A/N: So I've finally ventured into the Labyrinth fanfic realm! :D And on Valentine's Day, too! How corny! I've been silently lurking, reading Laby fanfics for a few months now actually, and just waiting for that bug of inspiration to finally hit me, and it did! Not sure how much I like this one, was a bit buzzed when I wrote some parts so I'm ultra super paranoid that they don't make sense to anyone outside of myself. xDDD
Anywho, Happy Valentine's Day to all! Please leave a review, constructive criticism is welcome. :) Haven't written since August, so I've gotten extremely rusty. Please bear with me! The title comes from the David Bowie song that I love so much.
Now, on to the story!
It was that time of year again. The time of year that Sarah liked to do her best to avoid each time it reared its ugly perennial head. She glanced up at the calendar on her bedroom wall and drew in a sharp breath.
Valentine's Day. As childish and as melodramatic as it may sound to be so upset over a practically nonexistent holiday, Sarah knew she wasn't the only one facing the day with a feigned smile. Underneath lay a surprising amount of emptiness, but she was much too proud to allow anyone to see it.
She was 19 now, and Valentine's Day was no longer about exchanging candy and cute little cards to every member of her elementary school class. It was about who had a date for the night, who had Cupid favored this year... Who wasn't going to be spending the night at home alone. Dateless.
Sarah threw her head back onto her pillows, groaning. She was an hour from home, living in the dorms at college with a room mate, Bethany. While the freedom was overwhelmingly invigorating after years of feeling like an outcast under the same roof of her stepmother, she found herself yearning to be able to hug her little brother again, or lay on her own real bed... To sit at the vanity in her old room and spend a half hour gazing at herself and messily applying cosmetics. She wanted to be a kid again, really.
Not long after the ordeal in the labyrinth, which she now and then tried to convince herself had to have been a dream, the true meaning behind her visit had shone true. She was on the cusp of adulthood then, and had wanted to hold onto her childhood forever, never releasing it from her grasp. After her run in the labyrinth however, she began to slowly let go, piece by piece, up until where she was now. Alone, in her dorm room. Facing one last shock of reality - that she was a young woman, and that traditionally on this day, young women go out on dates or receive flowers. She had neither.
The closest she had come to any kind of intimate or romantic contact had been in that dream (a dream within a dream, perhaps?) in which she had danced with that Goblin King. Oh, what was his name again... Joshua, Jared..Jareth!
Now she really felt pathetic. Her only real noteworthy experience with the opposite sex was quite possibly not real at all! And it occurred with a man much older than her, who kidnapped children much like her baby brother, and danced with under-aged girls.
However, she most certainly couldn't control time despite how fervently she wanted to right about now, so she was stuck with just the decision to deal with it. After one last glance at the calendar, she rubbed her eyes and sat up in her bed before hopping off and throwing on the outfit she had set aside the night before. She knew she couldn't change her lonely and single life overnight, but she could damn well dress like she had.
Clasping a small silver heart-shaped locket around her neck, Sarah examined her reflection in the mirror of her vanity table, furrowing her brow. She definitely wasn't ugly, even if she wasn't drop-dead gorgeous. She also wasn't simply average, not with her unique hazel-green eyes and starkly contrasting dark chestnut hair. She knew she attracted some sort of guy, but they usually wound up being far too nerdy and somewhat beneath her in their awkwardness and sometimes downright creepiness for her to choose to give them a chance.
Stealing a quick look at her alarm clock, she cursed under her breath and snatched her book-bag, stuffing her feet into a pair of tan suede boots and running out the door of the dorm. She had just enough time to run to her first morning class, English Literature. Once she met the chilly morning air, she scoffed to herself. The weather outside matched her mood perfectly - gray and drizzly. She avoided puddles by hopping around them, not once lamenting that she hadn't brought an umbrella out with her.
Sarah skidded into the classroom, plopping down in her usual seat in the back right corner of the room and opening her English textbook to double check the previous night's assignment, when her best friend Allison slid into the desk beside her.
"Mornin'," Allison greeted her with a yawn. Sarah closed her book and groaned, pressing her face to the surface of her desk. Raising an eyebrow, Allison remarked, "Well, someone looks happy. Why the long face?"
Sarah merely looked at her companion through locks of hair that had spilled over her face and sighed before forging a response. "Don't you know what day it is?" she asked, her voice heavily laden with contempt for the date.
Allison leaned back in her seat, smirking knowingly. "Ah, so that's what this is all about, huh?"
