Interlude III
Strangers in the Night

She opened her eyes to a gentle ray of light.  Taking comfort in the thought that it must not yet be morning, she turned her head to peer at the time on the alarm clock.  The
alarm clock was notably missing.

Blinking, Morena peered around her in the semi-darkness. From what she could make out through the semi-darkness, it appeared that she was lying on the floor of one of the unoccupied rooms of the house and, now that she was fully awake, she was aware of a rather chilly floor beneath her back.  With a grunting noise that attested to the protest of
several major muscle groups, she rolled over and worked her way to her feet.  Plotting her course according to the horizontal bar of light that marked the bottom of the door,
Morena made her way across the floor and, with a little fumbling, located both light switch and doorknob.  Flipping the light switch, she looked around the bare space.  Her
instincts had been right.  Judging by the size of the room and the dark pine branches tossing in the wind outside the uncovered glass of the window, she was in the South wing of the house. How on earth had she gotten here?

Mentally rehearsing the scene, she recalled the doorway of her room, and the familiar cool, clinging feel of a spell. Lifting the tail of her shirt, she sniffed delicately.  A
familiar smell greeted her nostrils: Farren. The spell had the unquestionable scent of  a Farren spell, but why would Farren send her to an abandoned room in the South wing?
His letter had mentioned something about staying with friends, but unless he was counting dust rhinoceri as bosom buddies, there were no friends here.  Perhaps there was
something else of import here.  Careful to avoid both the corpses of expired insects, and the occasional abandoned thumbtack, Morena worked her way across the floor, peering
at the smooth floorboards and the off-white walls.  Nothing. Except—a flash of movement near the door caught her eye. Turning, she noticed an abandoned coffee mug that had somehow eluded her search.

“Funny,” Morena muttered, “I should’ve seen that earlier. Well,” she snagged the mug by its handle, “we’ll have to return you to DragonMom.  Maybe Farren wanted to make sure
you got back home, but I seriously doubt that he went to the trouble of a spell just for you.”

Throwing a last glance around the room, Morena turned the knob and stepped out into the hallway and almost stepped into Alex.

“What are you doing up this late?”

“I might ask the same of you. And I thought you lived in the East wing.”

“I do, and that’s where I started this mess. But then there was a ghost and a doormouse, and then Farren’s spell, and now this coffee mug…” hefting said object up to eye level,
she encountered Alex’s confused face.  “Maybe,” she sighed, “maybe I should start at the beginning.”

Alex nodded, “that would be useful.”
“Mind if we do it on the way back to my room?  The spell that zapped me from the East wing was laced onto my door, and I’d like to go take a look at it.”

Alex shook his head and started walking.  “So did you just say ‘mouse’ or am I going nuts?”

“It all started when I went over into the garden to work on a story….”

Borders and Glitches