Continuing Tales

Return to the Labyrinth

A Labyrinth Story
by ArtemisFallen

Part 22 of 24

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Leverage: A Christmas Tale

Sarah hesitated outside the portal, all too aware of what awaited her just beyond its shimmering depths. An end waited for her, one she knew she wasn't quite prepared for.

Be true to your heart. Titania's words echoed in her mind. There can be no doubt.
However, there was doubt, lots of it. Sarah didn't know how to be true to her heart when she had no idea how she actually felt.

Am I more afraid of facing Jareth than I am Euryale? She wondered curiously. She wasn't sure. Sarah sighed despondently, steeling herself for the inevitable showdown. There was no more time for questions, no more time for indecision. The end had come swiftly and she couldn't delay it any longer. It was time to face Euryale. It was time to end this once and for all.

Sarah stepped through the rippling passage and into the throne room. She pulled the spear up defensively, her eyes warily scanning the room for any trace of Euryale. She took a step forward, her gaze landing on a lone figure in the room. Jareth.

He remained chained to the floor, but he was not the shell of a man he had been the last time she had seen him. The pallor had dissipated and a healthy hue of color had once again graced his skin. He looked vibrant and alive. His eyes were closed, as if he were meditating, endeavoring to recover the strength which gradually returned to him.

"Jareth?" Sarah called out cautiously, wondering if it was truly the Goblin King who knelt chained to the floor. She was all too aware of Euryale's capacity for deception and she wasn't about to fall into a trap.

Jareth opened his eyes, lifting them to Sarah. They gleamed like precious jewels, shining brightly with hope and salvation.

"Sarah," he whispered. Her name sounded like a blessing from his lips. She edged forward another step and stopped when she saw the relief in Jareth's face evaporate, replaced by concern and fear.

"Sarah, behind you!" He shouted, rattling his chains as he struggled to stand.

Sarah moved, but not soon enough. Sharp, sinister teeth, which had been aimed for her neck, sank ruthlessly into the muscle between her shoulder and neck. The teeth cut into the soft flesh, digging in brutally, ripping and shredding as they pulled at her skin without releasing their hold.

Sarah screamed in immense pain, releasing the spear as she clawed at her attacker. The weapon clattered down the stairs, rolling to a halt on the smooth floor.

White hot pain shot through Sarah's shoulder and arm, sparking to the ends of her fingertips with each forceful, shredding tug.

Sarah's mind raced as she struggled against her assailant, fiendishly clawing at the creature which held her captive. Through the haze of pain, Sarah remembered the thistles Titania had given her. She thrust her hand into the pocket of her cardigan, grabbing them quickly. Her hand shook violently as she closed her fists around the thorns tightly, bringing them up behind her and driving them into the face of the aggressor.

A scream of agony nearly shattered her eardrum as Sarah felt the teeth release her shoulder. She fell forward, cascading down the stairs. She bounced painfully against her side, unable to catch her breath before another stair spiked her in the ribs. Finally, she landed hard on her back at the bottom of the steps and her world ceased to spin out of control.

She gasped in tortured breaths, clutching her ribs as she rolled into a ball riddled with torment.

"Sarah!" Jareth called again, rattling his chains harder.

Sarah opened her eyes, her vision blurred by the severity of her maladies. She looked to the top of the stairs from which she had just tumbled and saw her attacker swim in and out of focus. It was Euryale. Sarah felt a small amount of triumph as she saw Euryale struggle to pull out the thistles she'd implanted deeply into the Gorgon's Queen's cheek.

"Nice try, child," Euryale growled. "But I don't suffer from the same affliction as my Chimera."

Sarah struggled to her knees, every breath a burden against her bruised ribs. Her shoulder throbbed with an intense heat. She gingerly placed her hand against the skin, her fingers coming back wet and slick with blood. She swayed on her knees, nearly collapsing to the ground. The dizziness gripped her with an iron first, making her feel nauseous and discombobulated.

"Euryale!" Jareth yelled, struggling vainly against his bonds. "It's me you want! Leave her out of this!"

"It's too late for that," Euryale snarled, successfully yanking the last of the thorns from her cheek. "The girl must die."

Sarah's head swam dangerously and she shook herself hard, forcing her mind to clear.

Gotta get up, she told herself distantly. Gotta fight her. Gotta defend myself. The spear. Where's the spear?