Sarah nodded meekly, dropping her head once again. "Look at me. I'm 19, aren't I supposed to go on dates at my age? I don't have a boyfriend, I don't even have any interested 'eligible bachelors' around. You, on the other hand, have Nick, and won't be alone watching romantic comedies all night in your dorm and pigging out on Valentine's Day candy you bought for yourself." She punctuated her plight with a pained groan.
Allison sighed and shook her head at her friend's rantings. "There are plenty of guys who would and have gone after you. You just turn your nose up at all of them and refuse to give them the time of day because they aren't," she took a dramatic pause, causing Sarah to look up. "'The one'," she finished, using air quotes to gesture. "But in all honesty how would you know if you never gave them the chance?"
Sarah started, then stopped, her mouth hanging open as she contemplated Allison's words.
"Exactly," Allison cut in before Sarah had the chance to form a sentence. "You bring all this loneliness upon yourself."
Sarah frowned. Allison obviously didn't get it, because HELL, she didn't even get it. She sucked in a quick breath before closing her gaping mouth. it wasn't like many other girls had had the same experience that she had had with that damned Goblin King. After experiencing (could she really call that dance 'experiencing' him?) him, no other man in the Aboveground seemed to compare. It was almost as if he had left that mark on her, sarcastically, so she would roam the world a love-starved virgin or something.
"Sarah, I want you to meet this guy I know," Allison began cautiously, hoping she wouldn't get shot down. "He's a friend of Nick's and he's really, really nice, I swear. He goes here with us and I think he might just be your type."
"My type?" Sarah repeated back to her halfheartedly. Did she even have a type?
"Well, I don't know for sure. But in any case, he's a cool guy and I think you should hang out with him and Nick and I sometime and you know, maybe get to know one another." Allison fixed her friend with a concerned look. "Besides, it doesn't seem normal for a pretty girl like yourself to spend most of her time indoors reading fairy tales, when you could make your own possibly by meeting a nice guy or two."
Sarah bristled at the last comment. Admittedly, she did spend a lot of her time reading through large fantasy anthology books, but it wasn't because she was trying to supplement her life for a fairy-tale one. She was searching, doing research... Trying to find out if she could find any legend similar to the experience she had had in the Labyrinth, a possible explanation of sorts... So far, she had found nothing.
"Just promise me you'll consider it?" Allison said, strained. "If you're gonna sit and grumble about not having a man in your life, then at least give this guy a chance."
"Fine, I'll consider it," mumbled Sarah begrudgingly. She knew Allison wouldn't let her give any other answer, and frankly she didn't blame her friend anyway. It was nice to have someone looking out for you.
Gradually, more students filed into the classroom, followed by the professor, and soon class had begun.
Casting a distant gaze outdoors, Sarah found her mind drifting to fairy-tales and cheesy romances set in fantastical realms, where handsome men would dote on her and never leave her wanting. Scrunching her brow, she wondered if that was even really what she wanted. She wanted something more, something specific to whisper into her ear at night, offering temptations and dark desires. She nearly snorted at her own corniness, but passed it off as a cleverly disguised cough when Allison threw her a slightly worried look.
There had to be something more... just as the labyrinth had taught her that not everything was as it seemed, right?
The ground outside the classroom window was covered in a thin blanket of snow that had fallen a few days before, untouched for the most part as students avoided walking in it like the plague. She pursed her lips, finding it more difficult than usual to listen to her professor's lecture. She had so much on her mind, yet she wasn't even sure what...
She zoned out looking at the white and dreary scenery, before a flash caught her eye. Instantly she blinked, trying to focus her eyes as a white blur flitted across the window. The next time she blinked, it was gone.
Sarah rubbed at her eyes a little, trying to strain them to test if she had imagined such a feat. She could have sworn something had flown right past her window... After another double take, she looked away, peeking from time to time out of the corner of her eye.
She yawned a couple times, and forced herself to try and pay attention to the lecture. It was something about one of Shakespeare's sonnets, but aside from that, she was almost humiliatingly lost. Just as she fell back into pace and began to concentrate, something flashed in her peripheral vision, causing her to snap her head in the window's direction.
Her breath died in her throat, and her fingers gripped the corners of her desk tightly, staring incredulously out the window. She was face to face with a snow white owl. She performed the same routine she had earlier, rubbing at her eyes in disbelief, but this time the image remained. There was most definitely a white owl perched outside the window, staring at her.
