"Keep the Magic Alive"
Chapter 18
By Aiijuin

Disclaimer: All things "Labyrinth" belong to Henson Companies as well as many other wonderful contributors. I own nothing!
This story is VERY dark, and therefore is marked M+ for Mature content
The title of this chapter is not original, but named after the movie, "Requiem for a Dream", which I have never watched, but I know stars Jennifer Connelly... I used the title for irony only.

Chapter 18: Requiem for a Dream

Jareth continued throughout most of the day completely consumed in thought about what could have caused him to be in this position and how. Sarah, on the other hand, had spent most of the day in a euphoric mood and found herself sublimely happy for the first time in a while. She had much to celebrate, in her opinion. Jareth was back with her and she believed from Hoggle's story that he wasn't a mentally transfigured monster afterall…

She walked around the house picking up Jaime's stray toys. While all seemed mostly normal, Sarah did denote that Jaime's pretend play had deviated from the atypical imaginary games that he had engaged in. The little boy had grabbed one of Jennifer's Barbie Dolls this morning from her bedroom, which she wouldn't have minded since she no longer had any use for them at eighteen years old. The Barbie was the most unlikeliest toy that Jenny would have suspected her brother to grab, but nonetheless he took the ballerina ballroom Barbie with the glittery, poofy pink gown from the dusty, old toy chest, which was stuffed into the corner of her bedroom.

Throughout the day, he would run the doll along the floor through the hallways and make it speak as if it were real. Twice Sarah walked up to her son and asked what the doll was doing.

The first time, Jaime answered, "The evil king placed her into a big maze and she's running to solve it, Mommy."

Sarah answered with a slight chill that ran down her back, "Well, I hope she gets out and is safe in the end, Sweetie."

Jaime shook his head at his mother and replied, "Nothing has ever ended, Mommy. She never got out."

Sarah shot a double take at her three-year-old, but he had run down the hall too quickly for her to pry any further. The second time she asked what the doll was doing, Jaime answered, "Her dreams are swallowing her up, Mommy."

"Why, Jaime?"

"Because her will is as strong as his is, and her kingdom is as great…," Jaime stated very matter-of-factly. "The evil king made a big mistake when he brought her into his house."

"Why?" Sarah asked again.

"Because, Silly, her mind has taken over everything," Jaime giggled as if he expected Sarah to understand his logic completely. "She needs to wake up. You know, Mommy, wake up?"

Sarah nodded as a look of confusion spread across her face. She didn't really understand what her toddler was getting at. She would have asked more, but Jareth walked through the hall and Jaime touched his father's leg while whispering, "You have no power over me…"

Then, the small child sped off in the other direction with the Barbie in his hand. Sarah just looked at Jareth and shrugged. Jareth didn't hear Jaime anyway. His thoughts were so strident in his head right now, that there could have been a concert going on around him and he would have never known. He glanced at Sarah for a moment and then continued passing by as if he were lingering in a perpetual dream state.

It didn't seem to bother Sarah at all. She figured he would continue this behavior for a while, since the doctors said it was normal for him to exhibit signs of the medication for the next few weeks or so until it had completely worked out of his system.

Sarah followed Jareth down the hall into the living room, where she grabbed him by the elbow and said, "Hey! How about you go outside and get the mail for me? I'd appreciate it."

Jareth spun the other direction without a reply, opened the front door, and walked outside. He strode down the driveway until he reached the mailbox at the end. As he was reaching inside of the mail receptacle he noticed something strange. Jareth blinked to be sure he wasn't imagining it, but low-and-behold Sarah's neighbors were all outside on this overly perfect picturesque morning and were mowing their lawns in unison.

He watched as the row of neighbors dressed in their brightly colored oxford shirts with knicker-pants and sneakers with knee high socks, each pushed their identical green lawnmowers up and down the front yards in horizontal rows. They were all in sync with one another. Jareth couldn't help but stare in disbelief. Who wouldn't? It was the most bizarre spectacle that one could have ever seen in a non-staged environment.

Jareth continued to watch until his train of thought was broken again as a big yellow school bus stopped down the street and dropped off Jennifer, Julia, Sahara, and a plethora of other teenagers with them.

