This 8 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

An officer asks Detective London to use a piece of cloth to track Kelli Rocha, who ran from arrest for assault, she agrees, strips off all her clothes, Shifts to a large German Shepherd, and howls to get her partner’s attention

I skipped nothing.


The sound broke through the noise of the crowd, and had Detective Janice Dale’s head snapping towards them, her dark brown eyes flicked over the officer, open car door, and enormous dog.

Her mouth compressed into a thin, annoyed line, “Not again, London!” Her sensible shoes thumped against the sidewalk as she picked up speed, going from a walk to a half-jog.

Fowler paled, “Damn, she looks pissed.”

London whuffed a doggy laugh, tail wagging, sure that Dale would get over it.


Or maybe not, London thought, but she’d already Shifted, so Dale could hardly get angrier at her. She applied her nose to the task ahead, and took off in the direction Fowler’s partner had last seen Kelli, following the scent trail.

*      *       *        *

NOTE: I’ll be editing “Lily Wasn’t There,” and posting it on my blog for any of the curious.

I posted (What happened after) right after the NOTE on the previous weekend.

*      *       *        *

Four Feet and a Badge is my NaNoWriMo story.

In 1952, an event moved two and a half million people from one version of the Earth to another, a quarter of them Shifters (able to change their shape). It’s now 2015, and those people have married and had children. The Static (non-Shifters) fit in fine, but the Shifters often have to prove their worth.

Detective Amy London works in Seattle’s Narcotics Section, Shifting to four feet to sniff out drugs and chase down suspects. But she can be a little impulsive–like when she bit her previous partner, earning her a new one, strict, by-the-book Detective Janice Dale.

Dale tries to reign in her partner’s wilder behavior, not always with much success. And a new group of cocaine suppliers is muscling in on the city, and they’re leaving bodies behind. London and Dale will have to work through their differences to bring these dealers down, before the body count rises.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

26 responses »

  1. laneswift says:

    I’m going to join in next weekend. Thank you or spreading the word.

  2. I like this more and more. What a delightful concept. Thanks, Caitlin.

  3. Gemma Parkes says:

    Strong, visual snippet, like the use of the senses here, they really add to the scene.

    • caitlinstern says:

      I have to keep reminding myself to use other senses than sight. Especially smell.

      I don’t know exactly what a world smells like to a dog, but from observation, it smells fascinating.

  4. maggiewells68 says:

    What a great concept! I think you did well to show both sides of her and the conflict between them.

  5. Carrie-Anne says:

    I like how she maintains her professionalism even as a dog, instead of snapping at the other detective for her reaction.

    • caitlinstern says:

      I spent some time thinking about what it would really be like, to be able to change into an animal–and how non-changing people would react. Probably, professionalism is a good way to not end up shot. o.O

  6. sadiecass says:

    So far I’m loving this story. Great concept, I can’t wait to see more.

  7. alexissduran says:

    I really like the relationship between the partners. I’m looking forward to seeing more of how they work together.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Detective Dale is a little less than pleased with Detective London’s decision to take off her clothes in front of all the people watching the crime scene.

      She’s been less than pleased about the same thing before…but it doesn’t stop London. 🙂

  8. Well, what else is London supposed to do? Carry a tent along for her changes?

  9. Millie Burns says:

    I think London is a howl : ) Detective Dale is going to need to lighten up a bit. I’m hoping she relaxes a bit as time goes by.

  10. Sarah W says:

    I like London’s attitude—then again, I’m not Dale! 😀

    Are all weres as free-spirited as London? Or is this mostly just her?

    • caitlinstern says:

      Most of them are–if you spend your childhood changing shapes, eventually people will see you nude. You either get over it, or learn to find hiding places.

      Getting over it is more practical, though I bet puberty is a fun experience for Shifters. o.O

  11. Fascinating story going on here and I enjoyed the snippet! Can’t wait to read more…

  12. Dang! I like this story more and more. Intriguing, and I like the character coming through.

    Good 8, Caitlin. 🙂

    • caitlinstern says:

      Thank you. London is quite a character–I quite enjoyed deciding what she’d do in circumstances I’d do something very, very different. (Like hide and wait for everything to go away.)

  13. Evelyn Jules says:

    I’ve never read anything like this before. It’s funny, fascinating, and full of intrigue! Already excited for next week’s excerpt! 🙂

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