Summary: Sarah's adventure had been amazing, and had changed her life in many ways, but the world of the Aboveground is still the same. Though she had long dismissed her trip to the Labyrinth as a fanciful dream, Sarah still wanted that sense of magic, but where could she come by it? Only when she stumbles upon a Renaissance Faire traveling through her town does she find what she has been longing for. However, it would seem a certain other being had taken an interest in this strange anomaly, and after spotting Sarah roaming the Faire, what nefarious plan will be born in his mind?
A Midsummer Knight's Dream
"Fine cotton clothing here!" Called a woman dressed in a beautiful, rose-colored opaque flowing dress. A lovely corset adorned with bright flowers fit snugly around her waist, and a cream bustle gave her a richer look. "No finer attire in all the Shire!"
"Nuts! Come get some of my spicy nuts!" Yelled a man in a leather jerkin. He gave a few passing ladies a wink, and they all giggled behind their ornate fans.
A fairy sat in the trees, silently surveying the crowd. Her bright eyes didn't miss a single thing. When children crowded at the bottom of her perch, all straining to get a closer look at her, she took her pouch and sprinkled fairy dust over their heads. They all squealed in delight and a smile lit her lovely face.
Sarah loved it here.
The Renaissance Faire only came for a short month each spring season, and she had eagerly awaited each and every single one. She reserved her season pass months beforehand, marked each day off of her calendar, and saved up a good deal of money so that she could buy an assortment of wonderful trinkets.
Now, the first weekend of faire had begun. She wandered down the dirt pathways, peering into the stalls of all the different vendors. There were those who sold fairy dust, magical dragon eggs that changed color when put into the right light, feathered masks, leather masks, boots, metal flowers which smelled with perfume, spun glass, and so much more.
This was her own little slice of Heaven on Earth.
Ever since she had conquered the Labyrinth at the age of fifteen, she had ached for so much more than what life Aboveground had to offer. She was not the same child reciting lines in her favorite park, declaring that it was everyone else's fault for her mistakes and boredom. She had earned a new sense of responsibility and learned the true meaning of empathy. She had grown into a smart, clever woman.
Though of course she was not without her quirks.
She was not a fan of her generation. In all honesty, she despised many of her peers. Most of them were caught up in all the new technology being thrown at them, or otherwise sitting in front of a television watching "Friends", and when night fell they promptly left for wild parties that Sarah had no desire to go to.
Now, she had made a few friends throughout High School; they were kind and loyal, but none of them held her interest for all things mythical and magical. She had tried their ideas of fun; dancing and partying and going to bars, but it had all been so boring. Not to mention she didn't see the fun in having skanky, drunk guys hit on you while watching more drunkards throw up on the dance floor. The whole while she had only wanted to bury her nose in a book and stay inside her own cozy apartment.
Then, by some miracle, she had happened upon an internet site that advertised a festival to be held near her. Skeptic at first, she had gone with no high hopes.
She had fallen in love at first sight.
All over were people dressed in the most beautiful clothing. The ground was not the hard city pavement, but dirt and leaves and woodchips. Booths were not gaudy and tacky as the stores of the regular world, but held more treasures than the eye could behold.
The best part was the people. Just about all of them were as down to earth as could be; and they welcomed her wild imagination with open arms. She had found a place where she could be herself, but fit in. She had made friends with just about all of the regulars, and found their pubs to be ten times more fun than the bars of the city. They drank and danced in large circles, singing nonsense songs until the "Queen" shooed them away (which was something she had to do quite often).
She visited every last vendor, and had spent a small fortune collecting various items over the years. Her apartment was jam-packed with trinkets and costumes, but she had always found space for more.
Everything was absolutely perfect, and the season had just begun.
It was that season again; his absolute favorite time of the year had finally come.
Perched high in an oak tree, mismatched opticals studied the scene before him. Rows of colorful tents lay across the land, snaking around the small hill like the tail of a humongous dragon. Humans in fanciful clothing roamed the winding paths, stopping once in a while to make chatter or examine the wares of a booth that had caught their attention.
