Continuing Tales

Dark Labyrinth

A Labyrinth Story
by Helen Fayle

Part 8 of 12

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Dark Labyrinth

Sarah stared into the full-length mirror that stood in the corner of the room she'd shared with Jareth for the past week. Dully, she fastened the leather jacket over her white shirt, and pulled on her gloves. Dressed for practicality.

Dressed to die.

She shivered. No. This isn't going to happen, she told herself sternly. He'll win. He has to. She looked up, staring her reflection full in the face. Deftly, her hands braided her long chestnut hair and tied the plait off, letting it hang over one shoulder. Lack of sleep, and crying, had left her eyes looking reddened.

Even without that, she wouldn't have recognised herself if she'd seen this reflection two weeks ago.

Two weeks go she'd been a high school student. Sarah Williams, the star of the school dramatic society, Linda Williams' darling daughter. A pretty American teenager with her whole life in front of her. Now…

Now... The Sarah who looked back at her from the mirror was no teenager. I look harder… she thought. Older. And what am I now? she wondered. The woman looking back at her with her face didn't belong in New York State, in 1989…

Faery is hard to resist… it draws you in, holds you.

Puts you into impossible situations.

There's a madman out there who wants me dead because I love the man he wants to hurt. And he just killed one of my friends in cold blood. She choked back the tears that threatened to start again. She had to be stronger than this. It was almost dawn. Almost time. She glanced over at the clock on the wall behind her – the thirteen numbers on its face only just visible in the pale light. Nearly five o'clock.

She turned back to the mirror, straightening up. She could do this, she had to. She'd been through the Labyrinth before, hadn't she? It's just a question of degree, she told herself. Like the magic… you just have to believe…

At least she wouldn't be alone. Her hands strayed to the owl amulet around her neck. This whole thing had started with that, hadn't it? Reaching under the collar of her jacket, she pulled the pendant out until it rested against the soft leather. The chained owl

Never, she vowed. Not if I can stop it. She turned away from the mirror, and jumped. Jareth was lounging against the door of the room.

'You looked as if you had some thinking to do,' he said. 'I didn't want to disturb you.'

She walked over slowly to stand beside him. 'You wouldn't have.' She had to side-step to avoid treading on Fleck's tail. All of the goblins who'd arrived at Silverpool were gathered in the room or in the passageway, behind their king.

Only ten, and all of them of the smaller variety. Hardly an army with which to retake a kingdom.

Jareth pushed Fleck out of the way with a boot and shut the door. Sarah winced as the anguished howl split the air, and Jareth quietly opened the door and pushed the rest of the goblin's impossibly long tail out into the hall to join its owner, shutting the door a little more carefully this time.

'I don't want an audience for what I'm about to say,' he said quietly. A gloved hand touching her chin, tilting it in a familiar gesture. 'Sarah, by this time tomorrow, one way or another, this will be over.'

'I know.' Her own voice was so soft, she barely heard it herself. His arms went around her, pulling her close and kissing her deeply.

'Whatever happens,' he whispered as she stood there afterwards, her cheek resting on the cool, slick leather of his jacket, 'Never doubt this.' A hand brushed her cheek lightly. 'For you, I would move the stars.'

One way or another…

'I love you,' Sarah whispered. He kissed her again, the pulled away slightly, the corners of his mouth twitching in that so familiar way of his.

'Draughty run down castle, goblins and all?'

It raised a little laugh, which turned into a hiccup. 'You're impossible!' Passionate, cruel, temperamental, vain, gentle, moody…and yet I wouldn't change you for the world…

'It's been said. But that doesn't answer my question.'

One more day, or forever. There was no going back from here, not after this. She didn't need him to tell her that. 'Even,' Sarah said firmly, making sure her voice didn't waver, 'your draughty castle and pesky goblins.'

'And the Bog of Eternal Stench?' he asked with a sudden flash of his most mischievous grin.

Trying to make me feel better?

'Don't push your luck,' she growled playfully.

Funny, after a while, it worked.

