Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Novel Concept Publishing Release: The Lost Girls by Jason Halstead

The Lost Girls, by Jason Halstead

The only thing hotter than the summers in Phoenix is the temper of a police detective who can’t figure out why young girls keep disappearing. Katalina Wimple is that detective. Her obsession with the missing girls makes her the best person for the job, but it also serves as a refuge from the problems in her own life.

Battling her own demons offers coincidences impossible to ignore. Rescuing the missing girls will require Kat figuring out how much coincidence is too much, as well as fighting her desire for what she can’t have.

The Lost Girls is a 60,000 word mystery / detective novel with a dose of sci-fi mixed in for flavor


Panic hit me again, stealing my breath better than a dozen shots from his taser would have. I was going to be imprisoned again and abused. Raped, beaten, whatever. Last time that happened the sick bastard professed love for me and said he only wanted to show me how good it could be. He didn’t understand he was forcing me and that I hated it and hated him. This time there’d be no mercy, or no pretense of it. They’d fuck me over and over and in every way they could. I’d be broken and bleeding and still they’d go on. I’d seen cases where that happened, now it was my turn. It was my destiny, I’d dared to think I’d escaped it all those years ago but now it was just going to be that much worse.

“Knock that shit off. I said I ain’t going to fuck you. I take my women willing,” he said, then slammed the door shut. Through the door I could hear him call me a stupid bitch again.

Somehow, in spite of the situation and the incredible lack of trust I should have had, his words calmed me a little. It was a psychological trick and I knew it. I wasn’t any safer but I was panicked and desperate and willing to believe anything. It was one of the steps towards the condition where a kidnapping victim can actually switch their allegiance over time to their captors. I’d never understood before how that was possible. I knew terror and fear from my youth, but I’d gone the other way, from loving my captor to hating him with every cell in my body. Now I began to understand how somebody could let themselves be tricked into going the other way.

I realized the bag was wet from my tears. I’d been whimpering as I tried to control my sobs. Now I was beginning to regain control, but every move I made just made my body hurt worse than it already did. I focused again and switched my eyes into heat sensing mode. They switched over and I immediately felt a little better. I could see a little bit through the hood. Craning my neck around I could make out my captor climb into the driver’s seat.

The van fired up, the engine roaring with the sound of a bio-diesel. I craned my neck around some more but saw little. When we started moving things changed. I could occasionally feel some warmth on my otherwise cold skin. Glancing in that direction rewarded me with an occasional pink glow of residual heat imparted by the sun coming in through the windows. I was sure it was the front windows, a van such as this wouldn’t have any rear or side ones.

We drove for what seemed like hours until I thought to call up the HUD in my eyes to display a clock. From that point on thirty minutes passed. Based on my captor’s comments about me being heavy and no comments about anything else, I guessed he didn’t have a clue about my enhancements. It gave me hope that I might have a chance to make it out of this. Or if not, at least I’d go down fighting.

The vehicle stopped, eventually, and I was plunged into darkness again. Even the residual heat was fading, which meant we were out of sun. I braced myself just in time. The door beside me opened and rough hands grabbed my ankles. I was yanked across the cold metal, scraping my back and shoulder but not bad enough to cut the skin. The pain helped me take my mind off the unknown, and that kept me from freaking out.

“Nice job Buddy,” I heard a new voice say, followed by a harsh laugh. I didn’t know if Buddy was his name or a title. “Maybe you never seen a woman naked before but they’re supposed to have two tits!”

The others joined in, laughing at the expense of the guy who’d captured me. I couldn’t make out how many people there were but it was enough to push the pain away and make my panic flare. It didn’t just start to rise either, it hit me full on and made me cry out in the most pitiful and embarrassing way. I even heard myself begging and pleading with them. My voice was so soft and weak, saying things like, “Please don’t hurt me! Let me go, I won’t tell anyone.” And the thing was, I believed if I just begged hard enough they’d let me go and everything would be all right. I just had to let them know they were right. I needed them. Real men, all of them – only real men could make me happy. That was what was wrong with me, wasn’t it? If I just accepted it everything would be okay.

“This ain’t just some chick I picked up,” Buddy said. “This is that blond chick’s sister. Said her name’s Katy.”

“Pictures showed her having a full rack?”

“Stuffed her bra,” Buddy said.

“Fuck!” Someone swore, a new voice. “She’s no use to us. Kill her and dump her out in the desert.”

My breathing changed. I’d been taking in enough breath to beg and plead, but now I started breathing faster. In a few minutes, if I lived that long, I knew I’d start to feel all tingly as I flooded my body with oxygen. If only I could just open my mouth and beg them to use me. I could think, why couldn’t I make my lips move?

“Might need her to keep the blond in line,” Buddy suggested.

