Continuing Tales

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 10 of 20

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Please Come Home

"I just don't like what I'm seeing," sighed Rodger, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "Maybe if it was two doors and only one guard . . ."

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Rodger!" complained Gus. "Not another change."

"Yes, well, the two guards are too confusing," said Rodger, simply. "That's how the riddle goes, you know the one."

Sarah was hardly paying attention. It was the first play practice since she'd seen the Goblin King again and then dreamt of him falling down the stairs of the Escher room. She was in costume and practicing the scene where the two double-headed guards had showed her two doors. One leading to the castle and one to certain death.

"Hey, has anyone seen Dirk?" asked Charity, a girl working in the crew. Sarah's shoulder twitched and her eyes grew suddenly dark.

"I think he stayed home sick today," replied Mindy. "I heard that he got totally wasted at Shawna's party on Friday and he hasn't been right all week."

"But we need him," complained Charity. "He's in charge of the design for the castle. We don't know if we should paint yet or not."

"Leave the castle for another day," said Rodger, simply. "Get to work on the hedges. I noticed those aren't looking that far along yet. Who's in charge of the hedges again?"

"Mary and Alice," replied Charity.

"Okay, everyone who is working on the castle, go and help Mary and Alice with the hedges," Rodger instructed. "Okay, Sarah, I want to go over that scene again."

Sarah did as she was told. For the first time, she really had to work to act. She wasn't at all in the mood for Rodger butchering the story or people complaining. She wished she'd stayed home sick too. It would have been easy to fool Irene and her father. Both of them had been asking her again and again what was bothering her. Irene had even told Sarah she looked a little pale. Sarah had politely told them that there was nothing wrong, that she was fine, that the party had been a total bust and she was only sleeping poorly because she had been drinking too much caffeinated soda recently.

What else could she have said? That she'd been attacked by a creep at school, was rescued by a fantastic king who nearly kissed her, then went home only to dream of the same king coughing blood and falling down an endless flight of stairs? If she said that, Irene wouldn't hesitate for a moment in calling the men in white coats. Sarah looked gloomily around. She wondered where Mike was. She could talk to Mike without feeling stupid or in danger of being committed. He was sensitive and nice, sweet and a good listener.

Mike's a really nice guy, Sarah thought. I wouldn't date him thought. I'm not interested in dating him. It's not that there is anything wrong with him. Quite the contrary, I can't seem to find anything wrong with him. I just want someone to be nice to me. I want a nice friend to talk to, that's all.

"Alright, that's a wrap, I think," said Rodger. "Why don't we all start heading home? I wanna have another look at this script."

"Um, Rodger," Sarah said as the rest of the cast spilled into their respective bathrooms to change and wash off their stage make-up. "Where's Mike?"

"Mike?" Rodger looked distracted. "Um, he left early. He said there was something going on with his mom and he had to head out."

"I see," said Sarah gloomily. She left Rodger and changed back into her day clothes. She took a cotton ball dripping with make-up remover and whipped her face clean. She wondered what she would have said to Mike if he had been there. Certainly not the truth, but something discreet that resembled the truth but was more ground based. Sarah looked down at her copy of the script. She'd written all over it, telling herself what to do and when. Sarah stared at the title, thinking almost longingly of the real place.

Goblin King, Sarah thought, heavily. What is happening? Is this some kind of trick on your part or is there something really going on? Why am I having all these dreams? Why did you come to me?

Sarah stared at the words The Labyrinth that was printed at the very top of the script. "Oh, come on!" she wailed, furiously at the title. "Give me a sign already!" Sarah banged her fist on the table, upsetting the bottle of make-up remover so that it spilled on her script.

"Oh, great!" Sarah snapped, pulling her script away from the flow of the remover. "Just what I . . ."

Sarah looked at the script. The title had become smudged so that she could only read part of it. Her heart froze. What did that mean? She was so wrapped up, she accidentally put her hand into a small container of base. She pulled her hand out with a cry of disgust when she looked down at the guilty container. It was that color again. That sandy brown color that Sarah knew she'd seen before. The one she'd painted, the one she . . .

Then it hit her. It hit her so hard she clapped a hand to her forehead. She looked down at the script again and read all that was left of the title, understanding completely.

