Continuing Tales


A Labyrinth Story
by Willa Suvia

Part 9 of 9

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"Sarah?" She lifted her head weakly, her cheeks still flushed and burning from the exertions of their love. When she looked at him that way, he saw only a spirit made flesh, a goddess given corporeal form.

He saw his future.

"It's time for you to go," he said, holding her face in his hands and pressing a kiss to her sweat-soaked forehead.

"I'm already here," she protested, her words thick with fatigue. She could hardly keep her eyes open. "I don't want to leave you again."

He smiled sadly. "I'm afraid it's necessary. But only for a short while, just long enough for you to wake up."

"Wake up?" she asked, and his words struck her with gale force.

"You knew it was all a dream," he soothed her. "You knew this from the start."

"Jareth, no-"

"It's only a little goodbye, Sarah," he bade her. "You know the words. Use them to wish yourself back to me and we can begin again in the flesh.

"Now," he kissed her senseless mouth, "it's time to wake up."


She opened her eyes to a white ceiling, and the dim yellow glow of a streetlight throwing a fuzzy bar of illumination across the foot of her bed. She heard rain pelting lightly against the roof, and found the sound oddly soothing.

"It was a dream," she said, and the words sounded dull and distant in her ears. "It was all just a dream."

Her hands flew to her face. Her skin was hot as a firecracker and covered with a thin sheen of perspiration. Her pajamas were soaked and uncomfortable, clinging to her body like a clammy second skin.

She reached out and slapped on the lamp, her eyes darting this way and that. Nothing here had changed; why would it? This was her room, her house, her bed. She felt...

She felt different.

She felt refreshed, without the awful feelings of emptiness and enclosure that had greeted her upon waking for the last three years. She felt as a starving woman might feel after a banquet of endless bounty, with as full a heart and spirit as ever was. Nothing seemed to be missing anymore.

She shook the last remnants of sleep from her head, staring in surprise at the greenish petals that fell suddenly from her ears. She picked them up, turning them over in her hands.

You know the words, she told herself.

Use them.


Aggy stood and stretched, her fingers tired and stiff from her weaving. "I think we did it," she announced proudly.

Hoggle nodded, still in shock. "I think THEY did it."

Aggy cackled and smacked him playfully across the arm. "I'm going back out to the garden, luv. I'll be to bed shortly, if you'd care to wait up for me."

Hoggle nodded, and she disappeared into the moonlit night. The rain had only just stopped, and everything smelled fresh and new, clean as a dewy morning. The world smelled of sunrise and sweetness.

Those two...'bout time they worked it out. It was long overdue.

He had watched eagerly, right up to the point where things started to get REALLY interesting. He half-considered watching the whole thing; he had done some low things in his time, but at the last moment couldn't bring himself to spy on such a tender moment.

"Hoggie!" she cried from outside. "Hoggie, come look at this!"

He rushed out back, their desire forgotten. He was half afraid those damned roses had finally snapped completely and done some real damage. But nothing so horrible met his eyes when he stumbled breathlessly upon the pool, and his wife.

Aggy sat at the water's edge, a dozen verdant roses twined round her wrists and arms and neck. They buzzed and cooed joyfully as she kissed their delicate heads and scratched their thorny necks. She stroked their looping stems with motherly love. Tears spilled down her cheeks, and each struggled to be the first to wipe them away.

"They're back, Hoggie," she wept. "My babies are back!"

"So they are." He smiled and stroked a tender new bud that had blossomed, perhaps where he had plucked the rose off before. "Everything's going to be fine now, Aggy. Just fine."


A Labyrinth Story
by Willa Suvia

Part 9 of 9

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