(Iglesia is a serialized novel, published on Tuesdays and Saturdays at midnight ET, you can read all of the episodes by clicking on the tag.)
She corralled her fear and her anger and resisted the impulse to whirl and charge. Instead she coolly and slowly brought her leg down from the sill, composed her face into a mask of calm and slowly turned around and casually crossed her arms across her chest and leaned back against the window sill. It wasn’t Apu. The slight man in the center of the room did have the coloring you would expect from the Indian accent, but he looked more like Ghandi than Apu, except for the funky English tweed suit that looked like something out of an old Sherlock Holmes movie. He was short, slim, bald and wearing round wire frame glasses….and had a disturbingly smug look on his face. He looked her up and down as she was looking him up and down. when he smiled (smirked???) at her, she instantly wanted to punch him.
He pulled a gold pocket watch from his vest pocket, clicked it open and closed and looked up at her with an even bigger smile and said, “Good afternoon Iglesia, how are you feeling? I hope your…ahem…journey wasn’t too, em, unpleasant?” An even bigger smile, his pearly white teeth gleamed in the light from the window. “We went to considerable lengths, I’ll have you know, to make sure you were not…um…inconvenienced or heh heh heh pained… too much.”
She was on him and he was down and her hands were around his throat before even she knew what was happening. She didn’t like smug, and he was smug on a stick. Even as her thumbs were finding the right spots on his windpipe and her knee was searching for certain tender spots, her brain was screaming NOT GOOD NOT GOOD….but, well… she was kinda used to ignoring that at this point in her life. Then all kinds of other alarms went off as he went….flat. Deflated. Became two dimensional. She was still on top of him her hands were still poised in position to be wrapped around his throat….but his throat was no longer there. She startled and fell the few inches to the floor.
And then it was there again, he was there again. He had instantaneously reinflated just as she had begun to react to him deflating. She was caught off guard and he easily slipped out from under her and was on up his feet dusting himself off with a distracted air…as if this sort of thing happened all the time…while she was still trying to collect herself on the floor.
She sort of grunted/screamed and then lashed out with her leg to sweep him off his feet and he casually steeped over it and walked over to….a fancy looking tea cart….that hadn’t been there a moment ago.
“Cream and sugar, if I’m not mistaken?”
Both he and the tea cart disappeared momentarily as she launched herself through them in a sort of flying football tackle. She landed hard on her belly and slid into the wall head first, hard enough to crack her skull….after a quick second she rolled over and reflexively reached up to check her scalp for blood, but not only was there no blood, it didn’t even hurt.