T e L rin h.


Sarah dashed out of the school. If anyone had tried to stop her, she was utterly deaf to them. She hurried home, running as fast as her legs could carry her. She knew now. She completely understood. How she understood was still a mystery to her, but she wasn't about to rain on her own parade. It made sense to her now, it all made sense. She knew what she wanted to do. What she had to do in order to get her answers.

Sarah hurried inside her house, only vaguely acknowledging her stepmother by telling her that she was tired and was going to take a nap in her room, ran upstairs and slammed her door shut. Now that she was alone, Sarah didn't know what to do. What did she have to say? She didn't dare make a wish. She'd have to try something else.

"R-Rin?" Sarah called to her room in general. "Rin? Can you hear me? It's Sarah. Rin, are you there?"

Nothing happened. Feeling defeated, Sarah walked over to her bed and collapsed onto it. Then an unexpected drowsiness swept over her. Before she could even marvel at her sudden urge to sleep, she caved into the desire and fell into tempting darkness.


"Rin? Rin?" Sarah called, recognizing the swirling white nothingness around her. "Are you there?"


Sarah found her almost at once. The sweet little girl from her dreams. Rin hurried over to Sarah, looking happy.

"Sarah, you found me," she said, smiling cutely up at her.

"Rin," said Sarah, relieved. "Rin, I need to talk to you."

"Okay," said Rin simply, folding her hands and looking expectantly up at Sarah.

Sarah knelt down so that she and Rin where at eye level. "I think I know what you are now," she said. "You are the labyrinth. Aren't you?"

Rin nodded solemnly. "I am the manifestation of the magic that runs within the walls of the labyrinth. I am its very soul."


"That's how Jareth explained it to me," Rin said, looking sad. "Jareth made me, you know. He built the labyrinth himself. It took him a whole one hundred years to do it, but he did."

"A hundred years?"

"Don't be so alarmed," said Rin. "Despite how he may appear to you, he is over fifteen hundred years old."

"How is that possible," said Sarah, amazed.

"It is who he is," Rin explained. "Jareth belongs to a powerful, magical race known as the Fae. The Fae were the fairest, strongest, wisest, and most powerfully magical of all the creatures in the Underground. They were the only ones with the power to travel back and forth among the two worlds and mingle with humans."

"What do you mean they were?" Sarah asked.

Rin hung her head. "That is a long and particularly ugly story."

"I still want to hear it," Sarah insisted.

"O-okay," said Rin. "Mind you, this happened long before my creation and Jareth was born near the end of it all, so my information is limited. I only know what he knows and he knows only what he learned from others."

"I'm still willing to hear," Sarah prompted.

"Very well," said Rin. "The Fae were perhaps the most civilized of all the Underground beings, much like you humans are in the Aboveground. They built and learned and expanded and grew and were very prosperous. There were many different clans and tribes of Fae and from the beginnings of the Underground, there was happiness. Fae are immortal, Sarah. Once they reach a certain age, they stop growing and aging altogether. They never grow old or die of old age."

"Really?" Sarah was amazed. "But, then, what happened to them?"

"Immortal is not the same as invincible," said Rin, hanging her head. "Like you humans, their bodies are fragile. Weapons can kill them just like they would kill anyone else. So, many years ago, something happened to cause strife to exist among the Fae tribes. You know how things like conflict start, I'm sure. At first, it was only a spark of unhappiness, but it quickly grew into a roaring fire of hatred. Then the war started. A war that lasted an entire age. It is known in the Underground as the Age of Lovely Blood."

"Lovely Blood?"

"Yes. To many of the minor creatures that live in the Underground, the Fae were referred to as The Lovely Ones. The onslaught was endless. Rage was everywhere. Panic. Confusion. Separation. Death. Decay. Everywhere was covered in horror. Until, at the end of the age, the fires cooled into embers and eventually died. But, by then, the death toll had mounted so badly that the Fae race had diminished into almost nothing. There are still only very few of them left."

Sarah let out a long, pitying breath. "That is so horrible."

"I know," said Rin, pouting. "But Jareth escaped the onslaught and was raised by some of the survivors. Eventually, he became Goblin King and built me. That is all I know."

