jul '12

Barb rested her head on the detective's chest, and pulled the tattered motel blanket around her torso. When she was with Carter, she felt safe. This was a feeling that was all too uncommon these days, with The Night Stalker racking up the body count. The first month had been spent worrying about the girls that she knew so well from walking the streets night after night. There was a massive decrease in clientèle, meaning more cold and hungry nights. There was also the factor of finding the wrong customer, and ending up spread eagled on the cover of The Sun. Dressed in the fancy warm clothes you had dreamed of for months, adorned with an eviscerated neck.

As time progressed, the hunt for The Stalker didn't, and Barb began to worry about herself. She had regular customers like Detective Carter, and she wasn't too scared to walk the streets at night. But her spare cash was dwindling. Soon Barb would be taking on riskier jobs, and this could result in a run in with The Stalker. She had seen his face, but she was tormented by the uncertainty. Would she recognise him again? She had even gone three sleepless nights after a newspaper printed a storyline about The Stalker having a partner. Two vamps patrolling the streets, picking up prostitutes. The thought of it made Barb's stomach turn 360 degrees.

Carter ran his hand through Barb's hair. "Barbie Doll?" he cooed.

"I'm awake, baby."

There was a pause. "I want you to quit." Another pause. "I'll give you enough money to hold you until you find a real job."

Although this was the first time Carter had brought this to the table, it was obvious that he had been thinking about it for a long time. They had spent a lot of night like this. Locked in a frenzy of passion on Barb's undercover mattress, crying each other's names, then settling. They never slept, they just discussed the details of the crimes, and Carter filled Barb in on any recent developments. Unfortunately for them, there were very few. But Barb knew that there had always been something else on Carter's mind. At times she thought he wanted to express his love for her, and ask them to elope. He hated his wife enough for this. But what he said instead wasn't completely unexpected, and what Carter didn't know was that this wasn't the first time a client had urged her to quit. Instead of voicing her thoughts, she just sighed.

Taking the hint, Carter began listing the names of the women killed by The Stalker. The most recent had been a pretty little redhead by the name of Kay. She had looked like a plumper Karen Gillan, and pictures of her as a teenager had shown immense happiness and joy. The media had championed her as the saddest case out of all of the victims, because she had lived such a happy life before prostitution. The term "saddest case" made Carter furious, because every single murder had been a sad case.

Barb had known Kay very well. They had worked the same streets for a year now. The loss of Kay had hit Barb pretty hard, but not as hard as the first murder. Poor little Cindy. Or Selena Marlborough as her real name had been. She had been called "The First", and the papers and general public had seemingly forgotten her name.

Barb interrupted Carter's chain of thought. "Has there been any developments?"

"No, sorry. We know he is going to hit the west side of town, but that is about it. We still have a couple of days."

Another silence followed. Icy and pregnant, the silence hung in the air for a whole minute. Barb was about to speak when there was a loud knock on the door. Carter jumped up from the bed, pulled his boxers on and ran into the small en suite bathroom. Barb simultaneously racked her brains as to who it could be, and slipped into a woolly jumper and worn jeans. Deciding it would probably be the lousy motel owner, asking for a drunken late night delight, Barb put on her fake smile and pulled the door open.

All Barb saw was a pair of hungry eyes and a snarling smile, before a fist smacked her right in the face. Her head rocketed backwards, and then bounced back, right into the path of another punch connecting with her right eye. Two firm arms gripped around her waist, and hoisted her off the ground. She smelt blood and Joop Homme, and her eyes lolled in her head as her abductor flew down the flight of stairs to the main lobby.

A scream erupted from her throat and she began thrashing wildly. The man who held her lost his balance and a feeling of weightlessness threw Barb into confusion and despair. The man regained his balance and made it out into the open street, just as Barb began punching and kicking, biting and scratching. Scratching was the key, DNA under the fingernails was vital. The man panted and lost balance again. Barb's feet touched the floor and she kicked off the ground with all her might, desperate to free herself from her attacker. As she spun on the spot, she saw the sleek black car in a dizzying spectacle, and she was suddenly being dragged towards it.

