Continuing Tales


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 4 of 40

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He paced the length of his throne room. His steps were heavy and angry.

"'Wish for me and I shall come.'" he repeated his own words aloud. "What am I, some sort of canine? A puppy just waiting for her beck and call?" He continued to pace, his heels clicking loudly on the floor.

Most of his goblins ignored him. They'd seen the King pace his throne room many times. A few goblins watched him curiously. They knew that the King only paced when something was wrong.when something bothered him or threatened him.

He finally threw himself down into his throne with a grunt. Damn mortal woman, damn Seelie Court. He would prepare this time. He would steel himself and his labyrinth against her. He would not lose again. and he would not spend eternity aching in the shadows of her wake.

* * *

The familiar bell chimed as she walked into the front door of the bookstore. She frowned when she saw David behind the counter. She was in a relatively good mood, despite her recent visit from the Goblin King. Seeing David, her mood had just taken a turn towards angry and bitter.

"Look who finally decided to grace us with her presence." He teased as soon as she entered.

'Yeah.whatever." She shot back and she quickly started toward the back of the store. She had built a high wall around herself after the experience at the nightclub. The wall was taller and stronger than before. No man would ever hurt her again. She would make sure of that.

"Hey, what was that for? I was only teasing. Mrs. Miller said you might not be in for a few days. So how was your weekend?"

How was her weekend? Should she tell him how low and rejected he had made her feel when she had seen him in the arms of another? He could have told her that he was dating someone. He could have told her not to get her hopes up about him. Should she tell him that she had been kicked out of her house and forced to live in a dump? With a grunt she continued walking away.

"Sarah, I'm sorry! I was only teasing." He stepped from behind the counter, the floor creaking under his feet.

She stopped and spun around to face him. "Yeah, well go tease someone else, ok? Because I'm not interested." He watched with concern and surprise as she disappeared around a bookshelf. He scratched his head. What was her problem?

She found Mrs. Miller in the back office, glasses low on her nose as she read over the latest shipping invoices. Mrs. Miller was in her 60's. Short and plump, curly white hair. She ran the bookstore on her own, with hired help. Her husband had died years ago in a terrible car accident and she had never remarried.

Sarah tapped lightly against the wall to alert the older woman of her presence.

"Sarah! I thought you might have gone off on vacation by now." She smiled, but the smile faded when she saw Sarah's face. "Oh dear, something is wrong." She stood quickly and pulled out a chair for Sarah to sit in. She then proceeded to close the office door.

Sarah sat and tried to smile. "I came by to thank you for your gifts. The money was far too much."

"Nonsense! You work so hard and are such a delightful young woman, it was the least I could do. But what's wrong, dearie? You seem so down in the dumps. I thought maybe you had decided to take that vacation when you didn't show up for work, but now I'm not so sure."

'I'm so sorry I didn't show for work. I wanted to call and apologize." She sighed, feeling teary eyed again. "My parents kicked me out of the house.they made me move into an apartment. I don't have a phone."

Mrs. Miller gasped. 'They didn't?" Sarah nodded and blinked back the tears that stung her eyes. "Ooh, that woman! It was that woman wasn't it!?" Sarah nodded again.

"She has my father wrapped around her finger. I didn't even have a real chance to say what I needed to say or what I wanted to. They had already made the decision before I came home."

"My poor girl. Where are you living now? Are you still at home or have you moved?"

"I just moved into an apartment on Lawrence St., today."

"Today? They made you move out that fast?" Sarah nodded again. "No wonder you didn't have a chance to call in. They were making you pack and move. And Lawrence St.? Shame on your father for making you move into those awful, broken down apartments. What's the matter with him?"

Sarah shrugged. "He didn't even seem to care. Just dropped all my boxes off and myself and left." A tear streamed down her face.

"You should have told me. I would have taken you in." Mrs. Miller sat beside Sarah and pushed back her dark hair like her mother used to do when she was a child.

God, she missed her mother.she missed her father and Toby too. She missed them and loved them despite what they had done to her.

Sarah tried to smile. "Thanks, but I don't need handouts. I need to start taking care of myself and grow up. Maybe they were right."

"You are grown up. Just because you lived at home doesn't make you any less of an adult. You've always taken care of yourself."

Sarah nodded. It was true. Ever since her mother had left, she had fended for herself. Her father had always been away at work. Then he started dating Karen, and Toby was born. She acted like a child at times, but inside she was mature. And after her trip to the Labyrinth, she grew up quickly, though her love for magic and fairy tales never died. It was true that she had been taking care of herself all these years.

