Continuing Tales

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 17 of 20

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Please Come Home

"This is not a dream that I'm living,

This is just a world of your own,

You took me from all that I knew

Shown me how it feels to hope

With you with me, facing tomorrow together

I can learn to fly

Feels like I'm living in the lion's mouth,

But the lion is an angel"

- From "Lion" by Rebecca St. James.

Ena leaned against a tree, her hands pressed hard against her face to hide her tears from the world. What a horrible thing it was that she'd done. She had had to choose between Limstella and Sarah and she couldn't bear it. If she gave Sarah to Limstella, then she would condemn both Jareth and Sarah to death. If she helped Sarah and betrayed Limstella, then she would have condemned herself to death.

I'm such a coward, Ena scolded herself as she cried silently. Now two innocent others shall suffer do to my cowardice. How could I have done this? But what else could I have done?

Ena reflected on what had happened just before Limstella had taken Sarah away from her friends . . .

Sarah had been sleeping in the wagon as Ena had rode on with Sarah's companions. Ena had come to quite like the three creatures. They were entertaining as a trio and seemed very devoted to Sarah.

"Behold!" cried Sir Didymus. "The Shadow Temple doth lie yonder! Be of stout heart, the end is upon us."

"Excellent," said Ena. "We are almost there."

"Um, should we wake Sarah up?" said Hoggle, sounding worried. "She's been asleep for a long time now."

"Poppies tend to do that," said Ena. She pulled on the reins and the mule slowed to a halt. "I think there is some fresh water nearby. I'll go fetch something for her when she awakens. I believe she will need it."

But it wasn't water that she went to find. After leaving the three creatures, Ena headed into the woods away from them to where someone was waiting for her. After awhile, she found her.

"Well," said Limstella. "Where is she?"

"Just over there," said Ena, keeping her head bowed. "She's asleep in the wagon. I came alone so that I wouldn't alarm her friends."

"Good," said Limstella, readying her Heliopathic horses. "Very good work you've done today, Ena. I shall see that you are properly rewarded later."

Ena hesitated for a moment. "Lady Limstella," she said, suddenly. "I beg your pardon, but what will you do with the labyrinth?"

"The labyrinth?" said Limstella. "That wart upon the face of the earth? Oh, I'll probably burn it to the ground or flatten it or something. There will be no need for it when Jareth is mine. Why do you ask?"

"Well, um, I . . ." Ena was having difficulty speaking out of fear. "I was, um, wondering if I could, um, keep it."

"Keep it?"

"Yes," said Ena, breathlessly. "J-Jareth said it would be alright if I took it after he passed away. I-I've thought about it and, um, I would like it very much if I could keep it."

"You want to live in a jumble of walls that is infested with rats and other disgusting rodents?" said Limstella, looking very surprised. "Are you saying you'd prefer that to where you are now? Well, I don't care. Go ahead and keep it for yourself, if that is what you wish. Become Rat Queen for all I care."

"Thank you," said Ena, bowing. "Thank you very much."

"Whatever," said Limstella. "However, if you set foot in that labyrinth, do not expect me to take you back if you should come out. If you decided to live in that stone garbage heap then you are no longer welcome within my sight. If you do come back to me afterward, I will have no choice but to take your life. Understand?"

Ena nodded sadly. "Yes, my lady."

"I'm glad we understand each other," said Limstella. "This is actually fortuitous for me. Jareth and I will not need you in the new age to come. I thought the only way I could detach you from my side would be to take your life. This is much easier and much less messier." Limstella snapped the reins and the horses rode off.

Ena let out a long sigh of misery. Living in the labyrinth would be agony after what she'd just done, but she was so very afraid of Limstella. She couldn't bear to think of living under Limstella's power any longer. Every day she'd wake up and be terrified that it would be the day Limstella would finally kill her. Now, if she dared set foot in the labyrinth and crossed paths with Limstella again, that day would surely come.

Ena took her face out of her hands. The branches on the trees were all bending towards her, worried about her distress. Then she heard the voices of the trees speaking to her.

. . . . Something comes . . . something strange . . . one of us lies dead . . . together it moves . . . ever slowly . . . forever charging ahead . . .

"Something is coming?" said Ena, quietly to the trees. "A tree lies dead? What has happened?"

But then Ena heard voices. She hid herself and listened intently. Then she heard them. Three unmistakable voices marching in her direction.

"Be of stout heart, my comrades in arms! The fair maiden needs us!"

"(huff)(puff) Slow down, Didymus! Ludo and I can only go so fast!"


Ena then saw the strangest sight she'd ever seen. Hoggle, Ludo and Sir Didymus were charging through the Marshes, still chained together by Limstella's magic chain. The tree that Limstella had bound them to was currently being carried over the shoulder of the giant Stone-Caller.