Sarah lurched to her feet, her lungs screaming with the effort. She began to search frantically for the weapon, her eyes falling upon it a short distance from where she had landed. Agonizingly, she ran for it.

"No! Sarah!" Jareth called, warning her too late. Just as Sarah's fingers closed around the shaft of the weapon, Euryale's body collided with Sarah's, causing the spear to launch from her hand and skitter noisily across the floor. Sarah fell, rolling to her side and gasping as a new kind of agony flared up and through her chest.

She groaned, struggling to take in a breath as her lungs and ribs denied her the simple task. Before Sarah could recover, Euryale's tail slithered around her, tightening cruelly about her abdomen. Sarah whimpered pitifully, red fireworks of pain exploding before her eyes, quickly followed by wispy patches of black.

Euryale drew Sarah close, squeezing her even tighter. Sarah's whole body became ablaze and tingled in sheer torment as it was being crushed under the vise like pressure of Euryale's tail.

"This belongs to me now," Euryale hissed, reaching for the pendant.

"Sarah, she can't!" Jareth yelled. "You're stronger than her. Fight back!"

Sarah wavered in and out of semi consciousness. She focused on Euryale, wishing with all her might that the horrible creature would release her.

"!" Sarah rasped, concentrating all her fury into the pendant which coursed powerfully against her chest.

A brilliant light shot from the pendant, burning perhaps brighter than the sun itself. Sarah wrenched her head away from the overpowering light, shutting her eyes against it. Euryale screamed in shock and surprise, her tail mercifully uncoiling and releasing Sarah from its hold.

Sarah crumpled heavily to the ground, sucking in several deep, gasping breaths despite the protest from her lungs and ribs.

"It burns!" Euryale screeched, thrusting her hands to her bleeding face. "It burns!"
With every ounce of energy she had left, Sarah rolled away from Euryale, striving to get to her feet. "Helping hands, I need you!" She cried out hoarsely, reaching for the spear. "Now!"

Euryale lowered her hands in time to see Sarah position the blunt end of the spear at her. Sarah swung the spear hard, cracking Euryale solidly across the face. The Gorgon Queen teetered back unsteadily, flailing helplessly as a hole appeared beneath her. Strong, ivory hands stretched up and seized the writhing Gorgon Queen.

"What is this?!" She howled, clawing and struggling against the pull of the hands as they strove to drag her down into the hole.

Sarah turned the spear, pressing the sharp, metal blade roughly against Euryale's throat. The Gorgon Queen stilled immediately, her golden eyes setting on Sarah, smoldering contemptuously.

"I warned you," Sarah growled through clenched teeth, biting past her pain. "I gave you a chance to leave. You will not get another."

"Strike me down if you dare!" Euryale spat, challenging Sarah by exposing her throat to the blade.

More than happy to oblige the insidious creature, Sarah drew back the spear, aiming for Euryale's throat.

"No! Sarah! Stop!" Jareth called frantically. "Don't do it!"

"Why not?" Sarah shouted, quaking with pure abhorrence. She'd never felt such contempt for any creature as she did for the Gorgon Queen. She had never wanted anyone dead before. Until now. "Why shouldn't I kill her?"

"Because you can't kill her," Jareth answered morosely. "You can't kill her, Sarah. Her death will be your curse." Jareth's voice was soft and pleading. "You'll be turned to stone."

Sarah's breath caught in her throat and the spear trembled weakly in her hand. A smug look of triumph crested over Euryale's mouth which still shone bright with Sarah's blood.

"You'll die, Sarah," Jareth continued gently. "You'll die."

The tormented breath which hung in her throat finally broke free, escaping with a small, pathetic whimper. Euryale hadn't been lying after all. Her death carried with it a curse. If Sarah were to kill the Gorgon Queen, she would be turned to stone.

She took a heavy step back from Euryale, the spear falling from her numb, trembling fingers.

The Gorgon Queen glared at Sarah, an undeserved mien of victory painted on her face. "I knew you were weak."

Sarah blinked away the bitter tears of anguish and frustration that began to cloud her vision. "Euryale, wretched Gorgon Queen," she began, striving to find the strength in her voice. "I banish you from this place and condemn you to the blackness of the oubliette for the rest of your days as penance for the crimes you have committed against the Labyrinth. It is there you shall perish, reviled and eventually forgotten."

