Disclaimer: I don't own any rights to Labyrinth, so I don't think I rate suing. I do, however, own a much loved copy of the movie and a talking Jareth action figure for inspiration.
Any of the original characters or plot devices - love them or hate them - are my creation. I licked them so you wouldn't want them anyway.
Nine years after defeating the Labyrinth, Sarah is in Ireland - a land of old magic, where legend suggests her victory comes with a price and her story is far from finished. Something ancient has been set in motion and Sarah finds herself at the centre of a very old, very Goblin, tradition.
As time passes, fruit ripens.
Let the feast begin at the Goblin Market...
The dreams of youth are the regrets of maturity
Lord of Darkness, Legend, 1985
She stared at herself in the mirror, mouth slightly open in a strange mixture of awe and fear. She was once again in the silver ball gown; once again a lamb in the lion's den. The dancers and revelers all looked the same. Their goblinesque faces leered from her many reflections. But this time their eyes were cold, seeming to size her up and find her lacking. Unable to look away, she nervously pulled at her sleeves and tried to disentangle the silvery vines from her hair; she was not supposed to be dressed like this again – this had already happened. It was a sad mockery after so many years, like a grown woman trying to don the guise of youth again.
But you can never go back and wearing this dress drowned her in unwanted memories of adolescent fantasy. Filled with an overwhelming hate for the girl who looked back at her, she began violently yanking the crystals and embellishments from her bodice, sending a flood of beads and jewels scattering across the floor.
"Isn't this what you wanted?" suggested a bodiless voice behind her. "Didn't YOU want to look beautiful for me?"
"Miss Williams? Er… Are you alright?"
Sarah blinked in confusion and stared bleary-eyed at the faces before her.
Oh God, she had fallen asleep in front of her students. She wiped her mouth absently.
And she had drooled.
Clearing her throat in embarrassment, she rose on stiff legs. "Yes, yes… perfectly fine. I apologize. I stayed up too late working on some research. Guess I should have had more coffee this morning." A nervous laugh. "So where were we?"
Flipping through the professor's papers and notes, she mentally composed herself. She really should have come more prepared. Having accepted the position of teacher's assistant, Sarah had hoped to further her work towards her Master's degree, while also gaining the respect and credentials of the prestigious Dublin academia.
Every time one door closes, another door opens.
Falling asleep during her very first class was an inauspicious step towards realizing her dreams.
Dreams… no, focus, Sarah.
The students were now looking at one another with raised eyebrows and half smiles. Sarah squared her shoulders and defiantly stared back, forcing authority into her tone.
"This class will cover the theme of temptation in period literature. In particular, we'll focus on the classic literary theme of temptation: knowledge, desire and chaos used as a foil to innocence and youth. We'll touch on a few reoccurring devices, such as the use of food and drink - often a parallel to sex - as enticement. At the end of this course, we'll hopefully arrive at a better understanding of why this theme is so prevalent throughout western literature and is so often revisited by authors, historical and contemporary."
Sarah paused, letting the students jot down the course outline.
"For this term you'll need to pick up the following texts by next class: The biblical creation myth – we'll stick to the King James Version, if you please. The Greek myth of Persephone – I'd recommend Robert Graves' text for consistency. Homer's Odyssey – you should all be able to find Richard Lattimore's version with relative ease. Spencer's The Faerie Queen and finally…" Sarah frowned. What was the last one? Furtively scanning through the professor's notes, her eyes locked on the hastily scrawled title at the bottom of a page.
She looked up, her voice barely audible above the pen scratches, "… and the final work is Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market."
Author's Note: This is my first foray into fanfic. I plan to draw heavily on Celtic myth and legend. I've taken my inspiration from many things - including my time spent studying in Ireland, various songs by brilliant artists, the book The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle (read it) and, naturally, the poem The Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. I will always give credit where credit is due throughout the story.
N.B. I've always found slightly evil Jareth wickedly delicious… So please enjoy and if you do, please review ;)
Update: The chapters in this story start getting much long around chapter 10 on. This chapter is less than a 1000 words. By comparison chapter 35 is well over 8000 words.