Men walked around wearing jerkins, colored cotton shirts, and trousers. Many had ladies on their arm. Their bosoms overflowed from their constricting corsets and bodices, and their skirts picked up a small amount of dust as they walked. It was a sad cry from the type of markets he had in his world, but it was fascinating to see this small sliver of his version of normality in the human realm.
Year after year had passed without him daring to venture up to the Aboveground in his free time, however, as the King of Wishes; he had been forced on many occasions after that incident to fetch called-away children. But in the back of his mind he had always hesitated to venture up when he was not doing his duty.
He knew it was useless to try and completely expel her from his mind, but he had tried desperately during the years that had followed her visit to his realm. Yet he found himself betrayed time and time again by his own urges. One second he would be listening to the goblins complaining about the Rock Callers, and then he would find himself peering at her through a crystal he couldn't even recall summoning. Now that he thought about it, he still hadn't gotten around to ordering one of those pesky goblins to clean up the large pile of crystal shards that had collected in the corner under a newly-formed dent in the wall.
However, about five years after that day, he had heard the ladies of court gossiping about an oddity their husbands had discovered when exploring the Aboveground world. Once a season, a fair unlike any other sprang up in the human world. It was said to be nothing like the ones with the large mechanical contraptions, or the one filled with even stranger humans who did freakish parlor tricks, nor like the red and green one where a large tree decorated with shining baubles sat in the middle of a square. No, this one greatly resembled the markets of the Fae realm, and they wore apparel closely matched with the clothes of the Underground.
His curiosity piqued, he had decided to explore on his own. He had first studied from afar; surprised to see the rumors had been true. After a while, he had felt the urge to go down and take a closer look. He had contemplated putting on a guise, using his glamour, yet soon determined no one would give him a second glance if he were to appear normally.
On his first venture, he had worn his simpler clothes; which consisted of a white frilled shirt, a cinched black vest, grey tights, and his knee-high black boots and glittering cane. He had entered the faire with not a single question asked, but as he walked he found he was being stared—no, gawked at. He couldn't deny he enjoyed the attention, and he was quite surprised at how quickly he was accepted into this small society.
Yet of course, how could he have doubted she would find this place?
He had been casually strolling with one of the prettier human women that attended the faire. She reminded him just a bit of the Fae ladies of court. She had long, silvery-blonde hair, which was common among Fae, and a lean body. He had harbored not the smallest interest for her personality, but it was fun to watch these clumsy humans. Their lives were so fleeting, and they were so ungraceful, yet he still preferred interacting with some of them; especially since they were not trying to climb the social ladder or harbored any desire to take his crown. He had been contemplating what it would be like to bed her when he heard a voice that would never stop haunting his dreams.
There she had been, his Sarah, standing not five feet away. At the time, she was haggling over the price of a garment with a shop lady. Her emerald eyes had held that same cunning spark to them, though she had aged from a teenager into a gorgeous young woman. The glimpses he had caught of her when he unconsciously summoned crystals before throwing them against the wall had not done the slightest bit justice to how she had grown. Yet he couldn't face her now; not so soon.
He had retreated that day, but a seed had been planted in his mind. He knew she was there, and after a few more years of watching he knew the faire was a place she had grown fond of. He knew she was there, but she hadn't caught sight of him in those brief moments he was visible.
A plan had begun to brew, and now was the time for action.
Now, as he surveyed the land before him, he felt the excitement bubbling in his chest. Today, after so many painful years of planning, he would finally have her.
"Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble."
(A.N.- *Ignore if you want, this note has nothing to do with the story! Hello there! Thank you ever so much for reading! This story has been mixing in my mind for quite a while, and seeing as today, June 27, 2013, is the 27th Anniversary of Labyrinth I wanted to do something special! I told a wonderful friend of mine, Jeanette, that I had this story sitting in my documents and she told me that even though I am dubious about exactly where this story is going to end up I should post it anyway, so here it is! Never feel shy to review, and suggestions and fair criticism is always appreciated! Ta!
*"Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble..." quote belongs to Shakespeare from the tragic play Macbeth.