Sarah leaned over and quietly nudged Allison, not once removing her eyes from the owl's. Its small, coal black eyes were trained carefully on hers, its gaze unwavering. It watched her nudge her friend, cocking its head to the side just slightly as if to mock or taunt her. That really freaked Sarah out. She whipped her gaze away, looking wildly at her confused and slightly disgruntled companion.
"Allison!" she whispered harshly. "Do you see that?" Sarah pointed out the window, stabbing towards it with her index finger.
Allison looked from her index finger to her face, staring blankly. "See what?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
Sarah frowned, pointing again. "That! That out there, that OWL!" she hissed, trying to keep her voice down.
Allison looked towards the window again before looking back at Sarah's face, her brow knit with worry. "I... don't see anything."
Sarah snapped her mouth shut and whirled around to look out the window again, before stiffening. She was right, there was nothing... She blinked rapidly and opened her eyes, squinting to try and make any owl-like shapes out, but there was nothing to be seen except for the usual scenery. She frowned, and faced Allison again.
"I could've sworn, just a minute ago there was this little white owl out there, looking at me..." she commented quietly.
Allison's look of worry only deepened, and she reached out, patting her friend on the shoulder. "I think you need to relax," she advised her simply, and then turned to face the front of the classroom to listen to the rest of the lecture.
Sarah was still frowning to herself, looking back out the window again from time to time and wondering if what she had seen had been an illusion or not. She narrowed her eyebrows, chewing the inside of her cheek. She could've sworn she had seen that owl somewhere before, too... But she had no idea where...
The rest of the class period passed rather uneventfully after that, with Sarah constantly checking out the window to see if the owl had made a reappearance. Sadly, it hadn't, and she was beginning to wonder what Allison thought of her sanity. She chewed the inside of her cheek, tapping her fingers on her desk impatiently until the class period was dismissed. She hopped up from her desk, feeling surprisingly anxious but not knowing how or why. She was determined to go outside and see if she could find any trace of this owl.
Allison raised an eyebrow at her friend's odd behavior but said nothing, figuring that that was the best path to take. She watched Sarah flee from the classroom, shaking her head as she packed up her books.
Sarah knew she wasn't crazy. She had seen that owl, and she knew it had been staring at HER, nobody else. The way its eyes had been fastened on hers, the weight that its gaze held did not seem befitting for some bird. It sounded absolutely crazy, but that owl had been watching her in almost the same way a human would, analyzing and studying her. She snorted at the idea. It was just an owl, probably with a nest somewhere nearby. There was no need to jump to any conclusions about sanity, right? She was just strung out already from being single on Valentine's Day.
She wandered back to her dorm room, glancing at her watch. Thankfully that had been the only class for a couple more hours yet. She had time to just relax in her room for a little while.
She unlocked the door and shut it behind her, striding over to her bed and collapsing on top of it. She rolled over onto her side and curled up, clutching her pillow beneath her as she allowed herself to indulge in a much needed nap.
It was dark. Sarah looked around herself, blinking. Hadn't she just been back at her dorm...? She squinted, trying to peer around her, but wherever she was it was completely devoid of light. She frowned and felt around her pockets for her keys, remembering the flashlight keychain she had recently attached to her keyring. Grumbling, she realized she had left them on her nightstand... And something told her that artificial light would be of no use to her here. Wherever 'here' was...
There was a noise, much like a soft skittering behind her. Sarah whirled around, nearly losing her balance in the process. Was she alone?
"Sarah," came a voice, deep and masculine. It sent the tiny hairs on the back of her neck standing up straight, and she found herself slowly turning towards it.
Her breath caught in her throat, and she stumbled back. It couldn't be...
Before her stood a familiar figure, tall and very slender and dressed in what looked to be slightly worn, outdated clothing from another area. Tight white breeches gave way to a loosely ruffled silver shirt... and spiky blonde hair.
Sarah was speechless. He looked immaculate, as if nothing had rendered him changed at all from the last time they had met roughly 4 years before. His skin wasn't wrinkled, and his eyes still glittered rebelliously, betraying his otherwise mature appearance.
"What are you doing here?" she practically exhaled the question after raking in a shallow and shaky breath. She swallowed tightly, trying to discreetly feel around for any surfaces she might latch on to. She found none.
Jareth tilted his head at her, placing his hands upon his hips mockingly. "What am -I- doing here?" he parroted with a chuckle. He stepped forth, eyeing her reaction with great interest.
