Her mom had always warned her to be careful what she wished for

The Elemental

By Bunniko

Fieryfaerie@yahoo.com

AN: This is my first published Labyrinth fic. It is dark and is pre-"Labyrinth." As such, it features a lot of dark undertones. I have also taken liberty with a great deal of things, such as history in general and in specific and with magic. I am not Wiccan, nor pagan, so I hope that my representation of magic offends no one. I do not mean to endorse any religion nor denigrate one either. I don't own the Labyrinth either. This fic was inspired while watching a show about Ireland's ghosts of the Travel Channel. I don't know its name, nor do I own it. Kiori does belong to me, so please ask if you want to use her. If you want to know her background, email me and maybe I'll write her story. By the way, it's pronounced "key-or-ee" ;

Chapter One – Helen's Mistake

Her mom had always warned her to be careful what she wished for. But Helen wasn't known for respecting her mother's instructions. While watching her little brother, a wretched little brat, she had made a wish. The words had popped into her mind, from where she didn't know. "Oh, I wish the goblins would take you away!" In the next instant, darkness claimed the house and an imposing man stood before her.

"Who are you?" she demanded. "And where is Peter?"

The man merely smiled a cruel smile and waved his hand. Before her stunned eyes, Helen found herself standing on a barren plain, looking up at dark, imposing walls. "Thirteen hours. Or your baby brother stays here." The words floated on the wind, hauntingly beautiful in intonation, chillingly cold in her mind, and completely without a visible speaker. Helen was alone. She spun about, searching futilely for the man, for the voice had been male, but found no one.

"Thirteen hours?" she murmured, confused. "To do what?" Her green eyes searched the walls, the plain, even the sky. "What is it I am supposed to do?"

"You're supposed to solve the Labyrinth, twit."

Helen whirled in search of the mocking, sardonic voice. It had been female, crude pronunciation aside. She found herself looking down at a wrinkly, stinky, dirty girl. Smudged and torn wings glittered only dully in the reddish sunlight. Grime-streaked auburn hair was close cropped about her face. The face would have been pretty, if it had been clean and if not for a scar that ran from the corner of her mouth to just under her left eye in a jagged trail. Rags clung to her thin, filthy body in the semblance of clothes. The only clean part of her was a shiny leather band about her right thigh and the attached sheath. From the sheath's size, and the dully-glinting metal handle protruding, Helen guessed a lethal, finely honed dagger. Helen stared at her in utter shock and surprise. "Where did you come from?'

"You're not gonna get anywhere if you're hung up on questions like that!" she snorted.

"O-okay." Helen looked into the mocking orange eyes. "So, who are you?"

The creature stared up at her through her straggly hair as the fringe hung over her eyes. "The name's Kiori. I'm a fairy." She stated her species as if it should be perfectly obvious.

"Hi, Kiori. I'm Helen. Can you tell me what I'm supposed to do? I mean, besides solving the Labyrinth. How do I do that?"

Kiori sighed in exasperation. "You get in here." She gestured in a rather bored way, causing a gap to appear. Then she ran a critical gaze over the girl before her. "You'll be in lots of trouble." Helen opened her mouth to rebut the girl's comments, but she had already vanished.

"Great! Just great. This is all Peter's fault." Grumbling, the confused and bitter blonde entered the gap and began to stalk through the narrow corridor opening on either side of her. She chose left and stalked off, muttering darkly about mothers who dumped their brats on the older siblings and freaky men who snatched said brats and then made the older kids do stupid tasks to retrieve the horrid brats. She blindly stomped on, tripping over a dead branch. She sat blankly for a moment, staring at the branch, trying to figure out where the branch had come from. There were no trees or bushes, only some weird eyeball lichen and more walls. She got up and kicked a wall in frustration, but it wasn't solid. Instead, she fell through. She found herself in a dark area. Unable to see, she reached out with her hands. She found smooth stones, joined together almost seamlessly. Running her hands along the walls to keep her balance, she searched for the exit slowly, creeping along the wall. She made a complete circuit, she thought. Sighing, she decided to just try crossing the room.

Two seconds later, she was plummeting towards an inky black space that she instinctively knew was gonna hurt. She slammed full force into the ground. Darkness swallowed her; the dull pain forced to wait as her mind shut down.

When Helen awoke, every part of her body screamed in pain. A tiny window high above her head allowed illumination to filter in. She took the time to scan her surroundings. Apparently, Helen held some luck, because next to her a rusty, savage, serrated spike jutted from the hard-packed dirt floor. She gulped hard, noting several more placed in random areas. Most of the spikes held the remains of an animal or unfortunate creature. Curled up in a ball alongside the closest wall to her were the remains of what she suspected to be a catlike creature. Dried blood stained the walls and several of the spikes. Shivering in fear, Helen dragged herself back against the least grime and gore-covered wall. Drawing her knees up to her chest, she wrapped one arm around them and sobbed against her bare skin. Her right arm was immobile.