Disclaimer: I don't own any of this.

Chapter 1
About Mothers, Boyfriends and Friends

It was a bright fall morning when she suddenly woke up her eyes wide open, gasping for air. She had had a dreadful dream, a real nightmare of nightmares. And it had felt so real…Sarah thought letting her heartbeat to flatten, taking her time to adjust herself at present time, realizing she was in her room. She relaxed as the bright sunlight overcame the monstrous forms her subconscious had formed in her sleep.

She didn't know should she be a bit worried because of her lack of restful sleep or the returning images about certain unruly-haired monster and his subjects? The dreams had become more dreadful, more vivid after the summer, after the death of her mother. Sarah pursed her lips tightly together, not wanting to dwell on the memory. She remembered seeing similar kind of dreams right after her adventure. After her encounter…the incident. Yes, just an unfortunate incident! A plain dream. She definitely didn't want to have anything more to do with the labyrinth-world and its arrogant ruler! Too bad her dreams didn't seem to share her point of view.

But after her odd dream about a magical underground world, Sarah's relationship with her biological mother had grown weak. Maybe it was due to Linda's acting career, which took her all around the world? Maybe it was because of Sarah growing interest toward her school and her new family…? She couldn't tell. But whatever was the reason, the time of their contacts had widened and hasty the phone calls became more a duty than a pleasure.

Sarah couldn't tell had she been sorry or relieved. One by one her relationship with Karen and her father had grown stronger and she'd been able to stop dwelling on the separation of Linda and Robert Williams. And now, at the age of 23, Sarah was able to see through her prejudices and subjective point of view. Linda had never really been a mother. Her career had always been on the first priority, the family second. Of course, Sarah acknowledged this as she stared the opposite wall; Linda had loved her daughter as well as her ex-husband. But with a bit eccentric way. She was an artist, and artists had a tendency to be more or less egoists…

A quick glance at her alarm clock on the night table told it was already quarter past 11 o'clock.

"Drat!" Sarah spat in annoyance and jumped on her feet. She was going to be late from her lecture! Forgetting her nightmare with a pair of mismatched eyes Sarah jumped on her feet and rushed to shower.


The corridors were silent. Lectures had started a good time ago, and she was late. Dim electronic light gleamed on the blue-grayish plastic floor and the wooden corridor chairs. Though the sky outside was clear blue, the dirty windows didn't let any light to pass inside. Sarah hastily proceeded toward the lecture room and opened the door. The lecturer stopped and looked at her coldly. Her schoolmates eyed Sarah curiously as she stumbled toward the only free seat in the classroom, conveniently middle of the middle row, the red on her face equaling to the color of tomato.

Never again! Sarah declared silently when she was finally seated. This is the last time I'm going to be late!Funny though, she thought hazily through her embarrassment. I thought I would love acting, but actually I totally hate being at the center of attention… Her lips twisted slightly. Things had proved quite different from her teenage-year fantasies.

After she finally accepted the re-marriage of her father, she applied to acting group just to realize she possessed none of the acting qualities. Well, it was rather difficult to act when she forgot her words on the stage and nearly fainted from a sheer panic. And actually, she had been relieved. As a daughter of famous Linda Williams there was bound to be some expectations about her, she realized while copying the notes her professor showed on the slideshow. Especially now, after Linda's break-through and sudden death…After people heard Sarah's name, they took another look on her and asked, slightly enthusiastic: "Say…You don't happen to be any relation to that Linda Williams…?

No, Sarah definitely didn't want to bear a burden of her famous mother, which would have been inevitable had she started an acting career.

She woke from her daze realizing there was a fierce discussion going on the classroom.

"…mentioned that post-Marxist movement during the 60's contained also Kaytskyists as well as Maoism, and it was also aimed against communism!" A boy next to Sarah was talking; apparently criticizing something related their topic.

"Also? Might I note basically it was aimed against the West?" A shout came behind her, and Sarah let her thoughts to drift again.

It could have been funny, she considered. She, the dreamer, as her high-school friends sometimes called her, found herself studying political science and contemporary history. It is actually funny. Sarah decided not paying any attention on the hot-tempered classroom conversation.

Still, sometimes, she dreamed of those fantasy worlds she created in her younger age, but came to realize the real world also provided very interesting aspects on life. And best of all, the stories history hold were sometimes even more unbelievable than her daydreams. In real life you didn't need fairies to bite you. Sarah smiled sadly at the thought. Sometimes people were just as good…

Finally the lecture ended. Sarah yawned and started to pack her notes. She needed to look for a computer terminal and re-write her assignment. She grimaced. Her base-material was bit rough but she was getting tired of studying and now she only wanted to get rid of the work. Soon the exam-period would start, and after the exams her Christmas break.

She perked up her neck "Sarah!" Someone was shouting. Sarah turned and saw a familiar figure of a girl of her age. Heidi was waiting Sarah at the end of the row.

"Ciao!" Sarah waved her back. "Wait a sec, I'm coming!" She stuffed hastily the rest of her things inside the back bag and hurried to meet Heidi.

