Chapter 6 - Wishes of Hatred
A loud knocking on my door wakes me from the midst of a conversation with my king, immediately rousing feelings of rage inside me and I toss the wooden barricade open with enough force for it to slam against the wall. The sight of Sarah standing before me only adds to my anger, as I am sure she would not have tracked me down for a civil conversation, and the look in her eyes only confirms my suspicion.
"Can I help you?" I ask as calmly as I can manage.
"Jareth will not answer my calls," she explains.
"That is because he is to busy answering mine. I will admit to being surprised he has not shown himself here, since I was so suddenly awakened and pulled away from him."
"I wonder, what do you know about what happens when a child is wished away to him?"
"The one that made the wish has thirteen hours to complete the labyrinth or the child is turned into a goblin. I've read the story, same as you."
"But if no one is willing to run the labyrinth?" she pauses, waiting for me to answer. "You don't know? The child is immediately changed."
"Wonderful. What's your point?"
Her smile is full of malice, bringing a shiver of fear up my spine.
"I wish the goblins would come and take you away, right now," she whispers.
Immediately I am sent spiraling down into the darkness. I knew the words were coming before they even passed her lips, just as I also knew she would never run the labyrinth. I land with a thud on a hard, dirty stone floor but I don't need to look around to tell me where I am. The familiar sounds of goblin laughter fills my ears and, as happy as I should be about being back here, I feel like crying. I have been damned to an eternity of being so near my king, yet unable to be with him in any way. How cruel is the hatred of others that they must seek to destroy the happiness of another.
Tears spill down my face as I lift myself off the floor, moving only so far as to sit in the hole situated in front of the throne that had been filled with ratty blankets and pillows for the children. A goblin I recognize ventures over to me and offers a dirty cup of wine, that I immediately gulp down. Jareth's subjects are not used to seeing me without their king and seem unsure of how to react around me now. Maybe they realize I am no longer a guest but a captive, sent here against my will like so many others. Maybe they simply came to care for me in their own way and don't wish to upset me further. My fate will be decided as soon as Jareth returns and I smile a little at the thought of seeing him again.
"Being a goblin wouldn't be so bad, I guess," I tell Greeko, the short, wart covered goblin that brought me the wine. "At least you guys seem to have a lot of fun. Plus, I think I'd make a cute goblin."
"There's no such thing," Jareth tells me, looking angrier than I've ever seen him.
I hand my cup to Greeko before moving to stand before my king, slowly trying to smooth away the frown lines on his forehead with the tips of my fingers. His face relaxes under my touch and his eyes slowly drift close, a frustrated sigh escaping him.
"She will not run the labyrinth for you," he whispers.
"Don't sound so surprised. I knew she'd refuse."
I walk over at sit in his throne, something that I would have never been brave enough to do before, and flash him a false smile.
"I guess it's time to see if cute goblins exist. It's now or never, Your Majesty," I tell him, my smile wavering.
Closing my eyes, I wait for any telling signs of a transformation and the anticipation is killing me. When his laughter fills my ears, sending shivers down my spine, I risk a glance at my king with every expectation of finding him suddenly several feet taller than myself. Instead I seem to be in the exact condition I had been moments before and my expression quickly becomes one of frustration.
"I don't see how this situation is funny, Your Highness," I nearly growl.
"A very unfortunate failure on your part, although it isn't the situation but yourself that is so extremely amusing," he teases as he moves to place his hands on either arm of the throne, essentially trapping me. "What happened to the trust you spoke so easily of today?"
And just like that, I become ashamed of myself.
"Forgive me," I whisper.
"No, it is I who must ask your forgiveness. While I can bend the rules about turning you into a goblin, I have no say in your banishment here. You will never be able to return to the Aboveground."
I am forever banished to the Underground, the realm in which my beloved king rules. As the thought sinks in, I have to do my very best not to smile or express my happiness in any other manner. Sarah has just given me everything I could ever ask for and she doesn't even realize it.
"I think I shall survive, My Lord. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure the same can be said of you."
"Mhmm. It is my prediction that your Sarah will be absolutely murderous if she ever discovers that I am still human. You know what they say about us women and our fury."
"Then, perhaps I should name you as my defender. Watching the two of you go at it would be most entertaining," he suggests, his eyes gleaming.
"If this entertainment somehow involves oil and bikinis, you can count me out of it. Besides, I've never been one for violence."
"Such a pity. Since you're of so little use to me, shall I show you where you'll be staying?"