Continuing Tales

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 3 of 20

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Please Come Home

Sarah rubbed her finger along the paper, smearing the black charcoal so that it spread gray over the paper, forming a shadow. She stared at her picture, pleased with her work. It was art class, her last of the day, and the students had been given the assignment of drawing a beach ball that was sitting on a podium in the middle of the classroom using charcoal pencils. Sarah's picture looked like a black and white photograph of the ball and Mrs. L'Oreal had been quick to compliment her work.

"Alright class," Mrs. L'Oreal called among the working students. "There's five minutes until the bell, so pack up, wash up and clean up after yourselves! Or the custodian will be after my blood."

There was a flurry of movement. Sarah slipped the drawing into her portfolio that she'd been making in the class. She was surprised she'd done so well on her picture. She certainly hadn't done so well in her other classes that day, seeing as her mind was somewhere else entirely.

Where is Rodger? She kept thinking, frantically. She'd looked all over for him at lunchtime, between classes, during breaks, but she couldn't find him. I have to get The Labyrinth back from him. I have to get rid of it for good this time. But what will I do? Bury it? Set it on fire and send it adrift on a tiny boat and watch it float away? Real poetic, Sarah. Oh, I just have to get over that story. I have to put the labyrinth behind me. I have to put . . . my friends . . . behind me. I . . . have to . . . put . . . him . . .

WAIT A MINUTE, WHAT AM I THNKING! Sarah screamed mentally. Of course HE'S behind me. He's been behind me ever since I said the words. What is the problem with me? I don't even like him! He's the bad guy! Urg. I'm so glad it is the weekend. I need time away from school, the Garrison Award, and my artwork to get this weirdness out of my head. I'll find out what's going on and put an end to it. That's final.

The sound of the final bell jerked Sarah out of her thoughts. She was glad for it. She put her portfolio away and washed her hands in the filthy, paint covered sink in the corner of the art room. Students began filing out of the school, some kids coming in through the hall to take the short cut through the art room to the senior parking lot. Sarah was just reaching for her bag when a voice called to her.

"Why, greetings yet again, fair maiden."

Sarah's heart sank. It wasn't who you'd think it was. She turned around, doing everything in her power not to turn up her nose at Dirk Bloomings, who had come into the art room to take the short cut, (and presumably run into Sarah). Sarah wanted to cringe. Only one person was allowed to call her "fair maiden" and that was Sir Didymus, and Dirk was certainly not allowed to say it as well.

"Hey there, Dirk," Sarah said in false sweetness. "How are you?"

"Right as rain," said Dirk. "Whilst you shine like the sun."

Sarah had to work very hard not to cringe. "T-thanks Dirk."

"Miss Williams, I wondered if you would be so gracious as to accompany me and my men to receive refreshment at the house of rich, caffeinated, cocoa bean nectar."

"Um, what?" Sarah said, looking utterly confused.

Dirk seemed to lose his steam. "Um, uh," he said, obviously wondering where he had gone wrong. "Um, did you wanna get a cup of coffee with me and my friends?"

"Oh," said Sarah. "Um."

"There is this really radical place," he pressed, eagerly. "My friends and I go there to play Monsters and Mazes. You can play, too. It is really fun."

"That . . . well . . . that sounds . . . um . . ."


Sarah turned around and was utterly relieved (for more than one reason) to see Rodger heading towards her. The Labyrinth was, gratefully, clutched in his hand.

"Hi, Rodger," Sarah cried, blissfully. "Listen, Dirk, I gotta . . . um . . . talk to Rodger. See you later," and she turned her back on him and ran over to Rodger. Dirk slumped out of the room, looking disappointed.

"Thanks," said Sarah, relieved. "You really saved me."

"Thank ME?" said Rodger. "Thank YOU, Sarah! You've saved me!" And without the slightest hint of warning, Rodger threw his arms around Sarah and hugged her as if she was his long, lost lover.

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!"

"W-w-w-w-w-w-WHOA!" Sarah cried, in horror, shoving Rodger off her. "What the . . . what in the . . . what are you doing!"

"Oh, I'm sorry," said Rodger, whipping his eyes from behind his horn-rimmed glasses. "I'm just so overcome with emotion. Sarah Williams, you have just single-handedly saved me from losing presidency of the drama club!"

"I . . . I did?" Sarah said confused.

"Oh, yes," said Rodger. "Oh yes, you did." He held up The Labyrinth to her. Sarah felt her heart freeze. Oh no, surely not . . .

"Yes, indeed," said Rodger. "This year's spring play will be none other than this! The Labyrinth!"

"You CAN'T!" Sarah cried.

