Continuing Tales


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 5 of 40

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The ground felt as if it had lurched beneath their feet. In a matter of moments a tall, slender man with wild hair and two young women appeared within the castle beyond the Goblin City.

Sarah smiled as she took in the castle. Goblins were rushing about in helmets and armor. Some chased after chickens, others were playing a game similar to tag. The castle was a giant mess, just as she remembered it. Food, feathers, and trash littered the floor surrounding the Goblin King's elegant throne, which looked oddly out of place amidst the chaos.

"Ick, what a mess!" Lee called out beside her. Sarah grinned. "What are those things?"

"Goblins." Sarah told her. "And he's their King." Sarah cast a glance at the tall man beside them.

"How the hell did a sexy, hot guy like you end up ruling these..things?"

The Goblin King ignored the comment. "Oreek will show you to your rooms." He told them and he started to move away.

"You brought us here and then you're going to leave us, just like that?" Sarah asked him.

He spun to face her. "A tour of the castle was not part of the deal, and as I recall, you preferred not to see me while you stayed here." A look of hurt appeared on his face for a moment, but was immediately replaced by his calm insolence. "Dinner is at 7 sharp. That is the only time we shall cross paths unless you would like to journey the Labyrinth. Ladies." He gave them a mock bow and left the room, his cape flowing obediently behind him.

As soon as the Goblin King was gone, the goblins began to laugh at the two young women standing helplessly in the center of the room.

"What the hell are you all laughing at, you ugly little creeps?!" Lee shouted out. She balled her fists.

"Ignore them." Sarah told her, putting a hand on her shoulder. "They're silly creatures who love to torment humans. Ignore them and they will leave us alone."

One goblin approached them after a few moments. "I'ms Oreek. I'll shows ya where you be staying. Follows me." Oreek was a short goblin, not more then 3 feet tall. He was not dressed in armor as many of the other goblins were, but simple dark blue pants and a shirt. He had virtually no hair, but the little he did have was white on the top of his green head. He climbed up a small ladder and pulled a torch down from the wall. "C'mons then."

Sarah and Lee looked at each other and Sarah shrugged. Lee had a million questions going through her mind as they walked through what looked like to her a medieval. The farther they moved away from the room that was full of the creatures, the Goblins as Sarah called them, the cleaner the castle seemed to be. Sculpture, tapestries and oil paintings lined the walls and floors. Curtains of deep wine or royal blue with gold trim were in the windows. This was a place out of the past or out of a fairy tale.

The tour seemed to be over much too quickly as the goblin stopped in front of two doors. "These are your rooms. Dinner is at 7 and you must be important guests to be invited to dine with the King." Oreek told them.

"Where is dinner held?" Sarah asked him.

"Why, the King's private wing, of course. That's wheres he dines and his guests. But he don't have many of 'em often. The rest of us dines in the lower hall. The King loses his appetite when he watches us eat."

Oreek gave a toothy smile and Sarah could understand why. Goblins obviously knew nothing about dental or personal hygiene.

"How do we get to the King's private wing?" Lee asked. "We just got here and we don't know our way around."

"His majesty's private wing is just down this hall. I don't know wheres his dining room is exactly. He don't allow us in there."

"Thanks, Oreek." Sarah told him. The goblin bowed and left quickly. 'Let's see what lovely accommodations he left us with, shall we?" Sarah said sarcastically. Lee nodded.

Sarah opened the door and gasped. The room was beautiful and not at all what she expected. It was large and spacious with a canopy bed in the center, dressed in dark green silk. Sarah's backpack sat on the silk sheets, and Sarah guessed that this was her room, seeing as there was only one bed. There were numerous bureaus, tables, a vanity, and a closet. One door opened into a bathroom, complete with tub and mirror. No plumbing though.

"Uggh, gross. What do we do about using the can?"

"We use one literally." Sarah told her. Her disgust matched Lee's. No modern plumbing meant no hot shower and no modern toilet. But there was a hole with a cover. It reminded her of one of those Porta Potties at fairs and construction sites.

"How charming." Lee noted, peering down the hole. It looked bottomless.

They walked back into the main room and found another door. It led into another bedroom. This one was slightly smaller, but no less elegant. It also had a crude bathroom. The closets of both rooms contained beautiful dresses, silk nightgowns and robes. Almost everything they needed. As Sarah looked at her accommodations, she wondered if she had been too hard on Jareth. While his attitude needed improvement, he had so far been a gracious host.

