A Labyrinth Story
Give me the child. Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me.
The words had shattered the walls of his castle, of the crystal he held so gently out to her. It shattered his veil between the worlds, and he took the owl form before her eyes. Quickly he fluttered out the window in a fury of feathers beating wildly, to freedom. He stayed longer then he should have unseen in the branch of a tree outside her window. Watching as she said her goodbyes to her comrades, and listened to her promise to call them. His heart felt as icy as the moonlight. Why would she not open her heart and call him? Had it not be he who'd given her a chance to live her dreams and secret thoughts?
As the white owl took to wing, the dark soul of the Goblin King began to make a plan, a plan for retribution.
A demand for Justice
Jareth sat quietly for an hour looking at the destruction Sarah had caused. His castle, his wonderful castle was hanging in mid air, totally disconnected from the rest of his realm. His beautiful, yet mismatched eyes stared with anguish. His long lean gloved fingers held his chin as he just sat there, contemplating his next move. He spotted movement, and turned to see who among his subjects dared disturb him in his anguish.
Pellanor leaned on his staff, his long wizards robes flowed in the light breeze. "What have we here?" he asked in a taunting tone.
Jareth snapped, "What does it look like?"
Pellanor snickered, "It looks to me as if someone has bested you at long last Laddie."
Jareth detested that, being called Laddie. However, Pellanor was several hundred years his senior. "I didn't like that castle anyway I wanted a new one. This just saves me the time of having to tare the old one down." With a flick of his lace covered wrist the rubble was replaced by a dark and foreboding castle, complete with moat of fire and dangerous looking draw bridge. The entrance now resembled an evil mouth awaiting something to be eaten."There, that's more like it." He sighed. The new dark castle reflected his present mood.
Pellanor nodded his approval, not that the Goblin King needed it. "It's an improvement on the last one, much more in keeping with your title." He took a seat on the rock wall that the younger man was seated on. "Now, you didn't call me here just to watch you create a new castle did you?"
Mismatched eyes blazed with fury. "No, I did not." The Goblin King agreed as he stood up. "I want you to call a Quorum for a Tribunal Court, I have a grievance."
Pellanor regarded his fellow magic user. "Laddie, what good does Tribunal do you?" His dark gray eyes turned darker. "You've been bested, fair is fair."
The tall proud man in regale garments could not be dissuaded. "I know my rights as well as any other does. I want a Tribunal Court." He gave an arrogant smirk to the other.
The older wizard shook his head, "How soon would you like it?" Seeing he could not alter the younger Fae's mind, he sighed heavily.
The Goblin King looked at his new castle, "Tomorrow will do." Long shiny black knee boots strode in the direction of the new castle. "Well, you are the Provo Marshall…See to it!" He waved the other off as if Pellanor were only another subordinate and not a great Wizard in his own right.
Pellanor waited till the man was out of ear shot. "Young impetuous fool." He tapped his wizard's staff three times and disappeared in a swirl of mist. When the mist dissipated, he was safe in the halls of the one time Mountain King, where he resided. Pulling on the chamber cord he walked to his favorite chair as his scribe entered. "Angus, I've need of your skills. I need to send a summons. There is to be a Quorum for a Tribunal Court tomorrow."
The scribe, a mousey little man with a long pointed nose and spectacles rushed to his scribe desk and took his quill in hand. "Ready, Master Pellanor."
Pellanor took time thinking on his wording; after all, it had to be worded delicately.
"Pellanor, Wizard at Large
Provo Marshall for the Council
At the request of King Jareth, Lord of the Goblin Realm
Of The Underground
Calls forth a Quorum for a Court Tribunal
To voice a grievance."
Pellanor looked at Angus. "Let us have the roster, Angus, I will have to pick and choose the Quorum by hand…He's offended so many of his peers he would not other wise receive a fair hearing. Ah yes, send one to Lady Morganna in the Greenwood. One to Myrddin Emrys, you should find him somewhere in Whales… he's fond of the lands there. One to Lady Vivanne, you'll likely find her in that lake she's so fond of. Send one to Elrond in the Elvin kingdom… oh and one to the Faire Queen Aeval, she's still of a fair mind."
Angus looked at his master through a mop of graying hair that never seemed to stay in place. "What about the Woodland King?"
Pellanor nodded, "Of course, no Quorum is valid with out his consent. So definitely he needs to be here. Now, how many does that give us?"
"Seven counting your self, master." The scribe was quickly setting quill to scroll.