She wiped the tears from her eyes and attempted a smile. "I wanted to thank you for the check, and for the book. The original owner is very glad to have it back."

Mrs. Miller smiled. "I'm glad to hear that. I thought she would be."

'I also wanted to tell you that I'm going on vacation. It was sort of sudden, but I'm going to see my old friends again."

"Oh, how wonderful!" Mrs. Miller exclaimed, clapping her hands together.

"The only problem is, I don't know how long I will be gone, so I wanted to check with you first about time off."

"I'm sure David and I can handle the store while you're gone. Take a few weeks."

Sarah grinned. "Well, I don't know if I will be taking that long. I have the apartment to clean when I return and I don't want to be gone too long."

"I'll tell you what, why don't you take 3 weeks off? If you need more time, you tell me, and if that's too much, then just come on back to work."

"3 weeks. That's a long time."

'No it isn't, dearie. You rarely take time off. In fact, you've probably racked up a year's worth of vacation time." Sarah grinned. It was true, other than graduation and a weekend trip to Vermont freshman year, she had not taken time off.

"Ok, 3 weeks." She nodded with a smile.

Mrs. Miller smiled warmly and pulled Sarah into a hug. "You have a good time with your friends. Don't you worry about anything here while you're away. Everything will be under control."

Sarah hugged her back gratefully. It had been a long time since someone had hugged her other than Toby. "Thank you Mrs. Miller."

The older woman pulled back. "You're welcome, dear. Do you need a ride to the airport or to the bus or train station? I can bring you."

Sarah grinned. She couldn't exactly tell Mrs. Miller that the Goblin King would be whisking her away. "No, but thank you for the offer. My transportation is all set."

"Wonderful." Mrs. Miller hugged her again. "Have a good time."

"I will, thank you again."

She was beaming by the time she left the back office, but as she entered the main part of the bookstore, she stopped dead in her tracks. David was standing by one of the book shelves with a woman. A blond. The same blond that Sarah had seen him scoop into his arms and swing out across the club's dance floor the night of the concert.

Sarah inhaled sharply. David looked up and saw her and smiled warmly.

"Sarah!" he called. He took the blond woman's hand and pulled her with him toward Sarah.

Sarah held her ground. She forced herself to act like an adult and not flee and leave the bookstore in an emotional frenzy. She tried her best to smile in return.

"This is Jenny-" he started.

"Your girlfriend?" Sarah asked curtly.

He nodded, smiling and totally oblivious to the fact that he was crushing Sarah with his happiness. "Yeah. We've been dating for a few months now. She's been away at college. She hasn't graduated yet, like we have."

"It's nice to meet you." Jenny told her, extending her hand. "David's told me so much about you." Even though Jenny was smiling sweetly, it was plain to see that she was jealous and that her smile was forced.

"Nice to meet you too, although David failed to mention you to me." Sarah said shooting a deadly glance at David. She didn't shake Jenny's hand and instead started walking backwards toward the store exit.

"Sar, you feeling, ok? I mean, you're acting pretty weird."

Sarah smiled. "I'm fine. I just have a lot to do before I go on vacation." She turned and moved to the door. "It was nice to meet you. Bye!" And she was gone.

David stood, looking quite puzzled at the door. "Well, that was just plain odd."

"She doesn't seem very nice." Jenny said, putting her hands on her hips. "She was pretty rude actually."

"Something is wrong." David said more to himself.

"You heard her. She's going on vacation. She probably has a lot to do." Jenny leaned over and placed a kiss on his lips, and Sarah was forgotten.

* * *

She didn't bother packing as many things as she had initially planned to. She dumped her toothbrush, tooth paste, some clothes, undergarments and pajamas into a backpack. She kept telling herself over and over again that she would not cry. She wouldn't let David get to her. She didn't need him. She didn't need any man. Finally packed, she glanced around the room and took a deep breath.

"I wish to see the Goblin King.." she said clearly.

At the same time as the words fell from her mouth, there was a knock on the door.

"Sarah? Hey Sar, you in there?" Oh God! It was Lee! How did she find her here? "Sar, I know you're in there. Mrs. Miller said you left just a little while ago. Please open up."

Sarah bit her lower lip and thought about what to do. She realized she owed Lee an explanation as well as an apology for her behavior at the club. She opened the door. Lee stood with her hands on her hips. Red hair pulled back into a ponytail, heavy makeup lining her eyes. She looked concerned. "There you are. Do you have any idea how hard you were to track down? Your step-mother is such a bitch. I called and she wouldn't tell me where you went. Finally she said that you just upped and moved out."

