Sarah had finally cleaned up the last of the confetti from the impromptu party thrown by her new friends when she heard her parents pulling up into the drive. She ran down the stairs as they entered the front door. "Welcome home!" She greeted them with a joyful voice as she hugged them.
"Thank you sweetie." Her father hugged her back.
"Sarah, you're still up? How's Toby?" Karen asked.
"He's passed out."
"Did he give you any trouble?" Karen slipped her jacket off and handed it to Robert. Sarah held back a nervous laugh but shook her head in reply. "Well good. It's past midnight, aren't you tired?"
"A little I guess." She wasn't tired at all; with the past events whirling in her mind she wanted to write it all down before she forgot it, if she ever did. "I'll get to bed soon, I wanted to finish reading the last chapter of my book." She said as she headed back upstairs. "Night!" With that she ducked back into her empty room. The singing goblins still rang in her thoughts, the dancing still vibrated through her bones. It was the most fun she had ever had. Sarah took a seat at her desk, grabbing note pad from a drawer and began to scribble everything down. An hour past when she heard her parents enter their room. She kept quiet and listened till she heard nothing left moving in the house before focusing back to writing down her adventures. A few hours past when she felt completed. 'Read it in the morning with fresh eyes.' She reminded herself.
It didn't take long for Sarah to pass out, all the excitement caught up with her leaving her drained of energy. Sweet slumber called to her, taking her into the deep dreamstate. Sarah found herself on a bench in the park on a warm day. Hoggle was there, Sir Didymus and Ludo too, The Firey Gang, and more goblins scattered about playing. She lifted her hand holding a tea cup and on the rim was a little blue worm. Sarah smiled at him but a barren feeling filled her. 'My dear?' she heard the worm ask, but felt no need to respond as she looked around. 'Something's missing.' Had she thought that or said it?
She glanced down, the worm and cup were gone, she checked out her surroundings to find no one in sight. Sarah stood up, "Hello?" Her voice echoed back. A splashing noise caught her attention so she made a mad dash to the small duck pond and fell to her knees at the edge. Instead of her reflection she saw an aerial view of the Labyrinth. She loomed closer to the watery surface as the image zoomed in closer to the castle; it was in ruins, crumbled and battered. Sarah's heart fell as her fingers reached out to touch a glass surface "What's going on?" The image changed to black.
"Didymus?! … LUDO?"
Nothing. Sarah's disposition began to tumble, her teeth held her tongue but the worry in her pried them apart.
"Please, Jareth." She whispered hoping no one would hear.
The image shifted, it was hazed and hard to make out the small image. Thoughts began emerging as the image cleared; is he dead? Curled up in pain? Why can't I get an answer? All thoughts stopped when something floated closer to the surface. Sarah looked puzzled, "A necklace? No it's..." Jareth's amulet hit the glass surface just under her fingers. Sarah hit the glass with a fist and it held fast. She glanced around her looking for something to break the covering; finding nothing close by she resorted to using her clenched fists to pound the top. A crack spidered out giving her hope and renewed strength. One last strike opened the water to her, unfortunately she had not recovered her balance and fell into the cold murky waters.
Sarah had been in these waters before knowing it was shallow so she was shocked when something grabbed her wrist pulling her down deeper. Sarah tried to pry her arm free when something else wrapped their slimy feeling fingers around her other wrists. 'SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!' Sarah fought, twisted, struggled, and kicked toward the thing dragging her down. The pressure released and she was free'd. Did she hit it? She couldn't tell and she didn't care; all her remaining energy was put into swimming up, or what she thought was up. It seemed to take forever and her lungs began to burn.
Finally she emerged, filling her lungs with sweet fresh air. Her sopping wet hair covered her face and eyes but that did not bother her as she crawled on hands and knees in shallow water to the shore. When her hand landed on something hard she pushed her hair back to find Jareth's amulet under her palm. Sarah snatched it up in a hurry as if it would grow legs and sprint away. She finally stood up to find she wasn't in the park.
