Chapter 12. Fooled Heart

The two girls followed the dwarf into the junkyard, just beyond the goblin gates. Katie had kept silent ever since they had left the throne room and the King behind. Her face a stony mask, she looked only ahead as they moved closer to where the Goblin Kingdom and the mortal realm were extended into one another. Some things were hard to express, even between friends, and Katie was having difficulties with this exit.

Hoggle was far too smug for Sarah's liking, but she held her tongue and her temper as long as she could. As the trio came closer to the exact center of the joining point, Sarah finally lost it. "Hoggle shut up!" she barked at her long time friend. "I've had it!"

"What?" he asked looking totally surprised by her response to his quips and wisecracks at the king's expense. "What did I say?"

"Have you any idea of what he's going through?" Demanded the girl hotly as she stood between the worlds; "He's letting me go, Hoggle… He's letting me go."

The dwarf flinched and cowered. "Sarah, why are you angry with me?"

Katie looked at Sarah's face. "Tell him," she urged. "Tell him why you're angry."

"I love you Hoggle," Sarah said softly. "But I love Jareth as well… and I hate that you think you're free to say unkind things about him, or that I would agree with you."

Hoggle, shocked and dismayed pulled away from the girl. "You don't know what you're saying," he shook his head. "Have you forgotten who he is? What he did to you?"

"No," she said sadly. "I know what he did… but I know what I did as well." She turned and took hold of Katie's hand. "Goodbye Hoggle," she huffed. "I wish we were in our own world right now," her voice broke as she spoke the words.

Katie felt the ground tremor and quake a bit, looking over her shoulder she saw the portal close and the Goblin Realm fade into it's own dimension. Katie had witnessed what few mortals in this modern age had ever seen, and she could tell no one about it. She looked at Sarah's hand as it left hers; the older girl was shaken and trembling. "How long do you think we were gone?" Katie asked wondering out loud.

Pulling herself together, Sarah looked at the junkyard and listened to the quiet of the night. "I'm not sure, but the clock in my car should give us a clue." She looked about the city dump with its piles and got her bearings. "That way over there," Sarah pointed toward what looked like a wall. "That's the gateway, and my car should be there."

The car was exactly where the boys had forced Sarah to park, the only thing missing were her antagonist. A flash of light blinded the girls for a moment as they approached the car and a voice barked at them.

"Who are you and what do you want here?"

Sarah shielded her eyes and caught a glimpse of the uniform, "Are you the guard here?" she asked politely.

"I'll do the questioning," he barked again. "What's your business here so late at night?"

"We were on a scavenger hunt," Sarah said coolly. "We were unaware that the town hired a fulltime guard, or I'd have asked permission before we entered the dump sir."

The guard looked at the girls, "You got ID's?" he demanded. Sarah nodded, and pulled her student ID from the pouch on her belt. Katie did the same and they both handed them to the man. He looked at their outlandish costumes and huffed something under his breath about scandalous garments and his day. He looked at the cards then handed them back. "You kids and your scavenger hunts. You can't just come rummaging in here any time you like any more!" he bellowed.

"No sir," the girls appeared contrite, and remained polite.

He sniffed, looked at Sarah's car and shook his head. "I'm letting you two off with a warning; I had to send four young scaly wags off to Juvenile Hall this evening. Go home, and grow up." He ordered.

"Yes sir," Sarah said softly, she opened her car door and motioned for Katie to get in. Once out of the gate of the city dump both girls took a deep breath.

Katie frowned. "Juvenile Hall? He said he sent four boys there this evening?" She counted on her fingers.

"Josh is no longer part of this plane, and everyone but us will have forgotten him." Sarah said understanding the girl's confusion. "Jareth must have altered the reality frame for everyone."

"He can do that?" Katie asked amazed.

"I'm not really sure…" Sarah confessed. "I'm not sure just what he can and can not do."

"Wow, that's some…" Katie frowned not sure what title to give to the King. "King you've got there."

