Continuing Tales

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 11 of 20

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Please Come Home

Sarah opened her eyes. It looked just like it had when she started last time. The labyrinth stretched out before her, from the gates to the castle, all of it just has it had been when she left. She was standing right in front of the gates where she'd met Hoggle, but he wasn't there now. Sarah looked around for the door into the labyrinth before she heard Rin's voice.

"Sarah, there isn't much time. You'll have to start right away."

"Rin?" Sarah asked, looking around. "Where are you?"

"I'm right in front of you," came Rin's reply. "I am the labyrinth, remember?"

"Oh, that's right," said Sarah. "I forgot. Um, am I supposed to go back inside?"

"No, Jareth left, remember?" Rin replied. "He's not here. You'd just waste precious time going to the castle."

"But, Rin," said Sarah, feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed at being back in the Underground. "If the Goblin King's left, how am I supposed to find him? To meet with him?"

"I can show you the way," Rin said. "I can feel his magic still lingering in the air. I'll sense it and I'll tell you the way to go."

"You can sense his magic?" asked Sarah.

"Of course," said Rin. "You're forgetting who I am, again. The manifestation of magic. Jareth's magic. I can feel it because it is a part of me just as much as it is a part of him. But I still need you to go for me. It's not like I can just pick myself up and go, can I?"

"But, how am I supposed to know where to go if you can't come too," Sarah was now starting to feel desperate and nervous.

"You'll just have to carry me with you," Rin said, as if she was asking Sarah to hold her hand while crossing the street.

"Rin, how on earth am I supposed to carry . . .?"

"Not ALL of me," said Rin, sounding as anxious as Sarah. "Look down at your feet."

Sarah looked down. Sitting down at her feet was a small, black drawstring pouch with a long string, apparently intended to be worn around the neck, which certainly hadn't been there a second ago. Sarah picked up the bag and opened it. It was completely empty.

"Take a handful of soil, a pebble, a branch, and one of the white flowers that grow on the outside of the wall and put them in the pouch," Rin instructed. Sarah bent down and scooped a handful of dry soil from the ground and put in the pouch along with a small pebble. She then reached the plants that grew on the outer walls, broke off a twig and one of the sparkling white flowers and added them in the pouch as well, then placed the pouch around her neck.

"What did that do?" Sarah asked.

"There," said Rin, and Sarah was surprised that she could suddenly hear her voice much clearer now. "Now you have a small bit of me to take with you. Now, in the Aboveground, I could only contact you from within your dreams, but here I have access to your thoughts while you're awake too. Just hold the bag tightly in both hands and I'll be able to hear your thoughts and talk back. Mind you, you're the only one who can hear me. Nobody else will be able to hear my voice."

"Who else would there be?" Sarah asked.

Sarah heard Rin's sweet laughter in reply. "Don't be silly, Sarah. You didn't really think I'd let you go off into the depths of the Underground all alone, did you? Just wait right were you are. They're coming right now."

As Rin's voice faded from Sarah's head, a new sound reached her ears. A shuffling, grumbling noise.

". . . not even anything to do, and he says I'm slacking. Lousy Jareth, he just likes making things hard for me, don't he?"

"Hoggle?" Sarah called out.

And there he was. Exactly the same as when they had said goodbye three years ago. Hobbling, grumbling, and sour-faced, Hoggle limped into sight looking bad tempered, but he paused when he heard someone calling his name. Hoggle turned and saw Sarah. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped.



Sarah ran over to the dwarf and embraced him. The dwarf seemed to be in shock. He dangled limply in Sarah's arms as if not entirely sure this was real.

"Oh, Hoggle!" Sarah said, her eyes tearing with happiness as she broke away from her old friend. "I've missed you so much. Oh, I'm so sorry I didn't call you in so long."

"S-Sarah?" Hoggle said, weakly. "T-that's really you, isn't it?"

"Of course it is," said Sarah, smiling down at Hoggle's reaction. "I've really missed you."

"M-missed you too, Sarah," said Hoggle, but there was something strange about his tone. "Um, er, just what are you doing back here, Sarah? Don't tell me Jareth's gone and done something again."

