Continuing Tales

A Forfeit of Dreams

A Labyrinth Story
by KL Morgan

Part 2 of 15

<< Previous     Home     Next >>
A Forfeit of Dreams

Sarah bowed her head to the stream of blessedly warm water, letting it smooth away the tension in her shoulders and neck. Wet hair matted itself on her back and face, and she pushed it back with one hand.

Why is everything so difficult?

She relished in the feeling of hot water sliding down her face. Someone stepped into the shower next to her and she gasped as for a brief moment her own was icy cold.


Sighing, she turned off the water and reached for a towel to wrap around her body. She shivered as the air raised goose bumps on her skin, walking quickly down the hall to her dorm room. There she dug out another towel, this one for her hair, and placed it around her shoulders as she sat down on the bed.

"Sarah? 'Zat you?" A drowsy figure stirred in the bed next to her, sitting up and blinking blearily.

"Just me, Nikki." She absentmindedly began to towel her hair dry. "You're in bed early."

There was a sleepy giggle, and the blonde girl stretched luxuriously. "No, actually," she yawned. "I got to bed very, very late. Sometime around noon, I think... maybe later..."

"Out late again, hmm?" Sarah wasn't really paying attention as she slipped into her PJs, trying to shove the straggling strands of her hair under the towel.

"Mmm hmm." Nikki flopped back onto her enormous blue pillow, arms akimbo. "Wish you'd come with me some time."

"Not really my scene."

The girl gave a snort, blonde hair flying away from her face. "Whatever. You need to get out more."

Sarah grinned over her shoulder at her roommate, reaching towards the massive floor-to-ceiling bookcase on her side, which made the room look decidedly cramped. It was stuffed with books, some with titles to be seen, (Winter Prince, Illusion, The Silver Metal Lover) but most too well loved and worn to be read clearly. Deftly she snagged a slim volume and hopped onto her bed. "You talk like I'm the one who forgets what daylight looks like."

"Aw, Sarah..." Nikki propped herself up on one elbow, looking regretfully at her friend. "Don't be mad. It's just -- well, I feel like I find you by yourself all the time. Every time I walk in the door, there you are -- reading, or writing, or daydreaming. I know you're lovely, but you're getting the reputation for being a snob."

"Most of my friends are theater people, anyway. They know I'm not a snob."

Nikki sighed hugely. "Yes yes, your precious theater people adore you. And all of you are always at rehearsals. What fun."

"It is fun."

"Sarah! Don't you ever go out with people? Have pizza? Have coffee, for godsake, if that will satisfy your artistic soul. Just don't stay in here." Nikki flounced back onto her pillow, making a face. "It's morbid in here."

"It is not morbid!" Sarah exclaimed indignantly.

"Your side is."

"Just because I don't have beer and band posters, you think it's morbid."

Nikki lifted herself out of bed. She was wearing just a flannel shirt, buttoned crookedly, as she padded over to the opposite wall. "This one," tapping a poster with her finger, "is definitely spooky."

Sarah gave a small smile. She knew that Nikki wasn't really serious. But her roommate had a surprising protective streak inside her and she wanted Sarah to get out and experience life more. The only thing was, Sarah enjoyed her life as it was. She was never fond of huge parties where she didn't know anyone, or hanging out in clubs just to dance with complete strangers. Her world was small, but full -- talking for hours with a few friends, catching ice cream after late-night rehearsals, going with a group to see a film on the weekends. She didn't understand how Nikki would think she was lonely. But Sarah really liked Nikki, and so she played along with the semi-critical banter.

"That," she said, "Is a painting by John Waterhouse. It's beautiful."

"Yeah." Nikki studied the elegant reproduction. "But still creepy. Look at those girls. They look like they're about to pull the guy down into the water with them."

Sarah grinned wickedly. "They did. It's a Greek myth -- his name was Hylas, a companion of Hercules, and -"

"Stop, stop!" Nikki waved her hands wildly. "No history lessons! I forbid it."

"It's not really history --"

"Nuh uh." Nikki shook an admonishing finger in Sarah's face. "I didn't have enough sleep to deal with that stuff. Forbidden," she ended firmly.

"Anything else of mine you'd like to deconstruct?"

Nikki glanced at the black and white photos tucked into the frame of Sarah's mirror. One showed a lovely dark-haired woman, posed in theatrical costume. Linda Williams. In Nikki's opinion, keeping a picture of your dead mother on your dresser went beyond creepy -- it was slightly masochistic. But she knew better than to venture her opinion. From the few times Sarah had mentioned her mother it had become obvious to Nikki that criticism would not be welcomed. She was flighty, not stupid.