"Bear with it, brethren!" said Didymus, walking as fast as the chain around his waist would allow. "We must not let that foul witch harm our fair lady."

"Oh, this is all my fault," said Hoggle sadly as he tried walking with his chained ankle.

"Come now, Sir Hoggle," said Didymus. "We mustn't blame ourselves."

"But I should," said Hoggle. "Jareth knew this would happen. Or else, he knew something like this would happen. He knew Limstella would do something to Sarah if she came back. That's why he made me promise to send her back home if she ever came back here."

"The Goblin King gave you a command to send her back?" said Didymus, sounding shocked. "Sir Hoggle! I am most sincerely sorry. I had no idea you were given a duty. I did notice your reluctance to aid the young lady on her quest. Now I know the reason. Forgive a foolish knight."

"It ain't your fault," said Hoggle. "I didn't try hard enough. But Jareth must have known about this. Don't you remember that promise he had us make to him just after Sarah left?"

"But of course," said Sir Didymus. "He said to us, 'Swear to me that you will never utter Sarah's name outside again. Keep to this promise and I'll spear you from punishment.' I thought he was just bitter, but now I see the truth of his actions. He didn't want Limstella to hear her name through the wind. He has been trying to protect her all this time!"

"Yeah," said Ludo. "King and Sawah friends."

Hoggle grumbled. "Somehow I think it's more than that," he said, grumpily.

"Sir Hoggle," said Didymus. "Would you be reluctant about that? If His Majesty and the sweet lady were to fall in love, would you resent her?"

"Wha? No!" said Hoggle, stiffly. "I can't resent Sarah, no matter what she does. I can't say I like Jareth and I probably never will, but if . . . well . . . if he . . . y'know . . . makes her happy . . . then I don't care."

Ena watched as the three creatures struggled onward. They astounded her. They pressed onward, moving awkwardly, having dug up an entire tree, to save their friend. Ena hung her head. Why couldn't I be like that? Why can't I have the courage to press onward even when it seems impossible?

Suddenly, Hoggle gave a loud cry of disgust. Ena's eyes snapped back to them. They'd come to a stop, their feet stuck in a large dark puddle.

"Yuck!" cried Hoggle. "What is this stuff? Wha? Hey! I'm stuck!" Hoggle tried to pull his feet out of the ground, but they wouldn't give. He only seemed to sink deeper into the ground. Didymus and Ludo where having the same trouble.

Ludo roared in discomfort. The more he struggled, the more he sank. Sir Didymus was already in past his knees, as he was the shortest.

"Oh no!" said Hoggle, realization hitting him.

"It cannot be!" cried Sir Didymus, also understanding. "It's . . . It's . . ."

"Quicksand!" bellowed Ludo.

Ena watched as the three creatures began to sink steadily into the natural death trap, her mind in turmoil. She wanted to save them, but Limstella had given her orders to let them be. They would die, but did it matter in the new age to come? They had been so kind to her, but they weren't worth anything. She should just ignore them. Ignore them. Just ignore them!

I CAN'T! Ena screamed in her mind. I CAN'T JUST IGNORE IT!

Ena used her magic to bring forth a long eucalyptus branch. At her bidding, the branch grew at a rapid rate reaching away from Ena and heading toward the sinking friends.

Ludo was the first to spot the branch. He dropped the tree that was weighing him down and grabbed it. At once, the branch pulled the large monster out of the quicksand and onto dry ground. Still tied together by Limstella's chain, the other two creatures were pulled to safety as well. Once the three were safe, the eucalyptus buried itself in the quicksand and flourished into a tree around it, protecting anyone from the same fate.

"The eucalyptus tree," said Sir Didymus, staring at the large plant in amazement. "The tree of protection, it is."

"Someone's saved us," said Hoggle, sitting up and brushing quicksand off his shoes. Then he looked around. "Ena!"

Ena had left her hiding place, her mind made up. She walked right over to the three creatures and took hold of the chain binding them and tugged. It broke cleanly and fell off of the creatures.

"Lady Ena," said Sir Didymus, but Ena cut him off.

"I understand that I cannot be forgiven for what I've done," said Ena, looking at the ground. "But, please understand, it tore my heart to shreds to tell Lady Limstella about Lady Sarah. If you hurry, you may still be able to save her. I do not seek your forgiveness, for I know I'll never get it, but at least I feel somewhat at ease." Ena turned to leave, but she felt a hand on her arm.

"But," said Hoggle, slowly. "But I do forgive you, Ena."

Ena's head snapped around to face the dwarf. "What?"

"I forgive you," repeated Hoggle.