"Oh, no," said Sarah. "It's not anything he's done, it the Goblin King himself. I've come to see him. I-I think something isn't right with him and I need to take care of it."

"Really?" said Hoggle, looking surprised. His eyes suddenly went upward for a few seconds, apparently thinking hard. "What's it about Jareth that you need to talk to him about? Maybe I can answer for him. Who knows what's going on in the labyrinth better than little, ol' Hoggle after all? Heh heh."

"That's nice of you, Hoggle," said Sarah. "But I really have to talk to the Goblin King in person and he's not here anymore and I have to go find him."

Hoggle looked very surprised. "How did you know Jareth left?"

"I have my ways," she said, winking. Hoggle wasn't amused.

"Well, whoever it was, they're pulling your leg," said Hoggle, waving his hand. "There ain't nothing wrong with Jareth. Sure, he left the labyrinth, but he'll be back."

"Hoggle, I don't think that's the case," said Sarah.

"Of course it's the case," said Hoggle, laughing in a very suspicious way and taking hold of Sarah's hand. "He's just stepped out for a walk. He'll be back before you know it. There's nothing to be worried about, Sarah. Honestly, don't bother yourself over it. Now, why don't we take a nice little trip back to your place, shall we? It has been three years, after all. We can sit down, have a nice chat back in that room of yours, have a nice cup of tea, and . . ."

Before Hoggle could finish, the door to the labyrinth suddenly appeared and opened. Two figures exited from within the depths of the labyrinth and Sarah cried out in delight when she figured out who it was.

"Ludo! Sir Didymus!"

"My lady?" said Sir Didymus, who was sitting astride his sheep dog steed, Ambrosius. "My lady! It is thee! Oh, welcome back! Welcome back!"

"Sawah? Sawah back!" cried Ludo, his large face pulling into a large smile. Sarah ran over and embraced them both as she had done to Hoggle. Nobody noticed Hoggle himself looking irritable and uncomfortable.

"My lady," said Sir Didymus, his arms open wide in greeting. "What brings you to this place? It has been three years since last we met. How have you been keeping?"

"Alright, thanks Didymus," said Sarah. "I'm here looking for the Goblin King, actually."

"Egad!" cried Didymus. "Don't tell me His Majesty has gone and stolen something else from you, my lady. If he has, I shall fight with all my strength to retrieve it for you. Even if it means facing the wicked hand of death, I shall aid you in any way possible."

"Thanks," said Sarah, smiling. Sir Didymus hadn't changed one bit. "But, actually, I just want to talk to him. To make sure he's alright. I've heard he's sick and I came here to check on him."

"His Majesty is ill?" said Didymus, sounding surprised.

"Jareth's sick?" said Hoggle, also surprised.

"Sick?" said Ludo, looking puzzled.

"Yes," said Sarah. "I think it had something to do with when I was at the labyrinth last time. I've come to help him."

"I see," said Didymus, scratching behind his ears with his foot. "How strange. Three year ago, you and His Majesty were utter rivals, but now you are concerned for his health? My lady, you are truly a wonder among women."

Sarah blushed slightly. "Well, it's just that he helped me out of a tight spot the other day and I'd think it a pretty poor repayment if I just let him rot."

"But, my lady, the Goblin King has left the labyrinth a mere two days ago," said Didymus. "He's not told any of his subjects where it is he has gone. My dear brother-in-arms here, Sir Ludo, and I were just discussing the Goblin King's strange behavior and had journeyed to the gates to discuss the matter with Sir Hoggle when we discovered you."

"I knew he left," said Sarah. "But I think I've got a pretty good idea of how to find him, so I'm heading out after him."

"A quest!" Sir Didymus looked simply delighted. "Well then, my brothers, let us accompany our gentle lady on her quest to locating the lost king!"

"Wait a minute!" Hoggle cried, looking horrified. "L-let's not do that! Jareth probably doesn't want to be found. He'll probably be back before we know it, really. Why don't you go back home for a bit, Sarah, and when Jareth comes back, one of us will come and give you a shout. Don't go looking for Jareth, Sarah. I really don't . . ."