Lee plopped herself on her bed and Sarah joined her. "So are you going to tell me why you're here, why we're here? Where here is?"

Sarah smiled. Being here again was not so much of a shock to her. Poor Lee had no idea of what to expect. "This is the castle beyond the Goblin City. It's surrounded by the Labyrinth, the Goblin King's domain."

Lee gave her a blank stare. Sarah might as well have been talking in another language. Sarah moved off the bed and walked to a nearby window. She smiled as she saw the labyrinth, which spread out for miles in every direction. From where she stood, everything looked the same as it had when she was 15.

"Wow, that's pretty amazing. I wonder if anyone has ever beaten it." Lee said as she came up beside her friend.

"I have." Sarah smiled.

Lee pushed her. "You? Pfft, what do you take me for? An idiot?"

"I'm serious. I beat the Labyrinth. I know I told you the story once."

"I don't remember any story about you beating a Labyrinth or meeting that hot guy."

"I know I told you. I was a freshman and I was really upset that my parents had left me home to watch Toby again. I accidentally wished him away. I met the Goblin King and he told me the only way to get my brother back was to travel and defeat the labyrinth in 13 hours. A day.."

"Earth to Sarah, 12 hours are in a day."

"Not here." Sarah told her dreamily.

Lee shook her head. "So, you beat this thing."


'I don't get why we're here, and why did you drag me along? This medieval stuff is up your alley, not mine. I prefer my cell phone and my lap top."

'I'm sorry.I didn't really think about it. I just assumed that you might like to join in on this adventure with me. You are the mischievous one."

Lee grinned. "Well, this Labyrinth does look pretty interesting. And how much you want to bet that I can break the Goblin King's stone cold demeanor before we leave?"

Sarah gave her friend a serious look. "Lee, don't mess with the Goblin King. He's manipulative and cruel. It's best that we don't interact with him."

"So, what are we supposed to do? Play dress up and twiddle our thumbs? That will get boring really quick."

"We'll find my friends and we can spend some time with them. That's why I am here." She moved to stand by Lee's vanity and picked up a small glass bottle. Pulling off the top she took in a breath of what she believed to be perfume. "Ugh, gross." She quickly put the bottle back down.

Lee's eyes widened as she ignored Sarah's findings. "You have friends here? Are they as cute as the King?"

Sarah laughed. "One is a dwarf, the other is a large hairy being and the third is a talking dog who rides a sheepdog."

"Ah! Sarah, you're so weird! Why couldn't you pick some normal friends?" Lee fell back on the pillows with a sigh.

Sarah smiled. "They are normal for around here." After staring out the window dreamily for a few more moments, Sarah joined her Lee on her bed.

"So.." Lee started after a silence. "Why did they do it?"

Sarah looked puzzled. "Do what?"

"Kick you out of the house."

'Oh." Sarah sighed. "Well, Karen thinks that I am trying to live off my father and Toby needs a bigger room, and I'm sure she just wanted to get me out of the house, because we know how much she loves me." She sighed again. "I should have known this would happen.."

"You could not have known. That's so unlike your dad to give in like that though. He seems so cool."

"Correction, he used to be cool. Karen has brainwashed him. He's not the same dad I remember, growing up. Karen has him so tightly wound around her finger that he doesn't know which way is up or down. I just can't believe they made me move to Lawrence St. The place is a dump."

"I couldn't believe it when Mrs. Miller told me. I rushed over to see you as quickly as I could. I mean, what the hell is Karen's problem anyway? Why does she have to be such a bitch?"

"I can only assume that she was born one."

"Your mom would flip out if she knew about this."

"She doesn't care.."

"Yes she does, Sarah."

"Really? That's why she chose her career over my dad and I?" Sarah sighed deeply. "Look, you know the history. I don't want to talk about this. It gets me upset and I'm upset enough as it is."

"I'm sorry."

"It's ok." She laid back on the bed. "And I'm sorry about leaving you at the club.that was wrong of me. No matter how hurt I felt. You're my friend and I just abandoned you."

"I know why you did it. I understand.and I forgive you."

"Thanks.." Sarah smiled. "Look, I know this place isn't exactly modern, but it might still be a nice vacation." She turned her face away from Lee. "At least I won't have to see David."