"As do I, my lady," said Didymus, nodding to her.

"Yeah," said Ludo. "Ena good."

"But, but," Ena was completely flustered. She couldn't understand what they were saying to her. "How could you forgive me? After all I've done? How can that be?"

"Well," said Hoggle, with a slight shrug. "I'd be the world's biggest hypocrite if I didn't forgive you. I know what it's like to get bullied by a Fae, (trust me, Jareth doesn't waste a single opportunity to do that) and it is a scary thing to go against. So, I forgive you."

"And I commend you," said Didymus. "I have seen goodness and beautiful qualities in you that are rare and very special. You are a wonder among women, Lady Ena, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the help you have just given us."

"Ludo and Ena friends," said Ludo, smiling widely at her.

Ena stared at the kind creatures. "But . . . but . . ."

"It is not too late yet," said Didymus. "Come and help us save our fair maiden and be free from that wicked witch that enslaves you."

"Yes," said Hoggle. "I'm sure Sarah will forgive you as well, Ena. She's good at that, you know."

"Ena come," said Ludo.

Ena shut her eyes as hot tears burned in them. They slid down her face as she heard Jareth's laughter and his surprised remarks in her head.

"Ah, my dear Ena. You do have a rebellious streak in you after all."

"Yes," said Ena. "Yes, you're right. I will help Lady Sarah. I want to help Lady Sarah. I want to help Jareth. I . . . I want to be of use. I want to be needed."

"Of course you are needed, my lady," said Didymus. "We needed you just now. Without you, we would all be dead and gone in the depths of the quicksand."

Ena whipped her tears. "Thank you, noble sir," she said. "I . . . I will go. I will be of use. I will fight against Limstella."

"That's more like it!" said Hoggle, enthusiastically. "Well then, let's go bag that hellcat what calls herself Limstella and save our Sarah!"

"Right then!" said Didymus. "To the Shadow Temple with us. TALLY HO! HA HA HA!"

And so, the now four companions traveled together to save Sarah.


Sarah ran as fast as she could through the halls of the Shadow Temple. The ring she'd gotten back from the Prophet was guiding her, telling her which hall to go down and which door to go through. All the while, Rin's voice was echoing in her mind.

"Through there! Right, Sarah, turn right. We're getting closer. Hurry, Sarah, Hurry!"

But Sarah wasn't the only one navigating through the temple. Limstella, already deep into the temple, kept running through different halls and trying each door, hoping to reach her goal. She knew Jareth wasn't far. She could almost feel his presence. Her future, her key to being ruler over the most powerful race in all the Underground was just within her reach. If only she'd stop getting lost . . .

The two women kept running down the same passages, but avoided meeting each other. Once or twice, Sarah just barely managed to whip around a corner and out of sight as Limstella entered the hall or room that Sarah had just left.

They were close; both of them very, very close to Jareth. Sarah was guided by her ring; Limstella was running off her considerably larger head start. Little did they both know that time was ticking away faster that they could imagine.

Before long, Limstella opened the door to a room and cursed loudly. "Argh! I've already past this room TWICE! Grr! Why are these things so complicated?" She reached out her hand to close the door and noticed something. Her hand was her own hand, and not Sarah's. She conjured up a chain that twisted itself into a mirror and looked at her face.

Limstella screamed loudly. She saw herself in her reflection, not Sarah as she should have.

"But, that is impossible," said Limstella. "I stole her identity! I should look like her! Why don't I look like her anymore?" Limstella's insides suddenly grew cold with outrage. "Someone has been interfering with my magic. How DARE they (whoever they are)! If I no longer have her identity, then she must be back to normal. Will she be able to enter the temple? Grr! I have to find Jareth and I have to find him now!"

The chase went on. Sarah going one way, Limstella in another. Both running as fast as they could, looking for the same thing. It was a confusing and urgent chase. The Temple was so big and powerfully magical. Even with Rin's help, Sarah still managed to find dead ends and a few locked doors along the way.

"Oops!" Rin cried in despair the third time this happened. "I'm sorry, Sarah. My mistake, my mistake! I'll be more careful. It's just that there is so much magic in this place, I get confused. Oh, Sarah, I'm scared. You have to hurry and find him. You have to!"

"I know Rin," said Sarah, turning around and taking another route. "I know."

Left, right, and left again. Up the stairs, down these stairs, around the corner, through the hall. The chase went on, both seeking, neither finding.

Then, at last, at long last, one of the seekers opened the doors to a room that contained a large bed with clean sheets and soft pillows. A death bed.

And, lying in the deathbed was the Goblin King. His face pale and his eyes closed.

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 17 of 20

<< Previous     Home     Next >>