Rookie Blues


Rookie Blues

Jean Louise

Copyright 2016 Jean Louise

Pete brought up his weapon and sighted along the barrel as his quarry started to move. He could have fired immediately, but he took the time to aim carefully. That extra half-second may not always make a difference, but then, it just might. In certain instances, firing a poorly-aimed gun could be just as much a mistake—a deadly one—as not firing at all.

That half-second paid off as Pete squeezed the trigger: Once… twice… and more. A total of six shots.

His target had stopped moving.

“I think you got him,” said a voice from behind him.

Pete slanted a look at the man who’d spoken. “And then some. There are bits of him scattered everywhere. Not a pretty sight.”

He pressed a button nearby that brought his ‘victim’ closer. The cardboard shooting dummy was toast.

“Impressive display.”

“Thanks.” Officer Pete Wry secured his weapon and then took down his ruined target, replacing it with a fresh one before sending it back to the top of the Academy’s shooting range.

“I guess you’ll keep that Expert Marksman designation after all,” said Lieutenant Arthur Heath. “You’ve earned it, what, the last five years?”

“Six,” Pete corrected him. “I just missed it my first year; had to settle for Marksman.”

Heath smiled. “Has it really been seven years you’ve been on the force? I remember when you were a snot-nosed rookie.”

“So do I. That’s why I carry a handkerchief in my pocket.”

“Let me ask you, Wry,” the lieutenant said as they left the shooting area. “If it’s been seven years, why are you still riding the beat? Have you taken the sergeant’s exam yet? Or are you holding out for detective?”

“Why do I have to do either?”

Heath looked at him quizzically. “You want to stay a patrol officer?”

Pete shrugged. “Why not? For the time being, at least. I like it; it’s where the action is. Besides, I’m good at it.”

“I’ll give you that,” the older man replied. “One of the best damn officers in the department.”

One of?

Heath chuckled as the two men stepped inside to the common room, where a number of Academy cadets had gathered.

“And I guess you’re doing your part,” the Lieutenant continued. “Not all good cops make good training officers, but you’re one of the best at that, too. Speaking of which….” He left the sentence unfinished.

Pete deposited coins in the vending machine and retrieved his soft drink. “Art, I just finished up with a rookie about two weeks ago.”

“I know. Officer Shelton. And you did a great job with her—as usual. I’ve heard nothing but good about her work.”

Pete opened his canned drink. “I’ve been riding with either Woods or Brinker lately, and it’s kind of a nice respite to be with fellow veterans for a change, and not have to deal with YDIs.”


“Young, dumb idiots.” At the lieutenant’s pained look, Pete grinned. “Oh, come on, we got called worse, in our day. Anyway, as much as I like being a TO, I had hoped—”

“I know what you hoped, Wry, and there are other TOs available to work with the graduating cadets. But there’s one in particular I have in mind.”

“Uh-oh. I feel a BOHICA moment coming on.”

Heath’s lips twitched. “It’s not quite that bad.” He gestured for Wry to follow him. “Come on, let’s go in and meet a few members of the class.”

They entered a meeting room where three Academy cadets snapped to attention: a young woman whose black hair was pinned neatly into a bun; a tall handsome guy-next-door type who looked like he belonged on a TV commercial, advertising something wholesome and healthful; and a man who was markedly older than the others, based on his seasoned mien and the tell-tale traces of gray in his wiry, closely-cropped hair.

“Officer Wry, these are Cadets Aquino, Earnest, and Coleman. This is Officer Pete Wry, one of our training officers who— Excuse me.” The Lieutenant was interrupted by a sergeant who called him away for a moment. After the senior officer excused himself, Coleman spoke. “A pleasure to meet you, Officer Wry. We’ve heard a lot about you.”

Aquino agreed. “You’re somewhat of a legend at the Academy.”

“Is that so?” Pete asked. “I may have to ask for a pay raise for my instructional duties.”

