The reception is well lit and formal. There are a few bookcases against the rear wall. There is a picture with four animals; A lion, badger, shark and zebra.
The receptionist looks at you for a few minutes. She doesn’t break eye contact.
I think I’ve seen you before she says and it is said with such conviction. You’ve never seen her before in your life.
Can I help you with your bags? She doesn’t give you time to answer, just walks around the desk. She walks past the bags until she’s standing right in front of you. Amber eyes, like an owl. She tilts her head slightly, eyes flickering over your face. Abruptly, she turns and goes to your bag, and unzips it. Any protests you make are lost on her; she’s rifling through your belongings, and she pulls out a photograph. You grab her shoulder and she looks up at you.
No need to be like that, she says and skips back to the desk. She opens a drawer and takes out an intricately carved whale-bone box. Unstitching the opening, she opens the top. Nestled on gampi paper are a pair of sea green eyes. She reaches up and takes out one eye, switching it for the green. She does the same with the other. She sits behind the desk with her hands gripping the table edge, her head bowed. Then she looks up and quotes a Batman movie.