Disclaimer: I don't own the Labyrinth. But I do own a Labyrinth t-shirt. It has David Bowie on it.
Babe with the Voodoo
Sarah lifted the heap of graded papers on to her desk with a tired groan. Why on earth had she decided to teach middle school English? Over fifty grand in school debt, slaving away at a job that kept her living paycheck to paycheck, and she barely had time to write anything of her own.
As she straightened out her work-appropriate, albeit boring, blue sweater vest and skirt, she failed to notice the two furry hands reaching up from behind her desk and setting an apple on top of it. A low barrage of cackles caught her attention and she looked up, just missing the small Goblins as they blinked themselves out of her world. Her eyes fell on the shining red apple now sitting a top her day planner.
"Huh, I could've sworn that wasn't there before," She said quietly.
Her stomach grumbled at the sight of the treat. She had skipped breakfast this morning, and for no apparent reason. She picked the fruit up, began rubbing it against her sweater as she checked the clock on the wall. It was seven fifteen. She had a full forty-five minutes before any students would show up. Tobey was right, traffic wasn't bad today, and she totally could have stopped to eat the delicious cheesy omelette he had made her.
She fell into her wooden desk chair and inspected the apple. Even though it had probably sat there all night, it looked clean as a whistle. Probably hadn't needed the extra wipe down. Some kid must have left this for her after she went home yesterday. Odd, she thought. Why would a student come back after the teacher had gone to give her an apple? Why not wait until morning?
Her stomach grumbled again, and so she bit in. The tiny fruit bursted with tangy, sweet flavor. It was the most delicious apple she had ever tasted. She took another big bite and then held it in her mouth, freeing up her hands to pull the stack of papers closer. She pulled out one of the reports and laid it on the desk.
Did the kid grow the apple themselves? Maybe they bought it from some local farm. Sarah tore into it with the same enthusiasm she usually saved for cheesecake. Maybe I'm not eating enough fruit, She thought remorsefully.
She stared down at the graded paper, re-reading to make sure she had caught all of Billy's extraneous punctuation. That boy sure loved the exclamation point. Too bad he insisted on ending almost every sentence with one, and sometimes more than one. As she read about how, 'Goats are awesome! Goats can eat tin-cans! ! A goat kicked my dad in the groin! ! !' her eyes-lids began to droop.
She tried to shake it off, but suddenly she felt very drowsy. It probably wasn't professional, but maybe she could take a cat-nap before class started. She wanted to set the alarm on her phone, but couldn't bring herself to reach in her purse and find it, because Billy's report was looking a lot like a fluffy, goose-feather pillow. She laid her head on the paper, hoping the large red 'C' didn't rub off on her forehead. She closed her eyes for one blissful second…
"Sarah!" Hoggle cried.
"What!" Sarah cried back, her head snapping up at attention.
She found herself suddenly standing in an oubliette with Hoggle by her side.
"What?" She said again and then looked down at herself. She was dressed in a peasant blouse and really out-of-date mom jeans. She remembered having a pair like this when she was young and could actually pull them off. She cupped her backside, and her eyes widened in shock when she realized that there was a whole lot less to love there.
"Are you gonna help me up or not?" Hoggle shrieked at her.
They were standing next to a familiar ladder that Hoggle kept trying to unsuccessfully climb. But Sarah wasn't paying any attention. She kept groping her butt. She lifted the hippy-dippy blouse and stared at her svelte waist. She arched her back to look behind herself.
"Holy cow – it's my ass, circa nineteen eighty-six!" She cried jubilantly.
"Sarah!" Hoggle hissed at her.
She let the blouse drop and finally, she paid attention to him. He looked just as she remembered, just as he did in the Labyrinth, and even after when he would appear to her in the mirror. Well, if that had actually happened.
A very expensive therapist told her that the Labyrinth had just been the fevered dream of a girl on the brink of womanhood, escaping reality to deal with a changing family environment. Sarah was still unsure how a sexy Goblin king helped her cope with her mother's death. Apparently she grieved via tight riding pants, or so the therapist said.
After the meds, and after her Labyrinth friends stopped visiting her when she called, she found it was easier to believe Dr. Spock. Her therapy ended when she turned twenty, and even though her family was wary, the doctor assured them she was cured. Coincidentally, this happened after she had made several Star Trek jokes during their last session.
"Must be a dream," She said softly. Then she furrowed her brow. If this was a dream, and she knew it was a dream, then she should be waking up.
"Never been one for lucid dreaming," She said and then gently gripped the ladder, her hand unsure, as if the whole thing might explode at her touch.
"Help me up!" Hoggle cried again.
"All right, all ready!" Sarah said in a huff, reminding herself of the bratty teen girl she had once been.
Hoggle started climbing the ladder, and Sarah pushed him up it as she climbed, just as she had before. They came out the other end, only it wasn't in the middle of the Labyrinth anymore.
