City Lights follows a witch named Kit who works for a private investigator named Lyn Walker in their efforts to solve an usual case. After discovering a strange summoning circle and sacrificed tortoise (RIP Shelley) guarded by a zombie dog, things quickly spiral out of control in the magical side of the city. Magic-eating monsters appear in massive numbers, ghosts refuse to pass on to the next world, and fluctuations in magic lead to blackouts and sweaty furniture. Add onto that mutated maggots, a powerful and notorious gang of witches, talking animals, and much more, and Kit has quite a lot on their plate. And it only gets worse!
The giraffe was giving birth in the living room. The baby, blue and translucent, fell head-first from six feet in the air and passed straight through the wooden floor with a soft whoosh. It floated back up a few moments later, neck wobbling as it looked around for the first time. Its mother bent her neck down to lick the newborn as it struggled to stand on thin, shaky legs.
“That’s what I’ve been havin’ to watch these three weeks,” said Ms. Walbelt. The reptile-woman’s arms were crossed in front of her scrawny chest, and her forked tongue flicked in irritation. “Every single day that darned giraffe shoots out another baby! I can’t standit anymore. I mean, look at these things!” She gestured at the room with a thin, clawed hand. Kit nodded their head and looked around at the herd of baby ghost giraffes meandering about, passing through walls, and attempting to eat furniture. “This is a bit strange,” they said, “Do you have any idea where they might have come from? Are you a hunter, by any chance?”
She frowned. “Of course not! Do I look like a big game hunter to you?”
“What about your neighbors? Do you know if any of them are?”
“Well, that’s what I called youfor! I tried speaking to them myself, but apparently they have better things to do than listen to an old woman.” She rolled her eyes. “Perhaps they might listen to you?”
“Maybe. So, you don’t have any idea at the moment as to where these ghosts came from, other than the neighbors? Have you received any packages or gifts that might have contained giraffe remains?”
“What about the previous owners of the house?”
“I’m the only owner. The house was built by my late husband. And no, he was not a hunter.”
“Okay.” Kit scribbled down some notes. “So, let me see if I have everything correct… The mother giraffe appeared seemingly out of nowhere exactly three weeks ago around noon. It is the only adult giraffe, as far as you know. It gives birth around 3 o’clock every day in the living room. And… you don’t know why it’s here, but you suspect one of the neighbors might be a hunter.”
She nodded. “Yes, all of that’s correct.”
“And have the giraffes caused you or your house harm in any way?”
Ms. Walbelt glanced at one of the babies, who was attempting to bite a wall. “No, so far they only pass through things. Though I swear I felt one lick me once.” She shuddered. “But anyway, they’re obviously quite annoying and distracting to have in the house. I can’t even read in peace! And if I go upstairs to my room, there’s always a few that try to follow me.”
“They cause emotional distress,” said Kit, as they wrote down the phrase.
“Yes, sure, I suppose,” said Walbelt, “Will you go speak to the neighbors now?”
“Well, I have to talk to Inspector Walker first, and then we’ll figure out the next steps.”
“What?” She threw up her arms. “Are you serious? You need to just speak to the neighbors! I’m sureit’s one of them!”
“I’m sorry, Ms. Walbelt, I only have permission to interview you at the moment.”
She sighed. “Okay, well, how long will the investigation take? I’d like these things gone as soon as possible.”
“It shouldn’t take more than a few days, I would say.”
“A few more days, a few more giraffes…” She shook her head. “Fine. Do you have all the information you need?”
“I believe so, unless there’s anything else you’d like to add?”
She shook her head. “That’s all.”
“Alright. Well, thank you, Ms. Walbelt. I’m sure we’ll be able to settle this as soon as possible.”
“I certainly hope so.”
“Have a, um, nice day.”
She snorted and then turned to watch a couple of baby giraffes gallop away through a wall.