The slums of New General City cast a dim light across one of its most innocuous structures: A small office wedged between a café and a toy shop. Outside, a single street lamp flickered, its obnoxious buzz penetrating the office’s walls and washing across the interior. A grey-haired woman stirred atop a cot inside the office, using her pillow to drown out the noise. Suddenly, a sharp knock rapped against her door, disintegrating any remaining hopes of a peaceful night’s sleep. She sat up, irritated, and threw on her clothes.
As she passed her mahogany desk, the brass name tent perched on the edge revealed the pseudonym she’d chosen in this world of costumes and characters: “The Inspector.” She’d adopted the name from the man who’d adopted her, but it was obviously not her real name. No, her real name was lost to time, not uttered since a childhood before the war, back when she still had friends and family to share it with.
Reaching for the front door, Annelisse turned the knob, cracking it open.
“Monet’s Supernatural Investigations. What the fuck do you want?”