THE FINAL CHAPTER

Leah held Toby's hand tightly as she noted the greenness of the grass and the freshness of the air. The park around her was alive with the sounds of children frolicking on the playground equipment, lovers holding hands and talking betwixt themselves, babies crying as loving mothers pushed them in their carriages while speaking to their other friends. The park was rarely quiet, even in the nighttime, and people of different natures passed across its lush, green grasses frequently, flowing in and out like multi-colored fish in the waters of the Red Sea.

It had been a week since Sarah's journey to the Underground and so far Toby had shown no signs that he remembered anything about the adventure. After a discussion with Sarah about the last part of her journey, Leah had tried to get Toby to tell her what had gone on between the little boy and the Goblin King, but she couldn't get him to recollect anything.

Even her memory of the incident was sketchy by now, but she wrote in her journal about it each day to preserve all she could, as she knew Sarah was doing. Her old and new friends lingered in her mind like the vestige of a deceased family member, but something in her knew they were alive and well, seeking out their destiny in their new environment, just as she was.

She pondered her transitory state as she walked Toby through the park, absentmindedly answering his questions and making remarks as she did so.

"Look, Sarah!" he declared pointing to something in the park.

Leah did as bid and looked up from her mild contemplation to see a beautiful white horse being groomed by its owner. The two siblings approached the magnificent steed, hand in hand, and both brought forth trembling hands to caress its muzzle. The owner smiled at them and allowed them to pet his animal.

"I rode a white horse like this once," Toby declared boldly to the man.

"Did you, son?" the man replied warmly.

"Yeah," he answered sadly. "But I can't remember when."

Leah smiled down at Toby and said, "Sweetie, there are lotsa stories I gotta tell you. All about white horses."

Toby looked up at her oddly, and said, "Will you really? No more stories about that Underground place?"

"Toby, I've got bunches of stories, now. Just you wait and see, I will tell you so many stories..."

"But, you have to leave tomorrow."

She picked him up and smiled at him. "Aw, don't worry about it. I'm quitting my job. I got all the time in the world."

"Really!? Oh, yay, we can go to the fair!"

"We'll go anywhere you want." She smiled at him as she walked him across the park and toward an ice cream stand. "You know, you remind me of the babe."

Toby looked confused. "What babe?"

Leah grinned at him impishly. "The babe with the power..."

"What power?" The little boy giggled at her silliness.

She poked him in the tummy. "The power of voodoo..."

"The power of what?"

She promptly put him down and began to tickle him. "Oh, you just up and spoiled my game, you little goblin, you!" They rolled around in the grass, and wrestled as if there were no tomorrow.

***

Sarah sat in the castle gardens, somewhere between Sage and a blooming rose- bush. It was midday, and the breeze was cool and refreshing. Perfection.

"I wonder where Jareth went," Sarah said as she twirled a flower between her fingers.

"Do not let it trouble you, my child. He will surely find his way back into your life. He has much to learn."

"Oh, I am not troubled." She played with her hair in an air of nonchalance.

"Yes, you are." Sage got up and began to walk into the castle.

"I don't think about it too much."

"Yes, you do," he said as he disappeared behind the hedges. "And, I suppose you would also say that you do not love him..."

Sarah looked down at her hands and smiled knowingly. "I wouldn't say that..." she mumbled to herself. "It is a new day, my dear Sage. A new day..."

With a heavy sigh, she dropped the flower, and the wind sighed with her, taking the flower away on the spring-time breeze.

Completed: 9-12-94

1st Revision completed: 2-19-97

2nd Revision completed: 12-9-01