Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Sarah burrowed deeper into the warmth which enveloped her, something soft brushed against her face making her nose twitch. Don’t open your eyes, she told herself firmly. Keep them closed and nothing can happen. She knew she was trying to fool herself, but she wasn’t ready to accept the inevitable. Not yet. Exhaustion continued to pull at her, the warmth of whatever she wrapped in was too welcoming and she longed to just sleep. Footsteps clipped against the floor and something cool brushed against Sarah’s cheek.
“Sarah open your eyes.” The cold voice brooked no argument and wearily Sarah obeyed. She was in a luxurious yet sparsely furnished room. The walls and floor were a cold harsh stone, a large four-poster bed was against one wall with thick, dark velvet curtains draped around it. A fireplace roared closely next to Sarah and she twisted slightly to soak up more of its warmth. To her right was a curved wall with a window cut into it, there was no glass or anything to stop the elements from entering the stone room yet she felt no cold nor even a slight breeze. She looked down at what she was wrapped in and recognised it instantly as the Goblin King’s white feathery cloak. The inside seemed to be fur-lined and she couldn’t help herself from burrowing ever further into it.
“Send me home.” Her voice was stubborn as she forced herself to meet the pale glinting eyes of the Goblin King. She couldn’t bring herself to think his name, let alone say it.
“This is your home,” the reply was far from what she wanted to hear. “There is no point in arguing Sarah, I have every right to claim you.”
“But you could have chosen not to.” Sarah climbed to her feet shakily, she was ravenous but she refused to show any of her discomfort. “You had every right – it does not mean you had to. So send me home.”
“Enough!” The room seemed to tremble as the Goblin King’s voice echoed through it and Sarah took a step back suddenly frightened. “You have exhausted me,” he growled at her. “I tried to show you Sarah that I would have given you everything, from the moment you bit into that peach whether you got through my Labyrinth or not you were mine. I had hoped that if you ran out of time you would accept your fate – I would have let your brother go, just to appease you. But instead you had to fight me every step of the way; if you find your situation upsetting or unfair,” he said the word in a whining voice, “then it is your fault.” Sarah closed her eyes, he was right. Partly. This was her fault. If she had not been childish and so angry then none of this would have happened. Why had she made such a foolish wish?
“I did not know you were real,” she whispered, “please…had I known I would never have made that wish.”
“Hindsight is a cruel gift.” Jareth shrugged and clicked his fingers, the cloak around her shoulders disappeared leaving Sarah feeling suddenly exposed to the coldness in the air, despite the roaring fireplace. “Come, walk with me.” Seeing no point in arguing Sarah obeyed.
“You really would have let Toby go?” Sarah asked as she followed him through a series of twisting corridors. She gave up trying to memorise the left and right turns they took, the castle itself seemed to be some sort of Labyrinth. She paused mid-step as she remembered the penultimate room where she had found Toby. The unending staircases which twisted upside down. Her body broke out in a cold sweat and she steadied herself against the wall; what if she got lost in the castle?
“Sarah,” leather-gloved hands gently cupped her face, “look at me.” Shaking her head Sarah fought to keep her breathing study and to keep the panic at bay. “Sarah look at me,” The voice was soothing and Sarah found herself obeying, staring into pale grey eyes she took a deep breath. “You do not need to fear the Labyrinth now. Do as I say and I shall protect you.” The floor felt as if it was crumbling beneath her, tears stung her eyes as she fought back a scream. “Sarah you are not in the Labyrinth now, you are in my castle and it will not harm you. Not unless you displease me.” A castle cannot hurt you, she chided herself. It’s a building – an inanimate object. He’s right, you’re not taking the Labyrinth on now – you’re one of them. The thought eased her fear, but did not allay the sadness gripping at her belly.
“I – I’m fine,” she stammered blinking rapidly to clear her vision. No longer was she in the maze of stairs, instead she was in a narrow corridor with the Goblin King only inches from her. Get a grip or he will break you! She scolded herself and forced herself to stand up straight as she resumed walking with him.
“Yes, I would have let Toby return to his home. Truthfully I would have liked for him to remain here, to grow up as and learn the ways of the Fae; but he is human at the end of the day. He would not thrive here.”