Euryale fought against the hands as they began to descend her into the pit. "You won't be rid of me so easily, foolish child! I will not rest until the blood drains from your body and your precious Labyrinth is nothing more than a blackened wasteland!"

Sarah scoffed lightly. "You know, I pity you. You once claimed to me that you had a heart, a heart that could feel love, a heart that could be broken; but I know now that nothing so precious could ever exist within the likes of you. You could never know what it is like to love and for that, I pity you."

"What gives you the right to pity me?" Euryale screeched, twisting ineffectively against the hold of the hands. "I am not the one foolish enough to be blinded by a love that never existed! You think you've won? You think you have beaten me? We have both lost! The only one who has gained anything is him!" She wrenched against the hands, casting an accusatory finger in Jareth's direction. "He has deceived us both."

Sarah closed her eyes, the poison of Euryale's words coursing along the raw and tender nerves of her body. She tried to shake them off, but they only needled at the doubt which already blossomed inside her. "Goodbye, Euryale," Sarah said, turning away from the Gorgon Queen. "May something have mercy upon your black soul, for I have none."

"Do not turn your back to me!" Euryale cried threateningly.

Sarah did her best to ignore her, continuing in a slow, determined pace towards the tethered Goblin King. He beheld her with pure wonder and amazement.

"Well done," he whispered, the relief heavily evident in his tone.

Sarah dropped to her knees, disregarding the incessant throbbing of every muscle in her body. Her movements felt stiff and mechanical, only achieved through the sheer willpower to finish what she'd started.

Jareth leaned his head against her uninjured shoulder and a whirlwind of emotions threatened to break Sarah down. However, she was far too exhausted and numb to even begin contending with them.

"Where's the key?" She asked flatly.

Jareth lifted his head, his beautiful eyes searching hers. "There, on the seat of the throne."

Sarah lifted her eyes, seeing for the first time the key which sat upon the plush and velvet seat. She scoffed, anger and annoyance stirring weakly within her. It hadn't been enough to simply torture Jareth, Euryale had felt the need to place the object of his freedom so close to him with the knowledge that it was completely unobtainable. Sarah had a word for such a creature, but was too fatigued to utter it. Instead, she groaned, pushing up against her thigh and carrying herself over to the throne seat. She snatched the key from the cushion, fleetingly wondering how marvelous it would be to sink into such plush velvety-ness and simply drift away from the world for a little while. Rejecting the desire, she turned her attention back to Jareth.

She stooped over with the grace and dignity of an arthritic, sliding the key into the shackles and hearing the satisfying click of their release before they clattered to the floor. Jareth's wrists were swollen and raw, taking on a marred red and purple hue. He ignored his injuries, his hands immediately seeking her face. His fingers wove gratefully through her hair as she released the lock on his legs.

After he was unshackled, Sarah finally brought herself to look into his eyes which had not left her face since she'd returned with the key. He beheld her with such clarity and reverence that it nearly broke her heart. Part of her longed to collapse into his arms, to give herself over to him so utterly and completely. However, there was a part of her which warned of his deceit. He was, after all, the same Goblin King she had seen in the Hall of Memories with her mother. The same Goblin King who had deceived a desperate and dangerous creature into a one sided love affair. Although he did appear to love Sarah at one point in time, did that love still exist? If so, was it an honest love? Or was she simply a means to an end, a gateway into harnessing great, unbridled power?

Jareth smiled at her, the corner of his mouth rising in his beautiful, predatory way. "Oh, my sweet, Sarah," he whispered, gathering her up in his arms and pulling her to him.

Sarah allowed him to embrace her, feeling the warmth of his cheek against her own. He nuzzled her gently, breathing in the scent of her skin and hair. His lips brushed tantalizingly over her brow, his chin sliding over her lips in an intimate dance.

Sarah's stomach fluttered and she couldn't deny the attraction she still held for him remained vehemently within her. However, attraction wasn't enough of a reason to forgo or quell her misgivings.

"Come on," she urged, wrapping her arms around Jareth's waist. "Let's get you out of here."

She endeavored to support Jareth while he stood. He was unsteady on his feet, wobbling as a young fawn learning to take its first steps would. He leaned heavily on Sarah and she winced as a fresh torrent of fire shot through her shoulder.

Once Jareth regained his balance, he braced himself against her forearms, gazing at her with what appeared to be deep affection. She held him by his waist, realizing just how thin he'd become. Jareth risked removing one hand from her arm and reached for her face, slowly drawing his fingertips across the bottom of her lip. His touch left a tingling sensation that almost singed her skin.