'Time to go,' he said softly, serious again. He opened the door, neatly stepping out of the way to avoid the goblins who tumbled into the room, caught off balance when the door they'd been listening against had moved. Following his lead, she took one step forwards.

Into the open air.


Iorweth stared down at the chained figure at his feet.

'I'd rather thought you'd put up more of a fight than this, Devin. You disappoint me.'

Devin raised his head, tried to shake dark hair out of his eyes and gave up when sweat dampened tangles just stayed put. 'Sorry. If I'd known, I'd have rehearsed my lines first.'

Iorweth knelt beside him. 'Defiant as ever.'

'I had a good teacher.' Devin's grey eyes met Iorweth's pale green gaze. 'So what happens now? Torture?'

'Maybe later.' Iorweth stood. 'I wouldn't want to kill you too quickly. I need you as bait. If you die, I'll have to go to more trouble to persuade Jareth to get here on time.'

'Too bad,' Devin said with forced cheerfulness. Iorweth's gloved hand shot out and slapped his cheek, snapping Devin's head back.

'Like your mentor, you really don't know when you're beaten, do you?' he sneered. 'I think I'm going to enjoy killing you in front of him. You're really quite annoying'

'How peculiar,' Devin retorted. 'That's what Jareth said of you.' He saw Iorweth's mouth tighten. 'Before he suggested that he'd seen goblins with better manners.'

Iorweth turned his back on his prisoner and moved to the door of the cell. 'We'll see just how much of your spirit remains after a night in here, Dreamweaver. Sleep well.' With that, he slammed and locked the door behind him.

Left alone in the dark, Devin sighed. 'Well, that was clever,' he remarked out loud. He tried tugging at the chains.

Solid. And in perfect condition. They weren't taking any chances this time. 'Jareth, you'd better hurry up, if you're going to do anything.'

Iorweth might want him alive, for now. But it hadn't slipped Devin's mind that Calion might have his own plans.


Sarah stared down at the valley below. She was standing almost exactly on the spot where she'd first arrived in this world, the night she'd wished Toby away. And once again, Jareth stood at her side on the windswept sandy hill.

This time, he placed a leather-clad arm around her waist, and she returned the gesture. Beside them, the goblins were scampering about, tugging at the trailing lianas and clambering over a fallen standing stone.

'I'm beginning to think that I'm glad he's forced my hand,' Jareth said, looking over Sarah's shoulder, down into the valley.

The Labyrinth, as before, filled the entire valley floor, undulating over the landscape, rising unevenly towards the castle that rose above the whole valley – an asymmetrical, spired edifice carved out of the rock itself. The ruddy sandy soil, supporting so little vegetation, was the same as she remembered. Even the pillared outer walls of the Labyrinth were unchanged. In structure.

'How did it look to you before?' Jareth asked softly.

'Tatty. It was – old, but magical. It didn't seem threatening.' Not like this… She shuddered.

The whole valley seemed darker, somehow. An air of menace hung over the whole place, as if waiting… for what? For Jareth?

'He's playing with Wild Magic. The fool. Even if he succeeds in killing me, his control over this place has disrupted the entire valley. If it slips out of his control, it could kill him.' Jareth's quiet tones were laden with scorn.

'Is that what you'd planned?' Sarah asked. Beside her, Jareth nodded.

'If I'd been able to keep out of his reach, yes. But now that he's holding Devin, I can't wait. I just have to hope that coping with us traversing the Labyrinth, we'll have him stretched thin enough to make a difference. If I can force him into a confrontation, I might be able to trigger a backlash. It's not certain though.' He studied the valley with a professional eye. 'Even if I destroy him I'll be years putting right what he's done here. Look.' He reached down and pulled up a small bush, which came out of the sandy soil easily in his gloved hand. His fingers gently rubbed the dry twigs, and Sarah watched as it crumbled in his hands. 'By changing the pathways, he's already begun to change the patterns of power in the valley. It's leaching the life from the place already.' He brushed the dust off his gloves with an irritated gesture.

