I’ve been reading Mikhail Bulgakov’s “Diaboliad” for pleasure, and this section heading and passage made me start and grin:

THE BALD MAN APPEARS

[…]And there at the very door to his office Korotkov bumped into a stranger striking in his appearance.

This stranger was so short that he reached only to the waist of the tall Korotkov. This shortness was compensated for by the extreme broadness of the stranger’s shoulders. His square torso rested on crooked legs, and the left was lame. But most remarkable of all was his head. It was formed exactly like a gigantic model egg set on the neck horizontally with the sharp end forward. It was also as bald as an egg, and so shiny that electric light bulbs burned constantly on the stranger’s crown. The stranger’s tiny face was shaved blue, and his green eyes, as small as pinheads, sat in deep hollows. The stranger’s body was clothed in an unbuttoned service jacket made out of a gray blanket, under which one could see a Ukrainian embroidered shirt; his legs were in pants of the same material and he was wearing the low-cut boots of a Hussar of Alexander the First’s time.

“What a character!” thought Korotkov.

I knew you for a trickster without regard for the temporal or spatial boundaries of existence, Dr. Wandless, but short? I should’ve known you were Protean, too.

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