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!)

Detective London tracks Kelli Rocha (wanted for assault) as a large German Shepherd, her partner Detective Dale catching up shortly after Kelli is cornered in an alley, and arrested, then Dale suggests London Shift back to human and dress–and scolds London for ‘not thinking.’

I skipped nothing.


“Excuse me?” The pleased smile faded from London’s lips, and a combative light kindled in her gray-green eyes, gaze fixed on her partner. She knew Dale wasn’t pleased about the public nudity, but couldn’t her partner be happy about the arrest for even a moment?

Dale folded her arms and glared back.

“Rocha put a woman in the hospital last night,” London struggled to keep her tone level and reasonable. “Should I have left her on the street for however long it took the officers to track her down–to do who knows what damage until she was caught?”

“Of course it’s better she’s off the streets,” Dale huffed in exasperation, smoothing her hands over her hair, checking for any wisps escaping the bun bristling with hidden bobby pins. “But you should have told me before you Shifted, as protocol states I have to take possession of your firearm—”


*      *       *        *

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 rein 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.

28 responses »

  1. I love the wit in this snippet. Great job!

  2. Jealous vindictive bitch. A stand-off between partners beautifully written and understated. Love the stiff hair-do description.

  3. Frank Fisher says:

    I love this typical drama between partners – so realistic, but I’m standing by London on this one.

    • caitlinstern says:

      You know how it is–some people follow the rules even when they don’t make a lot of sense, because rules are rules and ignoring them leads to chaos.

      And some people know some rules must be followed to the letter–and others have a little wiggle room.

  4. burnsmillie says:

    Bun bristling with booby pins just like her stick up the butt attitude! Ha ha, love this exchange.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Their hair is indicative of their personalities–Dale’s in a neat regulation bun, London’s in short, crazy curls. Because I’m the writer, and I can do that. 😉

  5. alexissduran says:

    Another great scene. I love “as protocol states…” Tells me so much about her. I get the feeling London is much less concerned about protocol than her partner.

    • caitlinstern says:

      There’s all kinds of rules about a Shifter-Static partnership, all with very good intentions, and many of them make a lot of sense.

      But London can get a little impatient sometimes. She likes to chase down the bad guys more than fill out paperwork. 😉

  6. Sarah Cass says:

    Great insight to the characters here, from the description of the bun to the dialogue itself. It all gives me great info. Nice 8

  7. Carrie-Anne says:

    Dale doesn’t sound like a very fun partner, with her uptightness and insistence on doing everything by protocol.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Some of it is because they’ve only been partners for a short time, and this is the first time Dale has partnered a Shifter.

      It doesn’t get mentioned until after I plan to end this snippet, but Dale was given a big long list of rules for the safety of her partner, with dire warnings attached.

      The rest is, yes–Dale is uptight. 🙂

  8. Gemma Parkes says:

    Love the conflict and the bobby pins is a nice touch!

  9. Sarah W says:

    I can hear London rolling her eyes from here: “Oh, right. Protocol.”

  10. Botanist says:

    I couldn’t see the fuss being about momentary nudity, but the issue of the firearm makes sense.

  11. Evelyn Jules says:

    Love the little details you add in this snippet that really speak to the characters’ personalities. These two have quite the intriguing partnership. 🙂

  12. Love the way you showed so much in this snippet about London and Dale’s personalities. Great job.

  13. Ahh, the dash at the end is driving me crazy! Loved the character development you managed in such a short snippet. Can’t wait for the next week 🙂

    • caitlinstern says:

      Sorry, even with creative editing, there’s only so much you can squeeze into eight sentences.

      The dash is there because Dale is interrupted. Don’t know if that makes you more, or less crazy. 😉

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