Continuing Tales

Return to the Labyrinth

A Labyrinth Story
by ArtemisFallen

Part 16 of 24

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Leverage: A Christmas Tale

Sarah slowly descended the stairs underneath the throne. She braced her hand against the smooth wall, not trusting her knees to keep her upright. She was in shock, continually processing the Guardians words over and over again. She'd still had more questions for him, but found herself unable to ask them. She wasn't sure she could handle the answers. The Guardian had given her so much to contemplate as it was and Sarah found herself at a breaking point. Her despair tugged at the edges of her mind, wearing her down little by little.

After an eternity of spiraled steps, Sarah began to feel dizzy long before she reached the bottom of the staircase. She was relieved when she planted her feet on solid ground, escaping the narrow, twisty nightmare.

Sarah stepped out of the darkness of the staircase and through a bright doorway. The overwhelming brightness caused her to raise her arm to shield her eyes from the glare. Once she adjusted to the light, she assessed her surroundings, feeling the air nearly crackle with life. She stood stunned in the middle of an elaborate garden. She took a few steps forward, admiring the lush and dense foliage all around her. When she turned back, she was unsurprised to see the doorway from which she had emerged from and the staircase had vanished. It had been replaced by a large tree with low branches and white blossoms.

"The Keepers were big on deception." Sarah muttered, thinking back to all the times the Labyrinth had rearranged itself around her.

Sarah spun about slowly, glimpsing a weathered stone path which led deeper into the garden. She began to follow it, noticing almost immediately that the plants and flowers were reacting to her presence. They almost seemed to reach for her as she passed by. She extended her hand to a particularly vibrant purple flower, reminding herself to be cautious given the vicious nature of the yellow ones she'd encountered. The flowers velvety petals languished against her fingers, blossoming even more. Sarah could've sworn she heard a sigh of contentment from the foliage around her.

"You're so beautiful," she cooed to the flower, a grin spreading across her face. "All of you!"

The flowers rustled, as if shivering with delight at the compliment she had bestowed upon them. She was certain they understood her. Almost instantly, Sarah's foul mood dissipated and she found herself humming brightly as caressed the flowers and their velvety petals that lined the path.

She smiled, skipping unexpectedly, dancing through and with the low hanging vines. The small white and pink flowers which twisted around the vines brushed delicately over her face. Sarah giggled, feeling amazingly elated and carefree.

I'm home! Her mind sang as she danced through the garden. Several leaves circled around her in a warm breath of wind, tickling her as they rose up her body and through her hair.

They know me! She thought in astonishment. They know who I am.

"This place is as much your heart as the one that beats within you," Sarah reminisced. The Minotaur was right. She'd never felt so in tune with anything in her entire life. It was as if this place had been made for her.

I don't ever want to leave, she thought blissfully. I want to stay here forever.

Sarah grinned ludicrously, positively drunk off the happiness which flooded through her. She danced around more, indulging the carefree complacency that had taken control of her. She stopped abruptly, spying a gazebo built upon beautiful crystal balusters. She trotted over to it, drawn to the large structure in the middle of the edenic garden.

Cushioned seats lined the inside of the structure, entreating Sarah to languish against them. Fractured marble and quartz decorated the floors, reminding Sarah of a dream one could almost recall, but never quite manage to recapture.

She sunk down against the cushioned seats lining the gazebo, burying her face in the velvety softness of them.

"Hmm," she moaned happily against the lavish material. She closed her eyes, wishing she could remain in the garden for the rest of her life.

Just like the other Keepers, she thought.

Sarah opened her eyes abruptly, the wonderful rapture draining from her instantly. She sat up and braced herself on the edge of the cushions, shaking her head hard in an attempt to clear her mind of the euphoria which had inundated her senses. The Keepers had indeed created a perfect haven. However, like those who had preceded her, Sarah understood that her life could not be lived fully within this Kingdom, no matter how magnificent and beautiful it was. Her elation dampened as she remembered her friends and the promise she'd made to them. She couldn't allow herself to forget about them. Not again.