Old Pellanor nodded again. "Damn, I need two more…Any suggestions Angus?"
The little scribe looked up thoughtfully over his glasses. Though he himself didn't care for King Jareth, he knew this needed to be a fair Quorum. "Well, I hear that King Lionel of the Beast Kingdom is in residences at this time." His master nodded and he scratched down the name.
Pellanor scratched his aching head, "Send for Sandor the Sandman Clan Leader, I've a feeling he'll want to weigh in on this one. Invite one and all to convene in the Tribunal chambers at the appointed hour." He muttered to him self, "That young fool will most likely want to make a grand entrance."
The Tribunal Chambers were the perfect setting to air one's differences with one's peers. It was also the only safe place a Fae could voice a grievance against any other race. For a full trial, there had to be at least thirteen judges, but for a Quorum to air the grievance there need be only nine. There were thirteen throne-like seats set up in a circle. The Woodland King's seat, being the power seat was more ornate. A great spiral was inset on the floor in the center of the circle. It was here that one would stand to air grievances or be tried. From the long gray walls of aged stone hung tapestries and flowing curtains. Torches held in heavy copper brackets lit the corners of the chambers, making shadows dance on the walls.
The first to arrive was Oberon, the Woodland King. He was aggravated, having been dragged away from a lovely English day. He was handed a scroll and took his seat at the center of the Quorum circle. The second to arrive was the Lady Vivanne, dripping water as she took her seat. Lady Morganna and Lord Myrddin Emrys arrived together and took their respective seats. King Lionel arrived in full regalia followed by the Faire Queen Aeval and Elrond of the Elvin kingdom. The last to take his seat was Sandor, the currant Clan leader of the Sandmen. Pellanor greeted them and finished handing out the scrolls. He saw the Goblin King enter the hall and was somewhat amazed he had not used trickery or a grand entrance. It was the overconfident expression on Jareth's face that disturbed Pellanor most, though.
"As Provo Marshall, I convene this Quorum, My Lords and Ladies, I present Jareth, Goblin King." He bowed to the handsome Fae approaching the circle.
"My good Lords and gentle Ladies," Jareth bowed to the circle. "I bring a grievance before thee.
"As thee all know, I am the Lord who rules the land of the Labyrinth. I have done so now for a good many years, more than we need speak of. Something that is rightfully mine has been taken away from my Labyrinth, and I come to you to demand that you have my property returned to me."
Oberon pulled softly on his beard. "I'd heard you were bested. A mortal, and a female at that, has at long last completed the Labyrinth. Surely you are not asking us to have the child she rescued returned to you."
Jareth shook his head, "Oh no, the child's freedom was fairly won. Too bad, too…he was a bright little thing. No fear, and rather enjoyed being surrounded by my minions… No, I don't want Toby… That is to say, yes, I want him, but no… he's free. Fair is fair."
Lady Morganna read the scroll, "Well then, what property do you demand be returned?" Morganna was prepared to find herself once again at odds with the Goblin King. She usually was.
"Sarah Williams, the mortal girl who beat the Labyrinth." Jareth crossed his arms over his chest and awaited the fall out. He didn't have long to wait.
"What?" Lionel, the king of the beast kingdom roared.
"This is madness!" Queen Aeval and Elrond together cried out.
Oberon narrowed his eyes at the young King who didn't appear to be disturbed at all by the outcries. "What are you up to now you rogue? How is it that the victor of the Labyrinth is your property?"
Jareth handed his scroll to the Provo Marshall with a calm face; Pellanor read it, frowning. "This is your claim?"
"It is valid." Jareth sighed, as he looked up to the ceiling.
Pellanor handed the scroll to Oberon who read it with a mix of amusement and disgust. "My boy, no Fae has ever… Are you sure you are not just suffering from having your nose out of joint over being bested by a little girl?"
"No." The king standing in the center of the circle sighed. "Sarah Williams is my property and I want her returned to me. I plan on teaching her a lesson about trifling with Fae." The last sentence he said under his breath, through clenched teeth.
Oberon leaned back, "The claim is valid." All others in the circle turned to look at him with wide eyes. Oberon read the scroll in his hands over and over. "Much as I hate to admit, the claim is valid."
Lady Morganna held up one finger. "Wait, what is the age of this female?"
Jareth narrowed his gaze of mismatched eyes on her. "What matters that?"