Sarah tried to shrink back, feeling her heart beating high up in her throat. "Well, where is here?" she demanded quickly, tossing a few lost-looking glances around the darkness. She wasn't entirely sure how could see him, anyway... His figure was untouched by shadows.
"Now, isn't that a better question?" he replied smugly. "The truth is that we are within one of your dreams. Terribly bleak looking thing, isn't it?" He looked around and scrunched up his nose, his upper lip curling.
She scowled at him. "I want you to take me back," she bit out. "I don't understand why you're here if this is my dream."
He gave a shrug. "It could be for any number of reasons. I think your dream-self might've been calling out to me, unbeknownst to you, and I just happen to be a being who cannot refuse those who have called upon me in such a way within their dreams."
Sarah cocked an eyebrow. "Why not?" she asked.
The Goblin King's lips curved into a sly smile as he shook his head lightly. "I have more duties than just snatching wished-away children, Sarah. It just so happens that one of them is catering to certain wishes of mortals made subconsciously."
She still looked confused, so he continued, "A person's subconscious is the most powerful part of them. It holds desires that they themselves might not even fully realize. Sometimes, the subconscious yearns for something so strongly, it calls out. I am attuned to answer those calls and recognize them."
Sarah knit her brow together. "But I don't understand, what do you do? Grant wishes in people's sleep?"
He shrugged nonchalantly. "Something like that, depending on the wish. Usually they entail toward my other specialties, such as if a sleeping mother subconsciously wants to wish away her child. I can tap into that screaming desire, and answer it."
"Stealing someone's kid based on their subconscious?" Sarah raised her voice, her features tightening into a glare. "But what if they didn't really mean it? Dreams are iust dreams after all! That's certainly a new low-blow for you though, Goblin King."
Jareth snarled and reached out, snatching her wrist and crushing it with bruising intensity, eliciting a yelp from Sarah. "I will not have some foolish little girl try and wrongly decipher my job description, not so tactlessly," he growled out. His mismatched eyes, one permanently dilated and nearly entirely black, the other with a pupil the size of a pin prick in comparison, sent terrified shivers down her spine. "I cannot answer calls from the subconscious unless they are so loud and desperate to not be ignored. Like your own call just now. And you'd think a bright girl like you would know that one's dreams and subconscious are the hidden gateway to the soul." He seethed before her. "I take no child unless they are so vehemently unwanted, and I show no cruelty to said child if I do take it," he said, a little less gruffly.
"Do you give the wisher a chance to run the labyrinth?" Sarah questioned.
"Yes, although it is an entirely different one, on a different plane. 'The Dream Labyrinth', where the runner must face a labyrinth entirely constructed based off of their own subconscious, complete with all hidden fears, angers, desires and humiliations."
Sarah cringed at the sound of that. "So the whole thing is a dream?"
"Yes," the Goblin King replied, rolling up his sleeves. "But enough about that, you called for me to come here, so here I am."
Sarah laughed nervously. "Well, technically my 'subconscious' called you here, not really me," she reminded him.
Unfazed, he stared her down. "The two are one and the same."
"That might be the case, but right now I'm just trying to figure out why my subconscious would call for you," she responded. "No offense or anything."
Jareth sneered. "Oh, none taken." His voice was laden with acidity.
Sarah rubbed at her head, sighing. She just didn't get it. Why the Goblin King of all possibilities? What could she possibly want with him at this point?
"You don't know, do you?" This time Jareth's voice was soft and almost held some understanding.
She shook her head.
Jareth looked as though he were chewing his lip, weighing his options. Sarah didn't blame him, in fact she hoped that if all of this really was the case, that he wouldn't be angry with her for wasting his time.
"Well then, if you have no further use for me here then I suppose I'll just head out," he announced, turning on his heels and beginning to walk away without waiting for a response.
Something snagged within her and she couldn't help but blurt out, "Wait!"
Jareth turned around, donning a rueful smirk.
"I mean-" She found herself almost stammering, without knowing why. "If my subconscious called out so loudly there must be some reason... right?"
His smirk only broadened, curling up on one end much like a predator. "Are you saying you want me to stay for a bit?" he asked, his voice still managing to sound mocking no matter what words he spoke.
"Yes," she answered swiftly.
"All right," he stepped back over to her leisurely, a hand rising to sit on his hip.
"You know why I called you, don't you?" Sarah asked without a moment's hesitation.
He looked slightly taken aback, but nodded with a 'hn' noise.
"So then, can't you tell me?" she looked at him hopefully.
