All right. I decided just to post it to the list. Standard disclaimer stuff, Sarah and Jareth aren't mine, though these particular incarnations are. You'll see what I mean. Again, this is a re-write of the short story I posted last September. I wanted to rework it, and it's been a pet project since then. So here we go. It's not explicit, though it does have some suggestive stuff near the end. I don't think it will offend. The title was taken from the name of a short story I read awhile ago, but I can't remember the author's name. If anyone knows, I'd love to give credit where it's due. I've no plans for a sequel at this time, but if someone wants to write one, feel free to contact me.

Demon Lover

She trudged along the dusty ground, the wind whipping her hair. "Go away!" She whispered harshly to the wind. The too hot sun beat down on her without reply. This suffering was her own creation, she knew. It had all began a few months ago, and something deep within her recognized the day's strange events as a warning that the end result was near. She had always been intrigued by fairy-tales, most probably because her own life was such a horror. Her mother abandoned her when she was small; she grew up with only her father, and the shadow of her mother's fame. So the stories became her means of escape. But while most little girls revered the heroines though, she had always despised them, with their princes that always ran to their rescue. Where was *her* knight in shining armor, she wanted to know. As she had grown, her tastes had changed slightly, sliding more and more into darker magic and the occult. She grew accustom to holding strange rites in the dark sanctity of her room, mostly out of curiosity as to what would happen. She was skeptical of all of it, and unsurprisingly, nothing ever came of her dabbling. But there was another part of her, though she did not want to admit it, that was loaning for it to really work, for one of her spells to conger up some black sprite from the pits of hell, just so she'd have someone to talk to. Which is why, she supposed, she spent so much time searching in musty bookstores and dimly lit libraries for long forgotten texts. College life was dull for her. As an aspiring actress, she was a flop, so she had been set adrift on a sea of hopelessness. She was unsure of what to do with herself now. Of course she pretended, for her father's sake, that she had some idea of what she was doing. But in truth, she found herself drifting more and more towards depression and dispare. Her one real thrill was finding those ancient tomes. One evening, in a particularly out-of-the-way shop on the edge of town, she found a small book, bound in red leather, richly embossed. She began reading and was instantly fascinated. Here was a nether-realm demon worthy of her attentions.

"This deamon he Goblin King, Lord of the Labyrinth, is fond of young maidens, who call on him to take away unwanted babes. He is said to make a challenge to the girl, and may keep both her and the child if she fails. He can be summoned simply by calling upon him..."

The book was titled "Deamons and Spirits of the Underground." She bought the book and retreated to her loft. The apartments in the collage town were far out of her price range, but she had found an attic loft for rent cheaply. It was small, but close to the collage, and she was left alone. She had spent the whole night reading the book. The character of the Goblin King completely captivated her. She soaked up every detail of his being, even thrilled with a kind of sick passion at the tales of his cruelty. She was inexplicably drawn to his dark nature, and found in herself a new void that had opened; gaping and yearning or some vile ecstasy to fill it. Even still, it took her fully two nights to work up the courage to call him. She lit every candle she owned, and sat in the middle of her room. She took a deep breath.

"Jareth, Goblin King, Come to one who calls for you; Come to one who needs you; Come to me."

No sooner had the words been spoken, than the wind set up howling outside. She could hear branches lashing against the windows, and lightning flashed through the curtains. A roar of thunder ripped through the air, causing her to jump. "What have I done? What have I done?" She was starting to panic. Shadows were dancing around her room in fiendish ways; the wind seemed to have penetrated the very room, making the candles flicker, and then, all at once, go out. At the same time, the whole room was plunged into unearthly silence. A breath of warm air tickled the back of her neck, sending a shiver down her spine.

"You don't know how long I've waited, Sarah. I haven't been called in such a long time." A melodic voice whispered in her ear. Her pulse quickened and something deep within her stirred at the voice.

"Wh-who are you?" She stammered.

"Oh, I think you know. You called me, after all."

"But I didn't think you were real!" She cried. He laughed, a cold, hollow sound. "Let me see you."

"I can't. Not yet. I'm not strong enough. Soon though....soon." His voice died away in a sweet whisper. He had grown stronger in the following weeks. She had awoken one night to see him, leaning against the door frame. He had pallid skin and an angular face. His white-blond hair was cut in a strange spiky fashion, with longer strands cascading around his face. He was dressed in black boots that came to his knees, black pants, and a red velvet doublet. Over this, he wore a kind of breastplate, with a strange symbol set into it. She got out of bed and walked to him. She looked into his eyes, one blue one hazel. She raised her hand to touch his cheek, but her hand passed right through him. "Soon. Soon I'll be as real as you are, Dear Sarah. You called me back when I was almost forgotten. Much longer, and I would have been trapped in the Underground forever. I'm in debt to you. And I promise, I never forget a debt." There was something almost threatening in the statement. Sarah found herself wondering just what she'd gotten herself into. She found herself obsessing over him, not a habit she had ever had before. Things caught and held her interest, yes, but never had she been subject to such a whole-spirited mania. She never tired of hearing his voice. She could always hear him, even when she was at school. There would be a puff of air, and her whispered name. It always made her tingle. Soon, she could think of nothing but him. Her whole being was linked to him. A mere word from him could set her frame atremble. She needed to hear him, to see him. The ecstasy she felt when she was near him was nothing compared to the agony when she was not. Sarah began to lose herself in a treacherous landslide of fantasy so that she could hardly tell the real world from her imagination. Maybe there was no boundary, she thought darkly, maybe he was making her dreams real. She was tumbling head long into a new realm of emotion, even depravity. She caught herself thinking things that sickened her once she recognized them. She realized he was beginning to control her life.