Sarah stood amongst an orchard, the air was sweet and crisp in the sun setting light. 'Where am I?' She looked back to find the water had disappeared and her clothes were dry as if it never happened. 'What's going on?'
"Hello?" She spoke meekly, no one replied. "Hello?" She tried again with more omf in her tone.
"Oh hullo!" A voice from up above spoke back. Sarah looked up searching the branches for the source.
"Hey! Um, where are you?"
"Iza up here." It's little voice replied. She still couldn't pinpoint its location.
"I don't see you. Where are we exactly?"
"In za orchard, lady!"
"I can see that much." Sarah's hands flew to her hips accompanying her tone of voice while she investigated the tree tops. "I want to know where I am outside of the orchard."
"But you ain't outsides za orchard." Sarah bit her lip and took a deep breathe in through her nose to calm her growing anger. A rustling attracted her eyes and ears when a little brown critter fell to the ground with a plop. Sarah knelt down quickly to examine it. IT was a small goblin. The realization hit her like a ton of bricks. A familiar feeling of dread creeped up on her.
"Are you alright?" She asked the goblin.
"Course!" The little thing jumped to its feet. He stood about one foot high, his clothes were handmade by the look of the stitching and made of brown cloth with a rat like tail sticking out the back. He had beady maroon eyes without the evil looking intent in them. The goblin then noticed the amulet in Sarah's hand. "Ooo, shiny shine." Sarah looked at it too.
"Yeah, I think it's Jare- uh The Kings, I'm going to return it to him. Can you help me find him?"
"Sure sure lady!" Before Sarah could blink the little guy pounced at her, she squealed and fell back on her butt. The goblin clambered up to her should to perch.
"You scared me." Sarah grabbed her chest to ease her rapid heartbeat. The goblin said nothing he didn't even look offended or sorry. "What's your name?" she asked having to glance at him from the corner of her eye.
"Sqiabilberours." He answered proudly. "Lady can call me Sqib."
"Nice to meet you, Sqib. I'm Sarah. Now, how do we get to the castle?"
Sarah tried to follow his instructions of turn past the knotty tree that looks like a fish with tap shoes and a sword. As much fun as it wasn't trying figure out which tree it was, Sarah ended up pointing ahead with Sqib saying no no no no no yes. It took nearly 200 yards of walking to reach the castle.
"Ok Sqib... which way?"
"thiz way!" He pointed right. Sarah followed along the high castle wall with it on her left and the orchard on her right. The sun had set making the ground a little harder to see. She placed a hand on the wall to help guide her along. 'Ugh! Why am I here again? Ok Sarah, don't worry, just get to Jareth and explain what happened and if he had anything to do with this then strangle him!' Sarah sighed. Every fiber in her wanted to say it wasn't fair but she knew better, there maybe a reason she was here. It no longer felt like a dream, the stone under her hand felt real, the light pressure of Sqib and his shifting felt real, struggling to see through the darkness seemed real enough; she just wished for a flashlight or even fireflies. Her thumb had been rubbing the amulet in her hand to the point it began to feel warm. She looked down and noticed the silver embedded coin dimly glowing.
"Oo shiny shine again?"
"Yeah but why?" Sqib had no answer and she couldn't think of anything either. Sarah shrugged and held it out in front of her. The light wasn't much but it was better than nothing. After what seemed like 500 yards, they reached a door with a small flight of stairs leading to it. Sarah stepped up and rapt on the door. With no response she opened it and poked her head in.
"Hello?" She stepped in, shining the amulet along the way helped determined the room was used for storage of barrel. Winding her way around, wandering was more like it, she felt like she was back in the Labyrinth. . . 'Oh wait, I am. Damn.' With a groan she continued until her fruitful searching found her at the bottom of another staircase. A quick jaunt up and through a doorless archway lead her into a kitchen. Goblins of all shapes and sizes were hustling about like mad. Some cooking, others cleaning, a few looked like their job was to make the other's job more difficult by purposely making messes. Most laughed as they worked and the remaining seemed angry.