Long red curls fell softly over Lady Morganna's shoulders. "I know thee Jareth. You would not be so eager to … what was it you just said, ah yes… Teach her a lesson if you were not interested in her. Now how old is she?"
"Fifteen…sixteen…how do I know?" He crossed his arms over his chest yet again, figuring it made him look more formidable. He knew the dark garments he'd chosen added to that formidability. "I didn't ask."
Lady Morganna stood up and turned toward Oberon, "My Lord, you can not do this. She is but a child. This is not the sixteenth century, this is no longer done."
Oberon was about to speak when Jareth interrupted. "What does age matter? What's said is said."
Vivanne looked at the man in disgust. "Jareth!"
King Lionel purred, "What path of lesson did thee wish to impart?"
Jareth knew he was now between a rock and a hard place. "The usual." He'd chosen to speak the truth before these peers. A lie could cost him, much more than his pretty maiden.
Lady Morganna placed a hand on Oberon's hand as she had now reached his throne. "This is a human on the verge of womanhood… an innocent. She's too young for us to even bring to trial. She is unknowing!"
"Sarah is no innocent!" Jareth barked back. "You've not seen into those…eyes, those cruel eyes." Just the thought of her lovely green eyes, could dissolve him into nostalgia.
"Your sister in Circle speaks words of wisdom." Oberon tapped the scroll against his chin. "What is the age of legal consent in the land this Sarah Williams dwells in?"
Pellanor looked at the crystal in the staff in his hand. "Eighteen, my lord."
"Then I suggest we validate the claim, and put the trail on hold until the mortal is eighteen. Three years hence on Samhain, we shall convene a full Tribunal on this case. At a location to be decided on when the trial is upon us."
'That's not fair.' Jareth heard his mind scream and wanted to slam his head on a wall. Now he was even thinking like her. Quickly he recovered his demeanor. "If I have no other recourse, I respectfully accept." He acquiesced quietly.
Sandor cleared his throat, "Stipulations, my Lord Oberon!" The Woodland King looked at him as did the supplicant and he continued. "Jareth is to have no contact with the creature. No invading her dreams, no entering her home uninvited…or invited until the tribunal."
"What if she passes a crystal, am I to just ignore her?"
Oberon had never seen the handsome Fae with mismatched eyes so petulant. Never had he seen the boy King so besotted. "You can watch her all you want in your crystals…But no Contact with Sarah Williams in her home."
Jareth threw his arms up, and stormed off to sulk like the child he truly was.
Oberon pulled at his beard yet again. "This mortal child must truly be something to have our young pup in such a state."
Elrond nodded, "I hear she destroyed his castle."
Pellanor nodded, "She's turned his world upside down. What he replaced the castle with is far more imposing than that last sorry pile of stone. If nothing else the mortal girl caused him to grow."
Vivanne turned to Morganna. "I don't trust Jareth. We need to post guards, Fae guards, over the girl. I still have contacts among the Raven guard, they will do nicely."
Myrddin Emrys kept his own council, and kept quiet. He watched, and listened.
Oberon followed the Goblin King to the corner where he was now sulking. "A word, boy." The older king said softly. "Out of earshot." He waved his arm, he and the Goblin King were now standing on a distant hillside, overlooking the kingdom Jareth ruled. "You think me unjust?"
"Your ruling was not the one I'd expected, Sire." Jareth sighed.
Oberon smiled softly, "No, I don't expect it was. Sit." He ordered the younger man pointing to an outcropping of rocks. "Nevertheless the ruling was just and fair, Jareth."
Mismatched eyes closed in pain. "Three years!" His voice shook as he moaned.Then he looked up at his kinsmen. "Sire, did you have to agree to the stipulations? How can I keep control on her if I'm not allowed to "invade" her home or her dreams? She is willful, and I must have her as she was when she said the words, unknowing."
Oberon took a seat, "Jareth, it is not common knowledge, but I have had …experiences… with the mortals my self. Some experiences have been of rather a …carnal nature." When the younger man raised one of his elegant brows the elder continued with a sly grin. "If you must have this creature, and it appears you feel you must, then you will have to seek control of her actions though others, and other means." He hoped the younger would take the hint. "After all, she's an innocent now. No reason she should be less when she's delivered to you. Think on the words used in the Quorum, I stipulated you could not invade her home…or her dreams… I didn't however say you could not be in public places or come if called. You want to keep her chaste; you must find a way to make her less desirable in the eyes of whoever your rivals may be."