"Poppycock!" cried Sir Didymus. "By the sound of it, this quest is of the utmost importance. We simply cannot abandon a fair maiden when she is in dire need of our assistance. The labyrinth is one thing, but the rest of the Underground is a new story all of itself. 'Tis no place for a lady to be traveling unaccompanied. Come, Ambrosius, we're going on a nice long walk. Come on now!" He gave Ambrosius a little kick in the side and the dog went on.

"Oh, I really would be glad if you guys came with me," said Sarah, gratefully. "Ludo, will you come to?"

Ludo let out a pleasant growling purr. "Sure. Sawah friend." He replied. Sarah smiled at him than looked down at the last of her three friends.

"Hoggle? Will you come too, please?"

Hoggle looked down at the ground. This was disastrous. Why did Ludo and Didymus have to come in and mess everything up? Hoggle wrung his hands, the Goblin King's words still echoing in his mind.

"If she does come looking for me while I am away, any and all harm that befalls her while she is here will be utterly, completely, entirely, absolutely, totally, and in all other ways possible, your fault."

Hoggle frowned. Well, he had tried to get her to go back, but he knew before he'd even tried that his chances of success were slim to none. He'd known that when he'd been given the order.

All right then, Hoggle thought. I don't want no harm to come to Sarah. None at all. It'll be all my fault if something does happen. So, I'll go with her and I'll make sure that no harm comes to her. I'll just make sure she stays well out of harms way so that it doesn't happen.

"Well, I may not be Jareth's number one fan, but if it's important to you, Sarah, I'll go too," said Hoggle, giving her a slight smile.

"Hoggle," said Sarah, truly touched by the loyalty her three friends still had for her. "Thank you. Thank you all so much. I feel better about this already."


Many miles away from the labyrinth, Limstella paced back and forth in front of the Silver Tower. She looked beautiful, but livid. Her honey-colored hair fanned out elegantly behind her without the assistance of wind, as did the full skirt of her orange and black gown. Her eyes flashed as she looked around her, as if expecting something. Next to her was a large, yellow caravan with two of the most magnificent creatures harnessed to it. They were shaped like horses, but unlike any horses known to mankind. They were a vibrant blue, with wide ruby eyes, and their manes and tails seemed to be made of roaring flames. These creatures seemed restless at their lack of movement. They pawed at the ground with their golden hooves and tossed their flaming heads furiously.

Limstella suddenly stopped her pacing. She looked over her shoulder to see Ena walking steadily her way. "Decided to return, have you?" she snarled. "Well? What have you discovered?"

"The disturbance I felt turned out to be a more pressing problem than I anticipated," said Ena, walking over to Limstella. "It seems a human has come to these lands from the Aboveground."

"A human?" said Limstella. "Here? Without the assistance of a Fae? How odd. What is their purpose here?"

"I don't know," said Ena. "But this human is traveling down the very same path the Jareth traveled on his way to the Shadow Temple."

Limstella's eyes flashed. "No," she hissed. "Surely not. Is it a male or female?"

"Female, my lady," replied Ena.

"No," said Limstella again. "That cannot be the same human that has caused all this trouble? The little wretch that caused Jareth to fall ill?"

"I cannot be sure," said Ena. "I do not know the human girl's name or face, so it is impossible to determine who she is."

"Well," said Limstella. "We must have a word with this guest of ours. If your divination is correct, then she will be heading in the same direction as we are. How is she getting there?"

"By foot," said Ena.

"Much slower than Heliopathic horses," said Limstella, thoughtfully. "But still a threat none the less."

"I should also tell you that she is accompanied by inhabitants of Jareth's labyrinth," Ena informed her. "There are four travelers in total."

"What are they?" Limstella asked. "Fae? More of Jareth's rats?"

"A dwarf, a member of the Fox clan, and a beast."

"A beast?" said Limstella, raising an eyebrow with something like concern in her voice. "Of what species?"

"From what I can gather, it is one of the Stone-Callers," said Ena.

"Hm," Limstella looked to the ground, thoughtfully. "A dwarf and the Fox clan I can deal with, but Stone-Callers can cause a great deal of problems. They have the power to call upon the stones to do their bidding, but they are a slow race. We should be able to subdue it."

"What will you do, Lady Limstella?" Ena asked.