"I can't stay here," she mumbled in a scolding tone. "There are those depending on me. I can't just hide away." She heaved a dejected sigh. "Much as I would like to."

Sarah forced herself to her feet, noticing for the first time that a pillar stood in the center of the grand gazebo. On top of the pillar sat a small, beautifully crafted chest. She approached the case, knowing what lie inside waiting for her. She slowly opened the chest, revealing a deep purple, plush lining. Upon the silken lining sat Jareth's pendant. It gleamed up at her, silently brimming with immense power. Sarah hesitantly traced her fingers over the curved design and the symbol in the middle, feeling an electric jolt feed into her. The pendant was indeed powerful, entreating her with the magic it emanated, promising her everything she ever desired. Sarah could not deny the allure of it. She was overcome with an overwhelming urge to put the pendant on, but hesitated.

Sarah could clearly feel the magic the pendant promised, but feared the consequences of wielding such a great power. She had no comprehension of how the talisman worked. She didn't even know how to control her own abilities, how could she expect to control powers only Jareth knew how to use?

Sarah snapped the chest closed quickly, severing the enticing desire to adorn the pendant. She tugged her backpack from her shoulder, picking up the chest and placing it inside. Regret gnawed at her as she closed the bag and swung it back over her shoulder. Part of her had really wanted that pendant. In fact, it screamed for it.

"This is best for everyone," Sarah said, trying to convince herself. "There's enough magic here I don't understand. I don't need to add to it."

Sarah exited the gazebo, her eyes shifting over the beautiful garden. The plants rustled with excitement and the warm breeze sang a pleasant melody to her. Sarah sighed in disappointment.

"I have to go now," she announced sadly. "I have to finish what I started."

The plants stopped rustling happily and shuddered, shriveling back from the path. The balmy breeze which danced around Sarah suddenly took on an icy chill. The melody the wind had created turned into a forlorn lament.

Sarah felt the stabbing pain of guilt and regret center solidly in her chest. The garden was actually speaking to her, begging her to stay. It seemed ludicrous, but Sarah had come to understand that nothing in the Labyrinth was impossible.

"I know," Sarah whispered, her commiserations ringing hollowly in her ears. "I know I just found my way back, but I have to do this. You understand, don't you?"

The breeze picked up, colder than before and the flowers which had bloomed so bright began to wither and droop, retreating into the bushes.

Sarah felt her heart break at the sight of the garden slowly wither. It had become so vibrant with her presence. Now that she was leaving, it despaired without her. Ironically, the state of the garden matched the state of her own heart. The Minotaur had been right. The garden, the heart of the Labyrinth in all its glory, was also her heart.

"But it doesn't mean it's easy for me," Sarah continued, her voice falling to a whisper. "I want nothing more than to remain here. This is my home." She swallowed hard as her voice cracked. "This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and the path ahead won't be any easier. Please try to understand," Sarah reasoned with the air.

The flowers slowly began to peek out from the bushes and bloom once again. The chill in the breeze evaporated and became a warm caress once again. The vines which had begun to droop in despair swung amiably. Sarah sighed, smiling sadly.

"Thank you. I'll come back, I promise," she vowed resolutely.

Sarah heard the rustling of the flowers as if to say farewell. The breeze sang a mournful melody, but remained pleasantly clement. Sarah turned to the gazebo, placing her hand on the side of the crystal pillar.

"Let me leave," she entreated reluctantly.
The air to the entrance of the gazebo shimmered and a door appeared between the crystal balusters. With a burdened heart and a heavy step, Sarah reached for the door, pushing it open. A long, narrow tunnel greeted her beyond the entrance. Sarah looked back longingly to the garden, which seemed to hang frozen in time as it watched her leave.

"Goodbye," Sarah whispered, her head sinking down as she somberly stepped through the door and back into the dark tunnels underneath the Labyrinth.