A man's voice. "Come on, get her in the car!"

Barb screamed again, locking eyes with the man sitting in the car. He was different, not the same man she had seen with Cindy. There were two Stalkers. Barb screamed again, but a cold hand gripped around her face, shutting her up. The man in the car reached forward to assist his accomplice, but suddenly jerked back. A loud bang had sounded. Then another. The first had coincided with a spurt of blood coming from the arm of the driver, the second with a tinny pang as a bullet skimmed the hood of the expensive car.

The next few seconds were a blurred mess of screaming and struggling, as the kidnapper finally released Barb and tried to make his escape, but found Barb's sharp fingernails digging into his arm, tearing into the expensive suit as she tried to pull him back towards her and the detective stood behind her firing gunshots. The man smacked her in the mouth again and leapt into the car. Before the door closed, the car sped off down the street, racing away from the almost naked detective who held the sobbing prostitute in his arms, wiping away her blood and tears. She held up her hand, reaching towards Carter's face, and he just held her tighter to him, soothing her with his voice. She muttered something through the tears, and Carter's face lit up.

She repeated herself as she held her fingers up to Carter's face.

"Scratches... His DNA..." she whimpered.

Comments · 6

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  • Jamie Thomas said...

    This is the third installment in a series of burrsts following Barb the prostitute and Carter the detective.
    The first part can be read here:
    and the second part can be read here:

    This burrst is a lot different from the others, and seems to be quite thoughtful and dragged out for the first part, and then suddenly turns chaotic and frantic in the second part. I hope this inst too exaggerated for you guys, and I hope it works. Maybe it is a bit too boring, and then becomes quite far fetched and confusing, and I am open to any comments you guys have on the burrst :)

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Jessica Cambrook said...

    The only bad thing about reading this is that there's no part four yet :(
    I loved the phrase "Icy and pregnant, the silence hung in the air for a whole minute." it was really effective. I agree with @Liam Volk, it seemed to be calm and thoughtful then BAM they burst in and everything happens at once, where it could have been a bit more of a build up of suspense.
    The story seems to be getting more complicated, how will Carter explain to his wife that he was with Barb when he shot the men? He's the only witness. Who are the men? I can't wait for the next part :D Great, suspenseful writing.

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Jamie Thomas said...

    Thanks very much to @Liam Volk and @Jessica Cambrook, I'm glad you are enjoying these burrsts, and I'm glad you seem to love Barb as much as I do :L Yeah, the story was very slow and suddenly it seemed to explode. This is mainly because I didn't really know which direction I was taking the burrst in, but I sort of just followed a random path and wrote down whatever idea came into my head. I need to start planning out my burrsts a bit more :)

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Ross Tarran said...

    The line 'She smelt blood and Joop Homme...' made me smile. I'm sure Barb has smelt many male fragrances over time but would she know the brand name of every one?! Maybe 'She smelt blood and strong aftershave...'?
    Exciting story anyway, keep it up!

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Jamie Thomas said...

    Thank you @Ross Tarran. You are right, I doubt Barb is that talented when it comes to aftershaves, but the line sounded so good when I first wrote it that u didn't think too much about it :p

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Angela Watt said...

    Hi Jamie. Really enjoying the Barb Burrsts and waiting to see what happens next. When I read my own or someone else's writing I try and look out for things that I love and also anything that makes me stop reading or that doesn't feel right. In this Burrst, I really enjoyed the ending. I found myself racing along to find out whether Barb was taken or not. It was an exciting scene. In terms of something that didn't resonate with me, I wondered in the first paragraph where Barb seems to be reflecting on what's happening whether she would use the words eviscerated neck. To me that didn't quite work. Just a thought. Anyway onto the next Barb episode now to see what happens next.

    • Posted 8 years ago