AN: I was trying to go to sleep one night when I got the idea for this story… and I can say that it freaked me out. So of course I needed to write it down so that others could share in the strangeness of my mind.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Labyrinth characters.


It was just past one in the morning when Sarah woke suddenly from a good dream. Glowering at the glowing light of her alarm clock she muttered curses under her breath, angry that now she'd probably never get to see what Jareth looked like dancing as the Swan Princess. Rolling onto her side she cranked back her head and glared blearily at the small window. The weather had worsened since she'd gone to bed; a rain-laden wind was now clawing at the thin cracks between the panes, violently rattling the window in its frame. Lightning split the sky, casting her room in an eerie blue light for a split second.

Sarah ducked under the bedcovers, at the same time curling her legs up to her chest. She didn't want to listen to the storm; it reminded her of the night Toby had been taken. The night that she'd crept back into her parents' room only to find it riddled with cackling goblins.

The blankets weren't helping much. She sighed and pushed off the covers, sitting up and swinging her legs over the edge of the bed. The floor was cold against her bare feet as she made her way over to the window. The outside world was cloaked in darkness and blurred by the pounding rain. The only thing she could see was the skeletal shape of a tree, thrashing in the gale winds, its branches coming close to striking the glass that separated them. Sarah listened to the deep groans issuing from its trunk as the tree swayed and bent, but then she grabbed the drapes and pulled them closed with a snap. The moaning of the tree and wind disappeared behind the thick fabric. It was then that she heard the quiet shuffle of feet.

Sarah's stomach gave a great lurch and she spun about, her eyes trying to penetrate the thick darkness. There was nothing there. Familiar shadowy lumps lay clumped together on her shelves and desk, each one identifiable in Sarah's mind. She forced herself to step away from the safety of the wall and walk carefully to the door. She put one hand on the knob and then turned it slowly. Peeking through the small crack Sarah let out a breath that she hadn't realized she'd been holding. There wasn't anything in the hallway either. No goblins curled in corners or clinging to the ceiling and, as Sarah also noticed, no light coming from under the bathroom door.

"I must be hallucinating." Sarah murmured. "I've gotten too used to goblins and their ilk popping up for no apparent reason at all."

Sarah closed the door quietly and then turned to go back to bed. Across from her a hulking shape was silhouetted against the window. Sarah froze, her hands flying to her lips. Out of nowhere the rank scent of dirt and decay began assaulting her senses, nearly gagging her. Blood pounded in her ears and it was several moments before she could find her voice.

"L-Ludo?" she croaked. "Ludo is that you?"

The shape shifted slightly and Sarah heard a wave of metallic clinking like the sound of tin cans being beat together.

"Ok. I guess you aren't Ludo…" Sarah reached back, her hand running blindly along the wall, hunting for the light switch she knew was there. Her fingers had just brushed against the raised plastic panel when the shape lurched forward.

An old hand, its skin hard and callused like the scaled hide of a lizard grasped Sarah's wrist, yanking it violently from the switch. "Don't want to do that dear." A shrill voice warned her. "No, no! Much better in here like this."

Sarah yelped and tried to pull away but the grip was as unyielding as if her wrist had been encased in stone. She recognized that voice, it was one that she'd hoped never to hear again. Not after the less than constructive ending of her last encounter with the Junk Lady.

"Let go of me!" Sarah begged.

"No, no dear." The Junk Lady's eyes gleamed hungrily in the darkness. "Not after you scattered all your toys. You need to pick them up, yes?"

"Please let go! I just want to turn on the lights." Sarah cajoled as she was dragged in the direction of her desk.

"No, no! Not enough time! We need to hurry." The Junk Lady turned away and picked up something, it hung limp as a dead animal in her hand as she turned back to Sarah. "Ah! Here's Flopsy, you remember Flopsy don't you?"

Something soft was put on Sarah's back. Before she could shake it off plush arms threaded their way around her neck, holding on tight. Sarah's scream was cut short as the arms contracted, choking her. She began to tear at the doll frantically with her free hand, but she couldn't pull it loose.

The Junk Lady added more and more items, cheerfully announcing each as she jammed them against Sarah's back. "Oh! Here's your teddy bear, you'll be wanting to keep him. And your pencil crayons, yes. You can't go anywhere without those."

As each item was added Sarah felt tendrils burrow their way into her back, weaving between her ribs and around her spine. "Stop!" Sarah cried, her voice weak from the stranglehold Flopsy still had on her. "I don't want any of this, remember? It's all junk! Junk!"

"NO! NO!" The Junk Lady's voice rose in anger. "You need all this! You need it!" The woman let go of Sarah's hand and began to throw item after item at the girl, the towering hump of broken toys on her back bobbing and weaving dangerously. Sarah began to thrash about, swinging her arms through the darkness in a vain attempt to knock the Junk Lady's projectiles out of the air. The Junk Lady cackled evilly, thoroughly enjoying this new game. Every object that was struck aside seemed to gain a life of its own, crawling or rolling along the floor until they came to Sarah's dancing feet. They'd catch hold with tiny hands and swarm up her legs, their shadowy forms climbing up and up until they reached their companions.

Sarah tired quickly, the weight on her back bowing her body nearly in two. She stopped writhing and leaned against her desk. Sweat stood out on her forehead and she was panting heavily. "What- are- you- trying to- do to me?" She demanded between breaths.

The scent of decay grew stronger as the Junk Lady drew close to Sarah's shoulder, pulling back the drapes over the window. "Why dear, haven't you realized…"

A flash of lightning penetrated the room through the window that was now bare of its coverings. Sarah caught a glimpse of a bowed creature in the mirror, its eyes wide and full of fear.

"…you're one of us now."



So was the intruder who you were expecting it to be?

And did anyone else think that when the Junk Lady in the movie was piling the toys on Sarah's back in the movie that this was exactly what she was trying to do?

R&R: I don't read much horror stuff so I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on anything you liked (or disliked) or thought should be added to make it even creepier. ^_^