" Sarah, don't even think about him! You can't let him get to you! He's a jerk!"

"I keep thinking, what if the signs were there and he was trying to tell me that he had a girlfriend and I just didn't see them? Maybe this is my fault."

"Don't you dare start blaming yourself. He led you on! Don't forget that I've seen him in action. I've been to the bookstore enough times to know a player when I see one. He openly flirted with you and acted as if he did not have a girlfriend. If I knew he was going to be at the club, I would not have brought you along."

Sarah sighed. "I don't know. And right now I guess I shouldn't care. I'm far away from him and his girlfriend, Jenny."

"Let the chick have him. You'll find someone better. Someone who deserves you and loves you for who you are. You'll see."

Sarah smiled brightly. "Thanks, Lee." She grinned. "I think that's one of the nicest things you ever said to me."

"Hey, no problem, I-hey! I compliment you!"

"Only after you compliment yourself!" Sarah grinned.

'I do not!" Lee threw her hands into the air.

"Lee, I'm only teasing."

Lee smacked her with a silk pillow. "I'm hungry. I could go for a burger from Harold's right now."

"I don't know what they have for food here, just whatever you do, don't eat a peach."

"Why not?"

"Just trust me on that, ok?"

Lee nodded. "Ok. What time is it?"

"The clock up there on that mantle reads 6:37, but my watch says 2."

"Maybe time is different here. Like we're in a different time zone."

"Maybe. In any case, we should probably get ready for dinner. We still have to find the dining hall." Lee nodded.

* * *

It was just after 7 when the giant double doors of the Goblin King's dining hall opened.

"You're late.and you're in aboveground clothing." Came the Goblin Kings' booming voice.

"Yeah, well we weren't exactly shown where to go." Sarah shot at him.

"Yeah!" Lee joined in. "And we happen to like our 'aboveground clothes'. Who the hell are you? The fashion police?"

The Goblin King was seated at a long table. Food was spread out before him and two additional place setting were situated to his left and right.

"The food is getting cold, eat." He ordered, ignoring their smart remarks. Lee and Sarah looked at each other and then took seats.

"Oh man! Steak!" Lee cried out when she saw what was spread out before them. "They have cows down here! I wonder if they can make me a burger sometime." Sarah laughed. The Goblin King growled.

"Dinner will be in silence." He told them.

Dinner will be in silence. Lee mimicked him with her mouth, but didn't make a sound. Sarah laughed. That earned her a scowl from the King. Both grinning like idiots, the two women cut into their steak with their knives and began to eat.

The rest of dinner was met with silence, except for the occasional scrape of a knife or fork against the fine white china of the plates. The food was delicious and tasted very much like something they would eat at home. The plates were cleared with magic and then The Goblin King rose from his seat.

"Your friends will be here to see you in the morning. You found your way here, I trust you can find your way back to your rooms." He moved to leave.

"Hmph, abandoning us again." Lee snorted. He turned and she gazed at him. She raked her eyes over his entire body and didn't feel shameful at letting her eyes stay pinned on the area just below his waist. The Goblin King's brows rose in surprise at this, but he let it slide without comment. Sarah's friend was quite forward.

Sarah rolled her eyes when she saw Lee checking the Goblin King out. She was going to get herself in trouble. She could see it already. Hadn't she learned her lesson? Lee was all talk and no action. She had gotten herself into some very bad relationships because of her eagerness to let good looking men know that they were indeed good looking.

Sarah looked up at the Goblin King. She did find him attractive, but she would never let him know that. He was staring at her intently and it made her feel uncomfortable. "Good night. Thank you for dinner." She said crisply. He annoyed her and she distrusted him, but she still had manners. The Goblin King nodded. Sarah left the room quickly and his eyes followed her until she was outside the door.

"G'night handsome." Lee shot at him. He ignored her, his eyes still gazing at the place where Sarah had disappeared into the hallway. He sighed deeply.

* * *

'I can not believe you checked the Goblin King out like that! And you let him see you checking him out!" Sarah said angrily, once they were inside her room.

"You know me Sarah, I can't resist looking at a fine man and the King is fine." Lee licked her lips.

"Haven't you learned your lesson?!" Sarah shouted at her. " Jake was fine too, wasn't he? And look what happened! He almost raped you!" She collapsed on her bed.