Sahara had her face buried in a book, but it was more intentional looking rather than interest-based. The other students were making kissy sounds as she walked away from them with her eyes narrowed to near slits. Jenny and Jules didn't make matters better for their sister. They helped the others ridicule her. Sahara marched up to her father, took one look at him with her face red in exasperation, and shouted, "Only you can end this!"

Then, she walked into the house slamming the door behind her. Julia and Jennifer strutted towards their home dancing a mock Cancan dance. They were singing in unison and laughing between each of the lyrics, "Dance-Magic-Dance! Hey! Jump-Magic-Jump!"

As the dynamic duo passed by their father at the mailbox, Jenny waved enthusiastically and said, "Hey, Daddy!"

Julia repeated, "Hey, Daddy! How are you feeling?"

Neither waited to hear his answer, but they continued dancing past him and singing, "Dance-Magic-Dance!"

Jennifer added with an offhanded chortle, "And Sahara totally digs Nerd-Boy! Nyah-Nyah!"

Jaime walked out of the front door with the Barbie still in his hand and made his way carefully towards his father. He stopped next to Jareth and leaned his head on him. Jareth looked down at the small blind child. Jaime was stroking the soft blonde hair on the doll. Jareth didn't react either way towards the boy, but continued to feel dazed and confused to the entire situation occurring around him.

Suddenly, Jaime did something unexpected. He ran out into the middle of the street with several cars coming straight towards him. He gazed at them calmly as they sped towards him unhindered. Jareth's eyes opened wide as he realized what was about to happen. He dropped the mail in his hand and sprinted towards the center of the street where Jaime was. The car's driver must have just caught glimpse of what was occurring, because at that moment the brakes could be heard squealing loudly.

Sarah ran out of the house to see what all the commotion was and screamed when she saw her son and husband in the direct path of a moving vehicle. Sarah King ran frantically towards the street. The driver in the car lost control of their vehicle and began to fishtail until the car flipped and began to roll towards Sarah on the front lawn.

It all happened so fast that Sarah didn't have time to react. The girls were at the window screaming for their mother to get out of the way. Jareth turned his head and Jaime said softly, "Sometimes the way forward is also the way back..."

As the car was about to hit Sarah, her three daughters all shouted in unison, "STOP!"

Everything froze. The car literally stopped midair just inches from Sarah's face. Jennifer, Julia, and Sahara ran outside and began to panic, "Oh my god! What the hell! What just happened? Why is it so quiet? Are we all dead? Mommy, are you okay?"

Sarah was also frozen, but not like everything else. She was petrified about what had nearly occurred and what was occurring. She held her breath in her lungs and her eyes looked like they were about to bulge out of their sockets. Sarah fell backwards as Sahara, being the fast thinker, pulled her mother out of harm's way.

The three girls embraced their mother in an upheaval of tears. Sarah was shaking so hard that she couldn't hug them back as tightly.

Sure enough, everything was dead quiet. Not a sound was muttered, save but the whimpering of the girls and the footsteps of Jareth as he ran back towards Sarah on the sidewalk. The birds in the trees were frozen, the wind had stopped, and the neighbors mowing their grass had been paused in mid-movement. Sahara tried to touch the half-flipped car, as Sarah scolded, "Sahara! Get away from it!"

"Mom? Should we dial 9-1-1 or the police or something?" Julia asked.

Jennifer exclaimed, "It's like the whole universe just stopped! It this what happens when you die?"

Sahara was speechless. Jaime was about the only one who seemed perfectly calm. He blinked in the direction that he had heard the voices of his mother and sisters. Jareth was clutching the toddler close to him in his arms, when Jaime answered Jennifer, "No, Jenny. This is what happens when you reorder time."

"'Reorder time'?"

Sahara caught her breath again and muttered, "We've stopped time. We've willed it to stop. We have certain powers."

Jennifer shook her head, "But that only works if you say, 'I wish', right?"

Julia replied, "But remember who our dad is. Do you think…? You know… maybe we have those powers passed down to us through heredity…"

The three girls stammered out their theories and thoughts as Sarah and Jareth were in such a state of shock that neither offered comments or opinions into the conversation. Finally, little Jaime raised his hand and said, "No. No. No! You're all wrong! Mommy is the babe with the power."

Sarah and Jareth turned to the child inquisitively as the little boy continued, "And only you have the power to end this!"