Chapter One

Sarah opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling, thinking about the events of last night. Her head still spun with images of the Labyrinth: the glitter, the walls, the goblins, her new friends, and of course, the Goblin King. It was all crazy enough to make her believe it was just a dream-the result of too much make believe and play rehearsals in the park. When she looked at her clothes crumpled on the floor and saw the dirt stains smeared across her shirt and pants, she knew it wasn't a dream. She had really wished away her baby brother, and she had really left the world she lived in to get him back.

Sarah could feel that a change had taken place within her overnight. When she looked at her toys and the fairy tale books that lined her shelves, she no longer felt the sense of satisfaction and happiness their sight usually inspired. Instead she felt embarrassed for holding on to them for so long, when many girls her age were becoming interested in boys, make up, and clothes. "It's time for a change", Sarah said aloud, to no one in particular. With that, she got out of bed, got dressed for the day, and went down to breakfast. It was a Saturday, so she was the last person to come downstairs. Her stepmother Irene looked at her with a wary expression and asked, "What would you like for breakfast this morning?" Sarah felt a little pang of guilt when she thought about the way she had treated Irene the night before, so she responded as nicely as she could. "I'll just have some cereal this morning. I think I'm going to clean out my room today and get rid of a lot of my stuff, and I want to get an early start." Irene looked surprised at this statement, and looked at Sarah's father Robert as if to say, "Who is this girl, and what has she done with Sarah?" Robert put down the paper he was reading and asked, "What brought this on? You love your things; why would you want to get rid of them?" Sarah couldn't think of an explanation that would satisfy her parent's curiosity without telling them the entire story of what happened while they were out, so she simply repeated what she said in her bedroom: "It's time for a change." With that, she poured herself a bowl of corn flakes, sat down at the kitchen table, and tried to ignore the looks that Irene and Robert were giving her.

After breakfast Sarah found a few garbage bags and made her way back up to her room. She decided that she could donate most of the stuffed animals and books to the local Good Will, so she packed as many of them as she could into the bags and stacked them outside her door. She then went through her clothes and got rid of the things she had out grown, not just physically but emotionally as well. Cleaning out her room took her all morning and most of the afternoon, but when she was finished she had an undeniable sense of satisfaction and a lot more closet space. "I'll get dad or Irene to take me to Good Will tomorrow after church so I can get rid of most of these bags, and the rest can go to the dump" Sarah thought, as she went downstairs for dinner. "I should also think about getting some more clothes, since I've severely depleted my wardrobe."

Robert and Irene looked surprised when Sarah ran her hand over Toby's head as she made her way to her seat at the table, but they weren't about to ask her about the change that had taken place in the past twenty four hours; There was no way they were going to question their good luck. After they asked the blessing, Sarah smiled at Irene and asked, "Will you please pass the potatoes?"