No one noticed her or said a word. "Excuse me." She hailed a passing Goblin.
"There's no excuse for you!" it replied and kept on trucking.
"That was rude." She said under her breath. "Clearly no one will be of any help." Sqiub nodded. Her eyes scanned along the walls until she spotted a door northeast of her. Sarah watched the goblins for a moment trying to determine a pattern in their strides but it was all chaos. "Hold on Sqib." His little hands gripped her shirt as she walked forward. Sarah made every attempt to avoid colliding with the creatures, sadly no one tried to do the same. One goblin ran into her legs nearly pushing her down which then created a pile up of more goblins. She moved and it happened again. 'Faster than.' She thought speeding up, a few times having to jump over fallen bodies.
Once she made it safely to the stairs she turned back to see the damage, it was minor; the fallen were yelling incoherently but all in all it could have been worse. Proud of herself for making it out alive and double checking on Sqib, Sarah strode up the stairs and into a corridor.
The quietness was a stark contrast of the chaos below. "Ok, Which way Sqib."
"Sqib not know, Iza orchard gob'n." Sarah sighed heavily with a roll of her eyes.
"Of course you are. Go fig."
"No no iza peach gob'n. Dakerlerg is fig gob'n." Sarah pinched the bridge of her nose. She had a peach goblin to help find The King, the irony was not lost on her. A quick eenie-meanie-miney-mo helped their journey begin again.
"What's a peach goblin anyhow?" She asked.
"Iza help the orchard grow."
"Will it die without you there?" She inquired.
"No no there be more uh' us."
"Good to know."
The walking continued, this felt all too familiar with no twists or turns so with a lesson learned she ran a hand along the way, switching sides in the wide hall. Still nothing and it began to frustrate her, Sarah looked back and saw nothing but darkness and her hand was cramping up from carrying the amulet but she needed the light it shown. Reluctantly she wrapped it around her neck and fit the clasp together letting it hang in the middle of her chest. Sarah could feel the warmth emanating from it seeping into her clothes, skin and her bones. Al dizzy feeling began to take her and forcing her to sit down against the wall.
"Lady, you wear Kingy's shiny?"
"It's temporary, just until we find him."
"Lady not Kingy?"
"God, no!" Sarah laughed. "Kings are men, women are Queens."
"Lady Queeny then!" His voice was over excited. "Iza never had Queeny be for."
"No, Squib. I'm not the Queen." Sarah closed her eyes. "I just can't carry it anymore." She felt drained of energy and somehow she knew he was going to press the issue, he did, Sarah could hear him talking but his voice sounded far away.
A loud buzzing noise sounded in her ear, Sarah was startled awake by her alarm clock. Her arm swiftly reached out to shut it up before she plopped back down into her pillow. She laid there for a moment trying to recall her dream as she often did.
"OH my God!" Sarah bolted back up onto her knees and scanned the room, her room in the daylight. "Sq- Was it just a dream?." Sarah sat back on her legs when Karen called to her from the otherside of the door.
"Sarah, you up yet?"
"Good, I was wondering if you had plans today." Sarah had to re-organize her thoughts before answering.
"No I don't think so. Why?"
"Well..." Karen seemed to hesitate, "You're father was called into a meeting and my book club will be here in an hour, I was wondering if you'd take Toby to the park." Sarah was about to answer when Karen began again, "I'll give you some money, you can go have some ice cream; it'll be a treat on me."
"Sure, I will. Let me just get dressed and I'll be down in a moment."
"Thank you, Sarah." Karen hurried away leaving Sarah alone to her thoughts.
'Ok Sarah... what happened. You were with Sqib in the hallway, before that the chaotic kitchen, walking along the castle, in the orchard, drowning? No, someone was pulling me. Why was I in the water?' She tried hard to remember. 'I remember being at the park... The pond! Something was in the pond.' Sarah got a tingling sensation in the pit of her stomach, would that thing be there? Sarah's adrenaline kicked into high gear.