Sadistic pleasure showed on the face of the blonde king. "Aye, I see your meaning. If I can't control her, I can control those she interacts with. Thank you my liege."
"Don't mention this conversation to anyone." He sighed "The members of the court think I'm too lenient with you as it is, my boy. However, I see so much of myself in thee, it pleases me to be indulgent with you."
"My lord." The Goblin King stood and paid his homage, then faded in a swirl of black glitter.
Oberon sighed. "Puck." The word was soft, barely spoken.
A moment later the faun knelt at his masters' feet. "You called?"
The Woodland King nodded, and smiled. "Come, my good fellow, the games afoot."
The faun laughed and put pan flute to his lips. He played a tune he knew the High King was fond of as they vanished into the mists.
Sarah felt stiff and awkward when she entered the classroom on the Monday morning following her adventures in the Underground. It saddened her that she could not share the adventure. But who would believer her? She was already an outcast as it was, labeled a dreamer, and a geek. The last thing she wanted was to be labeled a kook as well. She sat looking out the window of the history classroom. It was the winged creature that flew past that caught her attention. The white owl landed on a branch, turned its head and stared her right in the eye, with defiance. Sarah turned away from the widow and refused to look in that direction for the rest of the class. Two ravens came to light on either side of the owl, forcing it to fly away.
Sarah's best friend since grade school was waiting at her locker. "Hey! I thought you were going to call me over the weekend." Chloe pouted.
"Sorry," Sarah said with more sincerity then she'd ever said the words. "I had to baby-sit."
Sarah smiled, her face transformed, "Actually, it was ok." She had dozens of memories from the wonderful Labyrinth to fill her mind.
Chloe was Sarah's opposite, fair haired and eyed, and her eyes opened wide. "You kidding me? After all the times you've told me how much you hate the brat?"
"He's not so bad." Sarah laughed at herself. "Kind of grows on you. Like fungus."
Chloe linked arms with her friend, "Well that aside, I need to tell you there's going to be a party at Amy's house this Friday. And Jason Preston is going to be there, and he wants to be sure you are too. Told me so himself."
A sudden shiver and dread filled Sarah, which she found very strange. She'd had a crush on Jason for the last six months. But he could not or would not see her for dust. Why now? "Oh, I don't know if I can make it."
Chloe halted her steps. "Hey, anything else happen this weekend? I mean did you meet someone to take the handsome young Mr. Preston out of your mind?" The crystal blue eyes met the deep dark green ones. "Tell."
Sarah sighed, "There's nothing to tell… I was baby-sitting, ask my folks."
Chloe shook her head, "Sarah! I've known you since before your mom left! I know when you're lying…. And girlfriend, you're lying."
Sarah stopped and leaned on a locker. "It does not matter…I'll never see him again." A brief flash of those eyes filled her memory. Those amazing mismatched eyes set in the handsome and haughty face.
The blond girl slid a hand to her friends back. "Oh, me and my big mouth! Sarah, forgive me."
The girls held tight to each other and then went on to the next class.
Jareth landed in the clearing of the park where no one was. He waited until the Raven Guard caught up with him. "What?" He asked defensively. "What did I do?"
The Raven Guard also transformed, "King Jareth! You were told not to contact her."
"I didn't! I flew past a window. But I didn't make contact." He teased with mischief in his mismatched eyes. 'Unless, you count eye contact as contact.' He thought ruefully.
Roth looked at Rolland. "He didn't break the rule."
Rolland frowned, "Close enough." He turned to the King, "We will be watching."
"I love an audience." Jareth said, taking flight again.
Amy Blanchette threw the best parties, and being invited to one of her shindigs meant that you were on the A list. She was smart, fun and pretty. And she was going with a senior. She was only too happy to invite Sarah to the party, and unlike other's she was not doing it because Sarah's mom was the Actress Linda Williams. She liked Sarah, even if others found her to be strange.
The house was decorated for the spring fling. Paper lanterns were lit and there were some floating candles in the in ground pool. It was still too cool to go swimming, but it was a great place to throw a party. Chloe and Sarah were dropped off by Sarah's parents who were only too happy to hear that Sarah was going out. Chloe waved excitedly as they entered and asked if Sarah thought her dress was over the top. Sarah liked the style that Chloe wore and smiled as she told the other girl she was a knock out. Within moments Chloe was surrounded by handsome boys begging her to dance.
