Disclaimer: I do not own the TokyoPop Manga Series Jim Henson's Return to the Labyrinth, nor do I own Jim Henson's Labyrinth, although "I wish I did."
She had chased Toby across the Esher room, up the stairs, down the stairs, everywhere. However, every time she managed to make it to the place she saw him last, Toby had appeared somewhere else. I cannot lose Toby, not now! I've come so far! Jareth in all his glory was gloating as he tossed a crystal towards Toby, and made it bounce away. Toby followed the crystal crawling down the stairs towards a ledge. He was so far away from Sarah.
If I jump, all my bones may break and shatter upon landing. She thought as she looked down to Toby, there was no way she wanted to lose her brother now.
Jareth was smiling triumphantly at her. This was how her quest ended. If he could not keep the baby, nor would she. She watched Toby totter on his precarious perch, and a small cry came from her lips.
"TOBY!" She screamed as she closed her eyes and jumped. Not thinking about the fall, her only concern was saving her brother.
When she opened her eyes, she was not sure where she was. It could have been another part of the hall. She thought she recognized it, but could not place it.
Yet something had changed. Near her was an ogee window, without glass, and through it she could see the upper half of one wing of the castle. It was in ruins, the cladding stones mostly gone, grass growing in the gaps they'd left. The turret roofs had collapsed, and brambles were reaching for the throat of the tower. Within the castle, where she was, she heard in the air the humming that she had come to associate with Jareth, but it had a hollow ring to it, something forlorn, like music in an abandoned house. In the crack between two flagstones where she lay she saw that weeds had started to push their way through. She stood up and looked around. There was no sign of Toby. Jareth stepped out from a shadowy archway, wearing a faded, threadbare cloak. His face looked older, drawn. In his blond mane was a trace of gray.
How long had she been here? She detected no change in time, this world was different from the one she lived in. I need to find Toby! Time is almost out!
Jareth was waiting for her with his arms folded across his chest.
She advanced upon him, as the lines from the book appeared in her mind. "Give me the child," she stated as she held her arms out to take Toby back into her safe keeping.
He paused before answering. "Sarah – beware!" Jareth warned. "I have been generous up until now, but I can be cruel."
"Generous!" She advanced another step. "What have you done that was generous?"
"Everything!" Jareth exclaimed. "Everything I have done... you had wanted." He took a pace back, into the shadow of the archway. "You asked that the child be taken and I took him. You cowered before me and I was frightening." Taking another step away from her, he gestured in the air. "I have reordered time," he told her. The thirteen-hour clock had appeared, floating above his head. Its hands were whirling around. "I have turned the world upside down."
Sarah continued to advance upon him, her arms outreached. He retreated deeper into the shadows. Backing away from Sarah, as he kept eye contact. I just want Toby back..none of this other stuff matters. I want my brother back.
"And I have done it all for you!" he nearly shouted. He shook his head. "I am exhausted from living up to your expectations of me. Isn't that generous?" he paused. "Stay back!" He raised his hands as though to fend her off and took another pace away from her. In a louder voice, he repeated, "Stay back!"
Sarah's lips were parted, as she made eye contact. "Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City -"
"Listen!" said a goblin, one of a nest in a dark corner of the castle.
Jareth was retreating step by step up a staircase behind the archway.
Sarah continued to advance, into the archway. Following Jareth, step by step. "- to take back the child you have stolen," she recited the lines from the book. "For my will is as strong as yours -"
"Stop!" Jareth raised the palm of his hand to her. "Wait! Sarah, look- look what I am offering you." He raised his left arm and made a large gesture with his hand. A glowing crystal ball appeared against his fingertips. He spun it around in his fingers, smiled wanly, and said, "It will show you your dreams. You remember?"
Sarah took another step as Jareth fell back a step."- and my kingdom as great -"
"She's going to say it," a goblin hissed.
"She's going to say the words," gabbled another, agitatedly.
The stairs behind Jareth were descending now, and he backed slowly down them as Sarah stood above him. "I ask for so little," he said, spinning the crystal. "Just believe in me, and you can have everything you could ever want ... everything you have ever dreamed of ... your dreams, Sarah ..."
She was frowning, and had halted her advance. "... and my kingdom as great ...," she said. "Damn!" as she started to feel a panic come to her chest. She turned away from Jareth momentarily, as she tried to remember the line.
A goblin shook his head decisively. "That's not it. I never-"
"Sshh!" said another.
Sarah's fists were clenched white. She was thinking frantically. What are the right words?
Jareth took a step toward her. He needed her to believe in him. "Just fear me, love me," he told her in a gentle voice, "and do as I say, and I ... I will be your slave." He stretched his hand out toward her, and took another towards her, up the stairs.
"Nah." A goblin shook his hideous head. "Who believes that rubbish?"
Other goblins giggled.
Jareth's hand was close to Sarah's cheek. The crystal still presented on the tips of his fingers, as he looked into her eyes, willing her to look at him. Daring her to say something other than those terrible words from the book.
She stood where she was, and swallowed. "Kingdom as great ...," she muttered, " ... kingdom as great ..." She turned and saw the crystal spinning in his fingers, her lips could feel the warmth of his outstretched hand. She gasped, and, from some inspired recess of her mind, the words came blurting out. "You have no power over me!"
"NOO!" Jareth screamed.
"YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME!" She repeated for good measure, as if a light switch came on, and the words hit her like a ton of bricks.
"Noooo!" the goblins exclaimed, astounded.
A clock began to strike.
Jareth tossed the crystal ball up into the air, where it hovered, a bubble. Sarah looked at it, and saw Jareth's face, distorted, on the shifting, iridescent surface. Gently, it drifted down toward her. She reached out fascinated fingers for it and, as she touched the bubble with her fingertips, it burst.