Behind them, oblivious to this, the goblins were tumbling over each other. Sarah tried to ignore them.

'Then the sooner we start…'

Jareth released her and called his ragtag group of goblins over - which took some time, as they were far more interested, Sarah thought, in tying Fleck to a tree with his tail, than in obeying their king.

'Couldn't you have called a few more useful ones?' she whispered in his ear. His exasperated look said no…

'The Goblin Guard are probably all dead by now, which would only leave a few of the larger ones outside the city. Besides, these are some of the more adventurous. They tend to be a little more intelligent.' He looked over her shoulder and sighed. Heavily. 'At least, that was the theory. Sarah, would you mind?'

Grinning, she walked over and untied Fleck. The little goblin sprang off the tree as soon as he was free and clung to her neck. Sarah glared down at the snickering culprits. 'Mags and Zuse, I should have known. Leave him be!' she scolded. The two female goblins just giggled and ran over to Jareth, the skinny red haired one, Mags, jumping onto his boot and clinging to his leg, before he kicked her off. Sarah freed herself from Fleck's grip, and put him with the others. She looked from the giggling group of goblins, to their king. 'I really hope you know what you're doing.'

'So do I.' He whispered quietly, as he walked past her. The motley little group, led by Jareth, made their way towards the outer wall of the Labyrinth.

Jareth held Sarah back as they approached the door to the Labyrinth - or, Sarah thought, the place where it had been last time. The rectangular pool was still there, albeit scummed over with a sickly looking slime. The walls loomed over them, ancient crumbling brick still covered in moss, vines and that ubiquitous glitter that covered everything.

But now it had an unhealthy glow to it - nothing she could point to and say 'there, that's what's wrong.' But still.

'Wait there.' Jareth told her. Cautiously, he approached the walls. Sarah bent down and restrained one of the goblins to stop it from following him. Fortunately, they were amenable to obeying him this time. In fact, they all seemed somewhat subdued.

A few feet from the wall, Jareth stopped. In front of him, she saw the doors - massive, ornately carved, wooden and old - appear. Sarah saw him make a slight gesture with one hand, and the doors opened with a heavy creak. Within the archway, she could see through to the passageway behind them - the dark bricks, ancient, damp, uneven. Nothing looked different. Jareth however still made no move.

After what seemed like an age, she saw him conjure a crystal, and stare into it. Then with a muttered oath, he flung it away, to smash into the wall with a muted tinkle, rousing a nest of fairies. As the irritated creatures fluttered around him, he swatted them away angrily, then called to Sarah.

Followed by the goblins, she joined him.

'He's warded the entire Labyrinth. I've got no hope of finding a path through magical means. My sight is limited to what's in front of me.' He took her hand. 'Watch your step, trust nothing, and whatever you do, don't leave my sight.'

If it hadn't been for his reassuring grip on her hand, Sarah thought she'd have been back to being scared of him again. If she'd started to forget exactly who and what he was, she was reminded of it sharply now. A Sidhe lord in his full power, fighting for his kingdom.

And his life.

She forced herself to match his stride as the entered the Labyrinth, determined not to show any nervousness. Although she did jump as, the moment the last goblin had passed through, the massive doors slammed shut behind them with an ominous thump.

With the doors closed, suddenly the walls seemed to close in, narrowing and growing taller. Sarah shivered. It had grown colder all of a sudden as well.

Releasing her hand, Jareth stepped forward to examine the inner wall, gloved hands running lightly over the surface, heedless of the glistening trickle of water down the worn brick. A patch of eye lichen hissed at him as he passed his hands too close to it. Eventually, he stepped back.

'He's sealed most of the wall. I can't feel an entrance from here.' He looked along the passageway in both directions. 'Which way - left or right?'

With a strange sense of deja vu, Sarah followed his gaze. 'Will it make a difference?' she asked, remembering her own journey. Jareth shrugged.

