Continuing Tales

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 7 of 20

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Please Come Home

"All that I once used to dream, I now dread.

If he finds me, it wont' ever end.

And he'll always be there,

Singing songs in my head."

- Christine

From "Notes" in The Phantom of the Opera Part II

Sarah looked at her reflection in the mirror. She was dressed in a gown much like the costumes she used to dress up in before she'd run the labyrinth. This one was made of velvet and a deep red wine color and trimmed with gold.

"This dress, I think is the best for you," said Natalie, the girl who was in charge of the costumes for the play. "It's one of the best that we've got and it seems to fit you pretty well."

"I don't know," said Sarah, carefully. "The skirt's a bit long. I don't want to trip in the middle of a scene."

"Oh, I can fix that," said Natalie, simply. "Now, as for your hair and make up," she pulled out a drawing of a feminine face that she'd drawn make up on and had drawn the hair in a pretty, braided up do. "What do you think?"

"It is a bit much," said Sarah, looking cautiously at the heavy make up that Natalie had drawn on the face.

"That's the theater for you," said Natalie, grinning. "If you don't wear that much make up, at least, then nobody will be able to see your face."

"I see," said Sarah, dully.

They were standing in the costume loft above the stage, picking out the things that Sarah would be wearing for the performance. Sarah liked it in here. There were all sorts of strange clothes and props littered all around the place. Dresses, suites, masks, hats, shirts, skirts, vests, jackets, shoes, boots, uniforms and all other manner of clothing were crammed into boxes and hanging on hangers on pipes that dangled from the ceiling. Sarah had come up there and had been itching to put on everything she could find, but Natalie had dragged her over to a row of dresses that were proper for a princess.

Just then, Shawna came up. "Hi Natalie, Hi Sarah," she said, cheerfully.

Both girls said hi back.

"I've been meaning to talk to you guys," said Shawna. "It's my birthday this Friday."

"Happy birthday," said Natalie, nicely.

"Thanks," said Shawna, smiling. "My mom and dad are still at their new beach house, so I'm throwing a party. I'm inviting everyone in the cast, and you can come too, Natalie."

"Really?" said Natalie, looking delighted. "Oh, that'll be so much fun."

Shawna grinned. "What about you, Sarah?"

"I don't think so," Sarah replied. "I'm not much of a party girl."

"Oh, come on," pleaded Shawna. "It'll be fun."

"I'll think about it," said Sarah, sounding quite uninterested.

"You should come," Shawna insisted, but then looked at her watch. "Oh, shoot! I said I'd meet Ashley and Kitty in ten minutes. Well, ciao ladies."

Natalie and Sarah watched her go. "She really thinks a lot of herself, doesn't she?" Sarah said, shaking her head, but smiling.

"Yeah," said Natalie, who was inserting pins in the hem of Sarah's dress to see how much shorter she'd have to make it. "But still, I hear her parties are a real bang! I'm glad I got an invitation to one of them. You don't think you'll be going Sarah?"

"Nah," said Sarah, looking back at her reflection. "Parties really aren't my thing. What am I going to wear in the crystal dream scene?"

"Hm? Which one is that again?"

"You know," said Sarah, looking down at Natalie. "The scene where the princess eats the peach and dreams that she's in a ballroom with the Goblin King."

"Oh, I know what you're talking about," said Natalie, nodding. "I don't know. I think Rodger wanted you in one outfit the whole time."

"What?" Sarah felt taken aback. "But I have to where something decent in that scene. The Goblin King wouldn't dance with a girl dressed in something that she'd been running around in all day. I remember he dressed . . ." Sarah had to refrain from saying "me", "he dressed her in a really pretty dress. It was all white and pretty and puffy. Like a true princess."

Natalie gave a sad chuckle. "If you can find anything like this in this mess, be my guest," she said, gesturing to the jumble of clothes around her. "But we might not even have that scene."


"Rodger said he might take that scene out because of time," Natalie replied.

"WHAT!" Sarah felt cheated and angry. "He can't take that scene out! It's too important!"

"Tell him that," said Natalie, shrugging.

"But he's gotta be out of his mind," Sarah said furiously. "If he finds out that Rodger is going to take out that part, then he'll be furious!"

"He? Who are you talking about?" Natalie asked, curiously.

Sarah froze. "Um, you know. The . . . the author. I bet he'd hate it if he knew Rodger was changing his story so much."

"But the author is anonymous," said Natalie. "He could be from anywhere. He could even be dead. How is he supposed to know that some kid in a high school somewhere is messing with his story? Come to think of it, the author could be a she for all we know."

Sarah wasn't paying much attention to Natalie. Now the fat was really in the fire. Rodger changing things around was one thing, but taking out the entire crystal dream? That was too much. Sarah was now really scared. She didn't know what to do. She was afraid of what the Goblin King would do if he showed up at the performance.