"What? She kicked me out! I didn't just leave!"

"I didn't believe her. Mrs. Miller told me that you were kicked out and forced to live here. I asked the land lord what apartment you were living in. Are you ok? You look upset."

Sarah bit her lower lip again, her eyes brimming with tears. "Upset doesn't even cover it at this point." A tear streamed down her face and she angrily wiped it away with her sleeve. "I got kicked out of my house, thrown in this dump and then when I go into work to get my vacation time, who is there? David and his girlfriend, Jenny!"

Lee's eyes widened. "Aw, no way? What a bastard. He doesn't deserve you anyway. You're too good for him." Lee moved to hug Sarah and she pulled away.

"And I ran out of there like an animal with its tail between its legs!" She sank to the floor, feeling miserable, tears streaming down her cheeks.

Lee started to kneel down but stopped and gasped as she gazed upward. "Sarah, why is there a drop dead gorgeous guy, in weird clothes, but gorgeous nonetheless, sitting on your couch? Have you been keeping something from me?"

Sarah was on her feet in an instant, wiping her tears hastily from her cheeks. Her eyes fell upon the Goblin King's form, lounging elegantly on her couch. She had forgotten all about summoning him. He grinned at her and then got to his feet, slinking across the floor toward the two women. Lee's eyes never left his form. The Goblin King grinned at the red head.

"My god, Sar! He's beautiful! You know someone like this and you didn't tell me?" She looked hurt.

The Goblin King grinned, basking in the flair to his ego.

"I told you about him when we were in high school. Don't you remember?"

"No, you didn't. I would have remembered if you had told me about a hunk like this. Are you an actor?" Lee asked, eyeing his clothes and a little more then that.

The Goblin King only smirked.

Lee looked back and forth between Sarah and the man. She noticed that he was staring intently at Sarah. "Is anyone gonna answer me?"

Sarah sighed. "He's the Goblin King."

"The Goblin King, that's funny Sar." Lee chuckled. "No, who he is really?"

"I told you. He's the Goblin King. He rules over the Labyrinth."

Lee grinned. "You guys are doing a play together, aren't you? I remember you reading the Labyrinth back in high school. You must be playing the girl and he's playing the King."

The Goblin King seemed a little annoyed. "I am who she says I am." He said coldly.

"Chill out, sexy." Sarah nearly groaned at Lee's words. " So what's your name, handsome?"

He looked over to Sarah, clearly expecting her to answer the question.

"I..I don't remember. Hoggle said it once, but I don't remember."

The Goblin King snorted and looked offended. "You don't remember my name?" Sarah shook her head. "Then you shall both address me as 'your majesty, your grace, or your highness while within my presence." He said bitterly.

Sarah frowned. "I'm sorry that I don't remember. It's been a long time."

"Excuses, excuses." He was tugging at his gloves again.

'Look, just take me to the Labyrinth. We have a deal." Sarah told him. Her heartbreak and anguish was forgotten at the moment and anger filled her in its place. She didn't have time to toy with the Goblin King. As far as she was concerned, she wouldn't see him again until she was ready to go home.

"Deal?" he echoed. "What deal?" He saw the look of anger on Sarah's face and laughed. "I was only jesting, dear Sarah. I was only expecting to bring you along."

'The plans have changed slightly. My friend will be coming as well." She gestured to Lee.

"Going where?" Lee asked, confused.

"Our initial agreement was for you alone to enter the Labyrinth." The Goblin King told her. His eyes never left her face.

"She's coming as well." Sarah told him, hands on her hips.

"And if I disagree?" Jareth told her with a raised brow. Sarah didn't answer. "Hmm, that's what I thought." He said smugly. "I'm feeling particularly generous today, so she may join you. But the rules are the same for her. You will both be my guests and should you wish to travel--"

"-outside the castle, you will be our guide. Yeah, I know all that." Sarah shot at him.

"Castle? What is going on? Can someone explain where we are going?"

Sarah turned to Lee. "We're going on vacation."

"Are we going to stand here all day or are we leaving?" Jareth asked impatiently.

"We're leaving." Sarah picked up her backpack. "Right now."

The Goblin King grinned at the words and pulled a crystal orb out of thin air.

"Oh my god! That was so cool! This guy knows magic tricks." Lee shouted. Sarah rolled her eyes. Lee could be such a child.

The Goblin King extended his hand toward Sarah, which she did not accept. So he reached for her hand and gripped it within his own. Sarah didn't even have a chance to react, before a flash of blinding light filled the room and her apartment disappeared from her eyes..


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 4 of 40

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