In Glass Crystals
Copyright Notice: I own nothing. Nope. Nada.
This Troy, she will not fall again.../This Troy, she will not fall..."
The Cruxshadows, "Citadel"
It was a dark and stormy night in the Aboveground.
In his heart, it was a dark and stormy night. Tumultuous storms had raged since she left; since she humiliated and humbled him. He had offered her the world on a silver platter, and all the palpable, material luxuries a girl could want. He knew she desired his castle, his position, the title of queen. She had dreamed of elaborate balls and fine silk gowns, the flowing champagne sparkled as it emptied itself of long-necked bottles. She wanted beauty in all it's manifestations, from glittering Oriental tapestries to long, flowing green and blue gowns of damask and silk. She yearned for the bright silver chandeliers of her dreams, the vast ballrooms of gaily-dressed dancers laughing as their goblets clanked in celebration. She wanted a crown atop her dark tresses, her lipstick and rouge elegantly decorating her doll-like features, and the body of a woman. Sarah wanted to escape the only life she knew, the demanding world of babysitting and school, homework and curfews, car smog and suburbian life. And he was willing to take it all away for her, and yet she rejected him.
The string was still there, even weeks later. It tortured him when he watched her as she brushed her long, dark hair, and the look she gave when she gloated over her victory. He watched as she continued to verbally abuse the innocent toddler Toby, and how she continued to wail like a spoiled little child when she was asked to babysit the boy, even for a few hours, at most. He watched in growing anger as she tore down the walls of her room, replacing stuffed teddy bears with CDs and diet coke with alcohol. Soon, gone were the elaborate costumes she once donned, they were replaced by mini-skirts and leather, healed boots. She cut her hair, and wore make-up and (worst of all, to Jareth), began seeing boys. These were not the shining knights in armor of her daydreams, but budding frat boys with their vivid, gas-guzzling sports cars and bent-ripped baseball hats. Jareth, watching through one of his many crystals, gritted his teeth as he watched them approach his beloved, changed Sarah and try her as any common whore. And she responded, both physically and verbally, pressing her curvaceous, womanly body against their's as she tried, and successfully, changed her image. She grew from a spunky girl into a promiscuous wanton, and the change was inbearable- at least to Jareth.
Weeks turned into months and her innocence seemed to melt away, revealing a hardened girl still stuck in the body of a teenager. Jareth was enraged as she first had sex, neglecting to use any sort of birth protection and being under the influence of alcohol. He had stormed around his castle for days, overturning towering marble statues in her likeness and throttling any unfortunate goblin that happened to be in his path. His advisors pleaded with him to rest, to stifle his anger, but when he had one beheaded for "antagonism," the rest quickly learned to bear their ruler's wraith, and scuddled away. Jareth occupied his time between his glass globes and whores, trying to numb the grief that his young victor had drilled in his glass heart. He refused to eat, and drank widely and slept fitfully. Tasks designed to him as goblin king went unfulfilled, and his castle became a citadel of chaos from his young charges, the goblins. He ignored the rest of the Aboveground, although he could skill hear the pleas of a Calling and flatly refused to take away any more children.
He would sit on his throne with one of his single glass orbs in hand, watching the spoiled teenager for hours, without taking nourishment or bathing. This continued for years in the Underground, for time passes much differently there than the Aboveground. He built a shrine in her honor when he did not have the liberty of time to watch her for hours: he sculpted towering statues in her likeness, took an artistic hand to paint various portraits of the once fifteen-year-old beauty. Anything she left within the labyrinth, he commanded returned to him at once: he idolized the old lipstick tube she used as a marker, and a stitch of clothing ripped and clung to a tree branch had their respective places on a glass pedestal. Mirrors lined the wall on every side, reflecting the perfect scene that he wanted: a youthful Goblin King laughing at the antics of his dark-haired queen as she gracefully flitted about the room. It was almost eerie to see this silent nickelodeon of his fantasy playing without an end, revealing everything from her coronation and their wedding to the birth of their first child, his heir. Jareth's subjects strayed far away from the room, in both fear and awe.
And he watched her both day and night as she developed into a woman he did not know. His museum spread as he decorated it in glass orbs suspended from the ceiling, each illustrated with a still-frame picture from the hallucination in the ballroom.
This remained for many, many years, until one night his passion and frustration surfaced into the Aboveground.
"Karen!" Sarah shouted down the stair as she fumbled with several cardboard boxes, "When did Daddy say he would get home at?"