"You came back for me," he breathed, appearing revitalized by her mere presence.

Sarah gazed up at the elated Goblin King, the touch of his fingers leaving a ghostly whisper that lingered as he stroked her cheek. Again, her heart strained against her logic and the guard she'd placed in her mind to protect herself. She desperately wanted to release all her reservations and get lost in him. She wanted to be able to take Titania's advice and either give herself over to him completely or let him go. She knew who the Goblin King was. He wasn't the villain, nor was he the hero in her story. He walked a fine, delicate line between both. Could she really allow herself to love such a creature? Moreover, could she ever really trust anything he told her without believing it was for his own benefit?

No, she thought to herself with a horrible sinking feeling. Her stomach twisted in sick knots. Because I don't trust him.

"How I've dreamt of this very moment," Jareth whispered, lowering his lips to her forehead once again, tracing them over her skin. "How I've longed for this very touch of yours." His mouth ran down the bridge of her nose and his breath sang hotly against her lips. "How I've ached for your love."

Sarah shuddered, imagining what it would be like to drift into his lips, to forget all she had learned and simply give into her desire. An unbidden flash of Steven entered her mind. She remembered the pain and heartache she had suffered as he walked out the door. The sudden memory sobered Sarah. If she were to submit and give her heart to Jareth now and he broke it, that would be it for her. She knew she would never recover from such devastation. She couldn't allow herself to be hurt again. She needed to know where he stood. Sarah needed him to prove to her that she was not merely a way of reclaiming and enhancing his power. But how could he ever prove himself?

Sarah knew she was being unreasonable and stubborn, but she felt entitled to the feeling given everything she had endured.

"Say it, Sarah," Jareth whispered ardently, his lips sensually brushing against hers as the words left his mouth. His fingers drifted under her chin, gently guiding her mouth to his. "Tell me you need me as I need you." He gazed into her eyes fiercely, sagging against her weakly. "Tell me you love me."

A silent alarm triggered within Sarah as the flames of her doubt and indecision flared higher. She could feel just how frail Jareth really was. She was practically supporting all his weight. Despite the reclamation of the pendant Sarah still wore, the Goblin King was far from recovered. His powers were still severely depleted and on the verge of nonexistent. Given his weakened state, he would say anything, do anything to regain his power. Wouldn't he?

Sarah sucked in a trembling breath, unable to say the words that she knew would save him.

"Why do you hesitate?" Jareth asked, distress registering in his voice. He drifted away from her, his expression laden with concern. "I love you, Sarah," he said fervently, his eyes piercing hers.

Sarah swallowed hard, the words that left her mouth felt bitter and chalky. She regretted them the moment they left her lips. "Do you?"

Jareth's face fell in despair and his eyes shown as tortured depths plunged into ruin. Sarah's brow furrowed and she dropped her gaze from his, unable to handle the pain and devastation his expression showered upon her.

"How?" Jareth tremored. "How can you ask me that?" He gasped in pain, his knees buckling. Sarah did her best to keep him upright, struggling against his weight and her own aching muscles and fatigue.

" doubt me?" His voice was shattered, thick with the betrayal of Sarah's reluctance and doubt. She couldn't help but feel she had broken his heart all over again. The memory of her rejection from the last time she was in the Labyrinth flooded her mind. She truly was a cruel creature.

"Jareth, I-I-" She began feebly, incapable of explaining her distrust with a simple explanation.

Jareth groaned, falling against her heavily. Unable to support his weight any longer, Sarah allowed him to sink to his knees in front of her.

Jareth clutched her hand, looking up at her with haunted, pleading eyes. "What must I do?" He gasped in obvious pain. "What must I do to prove myself to you?"

"I-I don't know," Sarah stuttered lamely, beginning to hate herself for the pain she was causing him. If only she was able to let go of her damnable pride, she could bring his suffering to an end. If only she could bring herself to listen to Titania's advice.

"You know not, but yet you are still mired by uncertainty?" Jareth whispered. His expression was enough to break Sarah's own heart. "Am I that lost to you?"

A crack began to form in her guard, a tiny fracture that began to spread throughout her until it reached her heart. Perhaps it was she who was truly lost. No matter how much she strove against it, she knew that eventually she would be lost to Jareth. There was no escaping him after all.