"Rin," said Sarah. "About the Goblin King. What's wrong with him? Is he okay?"

Rin's eyes filled with tears again. "No," she sobbed. "He's not okay. He'll never be okay again. Sarah, he says . . . he says that he . . . he won't last much longer."

"Won't last!"

"Y-yes," choked Rin. "He said he's not coming back. Sarah, I can't do anything to help him, but I think you can."

"Me? Why me?"

"Because he likes you," said Rin, simply. "He thinks about you constantly. I know you can do something to help him. Sarah, come back. All you have to do is say that you want to go to Jareth and I'll be able to bring you myself. Please, Sarah, say the words. Come back to the Underground. You have to save Jareth, you have to!"

Sarah stared at the desperate little girl and felt a wave of maternal compassion, yet also a terrible rush of doubt.

"Rin. If it is as bad as you say it is, Rin. I don't think there is anything I can do. I don't think I can."

Rin looked up at Sarah imploringly. "Please, Sarah, please! There might not be much time!"

"I don't know, Rin," said Sarah, tearing her gaze away from those mismatched eyes. "I just don't know if I can do it, Rin. There is so much going on for me in the Aboveground right now. I can't just abandon it all. Please, try to understand."

Sarah couldn't bring herself to look back at Rin. But, after a moment she felt the soul of the labyrinth stand up on her tiptoes and give Sarah a quick kiss on the cheek.

"I won't give up on Sarah," she said, simply. "I chose Sarah and Jareth and I won't give that up. Take whatever time you need, but please hurry. I can wait, but Jareth can't. Think of Jareth, Sarah. Think of what you really, really want. Say the words and I'll come running. Don't say the words, Jareth is really gone forever. Consider that, Sarah."

Sarah woke up suddenly. This time, she cried. She couldn't help or stop it. She buried her face in her pillow to muffle the sounds of her misery and just let loose. For what felt like hours she just lay on her bed, crying her heart out. She hardly even noticed when her bedroom door opened.

"Sawah? Sawah, why awe you cwying?"

"T-Toby?" Sarah hiccupped, lifting her face out of her pillow. The toddler was peering into her room. He shuffled inside and walked over to her bed.

"Why awe you cwying, Sawah?" he asked, looking up at her with concern. "Why awe you sad?"

Sarah let out a fresh wail and embraced her little brother. "I don't know!" she admitted, hugging him tightly. "I r-really don't know, Toby. I-I-I just need to cry for aw-while. I just really need to cry for a bit."

Toby, though obviously confused, returned his sister's embrace. "Okay," he said. "I'll stay wight here until Sawah doesn't feel so sad."

Sarah sobbed gratefully into Toby's little shoulder and that was how they spent the next hour or so. Simply sitting there together, hugging and crying.


Jareth let out a groan of pain and misery as he slumped to the ground. After traveling through a very empty wasteland, he'd finally found a small, dead tree. Death creeping up on him and having already exhausted most of his strength, Jareth took advantage of the shade and an excuse to sit. He still had a way to go.

After taking a few relaxing breaths, Jareth conjured up one of his crystals, gave it a little flick, and it turned instantly into a flask of cold water which he took a long, grateful drink from. He was so glad his oncoming death hadn't stopped him from using magic just yet. It made this journey a lot easier for him. As Jareth started to feel the benefits of his short break, he suddenly felt something odd going on behind him. He looked around. The tree that was so generously providing him with shade was slowly coming back to life. Its distorted brown bark suddenly looked lush and health, the branches started to sprout leaves again. Jareth grinned and let out a small laugh.

"I knew I'd have to deal with you two before too long," he said. "I had hoped I would reach my destination before then, though."

He turned to smile at the young woman standing not far from him. "It has been quite some time, hasn't it, Ena?"

"Quite some time, yes," said Ena, walking over to him. "You've completed your aging, I see."

"Indeed," said Jareth, with a small nod. "I forgot I was still growing when I left the Silver Tower. You look the same, as always."

"Jareth," said Ena. "The wind has told me everything."

"I'll bet it has," said Jareth, taking another drink of water. "The pesky wind can't help but get involved in the affairs of others, can it?"

"Where are you going, Jareth?" Ena asked.

