Continuing Tales

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 15 of 20

<< Previous     Home     Next >>
Please Come Home

Sarah sat up. She wasn't laying in the field where they had stopped to rest. She seemed to be in Ena's wagon. The floor wasn't rocking beneath her, so they seemed to be stopped. Sarah looked out the back of the wagon and saw that they were surrounded by drooping, creepy trees and wet, sticky terrain.

At that moment, Hoggle and Sir Didymus came into the wagon. "My lady," said Didymus, happily. "Thank goodness, thou hast awoken at last. We were beginning to be afraid."

"Didymus, where are we?" Sarah asked.

"We are in the Marshes," answered Didymus. "Lady Ena has gone to collect some fresh water for you. She thought you'd need it."

"Yes," said Hoggle. "We tried to wake you up this morning, but you were out like a light."

"Sawah wake," said Ludo, peeking his large face into the wagon to see Sarah was up.

"My Lady, we are almost there," said Sir Didymus, pointing out past Ludo to a tall shadow in the trees. "That is the Shadow Temple just up ahead."

"Then why aren't we moving," said Sarah, looking desperately around. "We don't have time! We have to hurry. We have to get there now!"

"Well, we have to wait for Ena," said Hoggle. "Don't worry about Jareth, Sarah. We both know he's tough. He'll be fine for a little while longer."

"No, Hoggle," Sarah insisted, starting to get to her feet. "It has to be now. I have to see him now!"

Sarah passed her friends and hurried out of the wagon. Her feet made squishing noises as she stood on the uneven, wet ground of the Marshes. Just above the murky trees she could see the shadow of a tall building with turrets and towers.

"Is that the Temple?" Sarah asked.

"Certainly, my lady," said Sir Didymus. "Have no fear. The moment Lady Ena rejoins us; we shall set out and be there in a matter of hours. You shall be with His Majesty before long, sweet lady. Just a little longer."

Sarah stared back at the Shadow Temple. It still looked far away. She was afraid. She didn't know if she could wait a few more hours. All she knew was that she had to see him soon. Now, if she could. Sarah wanted to see the Goblin King right now because something was telling her that she needed to be there right now. "Just a little longer," she said, repeating Didymus's words. "I don't know if we have a little longer."

"Don't have longer for what?" asked Hoggle, raising one eyebrow.

"I don't know," said Sarah, fear flooding her. "I just need to see him soon. Very soon. I can't keep postponing it. I need to be with him right now!"

"My lady!" Didymus cried suddenly. "Look yonder!"

Sarah turned in the direction Didymus indicated. There was an orangish glow in the distance. As they watched, it grew brighter and brighter.

"What is it?" Sarah asked.

"No idea," said Hoggle. "Wait, does anyone else hear hooves?"

They did. As the glow became brighter, the sound of hurriedly moving hooves suddenly filled the air. Not only that, Sarah could smell burning wood. She looked at the oncoming disturbance and let out a gasp of surprise.

"It's coming this way!" she cried.

"Run!" screamed Hoggle.

The four companions ran out of the way just in time. Seconds later, Ena's wagon was crushed to pieces beneath the golden hooves of two blue horses with flaming manes and tails. The mule ran away in terror, the harness it was still rigged to was ablaze. The horses were pulling a large yellow caravan and, sitting at the front and guiding the horses, was a beautiful woman.

The woman pulled at the reins and the horses stopped. The four friends stared at the woman as she leapt off the caravan and walked toward them. Sarah knew who it was. She'd just seen her in her dreams, watched as Jareth declared his hatred for her.

"Oh no," Hoggle whimpered, trembling all over. "It's her. The Fae Witch! LIMSTELLA!"

Hoggle turned and tried to run for it. Limstella pointed a finger at the retreating dwarf. A long, silver chain shot forth from her finger and wrapped itself tightly around Hoggle's ankle. Limstella yanked on the chain and Hoggle fell to the ground.

"Hoggle!" Sarah cried, hurrying over to him. "Are you okay!"