Instead, she shifted her attention to the withered bouquet standing in glass vase on the dresser. "What about the dead flowers? Don't tell me they aren't morbid. They're dead."

Sarah rolled her eyes. "Dried roses, Nikki. Lots of people keep them."

"Only old people," Nikki muttered. "With nothing left to live for." She leaned in cautiously to inspect the blossoms, raising her eyebrows when she encountered their delicate scent. "How come they still smell?"

"I added rose scent," Sarah said, idly thumbing through the pages of her book. "To keep from being overly morbid."

The crack went wide as Nikki sniffed the flowers greedily. "Mmmm. Nice. I take back my comments." She straightened. "What made you decide to keep them, anyway?"

"My dad always gives me a dozen whenever I'm in a play. I throw the old bunch out after the first performance. It's..." She raised her head from the book, thinking. "A way to remind me of what I want in life, I guess." She shrugged. "Is that all?" 

"Well, give me a bit," Nikki said, throwing herself back onto her bed. "Next time something occurs to me, I'll take down a note."

"You do that."

Nikki sighed again. "Really, Sarah, you ought to make more friends. The people in theater department aren't the entire world." She watched as Sarah placed the book on the bedside table and picked up a brush, letting the towel fall from around her head. "Where were you, anyway? I thought you were going to study for a test tomorrow."

"I finished early. Brian found me, and we went off to practice together."

"Brian?" Nikki turned onto her stomach, the pillow muffling her words. "Now there is a reason for taking up acting. That hair, those deep green eyes... Mmmm..."

Sarah laughed. "You're such a nut, sometimes." She winced as she dragged the brush through a snarl in her long, dark hair.

"Oh, come on, Sarah." Nikki turned her face away from the pillow, blowing errant strands of hair out of her face. "Drop the ice princess act for just one second and admit he looks like a very fuckable Jesus."

Sarah blinked. "I'm not sure he'd appreciate the comparison," she muttered.

"Whatever." Nikki watched Sarah brush her sleek hair, quiet for a moment. "And he thinks you're amazing. I don't know what your problem is. Do you even date?"

Sarah threw her a wearied look, quickly tiring of the third degree. "Of course I do. I told you about them."

Nikki snorted again. "Oh yeah. I forgot. A grand total of two boyfriends." She rolled her eyes. "Honey, that's my average for a school semester. Not a good number for a knock-out like you."

Sarah got up, walking over to her dresser. She turned the hair dryer on, bending slightly at the waist as she let it blow through her wet locks. "We're different people. That's all."

"Do you have pictures?"

"In the top drawer. You're welcome to look."

 Nikki jumped up before Sarah had even finished speaking, stumbling over to her roommate's desk. Carelessly she rifled through papers and pencils, triumphantly grabbing the coveted photos and hopping back onto her bed. She studied them with mock seriousness, laying them out on her blanket.

"Hmm." She continued to make "serious studying" noises while Sarah finished drying her hair. Then she sighed. "I've got it," she announced. "You've got a thing for blondes. That's why you're blind to a marvelous piece of man like Brian. The poor, brunette man." She shook her head, expression tragic. "He doomed by his own good looks. It's like a Greek play."

"Shut up," Sarah protested laughingly. She turned the dryer off and walked over, sitting down on her own bed. "Two guys is not a "thing," it's simply a coincidence."

"Reeaaally." Nikki drawled. "And the fact that they're both amazingly tall -- also a coincidence?"

Sarah shrugged, feeling slightly uncomfortable.

"Oh, and of course, there are so many tall blonde boys with," she squinted at the pictures, "beautiful blue eyes. Ah yes. Totally understandable." She gave Sarah a withering look. "Who the hell is he, and why aren't you with him?"

"What?" Sarah asked, startled

Nikki raised her eyebrows. "You don't have some kind of secret fixation?" She put her head to one side. "Any movie or rock star you particularly admire... no?" She frowned, sensing Sarah's confusion. "Hmm. Why'd you break up with them?"

Sarah sighed, lying back against her pillows. She let her eyes wander among the prints she had taped to the ceiling over her bed. Her favorite hung directly above her head -- a handmade collage of woodcuts, fantasy art, and articles, all of it centering on dragons. A friend had made it as a parting gift as they went off to different colleges. Sarah had to stand on her bed and crane her neck in order to read the print of the carefully cut out blurbs and legend fragments. She had considered moving it to a more easily accessible wall space, but she loved seeing the flowing, scaled creatures flying above her as she nodded off to sleep. "Different reasons."