"I thought you wouldn't come at all when I didn't see you in the morning." Heidi smiled, unaware of the gazes she received from couple of Sarah class-mates. "And then I couldn't reach you through the mobile…"

"I over-slept." Sarah simply explained. "And don't you remember? I broke my cell yesterday." She sighed. " I need to buy a new one."

"Oh", Heidi fell into silence. She knew Sarah was referring to the money she had inherited. They hadn't talk about the subject. It felt just too awkward. Suddenly Sarah had become quite rich, not that she'd really enjoyed or bragged about it, but still…it was an odd situation. So, they pretended everything was as it had been always, though they both knew it wasn't the case.

"Well…err…You're coming to lunch?"

Sarah shook her head. "Sorry, forgot my revolution-assignment…I need to return it tomorrow and I'm so lagging behind the schedule…"

"Oh", Heidi clasped her mouth shut. They walked out of the building. "Me and Carol talked going to see a movie later tonight? Care to join us?"

"I'd like to…" Sarah sighed. "It's just that I…well…I really think I need some time alone to finish my things." It was an excuse, and they both knew it.

Heidi stopped and looked at Sarah. "Aren't you over-exaggerating things a bit?" She asked weary. "You don't need to bury yourself under responsibilities."

"I'm not burying myself!" Sarah defended herself, but didn't look at Heidi.

"Oh, really? Then please enlighten me and tell me what you're doing?"

"I just need to take some distance." Sarah mumbled. "Besides, I need to pass the courses so I can start my thesis…"

"Sarah," Heidi's tone was grave. "You're pushing us out of your life. Please don't do it. I understand you've been hurt, but you don't have to pretend there's no reason to enjoy life…"

"I don't want to talk about it!" Sarah snapped, a bit too angrily. "Just leave it Heidi."

"Sarah. You're my dear friend. I just want to help you…" Heidi begged.

"I'm doing perfectly alright!"

"Sarah. How can you say so? You've become so angry…" Heidi shook her head. "You're like totally another person, and I'm worried about you. I understand you, but please. A couple…unfortunate events and your…"

"Unfortunate?" Sarah interrupted. "You say unfortunate? Tell me how would you feel if your mother would die right after your boyfriend dumps you – without an explanation?"

"Sarah…" Heidi begged Sarah to calm down, apparently in vain.

"It's easy for you to preach, but remember who wailed after Caspar….what? Two years if I remember correctly."

"That was nasty Sarah!" Heidi snapped. "It's a bit different. We were engaged, whereas you and Mathias had only a short long-distance relationship! And I wasn't saying I don't understand. What I meant is…You need to continue living!"

"So now my feelings count nothing, for it was "only a long-distance relationship", uh?"

"You know I didn't mean it!" Heidi begged her to calm down. "I only hope to see you well…"

"I'm doing just fine!" Sarah was aware her sight was getting somehow fainted, but in her anger she barely paid any attention on the thought. The schoolyard was behind them, and they were walking at the park. She had spent many wonderful summer days here with her friends and…Mathias. The thought made her even angrier, and suddenly Sarah found she was shouting. "But no thanks to you! I sometimes wish…" She stopped in mid-sentence.

Not those words!

A nauseous feeling was arising inside her. It was emerging from her stomach, making her feel curiously dizzy. "Just get away!" She cried, tears on her face and tried to run pass Heidi, but her legs weren't carrying her anymore. She stumbled and nearly collapsed to the ground, suddenly very pale.

"Sarah!" Heidi's shout reached her mind, but it sounded like coming through a fog. She felt a sour taste in her mouth and her abdomen twitched. She bent over, feeling sick and week. Her head was pounding. A small moan escaped her lips; she thought she was going to die. And then her legs betrayed beneath her and Sarah fell on the ground. She threw up. Sarah felt Heidi kneeling next to her, trying to help, and vaguely thought she was discerning a smell of a smoke nearby. Yet she forgot it almost instantly as she vomited once more.

"FIRE!" Was the next thing, Sarah remembered she heard. Someone is shouting something about fire... It was Heidi. Heidi was trying to help her up. "Sarah! Get up! We must get out of here…The trees, they're on fire!"

But Sarah couldn't move. She was shaking uncontrollable and her teeth were clattering. Her legs just wouldn't move, and then the nausea got over; she bent over once more.

"Please help me! My friend, she's sick!" Heidi's words sounded just a slur. Sarah was feeling so ill, so hurt. She just wanted to…wanted to… Sarah blinked her eyes. Tried to say something. But she couldn't talk, and she was feeling so bad. She heard sirens and people shouting, and Heidi was crying. Sarah blinked her eyes again, and then…and then she fainted.

A/N: July 2007
I surprised myself. I returned writing What Lies Behing. (Which is rather peculiar, since I truly thought I was long time over and done with it. Hmph, shows just how much I know...) Anyway, I'm going through the chapters and fixing them along. After that I suspect I'll be writing more. No promises, just a possibility.

To those, who don't know yet: I don't speak English as my native tongue, and the first chapters of the story have some errors. Please, don't judge them too hard. Last chapters should be better, for they are proof-read.

And as always. Constructive criticism is always welcome!