Didymus growled threateningly at Limstella. "So, thou art the rumored Fae Witch," he said, glaring. "Come to hinder our quest, eh? Alright then, I shall fight you to the death!"

"Oh, do shut up," said Limstella. The end of the chain binding Hoggle shot toward Didymus and wrapped itself around his waist then shot off again and snared Ludo's arm before latching itself to a tree. Ludo gave a roar of confusion and yanked on the chain that was binding his arm. As he did, Didymus and Hoggle were pulled clean off their feet and landed in a heap beside Ludo. Limstella cackled with delight.

"What a pathetic band of beings," she said, sneering at them. "Just as I expected."

"Hoggle! Ludo! Sir Didymus!" Sarah cried. She ran over to her friends and tugged at the chain binding them all together. But was unbelievably strong and it was all linked together so she couldn't free them.

"Don't bother," said Limstella. "Only a Fae can break my enchanted chains. No pathetic mortal is up to the job. So, you're Sarah, are you?"

Limstella walked over to Sarah and put two fingers under her chin, forcing her head upward to look at her. "Hm," she said, eyeing her critically. "My, my. You certainly are an ugly little thing, aren't you? None to bright, either, according to the company you keep."

"Don't you dare!" cried Hoggle, trying in vain to free his ankle. "Leave Sarah alone!"

"How dare you insult her!" said Didymus, brandishing his staff threateningly. "You evil fiend!"

"Sawah!" Ludo growled, looking scared.

"I'm surprised," said Limstella, as if she hadn't heard them. "To think he'd pick such an ugly little beast. I'm disappointed in him. Ah well, it will have to do."

"What do you mean?" Sarah said, pulling her face away from Limstella's harsh fingers. "What do you want with me?"

"With you?" said Limstella, reaching for Sarah's face again. "There are many things I want from you, Sarah of the Aboveground. Firstly, I need your face to enter the Shadow Temple. Secondly, I need your voice so as I can use it to save Jareth. Thirdly, I wish to tear you limb from limb and feast upon the remains for what you have done to Jareth, you disgusting wretch."

"What are you talking about?" Sarah protested, pulling away again. This time, Limstella's nails scratched her chin painfully.

"You don't know anything about the Fae, do you?" Limstella asked, advancing on Sarah. "Do you, you stupid little girl? In exchange for immortal life, there are many sacrifices that we must make in order to sustain it. One of these sacrifices is our hearts. The heart of a Fae is a very fragile thing, you'll find. Therefore, we must distribute it with great caution."

"Distribute?" said Sarah.

"A Fae is allowed to give up their heart only once," said Limstella. "To love only once, forever. If we choose to love, we must make sure that it is requited by the other. No Fae can live with a broken heart. No one."

"But," Sarah protested. "But . . ."

"That is why I was most aggrieved when I learned that Jareth had fallen in love with a human," said Limstella, darkly.

"But, he wasn't," said Sarah. "That was just the story. It wasn't real . . ."

"Silence!" Limstella hissed, warningly. "Jareth was in love and you rejected him, you little viper."

"How could you know?" snapped Hoggle. "How could you possibly know anything that went on in the labyrinth? Jareth banned you from ever going in there."

"I heard on good authority, you little wart," snapped Limstella. "You, Sarah, broke his heart and therefore condemned him."

"What . . .?"

"Why do you think he traveled to the Shadow Temple? Why would he set foot into a place of Fae death? Why did he even become ill in the first place?" Limstella said, advancing on her. "It was all because of you. You broke his heart and therefore brought about his end. You are what caused his illness; you are what is draining him of what little life he has left, even as we speak. Now he's dying and it is all because of you."

"No!" cried Sarah. "That can't be it! I didn't mean to! I was just trying to rescue Toby . . ."

"I said SILENCE!" screamed Limstella, slapping Sarah across the face. Her friends all yelled out in fear and fury.



"My lady!"