Nikki leaned over her, waving one of the photos in Sarah's face impatiently. "What about this one?"

Sarah shut her eyes. "That's Jason," she said tersely. "Can you get out of my face?"

Nikki jumped back, startled. She watched as, to her absolute amazement, several tears slipped down Sarah's cheeks. Hesitantly she shifted over, sitting next to Sarah. "Honey?" she asked quietly. "You okay?"

"I'm fine." Sarah sat up abruptly, wiping the tears from her face impatiently.

"No, Sarah, really. What's up?"

Sarah slumped dispiritedly. "Brian tried to kiss me," she said quietly. "It's nothing, really. I just... it's going to be difficult to deal with him, now." She sighed deeply. "And I really liked him. As a friend."

"Well, whatever you do, don't tell him that."

Sarah laughed outright at her roommate's practical advice. "I just have to put him out of my mind, study a little more and get a good night's -- shit!"

Nikki jumped. "What, what?" she demanded, watching as Sarah leaped off the bed, tearing around the room to change furiously out of her PJs into jeans and a baggy shirt. "Who died?" Nikki demanded.

"Nothing, I -- dammit!" Sarah wrenched her hair free where it had tangled with a button. "I left my notebook in the theater. It has all my notes for this semester, and I really need it to get a good grade in the class, much less the exam."

"Sarah!" Nikki watched, concerned, as her friend roughly pulled faded sneakers onto her feet. "It's not the end of the world. Just wait until the morning."

"No way," Sarah replied tersely, yanking on a light jacket. "The maintenance crew will probably find it and throw it away, that would be just my luck..." Glancing over her shoulder, Sarah was arrested by her roommate's concerned expression. She smiled. "I'll be fine," she said. "It's not that far, and the walk will make me feel better, anyway."

"Okay," Nikki said, dubious. "Just watch out for weirdos."

Sarah laughed. "I'll be back in no time!"


Sarah jogged along the sidewalk, breath misting in the late autumn air. Her long hair bounced against her back to the steady rhythm of her steps.

What am I going to do about Brian?

Sarah didn't know what was wrong with her. It wasn't that she didn't like dating. She loved dancing with her boyfriends, heartily enjoyed kissing them, defied anyone to claim she wasn't as admiring and cuddly as any other girlfriend. But she just didn't understand the passion other people expressed. Boyfriends were fun. But that was it -- she didn't ever feel the need for more than that.

Sarah slowed her pace, hands thrust deep into the pockets of her jacket. Her head was bowed in concentration, a slight frown on her face.

I didn't love either of them.

Jason and Cedric had been like really good friends -- friends to dance with, and kiss, and to be held by when you felt lonely, but that was it. Friends. She swallowed thickly; remembered how angry they had both been with her when she had ended it. She couldn't understand why they had gotten so worked up.

What's wrong with me?

She shook her head, speeding up her pace. It was something to think about later. After her exam. With something like relief she realized she could see the theater building, the huge double doors for the entrance just a few feet ahead.

Besides, she thought to herself, I'm only eighteen. It isn't like I'm under a deadline to find the love of my life. She laughed to herself, pausing before she opened the doors. I think I started dating Jason just to make Karen shut up, she thought wryly of her stepmother. No wonder I can put up with Nikki -- they're kindred spirits.

She smiled broadly, leaning on the door handle. It swung open easily but to her surprise the house lights were down. She frowned. Maybe Brian had fooled around a little before he left... the stage lights were on. It was something he'd do -- practice his rehearsal piece with the stage all to himself, then get carried away by the moment and forget to close up properly. She felt a little chill of anxiety. Maybe he was still here... No, he'd have gone back to his dorm by now. She was being silly. Sarah stepped inside the building, letting the door swing shut. And it hit her -- the theater smelled strange. It was a dry, earthy scent... it reminded her of old clothes and toys left in the attic, but also of damp forests and dust. It was distinctive. She knew she'd remember what it was in just a second, it was right there at the edge of her memory --


The breath left her body and she slumped against the doors, shaken. She could feel her heart beating in her mouth, fingers clutching convulsively at the handlebar. Searching for something, anything, solid to hold on to. Something real.