“I’m human,” Sarah pointed out but the Goblin King merely shrugged. She saw his pale eyes glance down at her and she rubbed her arms nervously. “Why did you trash the hallway?” She asked in an attempt to break the silence, “you could have woken Toby –”
“I told you then he would not wake until it was over. I would not frighten a child Sarah, I ‘trashed’ the hallway so that your father would not think you had simply abandoned your brother.”
“Instead they will think something terrible has happened,” Sarah pointed out. “Please –”
“What’s done is done Sarah. Every action has a consequence, this is one of the consequences of your foolish wish.” Desperately Sarah bit down on her tongue, she did not want to argue with him – she was too tired.
“Are you going to turn me into a goblin?” She asked instead, “That’s what happens in the story – you steal children and turn them into goblins.”
“In the story Sarah, this is reality. Nor do I steal children, you asked for me to take Toby so I took him.” A strong hand grasped her upper arm halting Sarah in her tracks. “Not all children are turned in to goblins. If I see a child has a good heart then they are given a second chance, they go to live with the Fae and learn our ways. I am not entirely cruel.” The hand gripping her arm slackened a little and the Goblin King’s face softened slightly. “I am not going to turn you into a goblin, that was never my intention nor shall it change. It would be a shame to waste such beauty, I am looking forward to have something pleasant to look upon each day.” Blushing Sarah turned her head, but the Goblin King seemed to take this as an invite to caress her hair and brush it away from her face. “I have not quite decided what to do with you yet, I had thought to make you my queen –”
“I am fifteen,” Sarah protested.
“What does age have to do with anything?” He asked in reply, “girls in your world once married as young as twelve – royal princesses were married before they had barely taken their first steps.”
“A thousand years ago perhaps, but not now.” Sarah weakly protested.
“As I said I have not decided upon your role in my kingdom,” he shrugged. “For now you will serve me, obediently.” Like Hell, Sarah thought her eyes blazing with anger. “The quality of your life depends on your behaviour – please me and you shall be rewarded, displease me and…well…” The threat hung in the air.
“Your majesty,” he quickly corrected her but Sarah only scowled at him. If she was trapped here then she would use his name, by avoiding it she was sure he only claimed some form of power over her. He has no power over me, she vowed to herself – but how true was that?
“I am exhausted, it was late when you first brought me here and other than the…” Her throat closed as she thought of the drugged peach, “I have not slept properly in over a day.”
“Nor have you eaten.”
“I am not hungry,” she quickly lied. Truthfully she felt ravenous, like her lack of sleep she had not eaten since the peach. Nor would she eat while he kept her prisoner. Perhaps if she went on a hunger strike he would release her back home. She could only hope. “Please I just want to sleep…”
“Very well,” a narrow and twisting staircase seemed to appear from nowhere and Sarah stared at it apprehensively. “After you,” there was a cruel and mocking smile tugging Jareth’s sensuous mouth upwards; swallowing a lump of fear Sarah forced herself to walk up the staircase. Was she about to regret saying she was tired? At the top of the staircase she was confronted with a dull and heavy looking wooden door. She noticed there was no handle, and her apprehension only grew. She felt the heat from Jareth’s body as he stopped with barely an inch of space between them. The door creaked open as he gave her a gentle push forwards. The room was completely bare, it was circular and small – she could barely stretch her arms out to the side without her fingertips brushing against the rough stone. There was no bed, carpet or even a window. “Remember Sarah, please me and you shall be rewarded. Until then…” She turned to stare at him in horror.
“This is a dungeon!” She protested, “I will freeze!”
“Perhaps you should pray that I never have cause to show you the dungeons.” He seemed amused by her outrage and horror. “But I would not want you to freeze,” he held out his hand which suddenly gripped the cloak she had been wrapped up in earlier. Defeated Sarah reached out to accept the cloak, what good would refusing it do?
“Thank you,” she murmured wrapping it around herself. As Jareth closed the door she was plunged into a stifling darkness. Sitting on the floor she moved so that she could curl up into a tight ball, trying to keep as much of herself covered as possible beneath the cloak. I will find a way home, she silently vowed. I will not let him break me, he has no power over me. Repeating the words to herself she fell into a light and fitful sleep.