"Yes," Sarah agreed. "He sure is." She drove the rest of the distance to their homes in silence. There was a lot she was going to have to explain to Katie, but now didn't seem like the best of times to be doing that.

Robert and Karen were sitting on the front porch, enjoying the cool evening and the songs of the nightingale that had made a home in their front yard tree. Sarah's father waved at the girls as the alighted from the car. "How was the dance?" he called to them.

"Interesting," Sarah said for both of them.

Karen snickered, "I'll bet." She snuggled into Robert's arm as they swung on the porch swing. "Oh Margie called to thank you for turning the crown over to her."

Sarah wondered quietly how much of the reality of this night was now real. "She deserved to be Queen… I never wanted to be homecoming Queen."

Puffing on his pipe, Robert shrugged. "It's an honor to be voted Queen, Sarah. I don't understand why you rejected it."

Katie looked at Sarah, she too needed to hear why her friend was so adamant against being crowned Queen. Sarah placed one foot up on a step and rested her weight on her thigh. "Let's just say, this is not the Kingdom I cared to be crowned in."

Karen snickered again, "Not enough dragons or demons to suit you?"

"One demon too many," quipped the green eyed girl. "But that's another story." She looked over at Katie. "I'll call you tomorrow; we'll take the boys to the park…"

Katie nodded and waved good night before dashing down the block to her own home.

Sarah said good night to her father and stepmother before going up the winding stair case that led to the second level of the old Victorian house. She smiled as she passed under the archway that led to the hall her bedroom was off. She could hear the soft sounds of the little record player that Karen used to put Toby to sleep. He had taken to needing white noise to settle in. A soft lullaby was playing and there was a peaceful little snore as well. The teen girl listened for a moment before opening her own door and entering her room.

Sarah closed the door and switched on her light. How much her room had changed since that night so long ago. Gone were the childish bedspread and the dragon pillow that had graced her bed. Gone was the toys and books that had been spread over her desk. Now the books were in a white wood bookshelf that her father had ordered upon her request. Gone were the pictures that had been plastered to her mirror, and her vanity was cleared of all the brick-a-brack. Her stuffed toys had long ago been put aside, and Lancelot was safely tucked into Toby's arms in his room. The posters had been replaced by a lovely watercolor print of a bridge over a lily filled pond.

This was the room of a young woman. She sat down on the bed, now covered with a bedspread that matched the bright orange curtain that hung from the crown cornice above. It was the same room she'd slept in for years, and yet at this moment it seemed so foreign to her. Her mind was drawn to another room, in another Kingdom.

Sarah stood up and began to remove the garments she'd chosen so carefully for this evening's performance. That's all it was in her mind, a performance. Josh was the one who took it a step too far. And now he was paying the price for his folly. She sighed, removed her boots, tossed them aside and went to the bathroom to finish undressing. Moments later she emerged from the bath, dressed in a long silky nightgown and robe. She picked up her brush and began to work out the hair spray from her long hair. Soon her long hair was as it always was a smooth shiny curtain of chocolate.

Placing her brush on the table, she turned off the light, pulled back the blanket and slipped into her bed. The day's adventure was over; she had one...Yet again. Katie was safe, the boys were punished and she was… home. Sarah closed her eyes, and listened to the soft music that filtered into her room from her brother's room. The music lulled her to sleep, deeper and deeper and deeper.

She didn't see the window open, didn't see the owl flutter in and land. She didn't hear the soft foot falls or feel the hand that stroked her hair. Somewhere she was dancing on and over a cloud and a voice was singing to her.

There's such a fooled heart
Beating so fast in search of new dreams
A love that will last within your heart
Ill place the moon within your heart

As the pain sweeps through
Makes no sense for you
Every thrill has gone
Wasn't too much fun at all
But Ill be there for you-oo-oo
As the world falls down

Sarah smiled and dreamed on.


Author's note:

And this is the end of this tale… who knows where it will lead?