She stood there for a few minutes, breathing heavily. This is a dream, she thought distractedly. I'm asleep in my room. Nikki's snoring. Again. She calmed herself slowly, gathering her thoughts. You're playing tricks on yourself, Sarah, she thought angrily. That stupid play has gotten you thinking about this stuff again, and it's stupid. Goblins aren't real.

She leaned over to the socket, flipping one of the switches to the house lights. Nothing. She tried another, and another, but they were all dead. She could feel panic rising in a scream.

Stop it! she ordered herself. Stop scaring yourself! But she couldn't escape the feeling of déjà vu... Déjà fait, she thought, absent-minded. Then shook her head violently. STOP IT! You made that up when you were fifteen and incredibly lonely! It. Was. A. Fantasy. Toby wasn't snatched away by goblins. Because goblins don't exist. Goblin cities don't exist. And, most importantly, most especially, Goblin Kings do not, have not, and will not ever --

"Hello, Sarah."

She paused.

Once, she had dreamed her mother had died. She had dreamed her mother had been killed in a fire, that all the neighbors had come to the funeral, that her father had locked himself in his room and wouldn't look at her. She was being led away from her home by her grandparents when she woke up -- sat bolt upright in bed breathing fast in sheer terror. And then she had relaxed, tension leaking out of her as she realized she was in her own bed, that she could hear her father laughing down the hall. It had only been a dream.

And then she remembered: her mother really was dead, killed months ago in a car accident. The cold shock of that knowledge had been like a knife in her body, causing her to collapse back onto the bed, unable to cry for the pain that lived in every part of her. That feeling of absolute loss had felt like it would rip her apart from the inside out.

But this, Sarah thought, slowly moving her eyes from the floor to elegant boots, to sleek black legs and imperious stance, resting finally on that cold, mocking face: This might be worse. 

He was on the stage, of course. His feet were braced a shoulder's width apart, encased in long, elegant boots. There was some kind of armor on his chest -- something steely-gray and yet strangely iridescent, the spotlight picking up subtle blues and purples in the textured metal. A dark cape hung from his shoulders, and it was as if the shadows themselves had peeled away from the walls to ripple around his body, as fluid as blood. His arms were crossed in front of him, waiting, slightly impatient for her response. He smiled at her, the same one-sided mocking grin. And a single arched eyebrow, like an upswept owl's wing.

It was hideously reminiscent of the first time she had seen him (as the truth of the meeting she could no longer deny to herself). He always made her felt this way -- grungy, awkward, and pathetic. Powerless.

But that's not true.

The thought speared through her dazed state, making her blink. It wasn't true. She had defeated him. She had solved the Labyrinth. Toby was a preschool terror, not a mangy goblin boy. She had won. He had lost.

She rebuilt herself, standing there. She picked up the pieces of her shattered confidence; letting them slip securely into place over her naked emotions like a shield. She let out a shaky breath and let go of the door, steeling herself to meet that mismatched gaze.

His eyes widened, and for a brief moment the smile slipped. But he regained his arrogance easily, as always. "Did you miss me?" he asked gently.

"Not really." Sarah could feel her hands tremble, she twisted them together abruptly, praying he hadn't seen.

"Oh," he placed a hand to his heart in mock sorrow. "I'm wounded." He tilted his head to one side, eyes questioning. "But perhaps I shouldn't be," he murmured. "I heard that you had forgotten about us all, Sarah. Even your so-called friends."

She refused, she refused to show him how much that hurt. She had forgotten them all -- Hoggle, Ludo, Sir Didymus, the Fireys -- she had put them out of her mind completely. Sarah blinked back tears, hard. She'd ask their forgiveness, someday. But right now she couldn't afford to think about that. Right now she was in the middle of a battle.

"Why are you here?" she asked, grateful her voice didn't shake.

Jareth was obviously amused at something. He strode confidently around the stage, turning his back on her. She noticed, distantly, that the mirror from practice was still there.

"Curiosity, perhaps," he called back to her. "It's rare I hear my name spoken so often, so commonly, in one place."

"Your name?" she asked, confused. And then it dawned on her. "The play."

"Hmm. Yes." He paused at the edge of the stage, glancing at her through the pale curtain of his hair. "It's amazing how confidently you people have bantered my name about these past months." There was a thin thread of anger in his voice, outrage at their audacity. "I began to fear it would tarnish."    

Sarah lowered her eyes. "You can't really expect them to take it seriously," she said softly.

"Can't I?" His voice whispered directly into her ear. She jerked around to find him standing next to her, laughing at her shock.