Sarah put a hand to her cheek, tears of pain and horror clouding her eyes. She looked up at Limstella through her veil of tears. "I didn't mean it," she sobbed. "I didn't mean to. I was only trying to help my brother! I would never have said those things to him if I knew they would actually hurt him. I thought they were just words. I had no idea what they would do. Please . . ."

"Oh, don't waste my time with begging," said Limstella, coldly. "What is done is done and what is said is said. As we speak, his life dwindles, you worthless girl. Woe betide you if he is not alive when I get there."

"You're going to the Shadow Temple?"

"Yes," said Limstella. "I am in perfect health and have no desire to perish, so the spirits within will do me no harm. I'd have gone in sooner if Jareth hadn't cast a spell against me. The spirits won't let me inside, but they will let you in, my dear."


"Yes. He may have been dying for a good three years now, but even now it is not too late. Your harsh words are what is killing him and now it is your words that will save him. If he hears the right words, his heart will mend and his will to live shall be rekindled."

"Then let us go!" Sarah insisted. "I'll go to him. I'll go right now! I'll run the whole way if I have to. Let me go to him. I can save him."

"No, I don't think I shall," said Limstella. "I shall enter the Temple disguised as you and then I shall say the words that will save him. Disguise or none, he will think that it is you who have come to him and his love for you shall pass onto me. He will love me and together we shall restore the Fae race, just as I'd planned for him from the beginning."

"But he doesn't like you," said Sarah. "He's told you that hasn't he? Isn't everything he's done, building the labyrinth and becoming Goblin King, just his way of telling you how much he hates you?"

"He's made that clear by now, yes," said Limstella.

"Then why aren't you dying!" Sarah asked, confused as she'd never been. "He broke your heart. Why are you still fine?"

"My heart? Broken?" Limstella laughed. A cold, sharp noise that sent chills of terror down Sarah's spine. "My heart is not broken, my dear. Do you think I love Jareth? I may have told him so, but I really don't. He's just a means to an end. Nothing more. He, like Ena, is nothing more than my pawn. He is, after all, my tool."

"You're SICK!" Sarah cried, backing away. "You're absolutely, totally SICK!"

"At least I'm not a cold-blooded murderer," said Limstella, coldly. "Not like you. If Jareth dies, it is all your fault. You destroyed his heart, and therefore destroyed him. That's as good as putting a rope around his neck or sticking a knife into his chest. That makes you a murderer, my dear. You're a killer. You killed him! EVERY DROP OF BLOOD HE HAS SPILLED IS ON YOUR HANDS!"

"NO!" Sarah cried, tears falling down her face. "No no no no no no no!"

"How dare you!" roared Hoggle. "How dare you say that to Sarah! She didn't do nothing! She's been working really hard to find Jareth! She want's to say sorry! She ain't no murderer and you know it! Sarah, don't listen to her! Don't listen to a word she says!"

"Enough," said Limstella. "I've had enough of this. It is time to go, Sarah of the Aboveground."

Another chain appeared in Limstella's hands. She threw it at Sarah and it wrapped itself around her throat. Sarah let out a cry of fear and surprise before she felt something horribly wrong happening to her. Her three friends watched in horror and Sarah began to shrink before their eyes. She grew smaller and smaller until there was nothing but a pile of clothes and with a small lump quivering inside them. Limstella tugged on the chain. It retreated from the clothes and, brandishing it like a whip, Limstella turned it into a cloak, like the one Ena had worn when she was pretending to be Jinx.

Limstella threw the cloak on over he shoulders and she began to change. Her honey-colored curls suddenly became sleek and black. Her face went from angled and mature to rounded with youth and creamy skinned. In a matter of seconds, Limstella had become the image of Sarah.

There was a tiny mewing sound coming from the pile of clothes that lay where Sarah once stood. Everyone looked at them. Emerging from the collar of Sarah's shirt was a small black kitten. Its green eyes were wide and it quivered in fear.

"SARAH!" Hoggle screamed. "Oh no! Oh Sarah!"