"I'll meet with this human and her creature companions to make sure they aren't a threat to us," said Limstella, her eyes darkening. "May that human girl pray she isn't the one who has done this to Jareth. Should I find out she is the one who did this, it is she who must fear for her life and not my Jareth."


Sarah, Hoggle, Ludo, and Sir Didymus started down a narrow dirt path that stretched across a large, empty wasteland. They'd been traveling for several hours, after leaving the labyrinth behind so that it was only a dark haze in the distance behind them. Sarah could see hills in the distance and but apart from them they were surrounded by quite a lot of nothing.

"Be of stout heart, my friends," said Didymus, sitting astride Ambrosius. "The Waste is of no threat to us. We should reach the hills by tomorrow."

"Sarah, are you sure you're going the right way?" Hoggle asked for the hundredth time.

"Yes, I'm sure," Sarah replied for the hundredth time. "I just know the Goblin King went this way." She held the black bag around her neck tightly in both hands and thought. Right, Rin?

"Yes, I'm sure," said Rin's voice inside Sarah's head. "But we must be quick. I know the trail of magic is here, but it's fairly weak. Oh, I do hope we make it in time."

Don't worry, Rin, Sarah thought. I'll make sure we get there before anything bad happens.

The Underground sun shone brightly down on the four traveling friends. Sarah looked up at the looming hills and saw something flash so brightly it hurt her eyes. Apparently, Ludo saw it too, because he let out a growling moan and raised his huge claws to his eyes.

"What's wrong?" asked Hoggle, turning to them.

"There's something in the hills up ahead," said Sarah, pointing. "See that? That thing that's shining so brightly?"

Hoggle and Sir Didymus looked. There, in the distance, reflecting the light of the sun was what seemed to be a large, silver something rising from the hill.

"What is that?" Sarah wondered aloud. Hoggle, however, gasped in terror.

"Oh, no," he gasped. "Oh no, oh no, oh no!"

"What's the matter, Hoggle?" Sarah asked, startled by the reaction of her friend.

"It's . . . it's . . . it's . . ." Hoggle seemed too horrified to speak. "The Silver Tower. LIMSTELLA!"

Hoggle turned around and started to run back toward the labyrinth.

"Wait a minute!" Sarah grabbed hold of the dwarf's arm and held him tightly. "Where are you going?"

"Back!" said Hoggle. "If Jareth went that way, let him go that way! I'm not going anywhere near that place and that's that!"

"Hoggle, what are you so afraid of?" Sarah asked.

"What am I so afraid of?" Hoggle stared incredulously up at her. "What am I so afraid of? Sarah, the Silver Tower is where Limstella lives!"

"Come now, Sir Hoggle," said Didymus, shaking his staff at Hoggle. "Thou must not be so alarmed. This might even be fortuitous for us."

"Oh, you're joking!" said Hoggle, glaring at Didymus.

"Wait, wait," said Sarah, interrupting them both. "What are you both talking about? Who is this Limstella person?"

"Madam Limstella is one of the most power Fae in existence, my lady," explained Didymus. "And one of the most feared. She is referred to as the Fae Witch."

"And a witch she is," said Hoggle, eyeing the tower with great fear.

"She's a Fae?" said Sarah, hopefully. "Maybe she can tell us where the Goblin King is."

"No, no she can't!" cried Hoggle, looking terrified at the very thought. "If you're so sure that Jareth went this way, I can tell you right now there ain't no way he'd go into that tower, trust me."

"But perhaps my lady is right," said Didymus. "Perhaps the Goblin King has confided in Madam Limstella of where it is that he is headed."

"No way," said Hoggle flatly. "Jareth hates Limstella. He banished her from ever entering the labyrinth, remember? There's no way he'd confided so much as the weather to Limstella."

"Hate is a strong thing, Sir Hoggle," said Didymus. "Do you really believe that the Goblin King hates Madam Limstella?"

"I'm sure of it," said Hoggle, nodding vigorously.

"Why?" asked Sarah. "Should he not hate her?"

"I would hope he wouldn't," said Didymus, looking a little crestfallen. "I mean, she's only his mother."

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 11 of 20

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