Earnest laughed, inadvertently bumping into a table beside him, which sent a pen rolling off toward the edge. In the process of trying to catch it as it fell, the young man bumped the desk again, tipping over a paper cup. Coffee dregs spilled across the desk.

Earnest uttered a mild oath under his breath. “Excuse me, sir,” he said to Wry. “I’ll just go get something to clean this up with.” He quickly matched deed to words, leaving the others looking after him as he hurried out.

“Well,” Pete said. “I guess he’s… efficient.”

Earnest returned seconds later carrying a handful of paper towels, which he hastily put to work on the table. When Lieutenant Heath returned, Earnest balled up the soggy towels and pushed them aside, resuming his stance at attention.

“Sorry to cut this short,” Heath said. “I wanted to introduce you to Officer Wry. Carry on, cadets.” He tipped his head in a signal for Pete to follow him.

They left the room, Pete closing the door behind him. “I take it you have one of those three in mind for me to train? Please tell me it’s not—” He looked through the window, where he could see Earnest wiping damp hands on his uniform pants. “Please tell me it’s not that walking disaster area.”

Heath smiled. “Do you know, Cadet Earnest gets top marks in his class? He was a standout high school athlete and then served a tour in the Air Force.”

“He seems to live up to his name, I’ll give him that,’” Pete mused. He looked at the Lieutenant. “But I don’t think I—”

“Pete, he needs a steady hand. He’s an exemplary student, but the closer he gets to actually wearing the uniform for real, the more anxious he’s become. Like I said, he just needs a firm but patient guide to—”

“Patient! Art, come on, have you met me? Patience is not my strong suit.”

“I didn’t think mine was, either, Pete. Especially when I was training a certain rookie who was so eager to catch the bad guy that he accidentally discharged his weapon in the squad car, putting a neat hole in the floorboard.”

“And damn near shot his foot off,” Wry murmured, his right foot flexing instinctively.

“So what do you think? The Academy graduates in three days.”

Pete sighed. “I think I have three days before my life goes to hell. I’ll be sure to enjoy the peace and quiet out on the city streets… while I still can.”

  1. # #

Author’s Note:

So, now you know what happened “when Petey met Jimmy.” I hope you enjoyed this origin story of the two Boys in Blue characters.

Anyone have other ideas on how Officer Pete Wry might have been introduced to young Jim Earnest? Perhaps I should have written a different story?

Many readers may already be familiar with the Boys in Blue series. If you aren’t, check them out to see how Academy graduate Jim Earnest does on the job. And if training officer Pete Wry can keep from throttling his young protégé.

These are their stories:

Arrest Me – Pete and Jim have been working together for a while; we see them as partners, though not quite equal in experience and wisdom. Also, there are glimpses of Pete’s active social life. (NOTE: this book is currently FREE.)

Officer Down – The partners find themselves in a rough situation, one which ends with the two words all law enforcement officers dread to hear….

Under Suspicion – Amid the numerous calls of a beat cop, Wry and Earnest tackle the problem of a potentially dangerous neighborhood prowler.

Suspect Behavior – Patrol officers do more than just watch for speeding cars and write parking tickets; if their names are Earnest and Wry, they also manage to catch drug dealers, handle business disputes, and ask questions when things don’t seem to add up.

Please leave a review of this story (on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, etc.). If you have questions or other comments, feel free to send me an e-mail at JYHarrisBooks(at)gmail.com. Or visit my Facebook page at J.Y. Harris Books.



In the mood for something different? Check out It Takes a Thief, in which a pickpocket and a former cop team up to do good… by being a little bad.



Rookie Blues

Pete is a cop's cop. Jim is a green rookie. Pete's job is to impart to the younger man everything he knows, train him to be a good officer. This is how the two met. Rookie Blues is flash-fiction, an 'origin story' to the Boys in Blue novellas.

  • ISBN: 9781310184154
  • Author: Jean Louise
  • Published: 2016-06-18 05:50:06
  • Words: 1459
Rookie Blues Rookie Blues