A mist of water atoms floated down the air toward Jareth. But she saw that Jareth had disappeared. She heard his voice, for a last time, moaning her name "Sarah ... Sarah ..." She looked for him, but all she found was his empty cloak was settling onto the ground.
A beam of light picked out a little cloud of dust motes rising from it.
The clock continued to strike.
With a last, slow flutter, the cloak lay still. From beneath it, as the clock struck for the thirteenth time, a white owl flew out and circled over Sarah. Tears were trickling down her cheeks. I won, but why does it feel like I lost? Why am I crying?
Sarah closed her eyes to stem the tears and brushed her cheeks with the palms of her hands. "I must stop this habit of crying," she said aloud, as a distraction from her sadness. "I must also stop gasping, gulping, trembling, shouting, and generally going over the top when..." Then she remembered that she had not found Toby as of yet, and she opened her eyes in alarm. The white owl was still flapping above her, but in other respects the scene had changed. She was standing on the staircase of her home, and it was dark outside. The storm, had calmed, and it was gently raining outside. She raised her eyes to look at the owl. It circled her for a last time, found an open window, and flew out into the night.
Then she was running up the stairs two at a time, shouting, "Toby! Toby!" Please be here! Please be here!
When she arrived to his room, Toby was in his crib, fast asleep. She could not help but pick him up and cuddle him. He opened his eyes dozily, thought about crying, but decided that he was in good enough shape without it, so he smiled instead. Sarah picked up Lancelot from the floor and put the teddy bear in his arms, saying, "Here you are, Toby. He's yours." Then she tucked him into his crib again. He went straight to sleep. Why couldn't you be like this all the time?
She stayed there with him for a long time, watching him breathe peacefully, with Lancelot in his arms. Why had I been so selfish?
Back in her own room, the full moon was shining outside her window, the rain finally stopped. She left the curtains open, to see it's glow. If she went to bed quickly, it would still be shining in when she turned the light out.
The alarm clock by her bed showed that the time was a little after midnight. Her parents would be back from the show any minute now. She sat at her dressing table and picked up a hairbrush, but her attention wandered to the photographs she had around the mirror, her mother and Jeremy, smiling at each other like young lovers, the signed posters, the gossip stories about romantic attachment. Deliberately, she began to remove one picture after another from the mirror. She glanced at each one before putting it away in a drawer. My mother is never coming back, I might as well forget about her...like she did of me.
On the dressing table one picture remained, of her father and mother and herself when she was ten. Sarah straightened the picture. Then she went to get the music box and put it in the drawer along with the pictures and clippings, shoved far back. These things use to hold more meaning, but now all I see is junk...Downstairs, she heard the front door open and close. Her stepmother called, "Sarah?"
She didn't answer at once. She was holding her copy of The Labyrinth. "Sarah?" She heard Karen call again. "Wait," Sarah whispered. "I am closing a chapter of my life. Just wait." She paused, and added, still in a whisper, "Please." She put the book in the drawer with all the rest, and stood with her hand on it there. I don't want it to be over, I only just begun.
"Sarah!" She heard her father's call from downstairs.
Sarah left it a moment, then called back, "Yes. Yes, I'm here." She looked at the drawer, and sighed. "Welcome back," she called.
"What?" Her stepmother, taking her coat off downstairs, paused, puzzled. "What did you say?" she called up. Sarah opened her mouth, and closed it again. Once was enough, she thought. Once was all right. Any more than that would be overweening. I nearly over-went there as it is, she smiled to herself, and pushed the drawer shut. Closing the drawer, with the book nestled inside.
She straightened up, pushing her hair behind her ears as she looked to the dark window, peering at her own reflection against the moonlight. Behind her reflection was Ludo. "Ludo - good-bye - Sarah," he said.
She spun around with a cry of joy. The room was empty. Where did he go? She checked the window again. Sir Didymus was there. "And remember, sweetest damsel, shouldst thou ever have need us ..." he said as his reflection in the glass faded from view.
"I'll call," she told him. She glanced around the room again. Empty, of course. The thought saddened her, especially when she could see them in her room inside the reflection against the glass. Sir Didymus appeared back into the window pane. "I forgot to say, also, that if ever thou shouldst think on marriage ..."
"I understand," Sarah told him. "Good-bye, brave Sir Didymus."
He faded. Sarah kept her eyes on the window. She did not have long to wait.
Hoggle popped up from behind the bed. "Yes, if you ever need us... for any reason at all ..." He stared at her from under his bushy eyebrows, and started to fade.
"Hoggle," Sarah said, "I need you. I need all of you."
"Sometimes," the Wise Man observed, "to need is ... to let go."
But I don't want to let go! Sarah thought as she looked to the Wise Man. "I really do need you! Hoggle, please come back! I need all of you!"
"Well... why didn't you say so?" Hoggle exclaimed from behind her, him, many of the creatures of the Labyrinth and some of the goblins she encountered were crowded in her room, exploding party favors, and giggling and laughing in celebration of Sarah's victory. Sarah turned around meeting the celebration with a smile. Although somewhere in the back of her mind, she had felt a tug at her heart, just a small pain, something she would ignore for now during the celebration.
Sir Didymus grabbed the box nearest her bed "Anyone want to play a game of scrabble?"
Outside the dark window, the white owl had been perched with his claws hooked on a branch, an effigy of watching and waiting. Now he swooped away over the park, on silent velvet wings, up toward the full moon. Nobody saw him, white in the moonlight, black against the stars.
I just wanted to thank all of you who left kind reviews! I am beginning to work again on this project. Made some minor corrections, such as Karen's name. I do not understand why I thought her name was Irene. Anywho, those who are new! Thanks for reading! Read&Review!
Lost O'Fallon Girl