Limstella laughed again. This time she sounded just like Sarah, only Sarah's laugh had never sounded so evil. "I think I like her better this way," she said, Sarah's voice escaping her throat. "She's much more attractive."

"My lady!" cried Sir Didymus. Then he gasped. "AMBROSIUS, NO!"

Ambrosius suddenly charged after the kitten, who took off in terror. The others watched as Ambrosius chased the terrified cat, Limstella was laughing, the others were crying out in fear.


The kitten darted through the wet marsh, fleeing from Ambrosius in terror. Limstella summoned another chain and it wound and twisted itself into a cage. She lowered the cage into the kitten's path and it ran headlong into it. Ambrosius barked and barked as Limstella lifted the caged cat and went over to her caravan.

"You'll stay here," she said, looking at the scared little kitten in the cage, and placing it on a hook hanging from the top of the caravan's ceiling. "Mind you, if he's dead when I get there, you shall join him in death. And it will not be such a peaceful end as his."

The kitten gave a tiny 'mew' of misery. Limstella chuckled darkly at her before stepping out again.


Limstella ignored him. She began rummaging through Sarah's things. She found the black pouch and looked inside.

"Ick," she said. "What is this? Why would she carry around dirt and twigs?" She turned the bag upside down and the pieces of the labyrinth fell onto the ground and, for good measure, Limstella crushed them with her shoe. She then took Sarah's clothes and threw them into the back of the caravan. "I might need to dress as a human later, so those could come in handy."

"What are you gonna do to her?" Hoggle asked, panic-stricken. "What are you gonna do?"

"That depends on if Jareth is alive or not," said Limstella, simply. "If I save him, her death shall be quick and but not so painless. If he is dead when I get there than it will be the slowest, most excruciating death you can imagine."

"No!" wailed Hoggle. "Please! Just let the little lady go! She didn't know Jareth would get sick! If she's hurt, it's all my fault! Let her go, please!"

"You should have taken better care of her," said Limstella, coldly. "You should not have been so trusting, either. Shouldn't they, Ena my dear?"

They all turned. Ena was hiding behind a tree, watching the scene. She hung her head, her eyes closed as if in pain.

"Lady Ena?" said Didymus. "No, it cannot be . . ."

"Ena kindly lead you all right into my arms," said Limstella. "Just like the good little tool she is."

Ena turned away from the scene, her face buried in her hands.

"My lady Ena!" cried Sir Didymus.

"Well, I've wasted enough time talking to you beasts, I think," said Limstella, taking her place at the driver's seat of the caravan. "Jareth is waiting and I must use this disguise to get in at once. Ena, my dear, do you wish to come along?"

"No," said Ena, miserably.

Limstella raised an eyebrow. "Fine then. I'll come back with Jareth. Or with a new pair of cat-fur gloves." And, with that, she snapped at the reins and the Heliopathic horses took flight, burning a path through the marshes towards the Shadow Temple.

Ena fled from the scene, abandoning Hoggle, Ludo, and Didymus. No, my lady Limstella, she thought, whipping tears from her eyes. You cannot save Jareth. If he hears false words, even from someone who looks like the one he loves, that will only finish the job Lady Sarah's words started. He will only die sooner. If Lady Limstella says anything to him, even disguised as Lady Sarah, his life will end completely. Oh, Jareth. Lady Sarah. Forgive me.


"Sarah? Sarah? Sarah, where are you?"

Rin called and called out Sarah's name. She'd suddenly felt Sarah's presence was gone and didn't know how to contact her again. What had happened? Had she lost the pouch? Did Sarah no longer have the piece of her that made them able to speak to one another?

"Sarah! Sarah? Please answer me, Sarah!"

"Have no fear, Labyrinth," said a new voice. "It seems that Jareth's beloved has lost contact with you. Do not worry. I shall go to her.

Rin turned around to see who was talking to her.


Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 15 of 20

<< Previous     Home     Next >>