Sarah walked through the passages as if she had grown up in the tunnels. She knew exactly where she was going despite the darkness of the corridors. She hadn't even removed the Firey hand from her backpack. Her mind automatically knew the direction she needed to go to get out of the maze even though she'd never been down in this set of tunnels before.

A left, then another left, a right and then straight through, her mind chattered at her. Sarah was grateful her focus was distracted with directions and encumbered with the agonizing ache of missing the glorious garden. It gave her a reprieve from her thoughts about Jareth.

Speaking of Jareth, her mind whispered annoyingly.

"No!" She chastised herself. "I don't need this now."

But you have to know. You have to figure out if he was sincere or if he was using you to control the Labyrinth. You need to think about-

"Stop it!" Sarah shouted to herself, her sharp tone echoing off the stone walls. "Just stop!"


Sarah froze, blinking with surprise as a finger of dread tingled up her spine. She was no longer in the Kingdom of the Keepers and protected by their lingering magic or the Guardian. She was alone in the dark and prey to whatever lurked within its depths.

"Hello?" Sarah whispered apprehensively, squinting down the dark tunnel. She kicked herself for not having the Firey hand out now. If anything else, it would have provided her a good weapon.

"Sarah," the ghostly whisper called again. "This way."

Sarah shuddered and her arms prickled in fear as she gazed down the tunnel the voice came from. It was the voice of a woman and it was strangely familiar. She swallowed hard, debating with herself. To her right was the tunnel that would lead her to the surface of the Labyrinth. The voice which beckoned her came from her left and she had no idea what lay down that tunnel. However, despite her quandaries, Sarah felt compelled to follow the voice.

Yes, because following a strange voice down a dark tunnel in the middle of a magical realm while lost in the depths of a Labyrinth is a great idea! Her mind griped snidely.

Sarah shook her head, endeavoring to dislodge the nagging voice which had become so loud and domineering over the last few days.

Sarah decided to deviate from the path and follow the ethereal voice, much to her sensible side's chagrin. As Sarah walked, she found herself stooping lower and lower as the tunnel narrowed. Soon, she was crawling on her hands and knees, wedging herself through the constricting passage.

"This way," the voice beckoned again, much louder than before.

Sarah's breath caught in her throat as she suddenly recognized the voice. Her mouth went dry and a tremor shot through her.

The ethereal voice was her own.

She breathed out a ragged breath and continued to push through the tunnel, anxious and fearful of what awaited her on the other side.

Sarah pushed through the passage, snagging her backpack a few times before emerging from the tunnel and into a grand hallway. Sarah climbed to her feet, brushing her fingers and raggedy bandaged palms against her jeans, gawking in awe of her surroundings.

The hallway was a sight of splendor and elegance. It was something Sarah imagined being plucked from a castle or beautiful estate, not a thing to be found in an underground cavern. She appraised the walls on the side of the hallway and felt her mouth unhinge in awe.

"Wow," Sarah whispered. "There are so many mirrors!"

The left side of the hall was lined with large mirrors that extended to the floor, framed in beautiful black filigree much like the immense door Sarah saw when she had discovered the entrance to the heart of the Labyrinth.

Forgetting about the ghostly whisper of her own voice which had led her here, Sarah walked up the first mirror and gazed at herself. She hadn't seen her reflection in days and was surprised at the image she saw.

However, it was not the reflection that surprised her, but rather what the mirror showed. She stared not into her reflection, but a moment captured in time and frozen there. Sarah gaped at the image of herself in the garden. She studied the image, barely recognizing herself. Even though her face was smudged with dirt and her clothing ripped and tattered, her eyes danced with life and her cheeks glowed. She'd never seen herself so beautiful or so happy. Impulsively, she reached out and to touch the glass of the mirror when her image began to move and dance through the garden. Sarah innately recoiled, surprised by the sudden vivacity. She peered warily at the mirror, watching herself caress the flowers and smile as a child would after receiving a long awaited gift.