But then again, there was that dream she'd had of him. When she'd been in his throne room and he'd suddenly clutched his chest and covered his mouth. Something hadn't felt right. There was something wrong with him. And then there was that little girl. Rin. She'd said . . . what had she said? Something about the Goblin King being sick? Did goblins get sick? Sarah didn't honestly know. But the fact that he'd been sick was obviously a disturbing thought for Rin. She'd seemed so upset. She'd been crying so hard. Yet again, Sarah felt a maternal pity for Rin and wanted to help her. To dry her tears and calm her sorrows.

"There we go," said Natalie, smiling. "I'm done putting the pins in. Okay, you can go now Sarah. Send Mindy in, would you? We still need to put her costume together."

Sarah nodded and slipped out of the princess outfit, handed it to Natalie, then left the costume loft, her mind still on Rin's tears and the Goblin King's pale face.


Sarah stared at her painting. She hadn't touched it much since she started the play. She just hadn't been able to figure out what she wanted to do with it. All she had was a canvas painted half blue and half light brown. She thought long and hard on it, but still wasn't able to get an idea of what she wanted to do.

There was a knock on her bedroom door. "Sarah, dinner's ready," Irene's voice came in through the door.

"Okay," Sarah called back, throwing an old bed sheet over the painting. This helped keep it out of her mind when she was doing other things. Sarah went down to the dining room where her father, Irene, and Toby were already sitting. Irene had cooked up a fancy pasta dinner for Sarah and the two adults and threw together some macaroni and cheese for Toby. Merlin lapped up water from his dish in the corner of his room.

They ate together, Robert and Irene chatting about this and that, Toby secretly passing bits of macaroni to Merlin, and Sarah was simply eating in silence, her mind full of more pressing issues.

"So, Sarah," Robert said, turning to his daughter. "How's the play coming?"

"Alright," Sarah said, not untruthfully. "The director keeps changing things around in the story, which is really annoying, but other than that, things seem to be pretty okay."

"Are you making any new friends?" Irene asked, in an attempt to be friendly.

"Sort of," said Sarah, with a shrug. "I mean, some of the others are okay, but there are some people who I'm not sure I want to hang out with on a regular basis."

"Really?" said Robert. "What does that mean?"

"Well," Sarah had to choose her words carefully. "Rodger, the director, he always seems to make decisions for other people. And there is a guy in the crew who, well, I think he's kinda creepy. And there is a girl who is one of the actors, she's okay some of the time, but she can be a bit of a snob."

"Snob?" Irene prodded.

"Yeah," said Sarah, picking at her dinner with her fork. "She's gone and invited everyone to her birthday party. It's just a chance to show everyone how big her house is and how much money her family has."

"A birthday party?" said Irene, her eyes widening. "Were you invited?"

"Yeah," said Sarah with a shrug. "But it's not like I'm going to . . ."

"Oh, you should definitely go," said Irene, eagerly.

"What!" Sarah's head snapped up to look at her stepmother.

"If some girl is kind enough to invite you to her party, you should go," Irene said, nodding. "You go out so rarely, Sarah. I knew this play would be a great way for you to make friends. But you seem to be so uninterested in everything. Now you get invited to a birthday party. That is a very good thing. This girl is clearly trying to be friends with you and I don't think it would be very nice of you to refuse her. You should get out and have fun every now and again."

"Irene!" Sarah moaned. "I don't want to go."

"Oh, but you really, really should," Irene insisted. "It'll be such a good experience for you. A little bit of socializing would to you some good if you ask me."

Sarah stared at her stepmother, unable to believe how naïve she was being. When Irene heard the words 'birthday party' she probably thought of little kid games and clowns and that kind of thing. But Sarah knew full well that this would be the kind of party with loud music, crazy dancing, alcohol and much more.

"Daddy," Sarah turned to her father, praying he would take her side for once. "What do you think? I really don't want to go."

Robert didn't answer immediately. He finished what was on his plate, wiped his mouth slowly with his napkin and said, "I'm not going to force you to do what you don't want to do, Sarah. But, I think Irene has a point when she says that you don't go out much and a little bit of socializing won't kill you."

Sarah sighed. She might as well have not asked him at all. "Oh, fine then!" Sarah said, exasperated. "I'll make an appearance, but if I don't like what I see, I'm coming straight home, deal?"

"Fine," said Irene. "At least that is something. Toby, dear," she turned suddenly to her son. "What are you doing! Stop giving the dog your food!"

Sarah took a very deep breath. She knew that Irene meant well by wanting Sarah to socialize, but there was something about this party that made Sarah's gut tell her it would be wiser not to attend. But, as Hoggle had once said to her, what choice did she have?