"You know very well where I'm going," said Jareth. "If the wind has told you everything, then of course you know."

Ena sighed. "I know you are ill, Jareth. But it can be helped if . . ."

Jareth threw Ena a sharp look. "No it can't. You can't do anything about it and nor can Limstella. That's why you're here, I assume. She sent you, as usual."

"Actually," Ena looked very uncomfortable. "No, she didn't. I-I came here on my own accord. I am here for my own reasons."

Jareth looked very surprised for a moment then he laughed and brushed Ena's chin with his knuckle. "Ah, my dear Ena. You do have a rebellious streak in you after all."

"If I do than it is nowhere near as profound as yours, Jareth," said Ena, looking a little embarrassed. "Jareth, please, you needn't do this."

"What else am I supposed to do?" said Jareth. "When a Fae chooses to die or has death coming for them, it is tradition for them to set out and spend what remains of their lives in the Shadow Temple. That is my intention."

"If you step into the Shadow Temple, I will not be able to help you," said Ena, looking sad. "Please, I am asking you to let me help you. I will find a way to help you get healthy again. The Underground isn't ready to lose you."

"You know I can't accept your help," said Jareth. "Firstly, it won't do any good. Secondly, I know that everything you try to do you will only do with Limstella's permission."

"But must you really deny her help?" Ena insisted. "Jareth if you would . . ."

"The answer is no, Ena," said Jareth, flatly. "I will not go to Limstella. I thought I made my feelings for her perfectly clear when I left."

"Just trying to help," said Ena, looking defeated and sad.

Jareth sighed. "I was hoping to speak to you alone, though," he said.


"When I pass, the labyrinth will be without a ruler," Jareth told her. "Those that dwell within it will be fine on their own for a time, but the odds are that that won't last long. So, I would like to give it all to you."

Ena gaped at him. "Me? Jareth, surely not."

"Why not?" Jareth asked simply.

"But, Jareth," Ena was clearly flustered. "I'm useless. Unneeded. Why on earth would you give it to me?"

"You are from a tribe of Fae with the gift of nature speaking," said Jareth, calmly. "You are far from useless. If you ruled over the labyrinth, I believe that you would treat its inhabitants with goodness and they would admire that about you. And if not you, then who? I don't have enough time to go scavenging around what remains of the Fae to find someone. I'd rather have it that someone I know and trust is taking care of things. So, again, if not you then who? Limstella? Why in all the Underground would I trust my beloved labyrinth to someone who would love nothing more than to tear it down, brick by brick?"

The two were silent for a while. Finally, Ena said, softly, "Are you truly in love with a human?"

"Oh, now why would that bother you?" Jareth asked, eyeing her carefully.

Ena hung her head. "I'm just afraid. Limstella will not take to your decision well, you know that. I . . . I just wondered that if the illness was simply something that would pass, she would get over it and there would still be time to save you. If you are truly in love with a human, then there really isn't anything I can do."

Jareth's smile returned. "Sometimes I think your heart is far too big for the rest of you, Ena," he said, simply. "That is something I have always loved about you. True, I do not feel for you as I do for the girl who has rejected my affections, but if there is anyone I would proclaim to be my sister, that would most certainly be you."

Ena smiled. "And I would be most proud to call you my brother. So, there is a human girl?"

"Oh yes."

"What is she like?"

"Determined, resourceful, optimistic, and simply radiant."

"Can I ask her name?"

Jareth laughed. "Rebellious streak aside, I know that you are still Limstella's lapdog in many ways, Ena. I'm sure that this entire conversation will be known to her the moment you get back. So, for that reason, I'll keep that little bit of information to myself, thank you."

Jareth stood up, a bit of his strength returned. "Go to the labyrinth, Ena. Rule over at its new Queen and you will finally know the delicious taste of freedom as I have. Trust me, dear sister; it is a life worth living. You will find peace within its walls and among its creatures. Go there, tell them I sent you and it should open up for you. Let the goblins know that I assigned you as their Queen and they should simply do as you say. They are very good at simply accepting things, you'll find."

Ena nodded and stood up. Jareth turned for one direction and she headed in the opposite direction.

"Farewell, Jareth."

"Farewell, Ena."