Sarah peeked her head up from the vase, which now sat in the center of Jareth's throne room. She crawled out to find Hoggle suddenly missing.
"Your eyes can be so cruel," A sing-song voice coming from behind her said.
She whipped around to find Jareth, looking delicious as ever, decked out in his glittery frock and pants that left little to the imagination.
"Hey, you're not supposed to show up until after I've had my nightly wine." Sarah said.
"And why is that, precious?" He said, his mouth spreading into a tilted grin.
"I think we both know why," Sarah said.
"It's nice to know you dream of me," Jareth said, "at least when you're drinking."
"Yep, while I'm drinking," Sarah said, and then thought, in the tub.
"Hey," Sarah said, confusion dawning on her face. "You're not supposed to know you're a dream. That breaks the rules or something. And shouldn't you be wearing a fedora and singing Mmmbop?"
"Mmmbop?" Jareth asked with a quirked brow.
"Yea, damned radio alarm clock. Haven't been able to get it out of my head all morning," Sarah said, "Figured it'd carry over into my subconscious."
Jareth chuckled as Sarah began circling him. She looked up and down his lithe form, drinking in every detail.
"I hate to break it to you, but you're not in a dream. At least, not the kind you're talking about." He said.
"Or really?" Sarah asked, coming to face him with a devious glint in her eye.
"If this isn't a dream, then could I do this?" She said and then lunged forward and pinched him hard on the neck.
"Ouch!" Jareth cried and then stepped back. He narrowed his eyes at her as he rubbed the abused flesh.
"I swear, you make that joke every time," he said with a snarl. "And, rest assured, it has never been funny!"
"What do you mean, 'every time,'" Sarah asked.
"Every time my goblins have tricked you into grabbing a crystal," Jareth said.
Sarah looked down at her clothes, then around at the room, and once more at Jareth. She held out her arm and pinched the soft flesh.
"Ow," She said. When that failed to wake her up, she went higher, pinching herself on the upper arm. "Ow."
She continued doing this, each time making the pinches harder and more powerful. Jareth looked on with calm detachment.
"Has that ever worked in your real dreams?" He asked.
"I-I don't know. I've never had a dream this…" Sarah's words trailed off as she struggled to make sense of things.
"Real?" Jareth finished for her.
He stepped forward and brushed his leather-clad hand against her cheek. Sarah's eyes fluttered but never fully closed. She couldn't stop staring into his mis-matched eyes. For so many years she fantasized about those eyes. She wanted them to be real. For Jareth, the powerful and devious Goblin King, to be real. But it wasn't. She'd made it all up.
Before the sharp, painful memories of feeling abandoned and being forced into therapy could fully form, she took a step back from him and shook her head.
"Maybe there was something in that apple. A bug, a worm? Yes, a worm. It was poisonous, no, radioactive. I sure hope one of my students finds me in time to call the paramedics, and I really hope it isn't Derek. I don't want to wake up in the hospital with a penis drawn on my forehead." She said.
Jareth chuckled at her.
"You'll be back before your class begins," He said.
"Good," Sarah said with a relieved sigh.
"But I warn you. From now on, when you become trapped in my crystals, I won't take away your memory. I've grown tired of watching you forget all that happens between us, precious." He said and then stepped closer to her once more.
Before she could protest, his arms encircled her waist and pulled her to him. Her smaller, pubescent breasts pressed against his stomach, and she craned her head back to stare up at his face. His soft, blond hairs hung down, tickling her cheeks. His peachy lips glistened, his wide grin showed off his sharp, imperfect teeth. Sarah rested her hands on his chest, feeling his rich, silken clothes. She licked her lips unconsciously. Jareth leaned down, resting his forehead against hers.
"Jareth," Sarah whispered.
"I'll see you after your bath," He said with a wink.
Sarah awoke with a start. There was a stream of fresh drool cascading down over her chin and on to her neck. She quickly wiped it away, just as she saw the twenty little faces staring at her. Her eyes shot to the clock. It was eight thirty. She had been passed out in front of her young, impressionable students for thirty minutes. She quickly stood up from the wooden chair, and straightened out her skirt.
"And that, class, is why you don't... trust Goblin Kings," She said.
Most of her students looked confused, and with good reason. They began to whisper amongst themselves. Sarah could have sworn she heard a familiar, mocking cackle as she scrambled to begin the class.
So, the line "Sarah awoke with a start," was, for a long time, incorrectly spelled "Sarah awoke with a snart." It was really hard for me to correct that… I think I laughed for a good ten minutes when I caught it.
Oh, and if you're unaware - a snart is when you sneeze and fart at the same time. So feel free to imagine Sarah waking up in front of her class by snarting. The hilarity is compounded when you think about the fact that she had just been fantasizing about Jareth. I know that's how most of my fantasies about men end, bodily speaking.