Friday evening came far too quickly for Sarah's liking. She had found Shawna and told her that she might show up for a little while at the party. Shawna had been happy to hear that Sarah would be attending, even if only for a little while, but hadn't been able to talk, seeing as she had several more important friends to talk to. Nevertheless, Sarah had bought Shawna a pretty charm bracelet for a birthday present and had dressed in one of her best outfits for the party. She wore a black tank top, short jeans, and threw on a necklace and bracelets to complete the look. She did her hair up in a braid and applied a tiny bit of make-up, which she knew would be expected of anyone attending Shawna Templeton's birthday party.

Her dad had been kind enough to let her borrow his car for the evening. "Now, drive safely," he'd said as she walked out the door. "And remember, Sarah, no drinking, no walking off with boys, and no ritual animal killings of any kind."

Sarah rolled her eyes as she walked out the door. As she did so, she heard her father call out, "T-that last one was a joke, Sarah."

"I know, Daddy, I know," said Sarah, with a sigh. It was a sad thing when the person telling the joke had to tell the listener that their joke was, indeed, a joke. Sarah drove to Shawna's house, feeling nervous. Why did she have the feeling like she was being watched? She glanced in her rearview mirror several times, but didn't see anyone. Once or twice, she wondered if a certain someone was watching her, but was doing so in a way that she couldn't tell it was him. But Sarah dismissed this thought. The Goblin King wouldn't be watching her. He'd have no reason too. Unless he'd heard about the play, but Sarah didn't want to think about that. Not tonight anyway.

When she arrived at Shawna's house, she could already tell that her assumption had been correct. The front yard was littered with cups and other pieces of trash, and the whole house was crowded with people. Sarah resisted the urge to turn the car around and leave. She might as well just drop of her present and then Irene would have nothing to complain about. Sarah parked the car and walked into the house.

It was hot and noisy inside. There seemed to be the entire school crammed into the living room, dancing to rock music that was blaring from a fancy stereo system. Sarah waded through the sea of people, feeling disoriented and confused.

I almost wish I was back with the Fierys, she thought, as two boys jumped off the top of the staircase and onto a pile of couch cushions while the onlookers hooted with glee.


Sarah turned around at the sound of her name. It was Shawna, Rodger, and Mike. They all smiled and greeted her pleasantly.

"It's my leading lady!" said Rodger, pulling Sarah over to them. "I thought you weren't going to come."

"I'm not staying long," Sarah said, almost having to shout to be heard over the music. "Happy birthday, Shawna," she added, shoving her present into Shawna's hands. "Hi, Mike."

"I'm glad you changed your mind, Sarah," said Shawna, taking the gift and smiling.

"Um, aren't you worried about them?" Sarah asked, gesturing over to a group of guys who had dropped a bag of potato chips onto the carpet.

"Nah," said Shawna, lightly. "Our maid will clean it up. Hey, pretty!" she'd just opened Sarah's gift and examined the charm bracelet. "Thanks, Sarah, it is so nice."

"You're welcome," said Sarah, forcing on a smile. She really hated the environment she was in. It just shouted negativity at her.

"You don't look all that comfortable," said Mike, quietly to her.

"I'm not," Sarah admitted.

"This isn't really my thing, either," said Mike, nodding in understanding. "I'll be outta here before long. Me dad isn't going to be home 'till eight, and I haven't my key."

"Well, see you," said Sarah, pushing her way through the crowd. She climbed up the stairs, passed even more people, trying to find an empty room. Finally, she found a door and slipped inside, desperate to escape the suffocating atmosphere.

Sarah looked around her. She was what appeared to be a dark, guest's bedroom. There was a plain cot with clean white blankets in the corner and a large window with a view of the yard below. Sarah closed the door, stifling the noise of the guests and the music from below. She went over to the window and looked out of it miserably. She wait in here for a few minutes, then she'd go straight home, tell Irene whatever lie she wanted to hear, then go straight to bed. She stared up at the full moon, feeling very empty. She was in a house filled to the breaking point with people, yet she felt so terribly alone.

Suddenly, Sarah heard a click behind her. She turned around. She hadn't noticed that there was someone else in the room with her. She was temporarily on the edge, ready to begin her usual chant of 'you have no power over me' in case the person in the shadows was who she thought it was.

"Sarah Williams?"

Sarah sighed. It was only Dirk. His glasses reflected the moonlight coming in from the window as he looked over at Sarah.

"Oh, hey, Dirk," said Sarah, not feeling at all in the mood to have a chat with Dirk. She'd just have to find another empty room to hide away in. "Sorry, I didn't know you were in here. I'll leave you to it."

Sarah walked right past Dirk and grabbed the doorknob. She froze, a terrible chill sweeping through her.

"Dirk," she said, turning slowly to him. "Why is the door locked?"