Rodger stared at her, his face fallen. "Why not?"

Sarah paused, confused. Now what? "W-well . . . I mean . . . it's just a book. There isn't an adaptation for the stage. Wouldn't that be . . .?"

"HA!" said Rodger, so loudly that a few stragglers outside stared. "As if that will stop me. I'll just write the script myself."

"Wait a minute!" Sarah cried, now very worried. "Why do you want to do a play based off my book?"

Rodger's grin faded. "Well, it is something that I've been struggling with for quite awhile. You see, as president of the drama club, it is my duty to select what we will be doing for the spring play. I wanted to do something great for senior year. End high school life with a bang, y'know. But I couldn't find anything that fits my vision. All the old scripts are old news. Every year it is the same old stuff. We do Rodger & Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, classic Broadway stuff, and all that every year. So, my dilemma is what am I supposed to do? We did The King and I last year and Fiddler on the Roof the year before that. The dratted school board has refused point blank to let me do Sweeny Todd or Phantom of the Opera (they are really antsy about the entire Don Juan scene but the play isn't right without it so we can't agree on anything) and if I have to put up with a Disney based play one more time . . .!"

"Rodger, chill," said Sarah. His face had been getting steadily redder as he had talked. He took a few calming breaths.

" . . . . Sorry about that," said Rodger, starting up as if there had been no interruption. "As I was saying, I was in the dilemma of a lifetime. I didn't know what to pick and if I didn't make a decision soon, they'd have Ben Lennox pick. He's the treasurer of the drama club and a junior. He's been trying to overthrow me for years," Rodger's eyes darkened. "But not this time, my nemesis, not this time! So then you, Sarah, appear at the most perfect of timing and you bless me with this book and, thus, the spring play, saving my position."

"I don't know, Rodger," said Sarah, uneasily. "I mean, that book is . . . well . . ."

"But it is perfect," said Rodger, insistently. "A lovely young heroine, a regal and malevolent villain, fearsome monsters mixed with kind creatures, trick and traps, passion and drama, good prevailing over evil. This is the plot of the century!"

Sure it sounds good when he puts it like that, said Sarah, uneasily. But he hasn't actually been there.

"I'll need to keep this book for a little while longer," said Rodger. "So that I can make up the script. I'll give it back to you on Monday. Is that okay?"

Sarah felt uneasy. She really wanted that book back. She doubted if she would be able to sleep a wink at night knowing it was out in the world and not secure in her attic. Not to mention the fact that Rodger's idea was positively lethal without meaning it to be. This couldn't happen. She couldn't let it happen. But there was little she could do about it. Sarah knew Rodger by reputation. He was stubborn and hotheaded. If he said he was going to turn The Labyrinth into a play, he was going to do it even if he had to pry the book away from her cold, dead hands.

"Fine," she said against her will. "You can keep it. But, you have to give it back the second the script is finished."

"Why?" said Rodger, looking surprised. "Is it a library book?"

"Yeah," Sarah lied. "I need to turn it back in soon."

"Don't worry," said Rodger. "I'll have it back to you next week. I'll make it up to you if you have to pay for any late fees." And with that being the final word, Rodger left the school, leaving Sarah feeling sick to her stomach again.


The crystal rolled passed Sarah's feet. She heard Hoggle mumble something in fear. They followed its progress as it leapt up and landed into a brass cup, held by what appeared to be some kind of beggar goblin.

"Ah," it said. "What have we here?"

"Uh, nothin'," said Hoggle, dismissively.

"Nothing?" said the beggar. "Nothing?" it repeated, this time in a deep, mighty voice. It reached up and pulled off its cloak and blindfold. "Nothing?" The Goblin King stood before them, shaking his disguise in Hoggle's face. "Nothing, tra la la?"

"Your Majesty," said Hoggle, smoothly. "What a nice surprise."

"Hello, Hedgewart," said the Goblin King.

"Hogwart," corrected Sarah.

"Hoggle," Hoggle corrected both of them.

Sarah watched as the Goblin King and Hoggle argued. She was afraid to see the how quickly the Goblin King had appeared when, at last, someone had come to help her. It was as if he could be anywhere.

"Higgle . . ."


"Yes," said the Goblin King, dully. "If I thought for one second that you'd betray me, I'd be forced to suspend you, head first, into the Bog of Eternal Stench."

"NO," Hoggle cried, falling to his knees. "Your Majesty, not the Eternal Stench!"

"Oh yes, Hoggle," snapped the king, kicking at the groveling dwarf. "And you, Sarah . . ."