Jareth took a deep breath and folded his arms across his chest, looking as though he were contemplating if it were the right thing to do. "You're lonely," he said simply. "You still crave that world of fantasy that you built up in your head, and you tie that to me."
Sarah gazed at him, feeling her heart skip a beat. She didn't know how, but suddenly it all clicked into place. The excuses she made as she skimmed pages from fantasy anthologies, the longing way she watched the sky at night, hoping for some glimpse of a way back.
Back to the labyrinth.
"Is the labyrinth of my own creation?" she breathed.
She winced as wild peals of laughter erupted from the man across from her, and she cast her eyes downward, too embarrassed to guess what sort of smug disdain hung on his expression.
"No, you daft and self-centered girl," Jareth answered her between more laughs. "Imagine that, a girl such as you creating such a flawless monument as my labyrinth."
Sarah grumbled, "I was just asking..."
"Indeed, and thank you for your stimulating and thought provoking ideas, Sarah. They're very much amusing." Somehow she knew he was just simply teasing her, but his lips were caught in a sneer that made her feel stupid and helpless.
"You know, you don't have to be so rude," she snapped. "If you're just going to be like this then maybe you should leave!" She fumed.
The Goblin King chuckled. "My apologies, it's just interesting how we could end things on such a gloriously rotten note last time and be reunited, by fate as if it were, within your dream after you called for me, without even the slightest clue why. Excuse me for finding it a bit... rich."
"What, are you still wounded because I actually beat you at your own game?" Sarah shot back.
"No, just slightly wounded that you didn't join me in my own game upon completing it," he stated bluntly. Sarah flinched.
"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked him, feeling dread surf over her.
"Must I spell everything out for you, girl?" He growled. "Oh yes, I remember - you're downright incapable of figuring anything out for yourself. You solved my labyrinth by the skin of your teeth, with the help of your impish little friends. If it weren't for them, you'd have rotted in an oubliette by now."
"You wouldn't have let me rot," she said matter-of-factly. "You would have tried another half assed attempt at seducing me somehow."
"Half assed?" he repeated. "If I remember correctly, it was working quite well."
"Not well enough," she ground out. She felt her hands clench into fists at her sides. "I don't understand, you wanted me to... stay, with you, yet now you speak to me like you want the very opposite. What do you want from me, if I'm lonely and fantasy-starved?"
"What if I were lonely too?" he suggested, almost sarcastically. "Wouldn't that be an amusing feat."
"If you were to admit it, I should think that the sky would be falling," she sniffed.
Jareth snorted slightly and tossed a few spiky locks back away from his face before watching her with an unreadable stare. "I never quite recovered from you, Sarah."
She had no idea why that made her feel so choked up all of a sudden. She turned away enough to shield her face from view, lest he see the stricken expression on her face. Something in his voice had sounded verifiably heartbroken...and it rustled something deep within her that gave her the instinct to feel like an asshole right then and there.
"I offered you my heart," he continued, stiffly. "Yet you refused anything and everything I offered you. Your wildest dreams... your fantasies come to life. I should have told you that I would have returned your brother unharmed. Why, Sarah? Why did you refuse me so?"
She swallowed carefully, grateful that he couldn't see her face. His voice was quaking in a barely detectable way, yet she heard it. Her own voice nearly broke when she responded, "I was just a kid. I couldn't. I didn't know any better..." God, she could kill herself for how weak and insecure her voice sounded.
He was quiet. She didn't want to turn around and see him, and see the painfully pleading expression she knew was there.
"I'm sorry for being so cruel," she managed weakly before a tear escaped and slipped down her cheek. She hated herself right now, she sounded pitiful and she felt guilty for causing him such lasting grief. She felt weak, like a child again.
Something jerked her backward, and she found herself crushed against the chest of the Goblin King himself, in a fiercely protective and tight embrace from behind.
She let loose, releasing a choked sob as she felt his leather gloved hand smooth the top of her hair. She surrendered to her weakness, spinning around and facing him, burrowing into his barely exposed neck.
Hugging the Goblin King wasn't like what she had thought it to be. His skin was cold and it tingled against her own, and his body was stoically rigid even though he was relaxed enough to initiate an embrace. She was sure she felt him shake too.
"Sarah," he murmured, almost chidingly. "Why lie to yourself? You belong with me, you called to me."
