First fanfic published in so many years! All my old stories are gone because they were over ten years old and terrible, lol.
There was this one picture that was on reddit this morning that I saw, and I couldn't stop thinking about how magical it looked. Naturally, my mind went to Labyrinth. The picture is, I think of either dew or frost with rainbows on them from the sun. I want to link it but don't think I can, but the photographer is Tiina Törmänen ab on instagram if you guys are interested. It's also on r/earthporn.
Anyways! I don't own the rights to Labyrinth, but I enjoy writing with the characters. Hope you guys enjoy, and thank you for reading!
Snow crunched under her as warm rays of orange and purple and yellows danced around her feet. Long fingertips touched the top of tall grass, sun-kissed with rainbow crystalline beads of frost. A large wool scarf wrapped 'round her neck, protecting her from the harsh winter air as she surveyed the massive field with a sunrise on its back. She hummed softly under her breath, watching as white swirls danced before her face with every exhale. Her red nose was nearly numb, but it was worth it. Worth the wait.
"Rumor has it that something magical happens at that very spot," a villager had said the night before. Sarah was overseas for school and was visiting a town for a few nights. On her last one in a small pub, she got to know some of the locals, one of who had warmed up to her nearly right away. He reminded her of a grandfather with his long beard of white and nearly faded hair covered by a red wool hat. It stayed on no matter how warm the building grew.
"Magical how?" she had asked, going along with his lopsided grin of missing teeth. He tapped his drink, its content gone merely minutes ago.
"You go to this field," he said in a gravely and thick accent, "and you just stand there. At sunrise, no less."
"And then what?" She brushed hair away from her face and leaned on her hand, watching as he recounted the instructions in his mind.
"You think of a moment very near and dear to you. You hold it in your heart, and you wait to see what happens. It must be a happy one, know that. I've heard tales of some visiting there and," he stopped a moment to cough before continuing, "and coming back bearing good news like they've come upon a fortune or met a person. Maybe a person." He rubbed his beard and made a non-committal grunt. "Probably a person. A wish-granter something or other. But you go there, dear. You may find what you're looking for."
"And what would I be looking for, sir?" Her deep green eyes twinkled as her lips turned upward.
"Your dreams, miss," he answered. Without waiting for response, he bumped the bottom of his glass on the table and then peered into it. Feigning surprise, he excused himself to go grab another drink. Sarah was left at the empty table by the window, which did very little to keep the cold out but offered a nice reprieve from the oven she sat in.
She blinked and rubbed her face. A small band played in the background, and the building became almost immediately stifling for her. With no one holding her attention, Sarah finished her own drink of whiskey and left after paying.
The night air did her some good on her way back to the inn.
But she didn't notice the snow falling behind her back as she walked.
The humming continued as Sarah hugged herself. She knew she did well in bringing her wool clothing for this outing, but she wondered how much longer she had to stay.
And what, exactly, was she waiting for?
After another minute, she began bouncing on the heels of her feet to try to get blood moving through her body.
After another, she rolled her eyes and turned to leave, unconsciously damning the man and his regaling tales. It was just as well, though; she had always been a sucker for unlikely stories and events.
"You're here," a voice spoke behind her, making her pause.
A shiver ran through her as she could recall that exact voice. Suddenly, the old man's labeling of the event made sense. Wish-granter.
"Goblin King," she whispered, not daring to look back. His shadow overtook hers as he approached. She could almost feel him.
"Sarah," he replied, her name rolling off his tongue easily. In the shadow, she could see the outline of his hand go near her hair and pause mid-touch. She was disappointed when he lowered it. "What brings you here?"
"An old man's ramblings," Sarah answered almost dejectedly. She pulled her jacket closer, wishing to curl up and leave.
"Well done," he said, amusement sinking into his voice. "Ten years, and we finally meet again. With another story, no less. What were you hoping for this time? I cannot take Toby; I've retired that game long ago."
Sarah exhaled sharply and spun to rebuke him, but she stopped as the rising sun made it nearly impossible to look him in the eyes. She held her hand up to her eyes.
"I don't know what I was hoping for, but I don't think I was hoping for you."
She could barely see that he raised an eyebrow, but she could see him cross his arms.
"I only come here on the happy memories of humans looking for something. Do you know what drew me here this morning?" She shook her head. "A particular tune that only two people would know, and both are currently present. Tell me, Sarah, what was that music?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Sarah said with a frown and crossed her own arms.
He moved quickly, stepping to her side and lifting her chin with a gloved hand. She could then see him properly with his blonde hair and beguiling Fae eyes. His outfit was as extravagant as ever, bearing a striking resemblance to what he wore when they first met. "There's such a sad love deep in your eyes, Sarah. The jewels, however, are no longer pale. They are quite striking."
Her face warmed, and she ducked away from his grip.
He continued, "A happy memory. I believe yours is a dance we shared. Shall we?"
Before she could react, he reached for her again and pulled her flush against him. Where she was cold was now very, very warm.
A wind blew through the field behind them as the Goblin King set a dance, and the frosted grass danced in sync with the same haunting melody that arose in the air.
Sarah felt, rather than saw, the magic that enveloped her body. The warmth spread through her, taking away her winter clothes and replacing them with a simple dress of shimmering fabric that trailed behind her. No longer did she wear the poofy white dress meant for dress-up from the eighties but a mature, slimmer dress fit for a…
"A queen," the Goblin King bemused as she transformed before his eyes. Even her pinned hair flourished with familiar silver tendrils.
"What are you doing?" Sarah breathed, her eyes wide with wonder at him. She flexed her now-bare hands on his arms in amazement she that no longer felt the cold.
"I'm giving you what you hoped for." Snow flew around them as they danced. At the end of the song the Goblin King stopped, but he showed no sign of letting go of the girl in his arms.
"Every person who comes to this particular spot has hope in their heart for some kind of fulfillment. I would be remiss if I said I was not one of those people, Sarah."
"What do you hope for, Goblin King?"
"Acceptance. Something I wasn't granted all those years ago."
She curled her fingers in the fabric on his shoulders, looking away sheepishly. "You asked for something impossible of me. I couldn't—"
"You could have," he broke in. "You won long before that moment, you know. You were just too stubborn to see it."
"That does sound like me," she admitted with a tiny grin.
"I would also hope for you to call me by my name instead of just Goblin King."
"I can do that." Sarah looked back at him, not shocked to see his expectant expression. "Jareth."
Sarah would step closer to him if it were possible. "Anything else?"
"I would hope that you would finally come with me."
"Why, to the castle beyond the Goblin City, Sarah. Where else?"
"You could have been asking me to the United States for all I know." A little bit of tongue stuck out between her tongue as she smiled up at him.
"Gods, no. Nothing against them, but I do prefer my controlled chaos over their uncontrolled one."
"That's completely fair."
"Sarah," Jareth said with a tug at her waist. "Would you answer me?"
"Okay," she said simply.
"Okay?" He blinked at her.
"But I expect to be able to come back. Maybe 6 months there, 6 months here. A Hades and Persephone kind of deal."
Jareth pinned her with a deadpan look. "I'm not a lord of the—oh."
"Underground, underworld. Same thing, really. And then there's the goblins—oh!"
He stopped her, shocking her by kissing her rather roughly. She nearly rolled her eyes but returned the kiss with fervor, wrapping her arms around his neck.
She missed the heated look in his eyes as he picked her up and carried her into the field. Anyone watching would have seen them vanish into glimmering air.