Sarah quickly showered and dressed as she mulled over her dream again, if that's what you called it. She grabbed her notebook and pen then headed downstairs where Karen had Toby dressed and was currently feeding him.
"Eggs and toast ok, Sarah?"
"Yeah, sounds good." She sat in the chair to scarfed down her food.
"Are you in a rush?" Karen asked wiping food from Toby's mouth.
"No, yes, kind of. I think I dropped something at the park yesterday and I wanted to get back there before it's full of people." Sarah lied between mouthfuls, hoping she wouldn't question more.
"What did you lose?" Karen's inquiry made Sarah flinch.
"Hmm my bookmark. I loved that bookmark." She shoveled more food into her mouth before jumping up and sprinting to the folded down stroller at the door. Sarah opened and locked it into place when Karen came over with Toby and the baby bag.
"I packed an extra blanket and GoldFish for him and Merlin is outside waiting." Karen set the bag down and strapped Toby in. "The money for your ice cream is in the smaller pocket." She pushed the bag under the stroller. "Ok have fun you two! Bye sweetie." She leaned over and kissed Toby. "Be careful Sarah."
"I will." Sarah stopped herself from rolling her eyes at Karen's motherly protectiveness to Toby. If only she knew what had happened, she would have a heart attack. Karen opened the door for Sarah as she strolled out into the fresh morning air just as one of the book club ladies pulled up.
Merlin barked a few times. "Good morning to you too, Merlin. Let's go boy!"
The first few blocks were excruciating knowing Karen was watching them, but once Sarah rounded the corner her slow paced walk turned into a jog; minding the bumps along the way Sarah, Toby and Merlin made good time. The park was relatively empty save for a few joggers and a biker. Sarah laid out the blanket for Toby to sit on with a bag of GoldFish. "Merlin, sit and watch Toby." Merlin had already laid down behind Toby for him to lean on. "Good boy." Sarah smiled before making her way down to the pond, stealing glance back at Toby.
The water surface was calm, it almost looked like it was made of glass as she stepped down to it. A pebble fell in sending rippling waves outward. Sarah sighed internally before scanning the shore then deeper waters. Her pursuit left her empty handed this time. 'Damn. I could have sworn I would have found something.' Merlin's bark drew Sarah from her thoughts. She turned around but didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
"Merlin! What is it?" She walked back up the hill watching Toby laughing and swinging his arms up and down, tossing a few GoldFish in random directions. Sarah smiled and laughed too, "Toby what are you doing?" Toby's little fists made grabbing motions indicating he wanted to be held.
Sarah indulged him. As soon as she stood up he squirmed about. "Toby?" He flailed his arms again, "You want to dance?" Sarah bounced him up and down with a twirl now and again; the air filled with Toby's squeal of laughter and gurgling noises.
Sarah stopped to lay down with Toby on the blanket. "You are going to wear my out." Toby huffed before reaching for more GoldFish crackers. Sarah yawned stretching out her limbs, 'Why am I so tired? I had plenty of sleep, I'll just rest my eyes for a mo-'
Merlin's barking startled Sarah into an upright position. "Merlin, What is it boy?" She noticed both Toby and Merlin were looking up at a nearby tree and then she saw it... a large snowy white barn owl. Her heart stopped in her chest, air refused to enter her lungs; she felt like she was being drowned all over again. Toby raised his hands with the familiar grasping motion. The bird's head tilted to examine the trio below. Quickly regaining her composure, Sarah scooped up Toby with one eye still on the bird; who made no attempt to move as she buckled Toby back into the stroller. 'Crap! Is that him? He came back for Toby!' She grabbed up the blanket shoving it back into the bag when her another thought spoke up, 'Wait! Calm down, you're overreacting. It's just a bird, it doesn't mean that it's really him and if it was you never wished anything.'