"Come with me, Sarah. I can show you your dreams." A crystal ball he had conjured out of thin air rested in the palm of his hand. He held it level with her eyes. "Leave this place. What happiness is there for you here? I can give you a life you've never imagined." He pulled her against him and held her fast. "It's what you want." His voice was low and menacing.

"NO!" she shouted, shaking her head. Her sable hair flew out around her. "Your trying to control me. Leave me alone!" He gave her a cold look.

"Sarah, don't defy me." With that warning, he vanished into the night. He hadn't returned for quite a few nights, and for a little while, she thought he had actually left. That, or he had been a figment of her mind. Then, one night, she saw him in a dream. They were standing on a windswept hill, beneath a rusty sky. Spread out before them was the Labyrinth, ever winding in upon itself, changing even as she watched. "This could all be yours, Sarah. Just love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave."

"I don't want you!" She almost screamed.

"Foolish girl." He snarled. "You *will* be mine. This I vow." She awoke in a cold sweat. She had been living in fear of him for weeks now. Dreading the moments when she could feel invisible kisses trail down her neck, feel is intangible fingers caress her skin. These sensual moments were always balanced though, by another kind of torment. Bite marks would appear, as did bloody welts up and down her arms as if fingernails had been scraped across her skin. He could strike her every nerve with such paralyzing anguish that she blacked out. Her face was pummeled by invisible fists in uncontrolled rage, then her split and bloody lips would be kissed with equal tenderness, and the bruises would vanish. He could inspire her to madness with a single half-felt caress. In true poltergeist fashion he would hurl things around the room; books, vases, even her reading lamp. He pinched and poked at her during the day so that she squirmed in her seat during lectures. The worst torment of all, though, was his voice in her head. At once maddening and exquisite, one moment laughing maniacally, then soothing in low tones. She slowly slipped from sane thought and searched desperately for any logic that could explain away this seeming malady. There was none. She felt a sickening twist in the pit of her stomach whenever she tried to ascertain just how far he had managed to ingrain himself into her mind. There was no end to the hallucinatory images she saw of him in crowds or dark places. And was the voice that called her like a lover's caress real and palpable, or was it only another symptom of her obvious estrangement from reality? She grew frightened and her wide eyes filled with tears when she tried to stare into the yawning pit of insanity that was stretching ever wider before her. Yet thoughts of him, even in their most terrifying of moments, fed her with such an unearthly pleasure, that she lost herself in his fiendish and wicked manipulations. Sarah ceased almost to care. She raised her head, and peered at the dry landscape. The wind blew hard, making it difficult to even walk. Crows flew in front of her, and cawed at her passing. How could he have grown so strong? The dusty air parched her lips and throat. Too hot for late September. She hurried towards home. "Damn you, Jareth!" She screamed to the air. As if in reply, some unseen wind-blown object cut across the inside of her arm. She stared in mute horror as blood welled out of the laceration, inches from her wrist. She stifled a low groan as the sun sank below the horizon, and she reached home. Clutching her injured arm, she hurried inside. She quickly bandaged the cut, and ran to her bedroom. "Come to me Jareth. Show yourself!" The wind howled louder. There was a laugh behind her.

"I knew you'd call." He walked towards her, and touched his gloved hand to her cheek. "Real as you are. You've made me strong, Sarah. I thrive on your passion."

"Why are you doing this to me? I helped you, now leave me alone!"

"I love you, Sarah. Why won't you accept it? Why won't you open your eyes and see the world around you, what your life has become? There is only one path for you to take."

"You're a monster!"

"And you love me. Isn't it so? Look deep inside yourself, see that it is. Admit it!"

"No!" She ran from the house in a panic. The streets were all deserted. With no moon to cast a glow, the only illumination came from a few scattered street lamps, and the clouds overhead, which seemed to have a sickly luminescence all their own. She shivered as it reminded her vaguely of a horror movie set. Any minute, the demon was going to round the corner behind her. She almost laughed at her foolishness when the wind picked up. It buffeted her around with a unbelievable amount of force. It's hideous roar drowned out almost all other sound. In fact, the only other accompaniment to the cacophony was the dry rattle of leaves as they scuttled past her. Then there was another sound. It came quietly at first, then louder and louder until it rivaled the noise of the wind. A sharp 'click click' on the pavement behind her. The demon had arrived. She started to run, struggling against the wind that threw her about like a rag doll. It was an icy wind that cut her to the bone, more like November now. The heat that had assaulted her earlier had vanished and left an frigid chill in it's wake. She ran faster and faster, gasping for breath. The footsteps followed, never quickening, but always right behind her. 'Click click click.' She sprinted blindly now, not caring what was ahead of her, only trying to escape what was behind her, the unearthly predator who would not end his pursuit until he got what he wanted. Ahead of her, a large branch came crashing down. She skidded to a halt, panting, throat searing for want of breath. The footsteps stopped.

"What do you want?" She cried in a hysterical voice.

"You." He looked down at her with a scowl. "No need to make this so difficult. Come with me. Forget about your life."

"I can't." she sobbed. She started to run again, but tripped over the gnarled tree branch, and landed with a sickening snap. She would run no more.

He stood over her with demonic splendor. "Such a pity. You should have given up when you had the chance. You know you can't escape."

"Yes." She said weakly, closing her eyes. She had no strength left to resist him. Her leg throbbed painfully and tears sprung up in her eyes.

"Then you're mine?"


"Forever?" He purred seductively.

"Yes." She whispered in reply. He lifted her fragile form and held her against him. She felt his soft lips on hers, trailing back to her ear, on her eyelids. She collapsed against him, giving in completely. "Forever." She lost herself to the embrace of her Demon Lover.

________ it better? Did I ruin it? Let me know!