The two Fae went their separate ways. Ena turned after a moment and saw that Jareth had already disappeared from view. She took a moment to shed a few tears of mourning, then headed back to the Silver Tower to tell Limstella everything Jareth had said, just as Jareth knew she would.


Sarah couldn't bring herself to go to play practice. She called Rodger's house and told him that she had a nasty case of stomach flu and didn't think it a good idea to come to practice, lest she throw up all over everyone.

"Okay, then," said Rodger, sounding disappointed and a little bitter. "Just promise me you'll feel better in time for tomorrow's practice."

"You bet," said Sarah in a fake, weak voice as she hung up the phone. But she couldn't bear to hang around her house with Irene, so she told Irene that she was still going to practice, but headed off to the park instead.

She hadn't been to this park in quite some time. She used to dress up and recite lines from The Labyrinth in this park and sometimes took Toby there to play with Merlin. Sarah felt some peace here. She didn't feel so boxed in. So haunted by Rin begging Sarah to go to the Goblin King.

It isn't that I don't want to help him, Sarah told herself. It's just that I can't do anything for him. How could I help? What on earth could I do? We were enemies. He hates me, doesn't he? Rin said he liked me, but how on earth could he? Do I hate him? No. But if I go back, then I don't know what would happen. I may never find my way back to this place. The Aboveground is where I'm meant to be, isn't it? I was born here, my family is here, and so are my friends. This is my . . . my . . .

"Sarah? That you?"

Sarah looked up and nearly jumped off the bench she was sitting on. It was Mike. He was walking over to Sarah, looking a little concerned.

"You alright?" he asked, coming over to sit next to her.

"Oh, Mike," Sarah said, suddenly horrified. "Don't tell Rodger. He thinks I'm at home with stomach flu, but the truth is I'm skipping practice today."

Mike laughed good naturedly. "I know what that's like," he said, grinning. "I skipped out on practice the other day. I told Rodger that my mum twisted her ankle and I had to take her to the hospital to get looked at, seeing as me dad is at work. Won't stop him from having a go at me for being late for practice to day though."

"That was a lie? About your mom being hurt?" Sarah asked, remembering Rodger saying something about Mike's mom.

"Mostly," said Mike. "Me mum did give her ankle a nasty twist the other day, but there's no way I'd be able to take her to the hospital."

"Why not?"

"Well, she's in Australia, isn't she?" said Mike with a smile.

"Your mother is still in Australia?" Sarah asked.

"Oh, you don't want me to go on about that," said Mike, looking wary. "That is one long story."

"No, go on," Sarah insisted. "I'm interested. Why did you come to America without your mom? Are she and your dad divorced?"

Mike sighed. "Actually, no. Me mum and dad weren't divorced. In fact, they were never married to begin with."

Sarah stared at him. Mike smiled sheepishly.

"Mum and Dad both come from wealthy backgrounds," Mike explained. "They met on a cruise line, actually. They hung out togetha throughout the whole cruise. They both talk about it like it was the best time of their lives. I imagine it would be grand. Sailing the sparklin' seas with the one you love at your side. Perfect setting, you know?"

Sarah smiled. That did, indeed, sound very nice.

"But, sadly, then came little ol' me," said Mike, looking a little guilty. "Me mum's native Australian, you know, but Dad, he's American. Now, they told both their families that they were, indeed, in love and wanted to marry, but both of their families said no."

"No? Why not?" Sarah said, sounding shocked.

"Mum's an only child," Mike explained. "And she was supposed to marry another man. Dad's family, well, they're just proud is all. Didn't want their son's life ruined with a foreign wife and a wedlock born child, now did they?"

"That's not fair!" Sarah cried before she could stop herself. Mike shrugged.

"Life ain't fair," he said, simply. "Anyone who says otherwise is selling ya something, isn't he?

"So, Mum and Dad went back to their respective homes. They tried writing, but their families put a stop to it. Mum never married that man, so you know. Didn't like seeing her with another man's child, now did he? So, I came along and Mum raised me in Australia and Dad, well, I was allowed to write to him when I got older, but Mum wasn't allowed to contact him. For my whole childhood, my dad was just a sheet of paper that came in the post every month or so.