'Maybe. Maybe not. These outer regions will still be only nominally under his control. It's the deeper parts of the Labyrinth that will be tainted. Even so, he might have set traps. Remember, he sees this as a game. It won't be any fun if we die too quickly.' He pushed a lock of pale hair away from his face with a distracted air.

'But don't you know the way through your own Labyrinth?' Sarah asked. Jareth turned a slightly exasperated look on her.

'I know which areas are which, and the routes are largely irrelevant when you can simply translocate from one place to another. Which, I might point out, I can't, thanks to Iorweth warding the entire valley. We're stuck with walking.'

'So which way then?' Sarah asked.

Left,' he replied, albeit without much confidence. Sarah thought for a moment then headed right. Jareth caught up with her before she'd taken more than a handful of strides.

'Just where do you think you're going?'

'This way.' She met his eyes. 'You're left handed.'


'So you'd tend to pick that direction. Iorweth might use that.' She was quite pleased with her logic for once. Jareth just looked thoughtful.

'And if he's thought that you'd realise that and prepared for it?'

'Would he double bluff?' she asked. 'We'll be stuck here until nightfall if we try to outthink him on every turn.'

Jareth sighed. 'I'm beginning to remember why I don't have any contact with the Courts these days.' He set off in the direction she'd been heading. 'Come on, we'll try this way.' Surpressing a smile, Sarah followed him, surrounded by giggling goblins.


'Three hundred goblins, sitting on a wall

Three hundred goblins sitting on a wall

And if one little goblin, should accidentally fall

They'll be Two hundred and ninety-nine goblins, sitting on a wall'

Devin's voice was starting to give out by now, and it didn't help that at six hundred and thirty the hobgoblin guard had taken exception to his singing and split his lip for him.

Still, if it irritated someone, it was having one of its desired effects. He rattled the chains again.

'Come on, I demand to be fed!' he shouted. 'You can't expect me to be there at the murder of my liege lord if you don't feed me. Or do I have to start knawing my leg off now or something?'

The hobgoblin outside his cell grunted something in its native tongue and rattled its axe against the bars.

'And the same to you!' Devin called back. He sat back down in the corner and stared around. There was just enough light to see by - although the view wasn't up to much. A set of corroded manacles hung from the ceiling - one of them still had a skeletal hand in it. 'Great Jareth, just great. You can get out of your dungeons, but you never told me how to…'

'Maybe he'd planned to see you in one before long.'

The voice came out of nowhere.

'Calion, I didn't know you were on the serving staff. Make mine a full tankard of ale and - no, make that a bottle of Jareth's best red and a nice venison steak.'

A gauntleted hand slapped him across the face. He flicked his tongue out and licked his cut lip. 'That's the second time today. I'm going to have to get angry if it happens again.'

Calion's face loomed close to his, although Devin could make out few details in the dim light. 'Mock while you still can. Iorweth is occupied with Jareth now he and the girl have entered the Labyrinth. Which means you - ' he ran a metal clad finger down Devin's cheek, 'are mine for the duration.'

'Sorry,' Devin said with mock politeness. 'You're not my type.'

Calion snarled and Devin braced himself for another blow. It never landed.

'I'm going to enjoy this, Dreamweaver.' Calion said. His hand grabbed Devin's hair and forced his head back. At the same time, a torch sprang to life in the cell, and Devin could now see his tormentor's face. He gasped at the sight of the ruined eye. 'Oh yes, Devin. Look upon your handiwork.' Calion spat into Devin's face. 'You will suffer for this, I promise you.'

Devin hadn't spent centuries with the Fae without learning a few tricks. 'Let me guess, you're going to start singing?' Judging by the look on Calion's face, that was a mistake: there was madness, Devin realised, in Calion's remaining eye. A cold wave of fear washed over him. Bravado wasn't going to get him out of this one, and he'd been warded from using his magic. If he pushed the wolf-lord too far…

…yet it might give him a chance, if he could force Calion into making just one slip.

Calion's power gripped him then, and he was hard pressed not to scream.