Sarah was looking toward the refreshment table, and headed over for a cup of punch. Mr. and Mrs. Blanchette were there supervising, and handing out the refreshments. Sarah greeted them and thanked them for the invitation. Amy came over and gave Sarah a friendly hug.
"I'm so glad you're here!" Amy said happily.
Sarah hugged her back, "So am I."
Amy pulled back, "Sarah? What's happened to you?" She could feel the difference in the other girl just by the hug. "You're…different."
"Long story… Let's just say…I'm learning to grow a bit." Sarah said with assurance.
In the upper branches of the huge oak sat an owl, watching. A branch away from him sat a pair of ravens. They watched the owl.
Mr. Blanchette placed some CD's on and told the kids to keep the sound down to a mild roar. Then he went to read his paper on the porch, and sit with his wife as the kids partied on.
Jason was a nice boy, from a good family, one no one ever thought he was conceited. He was nice looking, and friendly. He walked over to where Sarah was sitting alone. "Hi." He shoved his hands in the pockets of his pants. "Want to dance?"
Sarah was going to say no, but then nodded. She stood and took his hands. The song playing was slow, there were lot's of couples dancing round the pool. Sarah felt strange putting her hands into the hands of this boy. It was not the same as dancing in a crystal ballroom with a haughty Fae King. When they began to dance, Jason nodded to his friend Todd who was selecting the songs. The words were seemed directed to her, and her alone.
now, Sarah, Sarah,
Don't look back we've drawn the line,
Its no good to go back in time,
I'll never find another girl like you,
For happy endings it takes two,
With fire and ice,
A dream won't come true
Storms are brewing in your eyes,
No time is a good time for goodbye
She took her hands away, and shook her head, "I can't do this." She turned and walked away.
Jason called her name once, then turned falling into the pool. He had not thought he was standing that close to the edge. Todd rushed over and asked why he'd just walked into the pool, and Jason growled he didn't walk, he fell.
The owl blinked and the man inside the owl smiled. 'That's it my girl, walk away fast as you can.' He thought to him self.
The Raven Guard frowned; they would never be able to prove that the Goblin King was responsible.
Sarah left the party walking home, not even telling Amy or Chloe she'd gone. She took the short cut, through the park. She stopped at the obelisk, looking up in time to see the Owl land. They stared at each other; she narrowed her eyes and took a step closer. Her chest rose and fell with the angry breath being taken, and then she growled loudly. "You have no power over me!" She turned and stormed out of the park.
The Owl transformed into the King who laughed falling against the obelisk, "We'll see about that." He laughed and knew she could hear him, if no one else could. His amusement was cut short by the arrival of the guard.
"My Lord, you were told not to invade her space!" Rolland shouted.
"The Park is not her space, and the exact words dealt with her chamber at home and her oh so precious dreams." Jareth stated in a self-aggrandizing way. 'Dreams she refused to take me up on.'
The Ravens flew off in the direction Sarah had gone, Jareth transformed and returned to the party. He took a place near enough to hear the young people talk. Jason was drying with a towel. "Damn, man! I nearly had her in my arms! I was gonna get to dance with her." He frowned.
Todd rolled his eyes, "I don't know why you'd want to chase that ice princess."
Jason smiled the wolfish smile he was practicing. "Perhaps I wish to melt the ice." Both boys laughed.
The owl was not laughing. 'We'll see about that, young man,' he thought.
Much later that night, when Jason had crawled into his bed, he dreamed. The dreams caused him such dread, that he refused to speak of them. The one thing he knew was he wanted nothing to do with Sarah Williams.
Sarah looked out her window. "Good night Underground, wherever you may be." she whispered.
The man sitting in the tree, out of sight, blew a kiss to her. "Good night, sweet Sarah." Then he added. "And sweet dreams." He chuckled to himself.
Amy and Chloe were the first ones to Sarah's locker on the following Monday. Both looked at her with growing distress. "Well, what happened?"
Sarah shook her head. "I guess I'm just not ready." She walked past them, a tragic and sweet smile on her face headed for her first class of the day.
Amy turned to Chloe. "She's got it bad…I'm dating a senior and I'm not that angst-ie."
Chloe shivered, "But who could he be? We know all the guys she knows and not one of them is taking credit for breaking though her barriers. Who is he, and where did she meet him?"
Amy giggled. "A knight in shinny armor?"
Chloe giggled as well. "No, Sarah would go more for the troll under the bridge than a knight." They linked arms and walked on to class.