The road to the ruined castle was steep and winding, and didn't look at all inviting. Where they now stood was a bit of a low rise that gave them a view of the surrounding countryside. As Kate looked, she could see forest to her left, wrapping around behind her, deep and dark and not welcoming. The castle was of course in front, but to her right, a path led around a hillock, and over its grassy top she could just see what looked to be a belltower.
Dana leaned on Kate's arm and shook a rock out of her slipper. She held the satiny shoe in front of her and stared at it. "This is not my shoe."
Kate looked at her shoe, then took in the rest of her friend. "Dana, that's not what you were wearing this morning in the library, is it?" She knew it wasn't, but babbling seemed the only thing to do in such an odd situation.
Dana looked down at her outfit. It was an emerald green dress, made of a very heavily woven fabric, ground length, and a corset-like contraption held in her waist and made her usually subtle bosom seem to float above the device, threatening to spill over at any moment. "No, I wasn't wearing this. I would remember." Her face was a picture.
Kate's outfit was also not part of her ordinary library-going wardrobe. She was pretty sure she had been wearing leggings and an oversized USC sweatshirt, but now she was clad in a bronze gown in a similar style to Dana's, and a twitch of the skirt showed her the same impractically soled slippers.
"Well, this is a problem," Kate said.
"Particularly, since I don't seem to have a single weapon with me," Dana patted her sides as though a broadsword might be concealed there, "and that is most definitely a dragon up there."
"He could be nice?" Kate looked hopeful.
"Yes, he could be." But Dana didn't look like she thought that likely.
"Well we can't stay here forever. What do you want to do?" Kate wasn't a dragonslayer like Dana, she was an ordinary, run of the mill person who hadn't a heroic bone in her flip-flop wearing body.
Dana turned in a slow circle. "I can't think of a good reason to go into that forest, and I don't think these silly shoes will handle the rocky way up to that crumbling heap. I don't want to go up there without a better idea of what I'm facing anyway, and I have to get weapons, somehow. So," she pointed to her right, "I vote for the village, or whatever it is, over there. Someone will know what's going on here - I hope."
There was nothing to argue with there, Dana's logic seemed flawless, so the two confused women set off down the path toward the belltower, hoping to find a village at its base, with someone who might be able to tell them what the heck was going on.