Sarah refused to respond until she could speak in a way that wouldn't humiliate her with embarrassing voice cracks and emotion induced pitchiness. She reared back slightly, feeling his surprise in the way his muscles tensed beneath her hands, and faced him, examining the vulnerable look he wore. Granted, his features were still hard as a rock, the only way she knew was by the faint twinkle in his eyes. She chastely pressed her lips against his, her mind reeling from performing an action so bold, and then withdrew, eyeing him shyly.
A primal groan billowed in his throat before he cupped the side of her face with one hand and leaned in to capture his lips in his, nibbling softly at her lower lip.
She could've died right there. Her face felt hot and flushed, her heart was palpitating like crazy, and she was counting the moments as he kissed her, wishing selfishly that it wouldn't end.
However, it finally did and they both exchanged thoroughly muted glances. It wasn't until Sarah broke out into a small, cheeky smile that a smug grin began to play on Jareth's lips.
However, Sarah's smile was short lived once she remembered a very distinct and unavoidable truth. "This is a dream," she reminded them out loud. "I could've dreamed all of this up, couldn't I?"
Jareth looked pained. "Technically, this is a dream. But I assure you that I'm here..."
She shook her head. "No... it feels too real to be fake, but..." She trailed off, swallowing uncertainly. "What happens when I wake up? Is everything reduced to just a dream?"
He shook his head. "It doesn't have to be. You have ways of reaching me," he informed her.
Sarah looked puzzled. "What? How?"
Jareth's lips curled up in a sly, slightly feral smile. "Don't you remember the words that you spoke yourself? 'The King of the Goblins had fallen in love with the girl, and given her certain powers...'" Watching the look of nostalgia cross her face, he placed his hand on his hip. "Right?"
Sarah hadn't even thought of those words in ages, the words that acted as the prelude to the greatest adventure she had ever embarked on. "You... It was all true, wasn't it?"
He gave a firm nod. "Every word."
She pouted slightly. "You certainly have a funny way of expressing your feelings, Goblin King," she said, lips still pursued.
"Jareth," he corrected. "I want you to call me by my given name."
Sarah smiled coyly and nodded. "All right. So, all I have to do is... call on you, and you'll come? Like when I wished away Toby?"
"Yes, I suppose, but without the screaming brat," Jareth replied. "I'll leave you to figure out the details, but for now I must retire back to my castle for the eve, and I do believe someone is trying to contact you through that mobile device," he added.
Sarah knit her eyebrows together, trying to strain her ears as the sound of her ringtone slowly filled the dream. "Shit, well I guess I have to go, too," she said, sighing.
Jareth pulled her into a sudden and tight embrace before planting a kiss on her forehead. "Until next time, Sarah."
Before she could say anything, he was gone, and the dream fell back into darkness before her eyes fluttered open and she reached for her phone. She answered it sleepily, "Hullo?"
"Sarah! Finally!" It was Allison. "I've been trying to get ahold of you for like 20 minutes. What, were you sleeping?"
Sarah sat up, rubbing her eyes. "Something like that," she responded.
"Well, I wanted to make sure you were okay after earlier," Sarah's mind flashed from the image of the snow white owl to the pale Goblin King, tying the two together instantaneously. A slow smile spread across her face as she missed the rest of Allison's words.
"Sarah, are you there?"
Sarah snapped out of it, still grinning, "Yeah. And I'm okay, I guess I was just sleep deprived."
A short lecture ensued about how Sarah really ought to get more sleep at night and stop staying up so late, and yadda yadda. Sarah stood up and paced her room slowly while she listened, when something by the window caught her eye. She wandered over and found a small crimson box lying on the window sill. Her heart pounded in her ears, and she quickly announced into the phone, "Gotta go," and promptly hung up.
Her fingertips grazed the surface of the box before she hesitantly lifted it into her palm and removed the lid.
She gasped. Inside there was a small, clear crystal ball, swathed in velvet fabric. She took it out and held it to the light, smiling to herself as it twinkled. She set it back in the box after removing a small, folded piece of parchment from underneath the velvet cloth.
She unfolded it, and read the tiny elegant scrawl across the page.
'To you, Sarah, I offer once more your wildest dreams. I will spin you mornings of gold, and Valentine evenings, all you need to do is simply ask. We can still choose the path between the stars.
Clutching that note to her chest, Sarah thought to herself that through this strange turn of events in the day, it seems that things had turned out... Well, perfectly. For the past few years she had dreamed of a Valentine's Day that wouldn't end in her smothering her tears in her pillow, whereas this Valentine's Day seemed to have sprouted from her pillow. She looked outside her window, smiling to herself.
"I wish the Goblin King would come visit me, right now."