"Then, Dad's parent's passed on and he inherited the family business. After a few years, he finally got enough money for a flight from Australia to America. Mum's parents wouldn't let her go, but they said I could go. I remember I was around ten when I flew to America, all on my own, to spend the whole summer with my dad. I was so nervous. I kept wondering if he would like me or not. I was terrified outta me brain."

Sarah listened to Mike, not wanting to interrupt. This story about his life was soothing for her to hear. It gave her some kind of hope.

"But then I got to the airport and I met Dad for the first time. It was a little awkward at first, as you can imagine. But then he gives me this smile and says that I looked just like my mum, then he said welcome to the U.S. and he was really looking forward to gettin' to know me. After that, I wasn't afraid anymore. I spent three whole months in America, an entire summer. Wherever we wanted to go, we went. If I wanted something, he'd get it for me. I spent all sorts of time with him. He'd drop anything to play with me or take me somewhere."

Mike leaned his head back and smiled at the sky. "It was the best. It was so different from Australia, but it didn't bother me. The family I'd always known may have been far along with my friends, but I felt so comfortable here. That was easily the best summer I ever had. Spending time with Dad, I got to know him. He wasn't a piece of paper anymore, he was there. Solidly, humanely there. I got to love him, like a kid should love his dad. When I told him that, he gives me this smile and says he loved me back. There's no greater feelin' than that, I'll tell ya now.

"So, summer ends and I need to get back to Mum in Australia. I almost don't wanna go back, but Dad says to me, he says 'If you need anythin', give me a shout and I'll come running'. So, I go back to Australia and realize that I'm not as pleased to be back as I should. I try and tell meself, 'this is me home, where I really belong', but it's no good. Australia didn't feel like home to me anymore. America felt like home. It was practically a different world, but I never felt so comfortable in Australia than I did that summer in America. So, when it comes time for high school, I tell me mum, I say 'I wanna go to America again. I wanna go to high school in America and live with Dad.' She looks at me, all understanding and says, 'Mike, I'll send you to high school in America.' And so, here I am."

Mike closed his eyes and smiled serenely. "Worlds different from all I've ever known, and yet this is me true home. Where I belong."

Mike looked back and Sarah and received a shock. Tears were falling down her face and her hands were clasped over her mouth.

I'm staring out into the night,

Trying to hide the pain

"Sarah! Whoa! Sarah, are you alright?" Mike said, genuinely worried and confused. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to make you sad or anything."

"It . . . it isn't that, Mike," sobbed Sarah. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't be crying. That is a wonderful story. It's just . . . you helped me to realize something. Thank you. Thank you so much."

Without another word, Sarah stood up and left the park, and Mike, behind.

I'm going to the place where love

And feeling good don't ever cost a thing

And the pain you feel's

A different kind of pain

Sarah knew what she wanted to do. She couldn't deny it any more. She knew where she wanted to go. She couldn't honestly call the Aboveground her home, not when she knew there was something so much greater, so much more to her. A place where she loved.

I'm going home

To the place where I belong

And where your love has always been enough for me

Sarah hurried down the streets. There would be no more denial. She knew where she really belonged. Where she'd been longing to return for so long. She tried burying how she felt, but it was really no use. If she stayed here, she'd be miserable. Haunted by the memory of something better that was out there for her.

I'm not running from,

No I think you've got me all wrong

I don't regret this life I chose for me

She ran inside. Toby and Irene were out grocery shopping. She passed a picture of the four of them as she hurried up to her room. She would miss her family, but there was somewhere more important for her to be. This was no longer home to her. Somewhere, someone needed her, and she was going to help. She couldn't stay here with these same old people who would never really be enough for her.

But these places and these faces

Are getting old

Sarah changed into her comfortable shoes and her best outfit for traveling. White blouse, similar to her old one, but not so billowy, her best pair of jeans and she tied her hair back in a braid to keep it out of her eyes. Then, alone in her room, she closed her eyes and spoke aloud.

"Rin. I've come to a decision. I wish I can return to the Underground so that I may find the Goblin King."

From within the darkness of the inside of her eyelids, she heard a little girl's voice speak.

"Thank heavens. Welcome back, Sarah."

So I'm going home

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 10 of 20

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