"What is this place?" Sarah whispered to herself, tearing her eyes away from the mirror and gazing down the length of the incredible hallway. It appeared that mirrors lined the wall for as far as she could see. Curious about what the mirrors represented, Sara moved to the next one and saw herself with the Minotaur.

As with before, the mirror began to play out the encounter between herself and the Guardian right before her eyes. Sarah moved quickly to the next mirror, witnessing each scene of her life as if it were a movie.

Memories and emotions plagued her as she saw events that were much too recent and painful to relive. She hastily avoided the mirror which showed her saying farewell to her friends. She was also incredibly determined to not experience the Chimera attack again. She picked up her pace, glancing at the mirrors which showed her things that had recently come to pass. She saw her most recent dream of Jareth, as well as meeting Prell and then Batson. Sarah cringed when she passed the mirror that had the Fireys dancing chaotically around. Distantly, Sarah wondered if the Fireys made it to the Fairy Thicket and if so, how Titania was coping with them.

Sarah realized she was nearly running through the hallway now. Everything she had ever experienced almost seemed to taunt her as she passed the mirrors. She glimpsed herself fall on the Buffo and then escape the field of deadly flowers. She continued on, seeing her past experiences blur past her until finally she came to the image of herself standing over the Labyrinth.

She stopped, staring at herself. She looked different somehow, as if the life had been drawn out of her. She appeared nothing more than a shell. She was nothing compared to the sight of herself she had just seen in the garden.

It's this place, Sarah thought. I needed it as much as it needed me.

Sarah continued to the next mirror and was astonished to see her fifteen year old self staring defiantly at Jareth as he offered her his crystal.

"What?" She asked herself, realizing that the mirrors must only recount her life as it was lived in the Labyrinth. Their magic could not extend to her world.

Sarah felt compelled to watch the scene which played silently in front of her.

"This place," Sarah mumbled to herself as she watched the mirror. "I know this place. The Hall of Memories. It was always meant for me."

Sarah had no idea how she knew this, but accepted the fact that she did, as she had been forced to do so many times since her return to the Labyrinth.

"What're you trying to tell me?" Sarah asked the image, watching the scene keenly as it played out before her.

She saw Jareth's face fall in despair as her younger self silently uttered the line that had shattered his heart and fractured his magic. He tossed his crystal ball to her and it fragmented as it touched her outstretched hand. The mirror swirled and the image went dark.

Sarah blinked in surprise, stepping back. The void only lasted a moment before the memory restarted and began to play again in an endless, agonizing loop.

Sarah was once again struck by the mournful expression of the Goblin King and began to feel a dull ache in her chest. Regardless of her qualms, there was no denying that the torment etched on Jareth's face was real. She had never seen anyone appear so broken in all her life.

Sarah unwittingly reached out, wanting to touch the image of the Goblin King. Her fingers slid through the smooth glass surface and disappeared.

Sarah retracted her hand violently, staring wide eyed and shocked at the image which rippled in response to her touch. After a moment, the image smoothed once again and continued to play as if she'd never disturbed it.

"What in the world?" Sarah murmured, tentatively reaching out and touching the mirror again. As before, her fingers dipped through the surface, rippling the image. Sarah's brow twisted in confusion.

Can I enter the mirror? Can I relive this memory and experience it as I am now?

The possibility was far too compelling to resist. Sarah set herself with steely determination, once again slowly placing her hand against what should have been the solid surface of the mirror and watching it disappear within the image. She stepped forward, watching her arm disappear and then her leg. She held her breath and braced herself for the unknown as she slid the rest of her body into the mirror.

The world twisted and bent like a kaleidoscope before finally coming into view. Sarah was greeted by fractured stones and fragments of what was once the Escher room suspended in the air around her. She spun around quickly, relieved to see that the mirror still stood behind her as a portal, rippling and waiting for her to step back through once she was done with her memory. Sarah's attention quickly focused on her younger self and Jareth. She stood witnessing the scene in amazement, her mouth still slightly unhinged in awe.