The King walked over to her, coming almost too close. Those fierce eyes and that slick smile looking right at her. "How are you enjoying my labyrinth?"

Sarah hesitated to answer. She was frightened of him, but then again, he had just threatened her only friend. "It's a piece of cake," she retorted, looking right back at him.

His smile did not waver, but his eyes grew cold. Sarah knew she was in trouble. She had dared to insult his beloved labyrinth. Now she was to pay for it.

"Really?" he said, looking far more wicked than ever before. "Then how about upping the stakes, hm?"

Sarah woke up slowly. The scene in the underground tunnels of the labyrinth of herself, the Goblin King, and Hoggle faded slowly to black, the King's voice bouncing around in her brain. She wondered what was going on, when she realized that the darkness she was seeing was the inside of her eyelids. She pried her eyes open, which was difficult due to a large amount of sleep sealing her eyes shut.

She looked around her room and groaned. As she had predicted, she'd been sleeping restlessly since Friday, knowing that The Labyrinth was in Rodger's possession, probably becoming a stage play as Sarah lay there thinking about it. Sarah sat up, rubbed her eyes, and looked at her alarm clock. Four in the morning. There was still plenty of time before she had to get up.

Sarah groaned. What was it that bothered her so much about Rodger making a play based on her book? Well, she could answer that one immediately. She was most likely the only person who knew that it was real. The labyrinth, the Underground, the Goblin City and their Goblin King, it was all real. There was no point denying it. Though she had tried to forget about her adventure there, she never denied it had happened. She couldn't deny it. How could she be so cruel to herself as to make herself forget about one of the best experiences of her life? The labyrinth was real. It was very real to her. It would always be real.

But it is because it's real that it's a problem, Sarah thought, flopping back down on her pillows. If that story is turned into a play, I'm sure that he'll figure it out. He'll learn about it and he'll take advantage of it. He'll make someone do something without meaning to. What if whoever plays the girl (Sarah tried not to think "me") in the story accidentally wishes someone away for real? I was able to beat the labyrinth, but what if they can't? What if he finds me again? What will he do? What would he do for revenge?

And if I'm going to keep having dreams about the labyrinth, Sarah thought savagely. Why do I have to keep dreaming about him? Why can't I dream more about Hoggle, Ludo, and Sir Didymus? If I were to ever go back to the labyrinth, it would be to see them again, not him again.

Suddenly, Sarah heard her doorknob rattle. She froze. Oh no, she though frantically. I knew it. I'd been thinking about him too much. I've summoned him here by accident!

Slowly, very slowly, the doorknob started to turn. Sarah began to chant in her mind again.

You have no power over me. You have no power over me.

The knob turned and turned until she heard it click. Sarah pulled her covers over her head. Fear flooded her. He'd come. He'd come for her at last. He hadn't even waited for the play to be written yet. She heard her door creak eerily as it opened, ever more slowly.

You have no power over me! You have no power over me! You have no power over me! You have no power over me! YOU HAVE NO POWER . . .


Sarah sighed with relief. It was only Toby. She pulled the covers off her head and looked down at her brother. He was frowning and clutching a piece of paper in his hands.

"Sawah, I hadda bad dweam," he mumbled.

"Oh, you did?" Sarah said, beckoning him to her. He walked over and hopped onto her bed. She put her arms around him, soothing him.

"What did you dream about Toby?" Sarah asked. A tiny part of her feared that he would tell her about seeing the Goblin King.

"Spiders," whimpered Toby. "Lots and lots of them."

"Oh," said Sarah, again relieved. "That's okay, Toby. Spiders are more scared of you than you are of them."

"Nuh uh," said Toby, frowning. "They wheelly scawy."

"I know, I know," said Sarah, stroking his reddish brown hair. "What's that you've got there, Toby?"

"Man," he said, showing her.

Sarah took the drawing from Toby. She held it up to the window so that the moonlight could light it up for her. Sarah started when she saw what Toby had drawn. There was Toby, standing in the middle, looking happy. Next to him was a tall figure with long, black hair. It was her. Toby had drawn Sarah with him in this picture. But to the left of Toby's self-portrait, was another drawing of the Goblin King.

But this was different. He did not appear to be singing or dancing in this picture. He was standing still and apparently looking right at Sarah. To Sarah's astonishment, she saw that Toby had drawn big, blue drops falling from out of the eyes of the Goblin King and his mouth was curved downward into a sad frown.

"I don't get it, Toby," said Sarah, looking at her brother. "Man doesn't look very happy in this picture. Why is he so sad?"

Toby shrugged. "Man is always sad when Sawah is whiff me."

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 3 of 20

<< Previous     Home     Next >>