"Late tonight," she frazzled woman responded as she picked up the wailing Toby. "Please say you'll stay for dinner? I'll even order anything you like." She smiled hopefully and waited for her stepdaughter's response.
But the response was as always: no. Sarah had an audition tonight, and then an appointment with her agent. Or she had to get together with friends, or had a party to attend. While her stepmother tried to make some semblance of peace with her stepdaughter, Sarah refused to burn any bridges she had against the woman that had walked into her parents' marriage. She walked into her room and laughed at all the things she had abandoned since the summer after her graduation.
Her four-poster bed was still there, magazines still piled on her desk. Her closet still held some clothes she had long since left, and the familiar squeaky floorboard still shrilled as she stepped on it. Grimy outlines where fantasy posters had been were still there, although the stuffed toys and memorabilia were not. Deep beneath the bed was the last place Sarah needed to loot, for there had been the final resting place of her high school play manuscripts and literature books. Although she had decided not to go onto college, she still tried to snag small acting parts, hoping for a big break. So far she supported herself in a tiny apartment with a bartender's job, working odd hours and picking up even stranger men.
Sarah knelt at the side of the bed and frustratingly pulled aside the white,frilly curtains that hid the floor from her view. Reaching under the bed, she pulled out a long, plastic box haphazardly packed with strewn scripts. Sarah leafed through them, their pages crackling and snapping as she piled them into her cardboard box.
"Sarah, sweetheart, why don't you come over this weekend, then? You know your father and I miss you." Karen bit her lip as she paused at the doorway, hoping that her stepdaughter would understand her politeness and take her up on the offer. She tried not to be molded into the Wicked Stepmother role even though she knew Sarah's imagination had long gone, and tried to build a relationship with Robert's oldest.
"No thanks, Karen. I have work." Sarah didn't even lift her head as she emptedthe contents of her old literature tub and loaded it in the cardboard box. Karen sighed and leaned against the doorframe.
"Alright, then. Call when you have the chance, okay? Toby used to love the stories you told him. It's been such a long time since you were our little girl."
Sarah snorted ("Our?") and Karen stood upright, an indignant look escaping from the mutual mask she wore. "Well, when you feel up to it, then."
"Right." Sarah said as she investigated some scripts in particular. She heard Karen's footsteps die away down the hallway into Toby's room, as the toddler jumped up and down on his crib for attention.
Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah's gaze caught a small, red book. The title still as vibrantly gold as she remembered it, she fingered the novel and held it up to the light.
"The Labyrinth," She whispered, in awe.
Thousands of miles away, Jareth dropped his crystal he was watching in with astonishment. At last, she had recognized the old chapter of her life. Perhaps, if only perhaps she called...
Sarah laughed. "Oh, when I was a frivolous girl..." She grabbed the waste basket and threw the little book in, and continued to rummage through old paperwork.
Within seconds, Jareth stood behind her. He grabbed her hair and forced her head backwards, and she gasped to see him there. "Kar-" she cried as he clutched her body against his tightly and disappeared.
Karen's heels rapidly click-clicked into the room, one of Toby's many stuffed animals clasped in one hand. "You know, Sarah, I try not to be your enemy in your father's affections, and I know you need-" her voice cut off as she surveyed the scene. Papers were scattered everywhere; clumps of Sarah's long black hair were on the carpet.
"Sarah?" She called down the stairwell. There was no answer. She checked back in Toby's room, to find only her son snoring loudly and the room as peaceful as she left it. Sarah was not in the kitchen, or in the living room. Her car keys were still at the front door, her car still by the curb, as the street flooded in water.
She had a lot to explain to Robert when he came home later.
Jareth smiled at his final touch to his museum. She was, by far, the best statue in the room. Her innocence had long since gone, but it seemed as if she was the dreaming teen she once had been, despite the many years that had passed since then. Sarah's short skirt and tight blouse had been replaced by the beautiful gown that she had worn years before in the ballroom, the lace ruffles and all. She wore a mask of pretty naivete, her hair still strung with lace pearls.
Her body was in one of his many crystals, sitting on a throne specifically built for her, many years before. The large glass orb was suspended in the middle of the room, the rest of the objects pushed back against the mirrors. How beautiful she was, this portrait of innocence, forever immobilized in glass. The Goblin King smiled, and finding the last touch of his hobby in place and complete, walked out with a tired smile.
A/N: My very first Labyrinth fanfiction. I'd love to hear what you think about it, so be sure to review! Thanks!
-Tea and Cakes