"Stop!" Jareth implored. "Wait."

Sarah's attention quickly turned to the Goblin King. She studied his demeanor. His white cape shown in the ethereal light like a beacon, a pleasant and approachable change from his usually dark clad wardrobe. His expression was worn and showed great signs of fatigue. He almost seemed to stoop before her younger self as he reached out a hand, begging her to hear him out. Sarah had never noticed the evident desperation laden in his eyes before. She hadn't remembered how haggard he looked and how utterly exhausted he must have been. Yet, underneath all that, Sarah saw a look she hadn't been able to comprehend as a teenager. Underneath Jareth's desperation and sorrow, there was an undeniable desire. He was pleading with her. He didn't know how to tell her because perhaps he didn't even understand it, but Sarah could see it as she looked upon him with experienced eyes. He was enraptured with her younger self. Underneath everything else, his eyes held nothing but love for her. Sarah looked at her former self and saw the smug, uncaring expression the child she once was wore. Again, her heart went out to the Goblin King.

"Don't you see what you've put him through?" Sarah reasoned with her younger self. "Just look at him! Look at how he's looking at you! Just hear what he has to say."

Her former self ignored her, unable to hear her pleas.

"Why aren't you listening?" Sarah shouted, agitated by the obstinance of her youthful self.

Suddenly, Titania's words surfaced in her mind again, as they had done so many times before.

Remember, that story has already been unfolded and played to its end.

"I can't change the past," Sarah mumbled to herself. "Because it's already been played out.

"Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave," the Goblin King entreated, interrupting her thoughts. He extended the crystal to her former self.

Sarah sighed unhappily, turning abruptly and fleeing through the portal. She didn't want to hear herself deny him. She stepped quickly through the mirror and walked to the next memory, unable to look back on the one she had just emerged from.

The next mirror portrayed Sarah in the Escher room. She watched the silent interaction with great interest. When she had been younger, she'd been focused on Toby and nothing else. Now, she was able to pay attention to Jareth and watch him as her younger self obsessively searched for her brother. The Goblin King stood, tall and proud, watching Sarah's former self as she endeavored to make sense of the chaotic room. Sarah stepped through the mirror as she had done before, the kaleidoscope colors twisting and then fading away until she found herself standing next to her younger version.

"Everything I've done, I've done for you." Jareth sang bitterly as he turned a corner, moving through Sarah and her former self as if an apparition. "I move the stars for no one!"

Sarah's heart flew into her throat as she watched him step off the edge of the stairs and disappear. Her former self showed little concern and continued to search for Toby. Sarah trailed herself through the memory and the maze. Jareth once again appeared in front on them.

"Your eyes can be so cruel." He sneered slightly, brandishing a crystal. "Just as I can be so cruel." He threw his crystal. Sarah watched the crystal fly across the room, bouncing against stone until it came to rest magically in Toby's infant hand.

"Toby!" Sarah's younger self shouted, giving no pause to Jareth and taking off towards her baby brother. Sarah turned her attention to the Goblin King. Jareth watched her younger self, bitterness and despair mingling within his features. He leaned forward on the ledge, peering down at the frantic young Sarah.

"Live without your sunlight," he sang, his voice strained with emotion. "Love without your heartbeat."

Sarah bit her lip, witnessing for the first time how much pain he was so obviously in.

Jareth collapsed against the arch way behind him, breathing hard. "I-I-I can't live within you."

His eyes settled on Sarah, looking right at her, but through her. Sarah gaped at him, unable to handle the guilt that shredded at her conscience. Jareth dropped his eyes, the anguish and pain etched on his face forever burned within the depths of Sarah's memory.

A sob wrenched from Sarah's throat. "Jareth," she breathed, reaching out to him. Her fingers skimmed the apparition of him before he disappeared and the memory faded to darkness.