“What the…let me see her.” Great, somebody else wanted to check me out. Maybe I was damaged goods but if the other parts worked fine they might still have a use for me. Maybe they thought they could still fix me. That’s what all men wanted, to fix me and prove I wasn’t broken. That I could appreciate a man. Or men, in this case. If only I’d learned it before none of this would have happened. I deserved it, I suppose. I deserved the harsh lesson. I knew these guys were going to overlook my disfigurement for at least one go round. I had to perform well enough so that my body wouldn’t be dumped in the desert. “Holy shit, I know this bitch!”

The voice sounded faintly familiar. My breath caught in my throat as I strained to hear more.

“This bitch tore Jerry’s dick off and she ripped out Manny’s throat. This bitch is strong!” I knew the voice now, I’d dubbed him Pussylover at the time. He was the one that got away the last time I’d been given another opportunity for a lesson I’d failed to learn.

“Don’t look so tough to me,” another man said.

“She’s fucking heavy for being a midget,” Buddy retorted. In any other situation I’d have come unglued at being called a midget. I was short and petite, but I wasn’t that short!

Something clicked in the back of my head. Pussylover really was an idiot. He had no idea I’d been upgraded, he just thought I was really strong. And if they didn’t know about my enhancements, I had an advantage. Maybe not against four or five of them, or maybe more, but if I could stop them from putting a few larger caliber bullets in me then I might have a chance. But then what? Another time and another place I’d be in the same situation. I’d be a victim again. All women were victims, this was just one more proof of it. This seemed like it might be time for me to stop fighting it and accept it.

“I thought Dusty shot her?” I didn’t know who that voice came from.

“He did. She’s been shot and blown up, but still she lives.” I stiffened. I didn’t know who spoke, but I clearly recognized the voice as belonging to a woman. “Remove the hood.”

The drawstring was loosened and the hood was yanked off. I stared around, my eyes adjusting instantly to the lights overhead that flooded the receiving dock of the abandoned building I was in. It was similar from the one I’d broke into a couple of weeks back. I had no idea where I was but, given the seven men with New Earth Order gang colors on, I guessed that I was back in the same area. The woman was Tricia Daniels, long red hair flowing and her business style suit tailored to make her look like a few thousand bucks. I’d finally found the head of the snake.

“Boys, this here is Katalina Wimple. She’s a detective for VDI that works on special cases,” Tricia said. She stared at me the entire time and her next words with delivered with a cold smile directly for me, “You should have gotten that boob job, maybe we could have used you after all.”

“She’s a cop?” one I hadn’t yet heard said. I scanned everybody, flipping rapidly through the different vision modes to check them out. Five of them were carrying pistols, as evidenced by the cooler gun shaped spots on their bodies. The three others I assumed had knives at least, although with Tricia I was clueless. I didn’t peg a sexy higher class lady to dirty herself with a firearm. Then again, I wouldn’t have figured she’d be caught dead hanging out with the lowlifes that were around her.

“Throw her in with her pretend sister,” She commanded. “Let them say their goodbyes.”

Buddy picked me up, grunting as he did so, and carried me past the leering others to an opening in the wall. A sliding door covered it, but it was up. He barked for somebody to come help him. I was able to see several doors down the wide hallway. I also detected a faint odor I couldn’t quite place. It smelled earthy and musky.

One of the other guys hurried over and fished some old fashioned keys out of a pocket. He tried a couple until he found the one that fit, then opened up the extra wide door. Light flooded into the room, making Skyler gasp and squint at the sudden brightness. I landed heavily on the floor, where the odor was stronger.

“Katy!” She gasped, tipping herself over and rolling and inching her way towards me. She was similarly bound. She didn’t stop until her face was next to mine. She kissed me repeatedly, whispering things to me and telling me how glad she was to see me and how scared she was and how she knew we’d be okay now.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say being there with her and seeing her still alive didn’t lift my spirits. I think fresh tears even rolled down my cheeks but with Skylar there I couldn’t tell who’s eyes were leaking. I smiled and tried to roll over, without too much success. Just being able to see again had pushed the terrors back. Seeing her relit the fire inside of me fully. Away from the men, with Skylar, I began to remember that I wasn’t in a dark basement. I wasn’t a prisoner. Well, okay, I was a prisoner, but I wasn’t his prisoner.

“I’m not a victim,” I whispered.

“What?” She asked me, snapping out of her own psychoses.

“Roll your back up against mine,” I said. My story was my story, not hers. I hadn’t meant to say it aloud but at least she hadn’t understood me. “We’ve got to get these things off.”

About the Author

Jason Halstead is a science fiction and fantasy author who spends his daytime hours as an IT Manager in the automotive industry. In his spare time, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, writing, and powerlifting.

Stop by his website at to see his latest project.

Other books by Jason Halstead

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