Jareth, he thought as the Fae-lord's mind began to spin its illusions - you'd better be quick…


'Stop!' Jareth's raised hand and sharp tone brought his little entourage to a halt. To Sarah, the stretch of wall looked no different to the previous several hundred yards they had walked past.

'You've found one?' she asked. Despite Jareth's assertions that there should have been several openings in the outer passage, they'd not found one yet.

'Possibly. It's Obscured.' His left hand gestured minutely, and a crystal appeared in his fingers. 'Stand back.' With a flick of the wrist he sent the orb spinning towards the wall, where it shattered on impact. To Sarah's eyes, nothing had changed.

'Well?' she asked, a little impatiently.

'Look again,' he told her, pointing. 'The way I taught you.'

She concentrated for a moment; seeing the wall… seeing beyond….

The last shreds of a tenuous mist seemed to lift from the wall as she looked. As she turned her head, the optical illusion caused by the overlapping walls became blindingly obvious. Sarah grinned at Jareth. 'Piece of cake?' she quipped. He looked more serious.

'Too easy. But since we don't really have much of a choice…' his voice tailed off, and he sighed. 'Wait here, I'll go first.' He walked forwards and through the gap between the walls, heading left. For a heartstopping moment once he was out of sight, Sarah almost panicked. Then he was back.

'It seems safe enough. But – '

'I know.' Sarah said, taking his hand again. 'Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere without you.'

With that, she followed him into the Labyrinth proper.

Once out of the narrow confines of the outer passage, she was surprised at how light it was. The lower walls of the stone maze made the Labyrinth seem almost open by comparison. Sarah walked side by side with Jareth through the wide corridors formed by the interlocking stone walls.

After the first hour or so (it was difficult to tell, but it didn't feel much longer than that, to Sarah) Jareth finally admitted that he was hopelessly lost.

'We're going round in circles!' The goblins were keeping well out of his way by now, and Sarah didn't blame them. He looked as if he wanted to throw something at the walls, and they were probably the only candidates to hand.

'Can't you influence it at all?' Sarah asked. She leaned back against the wall opposite him. He glared into the distance, staring at the castle, and fiddled with a glove.

'I'd fall into the same trap Iorweth has, and that I can't afford,' he said grimly. 'It seems I'm reduced to finding my way through normally.' He kicked Mags off his boot again, and the little red haired goblin ran to Sarah instead - except she wasn't feeling too friendly either. 'How did you get through?' He asked abruptly. Sarah gawped at him.

'How should I know - it just sort of happened,' she snapped. 'It kept changing on me, then I fell into your dungeon.'


'Whatever.' She was glaring at him now. 'Just because you can't find your way through your own - ' He was at her side in the next breath, pulling her away from the wall. Abruptly, she felt her irritation subside, and she was staring at him, wondering at the sudden change.

'What?' Sarah felt dizzy all of a sudden, and was glad of his steadying hand.

'The walls - look.' She turned in his grasp, concentrating, and couldn't help a small gasp at the sight behind her. Looking through the Sight, the light stone walls were mottled and shot through with a sickly green-black veining. 'I think we'd better stay clear of the stonework, or we'll end up killing each other.'

Sarah looked over to where the goblins were gathered, quite happily clambering over the architecture and each other. 'It doesn't seem to affect them,' she pointed out. Although, she realised, now that she wasn't touching the wall, she couldn't understand why she'd been shouting at him -the last few minutes seemed a little hazy, somehow.

Jareth snorted. 'Pulling each other's heads off and name-calling is natural behaviour for them. I doubt you'd notice a difference. But just in case - ' He called them over, and they came, albeit a trifle reluctantly.

'So what now?' Sarah asked. Jareth ran a hand through his hair and started leaning back against a wall before remembering that it was tainted. Then a slow speculative smile spread over his face.

'Wait here,' he told her. He walked up the passageway for a few yards, peering at the flagstones, before stopping. A pass of his hand over one of the slabs raised it slightly, and as Sarah watched, he plunged his hand in, and pulled out a small struggling figure. A little man only about a foot tall - but very vocal.

