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Gillian reached for her sixth coffee of the day, the chocolate and crisps from her desk drawer long gone.

‘Arnie go and get burgers see if food helps us crack this.’

‘Yes boss’


Arnie arrived laden with food accompanied by a young woman.

‘This is Joy, she wanted to talk to you boss. I met her on the way in.’

Arnie gave out the food.

‘I’m sorry Joy, I’m starving; hope you don’t mind me eating.’

Gillian ripped open the packages.

‘No of course not.’ Arnie’s hand came between them with a burger and chips.

‘Sam always gives us one extra, yours if you want it.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘I would take it if I was you.’ Joy pushed ketchup across her desk.


‘Coffee coming boss.’

‘When we’ve eaten this you can tell me what this is about.’ Gillian took a gulp of coffee.


‘I had a stalker, bit back followed me all over, I didn’t say at the time because well, we’d been together like, a few times so I thought well, I should have been more careful, gentle as a lamb he was a first, I finished it when he got a bit rough. I’m open minded but the stuff he did well he hurt me.’

‘I see, you should have told us sooner, but we could have a word make sure he doesn’t bother you again.’

‘He kept turning up, knocking on the windows, ringing the bell, shouting abuse, gave his mates my number told them I was ‘up for it’ so they started hassling too, sold some pictures of me down the pub. Last month they got in and … My neighbour heard the racket, called you lot, they had their hands everywhere, they were ready to go if you know what I mean, holding me down when your lot arrived most of them scarpered, but they got the one who was going to … I read the story of that Julie in the paper; I think it’s them. I’m so scared now I moved in with me sister I don't think I could live alone again.’ Joy threw a heap of sodden tissues in the bin.

‘This man you were with what’s his name?’

‘Tom Carpenter.’

‘Ah yes, he’s in Flintmore.’

‘He told me that he had a girl who didn’t like being passed round, said she got what was coming. I didn’t think he meant they killed her. I had to see you in case they do it again.’


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