Author's Note: This one-shot takes place when Sarah is eleven. If you enjoy this, check out my ongoing chapter story, Stone Tears.
This is not necessarily a prologue to Stone Tears, but there aren't any reasons why it can't be.
Please let me know if you notice any errors, so that I can correct them.
Circe le Fey
"Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the goblin city. . ."
The words were what first grabbed Jareth's attention. He had heard them before from various children who had run his labyrinth, but this time it was different. This was from aboveground, and something about the voice struck a chord within him. He was overseeing the training of some of his goblins through his crystal, but the view kept flickering, showing glimpses of a place that was most certainly not in his labyrinth."- As great. You have no power over me." It looked like an aboveground yard or park. Jareth tried to block the words from his mind so he could concentrate, but the child's voice continued to echo through him as she started the speech over. "Through dangers untold-" her voice was briefly drowned out by the sound of marching goblins. Then the crystal flickered again. "For my will is as strong as yours-" Jareth gave up on the goblins, allowing the crystal to focus on the speaker, as best as it could since she was a world away.
As he had guessed, it was a young girl, one with dark hair and vivid eyes. She was reading the monologue out of a copy of the book the Labyrinth, but with a power that he had never heard, even from the children who had actually gone to the labyrinth and spoken the words. Jareth tried to see more of her, but the image kept flickering, though her voice continued, strong and childishly intense. "-You have no power over me." Frustrated, Jareth tossed the crystal into the air, watched it vanish, and then changed forms. If he had to, he would get a better look at the girl by going to her world.
Sarah Williams didn't notice as the shadow of a large owl passed over her face. Her eyes were shut as she paused for emphasis. She waited a moment, and then opened one eye just a fraction of an inch to read the next line. "For my will is as strong as yours," She should have it memorized by now, she'd been reading it aloud ever since she finished the book an hour ago. "And my kingdom as great."
Her father was out on a date, his fourth that week. When Sarah had complained of boredom, he suggested she go through some old boxes in the attic, neglecting to mention that they had belonged to her mother. Sarah burrowed past scarves, hats, small flowered handbags containing used lipsticks, and found the Labyrinth wrapped in a black flowered scarf.
It had immediately caught her attention, and shivers of happy anticipation raced up her spine. Other worlds and powerful kings were exactly the sort of things that had always appealed to both her sense of adventure and her romantic side. After the first chapter she had decided that it was simply too delicious to read at home at the kitchen table. So Sarah went to the park, first changing into an old white dress of her mother's, even though it was far too big for her. To Sarah, atmosphere, both within the book and outside of it, was the most important part of any reading experience.
"You have no power over me."
Jareth fluttered restlessly on his perch as the wind blew, watching as it pulled her dark hair back from her face. She couldn't be much more than eleven or twelve, but she was already extraordinarily pretty. The old costume that she wore pulled tight over her shorts and tie-dyed shirt, which would have looked ridiculous on almost anyone else, gave her a certain grace that was strangely older than her years. As the full skirt blew out around her, she shut her eyes and whirled, letting her hair stream behind her. The expression on her face a sort of exhilaration.
Jareth had only intended to come aboveground for a few brief moments, to work out what struck him so about the girl. But by the time the girl had realized how late it was and was running home, he found himself following her rather than going home himself.
When he finally returned to the underground, she had been asleep for nearly an hour. He returned less than a week later, and only a short while after that he was back again. And as he watched, Sarah attended her father's wedding, started high school, got a new baby brother, and grew up.
And still Jareth waited.
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Circe le Fey