The Elemental

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 Five – Thirteen Hours Come and Gone

Helen blinked quickly, slow to realize that she hadn't fainted. No, that wasn't the reason the only color she could see was black. The reason was because a very tall figure draped in black's back was in her face. She swallowed hard, thinking distractedly that her rescuer had come.

The black-cloaked form turned around, backing up as it did so. As her eyes wandered up, her heart sank. This wasn't her rescuer. It was him . . . the one who had brought her here. "Where's Peter?" she asked dumbly.

He grinned slowly, displaying his vicious teeth. "Peter? Oh, he's scampering about somewhere with his new friends. Time's up."

"What do you mean time's up? I lost?" Kiori grinned at the girl's stupid and increasingly incoherent ramblings. Humans went mad so much faster than faeries did. It was usually messier when they went nuts too.

Helen flung herself away from Jareth, ignoring the broken arm. She began to tell him exactly what she thought of him, intending to scream out every foul word her mother's boyfriend had ever flung at her. Instead, she tripped over the elemental that had been waiting none too patiently. A short scream left her throat as she fell backwards. The scream died quickly however, killed by the same rusty metal spike that killed her. Luck was with her again as it pierced her heart, killing her swiftly. In less than a second the elemental was all over her, sucking up the blood, ravenously devouring the flesh.

Jareth and Kiori stared at the carnage. Kiori watched in relief, knowing that the thing would be sated for a while longer. Jareth watched with detachment. He couldn't have prevented the child's death; it had come too quick. Nor did he reorder time for anyone, not even to save a life. "Such a pity." he murmured emptily. Then, repulsed by the elemental's complete depravity, he looked around him.

Pale blond eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Kiori," he began, "what are you doing in here?"

Kiori raised her crazed orange eyes to his. "My job."

Jareth mused on this for a moment. "Kiori, come with me." He stretched out one gloved hand. Kiori studied it for a moment, then decided she couldn't suffer worse that the fate already awaiting her. She slid her small hand into his larger one. "I've got a new job for you, Kiori." She studied him curiously, then looked around. They were now standing near an outlying village where the were-beasts had set up camp. Jareth opened his mouth to tell her what he wanted her to do, then stiffened. Kiori know that look on his face, it meant he had just been summoned. But there was something more, an excitement in his eyes that had never been there before.

"Jareth?"

"It's her." His voice was a tiny whisper, floating out to her on a hint of the wind. Then he faded out, pulled to the Aboveworld.

"Her who?" Kiori wondered aloud. Then, sighing, she decided to find herself a nice tree to sleep in. Were-creatures weren't known for being particularly friendly. Not to mention that she hadn't slept well since she fell into the oubliette and projecting her image to that last child had been quite draining. She curled up in the hollow of a tree, completely oblivious to the reaction of Underground the moment Jareth returned with his latest challenger.

AN 2: Okay, I've never written something quite like this before, so I hope it was worth the read. Please review. Feel free to email me at fieryfaerie@yahoo.com with any personal comments, flames, criticisms or anything else. Thanks for reading! ~B

AN 3: For those of you that haven't seen The Labyrinth in awhile (or ever), this story is a prequel to the movie and ends right before Jareth's arrival in the movie. This tale is complete, keep an eye out for The Prophecy, which will be the third part of this series. The movie counts as part two.