"What have I done?" Sarah whispered, sullenly walking back to the portal which shimmered like silvery moonlit water in the black. Part of her wanted nothing more than to remain in the total dark of the memory. It would've been easier to hide from the world this way. However, she knew the memory would resume shortly and she didn't want to relive it again and again.

Why is this place here? She wondered silently as she stepped through the mirror. Why was I drawn here? What will the others show me?

Sarah wrapped her arms around herself in a kind of embrace and shuffled slowly past the other mirrors, ignoring most of the scenes. Her last few encounters had caused her memories to come flooding back to her, vivid and painfully pristine. After a moment, she stopped at one particular mirror. This one depicted the ballroom scene. Without a second thought, Sarah hastily stepped through.

The ballroom twisted into view and took shape. Sarah found herself standing next to her younger version, avidly searching for Jareth through the crowd of masked party goers. Sarah made a futile grab for herself, certain her hand would pass through as it had done when she had reached for Jareth.

To Sarah's amazement, her former self shimmered and then disappeared, leaving Sarah alone in the ballroom.

Oh, shit! Sarah thought. What'd I do?

Sarah spun around, looking for her former self when she realized she was no longer wearing her ripped jeans and cardigan. She was dressed in the same gown as her former self had been years ago.

Sarah was stunned by the revelation.

Not only can I see my memories, I can actually experience them again!

Sarah's hands clasped the dress and she felt a certain giddiness fill her at the possibility of reliving the memory. Her eyes slowly drifted over the crowd, seeking the Goblin King. She spied him across the room. He saw her as well, lowering his mask so that his steel gaze met with hers. His stare seemed to penetrate her very soul and Sarah felt her lips part in wonderment.

A couple danced in front of Jareth, obscuring her view of him. When they had passed, Jareth had disappeared. Sarah craned her head, searching the crowd for him, but he had disappeared. Sarah struggled to make her way through the jovial dancers, desperately pursuing the Goblin King. Despite her urgency, the dancers laughed and cackled at her, mocking her desire and haste. A few of them tried to detain her with cheap parlor tricks or simply appeared to vindictively step in her way.

Sarah became frustrated as the Goblin King continued to elude her. She pushed against the leering masked dancers, catching only sparse glimpses of Jareth before he would vanish again. Overwhelmed by the oppressive nature of the crowd, she staggered into the middle of the room. The masked party goers surrounded Sarah, capturing her as they danced around at a dizzying pace. Sarah's heart dropped. She feared she would never find Jareth through the myriad of masked people and wondered if she had somehow altered the memory. Just as she was about to give up and search for the portal back to the Hall of Memories, a plume of feathers caught her eye and Sarah turned to them just in time to see the feather fan retracted. Jareth stood calmly, intently staring at her as a masked dancer languished her head affectionately against his shoulder.

Once again, Sarah felt her lips part under the intensity of his gaze. Without a word, the Goblin King pushed away from the masked minion which clung to him and sauntered up to Sarah, fluidly sliding his hand across her hip. Sarah was overjoyed that his touch was warm and real.

Sarah's hand lifted on its own, resting on his shoulder while she found her other hand firmly grasped in his grip as he skillfully led her into a dance. The party goers, which had been so oppressive only moments before, now dispersed and gave them room, allowing her and the Goblin King to float along the ballroom floor. Sarah was enraptured by the dance, her eyes unable to leave the beautiful face which beheld her. Jareth's lips parted and he sang softly to her, promising to be there for her as the world fell down.

Sarah was hypnotized by the movement of his lips and was seized with an agonizing desire to touch them with her own. She completely forgot that she was reliving a memory already gone and in the past. In this moment, Jareth seemed incredibly real and tangible. All Sarah could think about was her desire to touch him, to feel his lips against hers. She wanted to feel his tender touch more than anything she had ever wanted in her life.

Jareth leaned into her, as if he intended to kiss her, but then drew back slightly, reconsidering. His multi-colored eyes searched hers for acceptance and permission. Sarah's breath quickened as the ballroom seemed to spin out of focus and the masked faces became a blur.