"No," she said fiercely, angry at being tricked. "You can't."

His laughter stopped abruptly. Eyes narrowing, they lingered on her face. "I believe you've changed," he said softly. "Yes. There is definitely something different about you."

"Is that it?" she challenged him, gaining confidence. "The sound of your name calls you to those who speak it?"

"Something like that."

She watched as he made his way back to the bright stage. "I'll try not to mention you by name, then."

"You never have."

She shifted, hesitant. Was that all? "I... I guess I'll be going," she ventured cautiously. This elicited no response from the Goblin King, who simply stood upon the stage as if lost in thought. The light gilded every strand of his hair and chased shine over the leather of his attire. There was a tiny smile on his thin lips, eyes closed -- as if he were listening to some unknown music. Waiting for something.

Sarah carefully made her way to the front seats, her skin prickling with the nearness of his presence. She didn't care how undignified it was, she was going to run for it as soon as she got through the doors. She spotted her notebook on the floor and snatched it, hurriedly stepping over scattered books and papers. This is like a bad dream. It doesn't feel real. Why the hell is he here?

And then she stopped, the fact of what she had just seen finally registering on her mind. She swallowed and closed her eyes tightly, feeling a deadness of spirit as her notebook dropped from nerveless fingers.

Not again.

"Where's Brian?" she whispered.

"I'm sorry, my dear, did you say something?" his mocking tone carried splendidly in the empty theater, and for one delirious moment she thought to herself, He'd make a wonderful actor.

"Brian," she said, a little louder. Her voice was shaking, now. "His books are still here. So is his homework. Where is he?"

"And you are assuming I am aware of your friend's whereabouts because..?"

Because you're a manipulative son of a bitch, she bit back from saying. And I know you. Breathing deeply, she turned to face his feral grin. "Am I wrong?" she demanded.

Amused, he shook his head. "But that means that you have already guessed where he is, haven't you?"

Sarah felt her mouth go dry. "No," she said desperately, "That's not possible! You only steal children!"

"My goodness, Sarah, you make me sound like some kind of monster. I only take what is offered. You know that."

Sarah shook her head, stubbornly. "No," she said firmly. "You couldn't have taken him, because he's not a child, and you don't dare touch anything that can fight back."

He was suddenly before her, too close. She stepped hastily away only to find that he was holding her there with a black-gloved hand placed easily on her arm. His face was absolutely still, imperious and arrogant.

"I find it amazing, at times," he said distantly. "That you have managed to survive this long, with that kind of insolence." He released her arm but, lightning quick, reached out to cup her chin. "I was wrong," he said softly, menacingly. His eyes were hard and glittering in his pale, sculpted face. "You haven't changed at all."

And just as quickly he was back on stage, leaving Sarah to wince with the memory of his powerful grip. She looked at him, uncertain. He caught her expression from the corner of his eye and laughed again, looking like a radiant dark angel.

"Did you really think that the Labyrinth was populated by infants?" He paced the length of the stage slowly, holding her wide eyes with every step. "That everyone you met there was either a stolen child or a creation of my own?" He shook his head, eyes moving from her face to some point on the horizon. "No. It is true, I cannot force an adult to make their way into the Labyrinth. But I don't have to." He grinned, delighted with the wicked world. "Countless come of their own free will, lured by the promise of their dreams fulfilled." He brought his gaze back to her, expression unreadable. "You were not the only girl-child I offered a crystal of dreams to, Sarah. But you are the only one who refused the gift."

"I couldn't let you have Toby," she replied steadily.

"You would be surprised," he said dryly, "at how many of girls could."

"What are you saying? That Brian asked to be taken?"

"I'm sure he had no idea his wish would be fulfilled so... accurately." He ran a hand lightly over the mirror's frame, his back to her. "But yes -- your Brian wished, and I quote, that the goblins would come and take him away."

"But why?" she cried out.

"I didn't ask." He threw her a sidelong glance. "He was extremely distressed. About you," he added softly. He watched with interest as the blood drained from her face, leaving her pale and wan. Something like anger warmed the ice of his expression. "I would love to find out what happened."

Sarah's mouth twisted bitterly. "That's it, then. Brian's gone, and I have thirteen hours to solve the Labyrinth and bring him home." She was furious. "Don't you ever get tired of this?" she cried, exasperated.

"Oh, no." He laughed low in his throat. "Never of your company."

"Let's get this over with, then," she said through gritted teeth.