'Aaagh, whattyawanna do that for? Fraggin -' it obviously realised who it was insulting at that point and did a double take. ' Ah. Yer Highness. Didn'trealiseitwasyou. Sorry.' Jareth placed the struggling brownie on the floor.

'Sleeping on the job, whatever next?' Jareth looked down at the small figure, which was, Sarah realised, dressed in a long nightshirt and a bobble hat.

'Eh, restofem buggeredoff. Got me some peace and quiet round 'ere.'

'Quite.' Jareth settled back kneeling on one knee. 'Now - how are the walls configured from here to the hedge maze?' he asked. The brownie scratched its head.

'Eh. HowthebloodyhelldoIknow?' it muttered, then squawked as Jareth's hand shot out and two gloved fingers had it by the throat.

'Because its your job to know. That's why I keep you and your kind around. You always know where the walls are. Now. Tell me what I want to know or so help me I'll stuff you head first into my pocket and drop you into the Bog of Eternal Stench at the earliest opportunity.'

The brownie gulped. 'Well, it's still gonna change…' it started. Jareth took a deep breath.

'Yes, I know. But even Iorweth can't force the configuration to move instantly. What is it?'

Sarah didn't quite catch the rest of the conversation as Jareth bent his head to listen to the brownie's muttered instructions. Eventually he stood up, letting the little imp go. With a stream of abuse that Sarah didn't even want to try making out, it vanished back under the slab, which sealed the entrance shut as it vanished. Jareth walked back towards her, looking pleased with himself.

'Let's go, we haven't got much time,' he said.

Sarah just shook her head in mock despair. 'Couldn't you have done that earlier?' she asked. A blue and a hazel eye regarded her icily for a moment.

'He didn't think of it!' Fleck giggled. Jareth's booted foot shot out and placed itself firmly on his tail. 'Ow!' the little goblin screeched. Jareth removed his foot and placed an arm around Sarah, ignoring Fleck's injured glare as it cradled its tail.

'Did you have to do that?' Sarah asked indignantly as they walked on.

Jareth shrugged. 'Give them an inch, and trust me – you'll regret it. Don't try to judge things here by the world you know – I thought you'd have learned that by now.'

'Kindness never cost anything.'

Jareth snorted. 'Tell me that after you've lived with goblins for three hundred years.'

Behind them, Sarah heard squeals as Mags tried to wrap Zuse's pigtails around her own throat. Jareth muttered something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like 'why me' to Sarah's ears. She bit back a grin. Sometimes, she had the distinct impression the point scoring was on both sides…

The one thing Sarah had forgotten about the Labyrinth was just how much the scenery in any section looked the same. Turn after turn, the large stone walls looked no different from the section they'd just walked through. After a while, she was feeling disorientated. It was so easy to get lost or forget where you'd been. They'd already lost one of the goblins – Tipper had run off down one of the side turnings and vanished without a trace. After that Jareth was rather more insistent on everyone keeping close together.

It hadn't helped a few minutes later when they'd heard a long drawn out squeal that ended abruptly. The goblins went very quiet, and Sarah drew even closer to Jareth.

Despite that loss, Sarah couldn't shake the distinct feeling that they'd had it too easy, somehow. Watching Jareth closely, she could see that he seemed to be feeling the strain as well. The further in they went, the more watchful he was becoming.

Twitchy, she thought, was the word she was looking for. Several times he'd stopped and tried to use one of his crystals to scry the path ahead, with no luck.

The sun was well past noon when they finally reached the entrance to the hedge maze. Sarah breathed a sigh of relief as she saw the looming privet hedges, perfectly trimmed, the gap between them flanked by two stone statues. But as she was about to step towards the gap, Jareth stopped her.

'Wait.' He pushed her behind him. 'I don't like this. It's too easy.'

Sarah, looking around both normally and with the Sight, could see nothing wrong. 'It's clear.'

