Chapter 5: Of Bunnies and shades of Magenta:
Things had started to go missing in the labyrinth.
A fairy had been kidnapped in the midst of her daily flight from the city, to the outer walls. The emperors' new clothes had been stolen and a young goblin-child found itself short: one pair of roller skates – and bizarrely enough – a jelly bean. No one investigating, linked the seemingly, mutually-exclusive events, together.
But this is the labyrinth; where sometimes the way forward is the way back, where large beasts make the tamest of pets.
And nothing is as it seems.
Tweak the goblin, walked slowly into the throne room.
Well- hobbled really.
It had taken him days to extract himself from the prickle-thorn bushes he had (ever so dramatically) rolled into. Shrugging off a slight blush of embarrassment, Tweak walked towards his majesty, ready to grovel – or roll again, if occasion required it. The Goblin King was standing imposingly in front of his throne. Legs parted, hands on hips and head thrown back in an arrogant sneer – if it was even remotely possible, Tweak would have sworn that his majesty looked slightly…surprised…... And there was also the little matter of the Goblin King standing in front of the throne, instead of lounging insolently on it, as was usual.
But Tweak, back after a speedy roll, thought it best not to mention anything, given the rather mortifying circumstances.
"Yer majesty!" Tweak cried, prostrating himself at the king's feet.
The king, neither looking or moving, replied haughtily;
"Tweak" he boomed loudly, "How are you today?"
"Err?" replied Tweak. "How am I? I – uh….?"
"I mean" the king boomed again, "How dare you disgust me with your presence today?"
"Ohhh, yer majesty!" Tweak cried, throwing his hands in the air with relief, and wailing.
He had to admit, the first question had slightly thrown him, but he was back on common ground now, and knew just the wails to accompany the moment. Within minutes, the goblin known as Tweak was rolling on the ground in grief, and weeping, while the Goblin King looked on.
"Tweak" he said finally, "That is enough. Now, I want you to do something for me."
"Anyfink yer majesty" Tweak declared, wiping his snivelly nose with his hands.
"I want you Tweak," the king boomed, "To commission an entirely new wardrobe for me. Take the clothes I have at present and store them away. I want new clothes within the hour."
"Yessir – yer majesty," Tweak replied.
"And they must be pink." The king added, as an after-thought. "Or varying shades of magenta. I want no dark colours at all. Are we clear?"
"Yes, yer majesty" Tweak declared, bowing deeply and high-tailing it out of the throne room.
Leaving the goblin king standing imposingly in front of his throne.
Jareth was in hell.
He had been sure these stairs would bring him to the exit, and he had been wrong again. His head-ache had worsened, by-passing hangover status and heading straight for a neurological - aneurism. It was really, quite distressing. He was trying to remember why he had built the Escher room in the first place – and failing miserably. He supposed it had been a way to stop runners from winning – it had never been intended for drunken kings after a night on the tiles.
Valiantly Jareth tried again, running up a flight of stairs and swivelling downwards so he was walking on the underside. Or was the stairs the right way and he upside down? Nothing was making sense anymore. Frustrated, Jareth made a drastic choice. Yes, it would take him ages to rebuild again, but it would be worth it if he could just get out. Bracing himself, Jareth took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and took a running leap off the edge of the staircase –
-and then he was floating, twirling, soaring in the air, before –
Smack, he hit the stairs directly underneath with a resounding thump. Winded Jareth opened his eyes in disbelief. The Escher room was exactly as it was two minutes before.
"SON OF A –"
Tweak, and his merry band of goblins, were placing the finishing touches to the Emperors new wardrobe, when a voice boomed behind him.
"What progress Tweak?" the goblin king demanded, legs parted, hands on hips and head thrown back in an arrogant sneer – if it was even remotely possible, Tweak would have sworn that his majesty looked slightly…surprised…...
"Errr…" Tweak said, mildly flustered, which, for a goblin, is quite a feat.
"Just finished now yer majesty."
"Good." The king replied. "Everything is pink? Or a varying shade there-of?"
"Yes yer majesty."
"And the old clothes?"
"Stored in the dungeons yer majesty."
"Excellent" the king boomed, happily – or at least, sounded happily, as he moved forward to inspect the changes.
There was something creepy about the king, Tweak noted, he wasn't quite sure what… he as just odder than usual. And was it just him…or were the goblin kings' feet not touching the ground when he walked?...
"Now Tweak" the king continued, "I demand you re-decorate the throne room. I want new wall-hangings and some rugs, yes some nice fluffy rugs. And pictures of bunnies – and fruits made to look human. Also within the hour. Is that understood?"
Tweak stood uncertainly, flicking glances from the corner of his eye to see if anyone else found the command, slightly….wierd.
"Well?" the king demanded, "Move."
And the goblins dis-banded.
That's what he was – bruised. And very annoyed. Groaning Jareth stumbled to his feet and winced, gingerly touching his chest. It hurrrtt…. This was not the way he had envisaged spending his day, he was a KING, gosh-darn it, he was not supposed to be lost in his own damned castle.
Suddenly something clicked – jostled into position by the rather (humiliating) hurtful fall.
Why in the underground didn't he just transport himself out?... There was a few moments of shocked silence as the goblin-king digested the information and then, in a whirl of a cloak, and an explosion of glitter, Jareth, the goblin-king, transported himself to his chambers.
Burying the embarrassment under a sneer, Jareth showered and made his way to his wardrobe, a large towel wrapped around his waist.
"?" said Jareth.
There was something very, very wrong here. Everything was pink. PINK? The fall had done more damage than he'd thought… he had gone colour-blind or worse – he had gone pink-blind, OH of all the things that could happen – he was maimed. Squealing in horror Jareth shoved his head in his hands and wailed. He was ruined. Ruined. The underground wouldn't want a king who saw in pink, they --
Why wasn't anything else pink?
Snarling Jareth strode out of his room, stopping in mid-transport to the throne room, when he realised he was clad in nothing but a towel. As the full reality of the options left, descended on the goblin king, he snarled further – wider – louder – until it was nothing short of obscene.
Then, in a temper un-paralleled by any, Jareth poofed to the throne room in whirl of dark, angry, black glitter – clad in pink tights with a matching magenta cape.
"Does anyone want to tell me," he said, silkily, "why my –"
It was then, that the goblin king noticed the furry pink rug in the middle of the throne room, the pink silken wall coverings, and pictures of a grotesque furry rodents on the wall. And there, at the base of his throne, with legs parted, hands on hips and head thrown back in an arrogant sneer –
Was his statue, on roller-blades??
"?"... said Jareth.
A/N: Tee hee exam madness reigns!! again another short chapter!
A thank you, to you, if you reviewed! I would love to give replies to you all, but time is awfully short..even as i speak (type?) the dreaded accountancy books are piled on my bed...
You likey? reviewy! :)