Lee's shoulders slumped. "I'm sorry. I.Old habits are hard to break."

"Yeah, I noticed." Sarah told her, crossing her arms over her chest.

'I was just checking him out! It's not like I asked him if he wanted to play horizontal poker. I'm not THAT forward."

"Look, we don't know much about him, ok? And what I do know about him isn't good. He's manipulative, arrogant, cold and twisted. We are here to visit my friends and vacation, not check out the Goblin King!"


"Good." Sarah sighed. Lee collapsed on the bed and watched as Sarah moved to the vanity. Sarah took her plastic blue brush from her backpack and began to brush her hair. The two women sat in silence for a while.

"I.. appreciate it that you care about what happened, Sarah. No one else did." Lee stroked the soft quilt of the bed with her fingers.

"You're my best friend, Lee. Of course I care."

Lee nodded and Sarah continued to brush her hair. Lee grinned. "So what do you think, Sar?"

"About what?" She replied while tying up her hair.

"Do you think he stuffs his tights? No way that thing is real." Sarah spun around, wide-eyed to face her.

"What?" Lee asked, looking innocent. "It was just a question."

"A question I can't believe you asked!"

"It's all in good what do you think?"

"How the hell should I know?" Sarah told her, throwing her hands up into the air. She finished checking her appearance in the mirror and turned, grinning. "He is pretty big."

Lee laughed out loud and fell off the bed. Crawling around the bed on her hands and knees she pointed at Sarah.

"What? You asked my opinion."

"Busted! You've been checking out his package! Admit it!"

"No, I have not!"

'Then how did you know it was big? Hmm?"

'I.." Sarah flushed bright red and Lee couldn't help but laugh. "You're such a child." Sarah told her.

Lee giggled. "It must be those crystal balls of his."

A pillow came sailing across the room and hit Lee directly in the face. She laughed and immediately threw the pillow back at Sarah. Soon pillows were being thrown back and forth. Finally exhausted, they both fell on Sarah's bed, laughing.

"We haven't done that in years." Lee noted sadly. "Good ol' fashion pillow fight like back in high school."

"Mmm. We haven't done a lot of things in years."

"Yeah." After a short silence Lee rested her face on her hand and her elbow on the soft mattress of the bed. Her facial expression grew serious. "I think he likes you."

"Who?" Sarah asked.

"The Goblin King. He's always staring at you."

"He's probably looking pissed off at me. I did beat his Labyrinth and him."

Lee shook her head. "No, he doesn't look angry when he looks at you. He looks longingly."

"I've heard enough!"

'Sarah, I'm serious. I mean, think about it. If he was mad at you, why would he bring you back here? Wouldn't he act like any other typical uninterested guy and just ignore you?"

"He is ignoring me."

"Yeah, only because you told him to. He still brought you here."

Sarah sank back. "Yeah.him answering my call, and bringing me here was a bit weird. I keep waiting for him to drop a bombshell on me. Like that I can never leave or something. It's still early, so anything could happen. For all I know, this could be revenge." She groaned. "Shit, I didn't even think about revenge before. I hope I didn't get us into trouble." She looked worried and Lee put a hand on her shoulder.

"I don't think we are in serious trouble. He's got a soft spot for you.."

"I'm going to bed." Sarah told her. Lee knew to drop the conversation.

'Ok." Lee got up and started to move toward her own room.

'Hey, why don't we pull all the blankets and pillows off the bed and spread them out on the floor. We can have a sleep over like we used to do in high school." Sarah suggested.

Lee smiled. "That sounds great. No movies or popcorn, of course, but we can still have a late night chat."

"Maybe we can have the late night chat tomorrow night. I'm tired. I haven't slept well the last few days."

"Stress?" Lee asked, tugging the blankets off the bed.

"Yeah, a hell of a lot of stress."

The two made sleeping bags for themselves with the blankets and pillows. Sarah blew out the candles that lit the room and crawled into the blankets.

"G'night Lee. Thanks for coming with me. I know I didn't really give you a chance to say no."

"It's ok. This might be some fun after all. Night."

Sarah rolled over and smiled. Home was already hazy in her mind as the magic of the Labyrinth filled her. Tomorrow she would be seeing her friends and things would be better.


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 5 of 40

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