"Kiss me," she entreated breathlessly.

Jareth's lips pulled into his charming, but wicked smile as he began to lean into her slowly. Sarah longed for the agony to end and turn into the sweet satisfaction his lips promised.

Before his lips met hers, the large clock let out a thunderous tone and Sarah remembered that this was a memory and it was about to end.

"No," she whispered ardently. "Not this time."

She moved her hand from Jareth's shoulder, wrapping her fingers around his neck and pulling his lips down against hers. She desperately wanted to erase the memory of her escape and replace it with that of a long awaited kiss. However, there are some things that cannot be changed. Sarah felt the soft graze of Jareth's lips against her own before she became nothing more than an apparition in her own memory once again. She stumbled, no longer holding onto Jareth, the near kiss still tingling against her lips like a nasty taunt.

"No," she moaned unhappily, watching her former self race through the crowd and grab a chair.

"NO!" Sarah cried out as she watched her younger self fling the chair into the crystal sphere which had held them in the dream. The memory abruptly went dark and she was once again left alone within the darkness of the memory passed.

"That was foolish of me," she scolded herself, as her heart dipped into despair. She touched her lips, still feeling the ghostly whisper of his caress upon them. "I should've known better."

Burdened by bleak disappointment, Sarah retreated through the portal and back into the Hall of Memories.

She turned back to the mirror and watched the ballroom shimmer back into view.

Is this just here to torment me? She wondered. Is this my penance for my youthful naivety?

Sarah sighed heavily and plodded down the hallway, wondering what new and terrible heartbreak the images would bring next. After sometime, she finally came upon the last mirror and saw herself standing with Jareth as he showed her the Labyrinth. Sarah saw her young self, so frightened and confused, but obstinate at the same time. The Goblin King towered over her, smug and self serving. Sarah noted that there was no love in his eyes for her at that moment, only extreme curiosity.

"So, this is where it all began," Sarah whispered to herself. It almost seemed unfitting to her that this was how her story had started.

"Why is this here?" Sarah wondered aloud as she watched the scene on the last mirror. "What is this meant to show me?"

Something glinted against the wall at the end of the hallway. Sarah blinked in surprise. She hadn't noticed it had come to an end. She approached the wall and noticed a solitary mirror against it. She cocked her head in confusion and curiosity. Unlike the other mirrors, this one was covered by a dark, sheer cloth.

"What?" Sarah murmured, stepping up to the mirror. An obscured scene played out behind the cloth which hung over the mirror. Sarah tentatively pulled on the gossamer material, suddenly stricken with unease. She feared what the mirror might show her and why it was covered. The material slipped quickly from the mirror, revealing a memory Sarah didn't even know belonged to her.

The scene depicted Jareth on his throne. He sat tall, deadly and beautiful, gazing down warmly at a very young, dark haired child who played at his feet. Sarah's breath caught in her throat and she nearly choked on the realization as it struck her like a brick. The child looked up and she saw her face, but Sarah didn't need to see the child's face to know who she was.

That's me! Her mind screamed.

"What?!" Sarah breathed, shocked as her mind incoherently babbled questions with no explanations. "It can't be. What does this mean? Have I been here before?"

Before Sarah could even contend with the whirlwind of questions that assaulted her mind, a woman came into view. She appeared to be confronting Jareth. Sarah was unable to see her face as the woman's back was turned to her, but something about the woman seemed incredibly familiar.

"Who're you?" Sarah muttered softly, her mind still spinning. "I know you."

Sarah drew closer to the mirror, enthralled by the scene which played out in front of her.

"Look at me," she whispered. "Let me see your face."

As if bidden by the request, the woman turned and Sarah was able to see her face. Sarah's hands flew up to her mouth, suppressing the cry of genuine shock and surprise that leapt from her throat.

The face of her mother peered back at her.

Return to the Labyrinth

A Labyrinth Story
by ArtemisFallen

Part 16 of 24

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