Sarah stopped what she was doing to watch the owl who, at this point, was looking more blasé than ever. A quick glance around reminded her that she was practically alone before taking a few cautious steps towards the owl. His spun quickly with her approach causing her to stop and bite her lip. The two held still, scrutinizing one another. Sarah swallowed hard before speaking meekly, "J-Jareth?" The bird made no attempt to reply. 'Well? What were you expecting? A squawk? For him to magically poof into a man? It's just a bird, a coincidence nothing more.'
She backed away quickly to finish packing up, "Come on, lets go get some ice cream." Sarah looked back once as they exited the park but the owl had flown away. As much as she tried Sarah couldn't help but feel a little let down.
The ice cream parlor was not much of a walk but it felt lengthy with her being distracted by every flutter of bird wings. 'Stop it, he isn't here. Besides what would I do if he was? Ask him to read my dream? UGH Yeah, that'll go over smoothly! Hello Mister Goblin King, I know you offered me my dreams and what not then I turned you down but I was wondering if you could decipher the one I had last night. No, that's not happening.' Sarah was momentarily distracted by all the flavors of ice cream and which one she desired most, finally picking a chocolate peanutbutter blend in a bowl with M&Ms on top, Sarah sat at a table outside with Toby and Merlin. She fed Toby his crackers as she enjoyed her ice cream and wrote down all the details she could remember from her dream the night before.
The walk back home was uneventful to say the least but as she rounded the corner Sarah noticed the driveway still held two cars, Karen's and her friend Mrs. Osbourn; although the book club had ended Mrs. Osbourn always stayed afterwards to converse about who knows what, probably dull motherly things.
"I'm back!" Sarah entered the house and began unbuckling a sleeping Toby when Karen walked into the foyer.
"Did you have fun?" She asked taking Toby from Sarah's arms. "You look exhausted."
"Haha yeah." Sarah smiled and continued, "I think Toby has the right idea, I'm gonna go take a nap too."
"Ok Sarah, Should I wake you for lunch?"
"Yes please." Sarah bounded up the stairs, closed the door behind her then crashed onto her bed. "Mmm comfy sleep." She said muffled into her pillow.
Sarah bolted awake in a dark hallway against a cold stone wall and floor. "What the-"
"Lady awake now?"
"Iza here. Wherez you?"
"I'm... here?" She looked around, "I'm back here, but I was just at home... in my bed." Sarah mumbled to herself. Sqib gave her a questionable look before patting her cheek.
"Lady here, we find Kingy." It all came rushing back, she instantly reached for the amulet.
"Yes, let's find Kingy." Sarah stood up and started racing down the corridor. Sqib clung on with all his might before speaking up.
"Lady Queeny!" Sarah slowed down her pace to correct him but he spoke again, "Why not call Kingy." This halted her movement all together. She could call him? That would make this trip a little... easier wasn't the word; because dealing with the Goblin King wasn't easy, quicker? No, less troublesome? No, more diplomatic? That was the word or at least it fit better than anything else she could think of, but what would she say? How should she phrase it? Would he even respond?
"How do you call Kingy, Sqib?"
"Iza scream for him."
"And does he show up?" Sarah said a little skeptical that the Goblin King would appear to every screaming goblin.
"I thought so. Let me try." Sarah took a deep breath to try and calm her rattling nerves. "I wish-" She flinched inwardly, "I wish to see- no … I wish The Goblin King-"
'Would what? Show up all menacing? Tease and taunt you? You need his help to get back, do you really think he's going to help you?' Sarah's whole body shuddered.
"I can't do this Sqib. I just wish we could find a way to the throne room and be done with this!" Sarah was startled by the sight of the wall to her right shift into a full body length mirror; the two starred as the silver surface rippled to life then settle down to a low vibration.
"Well... I'll take that as an invite." Sarah approached with caution, a finger extending out to touch the liquid surface. Once silver and flesh met, Sarah realized she couldn't pull back. "Sqib! It won't let go!" Soon her hand had been sucked in, now she struggled to pull back. "No! LET ME GO!" Even Sqib was trying to help by pulling on her sleeve.
"Let lady Queeny free!"