"Hm?" said Dirk, not taking his eyes off her. "Oh, you don't have to worry. I've got the key right here." He held out the brass key to her. Sarah grabbed it, but he stuffed it quickly into his pocket. "Now, now, my lovely. Not so hasty now. You are always so in such a hurry, you never seem able to talk to me. Well, this is the perfect opportunity to talk, don't you find?"

Sarah felt the chill that had filled her grow even colder. "Dirk, please give me that key. I wanna go."

"We are going to discuss things first," said Dirk, coming closer to her. Sarah could smell wine cooler on his breath. She was definitely afraid now. "You have been avoiding me, Lady Sarah. The Grand Master Wizard doesn't appreciate that from his betrothed."

Sarah felt a pang of disgust. "Dirk, seriously, let me go. This isn't funny. This isn't one of your stupid games. You've gotta let me out."

"My games aren't stupid," said Dirk, a scowl coming onto his face. "Not like your play. That is what's really stupid."

"Dirk, really . . ."

"Why would someone as mighty as a king fall at the hands of some girl just because she said something rude to him," growled Dirk, his eye burning into Sarah's behind his glasses. There was something very dark in his look. "He's supposed to be this great, legendary thing and yet he's beaten by . . . what? Words? That's just dumb. Words are just words. They aren't weapons, they can't hurt anybody. The Goblin King is a fool. A moron. A pitiful, weak soul."

"Dirk, please, I'm really serious. Let me out."

"The Grand Master Wizard, on the other hand, isn't a fool," Dirk continued, now starting to advance on Sarah, that terrible darkness in his eyes. "He'll not let weak words break him down. If he wants the princess for his own, then he will take her. Simple as that. No trickery, no plots, no schemes, just action. That is how he does things, Sarah, he takes action."

"Dirk!" Sarah backed away from Dirk, praying that he would back down. But he didn't. He just kept coming towards her.

"The Grand Master Wizard will not be beaten," Dirk hissed. "And now, he wants a kiss from the beautiful princess. And she'd better give him what he wants."

"Dirk, get away from me!" Sarah snapped. She took another step back and gasped as she hit the wall. Now there was no way out. "I'm serious. Snap out of it. Let me out of here, Dirk!"

"I've told you I'm the Grand Master Wizard," snapped Dirk, reaching out and grabbing Sarah's arm. "And I'm sick of you ignoring me, Sarah. So now I want you go give me a kiss and I warn you, do not deny me what I want."

"Dirk, LET GO!" Sarah screamed. But he only gripped her more tightly. He pulled her towards her and tried to cover her lips with his, but Sarah raised her free hand and pushed his face away from her. Sarah fought frantically. The Goblin King may have no power over her, but the same could not be said about Dirk. His grip was very strong and he wasn't thinking straight. He was dangerous. Dirk tore her hand from his face and glared at her before reaching his hand back.


Dirk smacked Sarah across the face. She let out a whimper of fear and pain and sank to her knees. Dirk seized her wrists and forced her onto the floor, no longer himself.

"Stop it!" Sarah cried. "Dirk! Stop it! Help! HELP!"

But she knew it was no good. The music and noise downstairs was too loud. Nobody would hear her. Nobody would be able to save her. Dirk got down and pinned Sarah to the ground with his knees.

"I've had enough of you ignoring me, Sarah," he hissed. "I'm done with being ignored!" He leaned down to kiss her again, but she turned her head away quickly so that his lips met the base of her neck.

"Help me!" Sarah screamed, as loud as she could, praying somebody would hear her. "Somebody! Anybody! Help me! Please, SAVE ME!"


Just as the word rang out loudly and horribly in Sarah's head, there was an explosion somewhere in the room and the two wrestling figures where showered in glass. Dirk let out a yell of surprise. He let go of Sarah's wrists to shield himself from the flying glass, and Sarah used her now free hands to shove him off of her. She crawled away from Dirk, curling into a defensive ball, trying to shield himself in case he came back at her. But he didn't. She then heard a rush of wings past her, and Dirk's cry of surprise.

Then she felt it. The atmosphere change around her. They were no longer alone in the room together. Sarah knew what she would see when she opened her eyes, but she suddenly found that she didn't care very much. She lowered her arms and opened her eyes. The window she'd been staring out of only a few minutes ago had been completely shattered. Shards of glass and pieces of wood littered the room all around them. She followed the trail of glass until she found what she was looking for. A pair of pointed black boots. She then looked up the stare at the face she thought she'd never see again. One that, for the past three years, she'd only seen in dreams.

The Goblin King stood, regal and proud, in the center of the room. His mismatched eyes were fixed on Dirk.

Please Come Home

A Labyrinth Story
by Ying-Fa-dono

Part 7 of 20

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