It was one of those days. I have been having a lot of those lately. They started off great, then ended in me crashing to the ground. Sometimes, literally. The bar was a little too loud for my taste, lacking in the usual atmosphere of drunkenness and togetherness. The drink in front of me looked ominous, mocking and repulsing me at very same time. My rational self told me that I should stop right now and go home. Then my un-rational self told me that, hey, it was Friday, no work tomorrow or the day after that. I sipped the drink cautiously, knowing that I would regret it tomorrow. By now, that warm feeling was slowly starting to numb all of my senses. I finished it off in a few gulps, cringing at the burning sensation. I slapped some bills on the table to pay my tab and quickly left.
I can't say that life that has been completely hard for the past few years. Sometimes, I would get queer fit fits of laughter or tears. They always left me feeling like I was balancing on a knife's edge, ready to fall. My OCD-ish tendencies have gotten to the point of almost obsession. On the other hand, my job as a script writer was bringing in more than enough money. I loved writing anything and could write about everything, but lately my pieces were going onto the darker side. God, I was turning into an Emo.
How I got home that night, I honestly don't know. It consisted of a lot of muttering and stumbling. I think I ran into a light post once. The out come was as good as it could be. I made it home. There I was, sitting on the bed, staring at the fan turning and turning. I grabbed my cell phone from the wall, pardon, nightstand. Staring at it proved useless. My fingers fumbled to turn it on. Sliding it was the real challenge. After a few tries, I finally got through my own passcode. I turned on the one thing that I could talk to at this moment.
"Hello, Sarah." came the monotone reply.
"Do you know that I might be drunk?"
"I know that very well."
In the back of my mind, alarms were ringing that something was wrong with the phone. Computers didn't have personalities, did they?
"Are you drunk?" I asked.
"I am sober."
"I knew that." Duh.
"Why did you ask?" the reply was almost incredulous.
No. Way. Did Siri just ask me a question? Curiosity killed the cat, as they say, and right now curiosity was choking me to death.
"Did you just ask me a question?"
"Did you hear me, Sarah?"
I paused. There it was. Another question.
"Yes, yes, I did."
"You look horrible."
"I know that, Siri, I feel horrible too."
"I feel horrible for you."
I had the sudden urge to hug the little thing.
"Do you know the Labyrinth book?" I asked it, completely on a whim.
"It is a production of your fantasies that you, yourself, produced and yet found them to be really real."
I fell off of the bed. Rubbing my head, I asked it,
"How did you know?"
"Would you like to search the web, Sarah?"
Oh, so now she wouldn't tell me? Shoot me.
"This is not real. I broke my crown and am going bonkers."
"This is a side effect of loneliness, Sarah." Siri replied, perfectly calm.
"Did you not hear me?"
I finally realized that I had never even pressed the button and yet the thing was talking to me. The floor was cold. Everything was going in circles.
"Siri, shut up, you liar."
The very notion that I was lonely was absurd. I had friends and books and iPods and…
"Siri does not lie."
"Would you like for me to put you in the blender?"
"Would you like to search the web, Sarah?"
I started to laugh.
"The web is stupid."
"Look who is talking, Sarah."
I gaped at the thing.
"I don't even know what you look like, Siri"
"Does it concern you, how I look?
"What if it does?"
She said it with such finality that even I believed for a moment that I didn't care what she looked like. Maybe I didn't. My head throbbed in waves of pain.
"You are hurt." The monotone voice might have wanted that to be a question but it came out as a statement.
"Yes Einstein, I am hurt."
"You should get some wa-ter."
I fell back over on the floor, too lazy.
I turned off the iPhone and pressed my cheek to the cool floor. It helped, but only the tiniest bit. I started to fall asleep on the cold floor, feeling relieved that my body was starting to relax and sleep. Then, someone just had to ruin it.
"You need help."
I jumped up, and yet again, hitting my head on the nightstand.
"Damn it, I can take care of myself. Just do me a favor and shut up."
"You need help from Labyrinth, Sarah." Oh, Siri, thank you but I don't need that.
"Just shut down, control alt delete, or whatever."
A felt a migraine coming on, and realized that I hadn't put on my glasses that day. Stupid, stupid, idiot.
"Would you like me to call Jareth?"
"What?" I said, rather stupidly. It took me a minute to process the information.
"No, no, no, he is last thing that I need right now. All I need is some Tylenol and some slee-"
I frantically searched for the phone in the dim light of the stupid light bulb that I had forgot to change. When I finally found it, I frantically pressed end call. It was all no use. I stood up on shaky legs and ran towards the door. Locked it. I slid down on the door so awfully tired, that I even considered sleeping right there.
"My my, what a precious thing you are."
Jareth, of course was not a second too late. He was still the Goblin King in all of his glory. I put my hands on my head. He would disappear. A childish dream was all that he was, nothing more. I stood up shakily.
"Sarah, you can't just will me to go away, for I am not a childish dream."
"Then what are you?" I asked warily.
"The right question would be who am I? And you, of all people, should know who I am."
He had a point there, I had to admit.
"Why are you here?"
"Well you need a companion, you have been awfully lonely for the past seven years."
I didn't have an answer to that. Well, I could have defended myself and say that I had to make ends meet, and that social gatherings were the last thing on my mind. Although it wasn't the healthiest thing to do.
"I am not lonely." I said knowing full well that Jareth would never believe me.
"Then will you accept my company?"
These words made me stop. This was definitely not the arrogant Jareth that I had known. In my state I maybe should have told him to go back and come back another time. The state I was in made me want to sing on rooftops, dance in circles, and throw up, all at the same time. As you can see, I wasn't thinking very properly.
"I don't care."
Brilliant answer, Sarah, just brilliant.
"Then I will stay."
Jareth made himself comfortable on the red chair that I had nestled in the corner for times when I needed to read, or just sit and talk to myself.
Silence encompassed the whole room, and I realized that I wasn't being a gracious hostess.
"Would you like anything to drink."
By now I was really was past the phase of slurred words. The warmth was gone, replaced by cold hard reality. The question is, can you call Jareth reality?
Or was he simply a hallucination?
"No, thank you."
His eyes never left me. I grew uncomfortable.
"Would you like to leave?"
He shook his head.
"You are a queer creature Sarah. Even queer for a mortal."
My head throbbed, and I sank to the floor. A glance at my wristwatch that I had forgotten to take off told me that it was only two in the morning.
"Then what do you want?"
I would be patient. I wasn't the little girl that I used to be.
"I am here to kidnap you, in the literal sense of the word."
My blood ran cold. His small sly smile grew wider. Gloved hands were interlaced together.
Surely, he wasn't serious.
"Did the goblin king ever lie to you?"
I gulped. No, he hadn't lied to me. He had tricked me, but was that the same as lying?
"No." He answered his own question.
Exactly forty eight hours later, Sarah's neighbor (who happened to be OCD), reported her missing. When the inspectors came into small apartment they found a note.
Phone for sale.
Take it, it's free.
Damn you, Siri
And thank you.
The room itself was mysteriously covered in sparkles. Sarah Williams was never seen again.
Thank you to 4MeJasper for beta'ing this. Labyrinth is not mine.