"Wait!" He held up one gloved hand. "As much as I enjoy our encounters, Sarah, I believe you're suffering under a misapprehension." He let both hands fall, clasping them behind his back. "Your friend appealed directly to me." Seeing her confusion, he continued. "In other words, you have no part in the agreement."

"I don't understand," she whispered, but she was beginning to.

"Three years ago, you asked for your baby brother to be taken away. Then, being a fickle little girl, you asked for him back, and I generously," he continued, ignoring her sound of muffled protest, "generously allowed for you to fight for him." His pale skin seemed to shimmer, ever so slightly, in the harsh stage lights -- perfect cruelty. "But this is not between you and I, Sarah," he spoke softly. "If you wish to bargain for your friend's life, you must bring something new to the table."

She stared at him, stricken. "What will happen to him?" she asked, voicing rising in panic. "Tell me what will happen to Brian!"

He shrugged elegantly, reassuming his pacing of the stage. "He's too old to become a goblin, of course. All others who enter the Labyrinth come for their own selfish reasons. To realize their dreams. To be consumed by them." His eyes glinted with malicious humor. "Where do you think your friend's dreams will lead him, Sarah? Can you guess at their nature?"

She was very still, standing in the audience. "I have to make my own bargain," she said dully.

"Name something worth my while, Sarah," as he smiled in triumph. "Make me an offer."

She steeled herself. "Me," she whispered.

That made him pause. "Pardon, did you -- yourself?" He gave a full-throated laugh, richly amused. "How amazingly conceited. What would I want with you?"

She flinched. "I... I thought..."

"What?" He stood before her, eyes fixed on her face. "That I had spent the last three years pining away in my castle for your beauty?" He arched an eyebrow, his mouth mocking. "Or that I was eaten up with desire for revenge? No," he chuckled, "Your delusions are very pretty, but I assure you that, after an eternity, one girl does not cause such vexation in a man." He crouched on the edge of the stage. "Oh," he mourned, fingers to his lips, "Now I've gone and hurt your feelings. Poor Sarah. Life's hard, isn't it?" he sneered.

"What will you take, then?" she hissed.

He laughed again, softly. "Certainly not you. What would I want with another lost dreamer, wandering through my Labyrinth?" He shook his head. "Something worth my while, Sarah. Try and think."

She shrugged helplessly. "I don't know. Want do you want?"

He smiled. He held up one hand, fingers cupping air. It was just as she remembered -- one moment, there was nothing, and then the light in his hands seemed to shimmer and fold in on itself, and he was holding a crystal bauble in his fingertips. It shone softly, looking as if a whisper could shatter its delicacy.

"Do you remember this?" he asked quietly. She nodded, cautious. "This is just a receptacle. No -- more like a mirror." He turned it carefully, looking into its depths. "I want the real thing."

"What do you mean?"

He stood abruptly. The bauble slipped from his fingers, and she gave a tiny gasp -- but it danced across his wrist and over his arm, only to be caught and flow smoothly back onto the other. He did this effortlessly, it seemed, as if to distract himself from total boredom.

"The Labyrinth is made of dreams. It is belief made tangible. You're little stunt three years ago did considerable damage to my kingdom, and I think it only proper that you assist in its reconstruction. Your contribution would be a little more... generous than usual, but I think it only fair, considering the part you played."

She frowned. "I don't follow."

He caught the crystal in the palm of his hand. "I want your dreams, Sarah. For that, I'll allow you the thirteen hours in the Labyrinth -- the chance to rescue your friend from oblivion." He held the bauble before her. "Is that so much to ask?"

She swallowed, hesitating. "If I fail," she said slowly, "and you take my dreams... What will that mean for me?"

He smiled slightly. "Well, for one thing, you'll cease to have nightmares."

Relief rushed through her. "Oh, you mean -- That's it? Just the dreams I have at night?" He said nothing, his gaze intent on her face. "That's alright, then. Sure."

"Deal." He grinned, flashing sharp teeth, and tossed the bauble in the air. Without thinking she lunged for it, stretching to save its fragility from crashing down to earth. He raised his arms as she moved, letting the cape fly into the air like the wings of some monstrous dark bird --

-- and she was back on the hillside again, where she had stood three years ago after begging for Toby to be stolen away. The Labyrinth lay before her.

But something was wrong.

A Forfeit of Dreams

A Labyrinth Story
by KL Morgan

Part 2 of 15

<< Previous     Home     Next >>