The mirror grew stronger and like being sucking into an undertow, all of Sarah's body was drawn in with a great unstoppable force. She was thrown into the other room without a chance to stumble, her cheek hit the ground causing a burning sensation in her face and down her spine, Sarah's chest hit the ground before her arms knocking the wind out of her lungs, then her knees scraped along down a few stairs. Pain coursed through her body as she started to choke in all the air she could get and began to sob not caring who was around, crying in the fetal position well out ranked embarrassment. Sarah didn't even notice Sqib rubbing her head to help make her feel better. Several long minutes passed when she established her emotions back down to a neutral ground.
Sarah sat up, wincing at the throbbing pain in her face, ribs, and knees. At first sight she noticed a lot of goblins sitting around whispering to each other and starring at her. She turned to face the throne and was met with a pair of black leather boots, her gaze rose along with her curiosity... his legs were different- deformed in a way, she figured her vision got jittered after her head impacted the ground but as she looked up he still didn't seem right, he was dispositioned in some and OVER proportioned in another area, that's when she caught sight of hay sticking out of his gloved hands and wear his shirt dipped low on his chest... then his head- it was a gourd of sometype; a smile scribbled out, replaced with a angry look. Sarah eased herself up to her feet still questioning the Goblin King.
"Oh my god... what happened to him?"
"Kingy vanish, he make kingy again!" One goblin answered.
"Kingy!" They all shouted.
"He vanished? Where to?"
"No one knows! You know?" Asked a lumbering goblin with a cauldron helmet.
"No, I came to find him... to retur-"
"Kingy's shiny!" The first goblin bounced up and down.
"Yeah, he must ha-"
"You are Kingy?" A different one asked.
"No I-" She was cut off again and it was frustrating her.
"She Queeny!" Sqib kindly informed them, which they promptly respond with a gasp then:
"NO! LISTEN TO ME!" She screamed, they all coward back. Sarah sighed, "I'm not the Queeny- I mean Queen. I'm only fifteen! I don't remember how I got here, I have no clue what's going on! I want to go home! I need to find Jareth!"
"Well you won't find him here." A low cultured voice rang from behind her. Sarah spun around to find a tall man looming over her, his eyes were vibrant blue like Jareth's but his face was a little wider, his silver blond hair tucked under a chester brown trilby hat, then she looked down to note his 1900's styled suit and cane. If he hadn't been so close she could have sworn it was Jareth in a different outfit.
"W-what-" She began meekly.
"Speak up, girl!" His stern voice nearly echoed Jareth only deeper and harsher.
"W-what do you mean I won't find him here?" Her tone a little stronger.
"What else could I mean? He is not here, nowhere to be found, not in our presence in or outside of this castle nor Labyrinth or all of Underground."
"You do ask a lot of questions, girl." He said making her feel like a child in trouble as she lowered her head. The tip of his cain swiftly came up to her chin pushing her face back up to meet his. "What does it matter to you where he is."
"I-" She started off softly again before clearing her throat and trying again, "I need to see him, I need his help."
"To get home." She answered as his shocking blue eyes searched hers for any sign of a lie. "And... to return this." She couldn't look down because of his cane so she brought the amulet up to eye level.
"How did you get that?" He released her and took a few steps back.
"I found it." Sarah rubbed her chin absentmindedly.
'In my dream, but aren't I already here? Oh-'
"When I arrived here, in the peach orchard."
The Jareth look alike stood still with his mouth set in a firm line. Sarah began to feel nervous as the awkward silence stretched on. "Do you know where I can find him?"
"Can you help me then?"
Sarah huffed, "So? What happens now?"
The man closed his eyes then serenely kneeled down before her. "You rule, Your Majesty."
"What?" Sarah asked completely perturbed. The last thing she heard as her vision tunneled black was "Hail Queeny!"
My first Labyrinth fic, it's suppose to be a one shot. I guess it could end right here but it feels unfinished. Let me know what you think. :) Thank you for taking the time to read all that!