Jareth shook his head. 'Something's not right. I just can't put my finger on it.' He bent down and called Whisper forwards from the gaggle of goblins. 'You. Take a look in the hedge maze and come back here –'

'Sure' Whisper started to bound off, only to be hauled back by Jareth's hand on its scruff.

'Straight back. Don't go off on your own.' Jareth cautioned. The furry little goblin pulled free and bounded off regardless and Jareth sighed. 'Why do I bother?' Sarah laid her hand on his shoulder, and watched as Whisper bounded up to the statues, then through the entrance.

Barely a heartbeat after the goblin had vanished from their sight, Sarah heard a loud growl – a deep familiar roar that she knew all too well.

'Ludo!' she called out in delight. Before she could make a move, Jareth had her in a painful grip, holding her back.

'No,' he ordered grimly. 'Stay here.'

'But – '

He released the grip he had on her arm, but only slightly. 'Never assume. Nothing here is ever what it seems, and that has never been more true than now.' The roar grew louder, almost, but not quite drowning out a long drawn out goblin wail. Jareth pushed Sarah behind him. 'Stay back.'

The roaring grew closer. Sarah, peeking out from behind Jareth's slim form, saw her old friend lumbering out of the hedge maze. For a moment, she found herself thinking that Jareth was wrong – this was Ludo, after all. Huge, shaggy, fearsome looking but a softie at heart. If not too bright…

His eyes, beneath those huge heavy brows, glowed red, even in the bright sunlight. Roaring again, he lumbered purposefully in their direction. And to her enhanced sight, he was suffused with that same black aura that pervaded the rest of the Labyrinth. The air of menace was unmistakable.

Beside her, Jareth shifted slightly, and looking down she saw he had a crystal in his hand. 'You're not going to hurt him?' she hissed. Even if he'd been changed by Iorweth, it might not be permanent, she hoped…

'If it's him or us, I'll do whatever I have to do,' he replied sharply. Then he sighed. 'It's a sleep spell. Somehow I don't think I'd hear the last of it if I killed him, would I?' Carefully staying out of sight as the hairy monster shuffled awkwardly in the courtyard, hidden for a moment from sight, Jareth blew the crystal out of his hand, concentrating to guide it to its goal.

A few moments later, Sarah heard a heavy thud.

'That won't hold him for long,' Jareth said. 'Come on.' He didn't run, but managed to cover the ground between their hiding place and the exit in record time, Sarah and the goblins scurrying to keep up. Once within the bounds of the trimmed hedgerows, he turned, and with a gesture caused a shimmering barrier to form between the two statues. Only then did he relax. 'That should hold for a while. Long enough for us to be a fair way through this section

They'd only walked a few yards, not even as far as the next opening in the maze, when the ground heaved and buckled underneath them, sending Sarah flying - luckily to be caught by Jareth. As the remaining goblins screeched in panic, she clung to Jareth. 'What's happening?'

His face was grim as he helped her stand again. 'The Land - it's started to react to Iorweth's tampering. We've got even less time than I thought.'


In the goblin castle, Iorweth gripped the arms of the throne as the land heaved. Despite the shaking of the walls, only a small fall of dust marked the tremor. The solid stone of the structure held fast as the land bucked under it. Trying to maintain control of the rebellious landscape, for a moment, his mastery faltered.

Only for a moment. With an effort, he reached out and brought the valley back under his control.


In the Goblin City - or rather, under it, a small tunnel caved in for part of its length, burying the three goblins currently digging their way though the city walls. But goblins don't tend to worry about things like that. Dragging out their fellows, they simply carried on digging. They were almost under the new wall that had been thrown up between them and the castle.


In the cells under the Goblin castle, Devin tried desperately to bolster his defences against yet another onslaught from Calion's demented mind. But as the ground began to shake, the Fae-lord's concentration faltered, just for a second.

And Devin set the first hook in his tormentor's mind. Unseen, unfelt.

Then the nightmare began again.

Dark Labyrinth

A Labyrinth Story
by Helen Fayle

Part 8 of 12

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