"Jareth," Sarah sobbed.

A deep resonating laughter tore Sarah's attention from the waning Goblin King. She turned in shock to see Euryale rising from the hole like an unholy phoenix, ripping herself free of the iron grasp of the helping hands.

"A seed of doubt is what I planted," she taunted. "Watch how it flourishes and grows."

An icy tendril of fear gripped Sarah by the throat and her self loathing deepened to her very core as she finally understood. Euryale had played upon Sarah's tribulations, somehow knowing that she would question everything she thought she knew. The icy chill spread through Sarah's chest as she realized that Euryale had never actually been defeated. She was stronger than the hands which held her at bay. This entire scenario had been strategically planned. Euryale had been biding her time, waiting for Sarah to execute her next move.

Euryale had wanted to see Sarah break the Goblin King's heart.

I am a fool, Sarah thought desolately.

Euryale grabbed the discarded spear, moving with a frenzied speed that was impossible for Sarah to comprehend. Sarah stood, rigid and frozen, waiting for the spear to pierce her heart and take her away from this world of pain she had created for herself.

"Sarah!" Jareth yelled, using what little reserves of energy he had left to stand. He grabbed Sarah by the arm, thrusting her roughly out of harm's way. Before Sarah could register what was happening, she found herself tumbling through the air, landing hard on her injured shoulder.

She cried out as she struck the ground, raising her tear filled eyes in time to see Jareth conjure a crystal ball. The ball had hardly caressed his fingertips when it shattered, becoming a great sword with a long, sharp, intricate blade. Jareth barely had time to wield the weapon before Euryale was upon him.

She struck at Jareth with the spear. With no small amount of effort, he deflected the blow, repelling Euryale and causing her to falter from the impact. Jareth staggered, falling to his knees and panting heavily.

"Stop!" Sarah shouted, struggling to her knees. "You're not strong enough!"

Jareth ignored her, bracing himself against the sword and rising unsteadily to his feet. He stood protectively between Sarah and Euryale, his sword dipping feebly in front of him.

"You're weak!" Euryale snarled. "You cannot shield her from me!"

She lashed out again, meeting Jareth's sword with the spear. The colliding weapons made a dull clash which resounded loudly throughout the empty throne room. Jareth grunted, successfully parrying the blow. He struggled diligently to keep his balance. Perspiration lined his brow as he glared at the Gorgon Queen.

"Leave Sarah out of this," Jareth reiterated, his words ragged as he took in quick, short breaths. "It's me. I am the one you want."

Euryale's lip curled in an ugly sneer. She flew at the Goblin King, striking at him directly. With great effort, Jareth raised his sword and the blade met with the spear. Euryale pushed against the sword and Jareth resisted as they became locked in a battle of strength and endurance. Jareth groaned with exertion, faltering and losing his footing. He slid down to one knee while Euryale leered over him like a sadistic predator.

"Stop it, please!" Sarah cried out, feeling powerless and weak as she watched the scene play out in front of her. "Euryale, I beg of you, stop! Take me! Leave him alone!"

Euryale's golden eyes slid from Jareth's strained expression and focused on Sarah. An repulsive, sly smile spread across her reptilian mouth.

"You hear her beg?" Euryale asked Jareth in a mocking, high timbered voice. "She will beg me every single day to end her life. The torture you endured will seem a paradise compared to the hellish depths I will unleash upon her." Her golden eyes focused once again on Jareth. "I will never stop," she vowed. "I will make sure each moment of her life is filled with every horror I can conjure!"

Sarah felt rocked by the threat. The depths of hate Euryale harbored for her were simply unfathomable. Sarah reached for the pendant and held it tightly.

I can't let this happen, she thought. I need to do something. I have to stop her.

"I will never stop," Euryale reiterated, leaning her weight heavily on the failing Goblin King, enjoying his submission.

"I know," Jareth strained, his voice tremoring with exertion. Jareth turned his head slightly, his eyes falling to Sarah. A deep sadness radiated from them. "I know," he repeated softly, the strain leaving his voice.

Time seemed to come to a screeching halt as a harrowing realization began to manifest within Sarah. She gazed back into Jareth's eyes, reading in them his full intent. An intent she could not control or dissuade no matter how much magic she possessed.

"No," she mumbled numbly, shaking her head. "You can't!"

"For you," Jareth whispered serenely, his eyes beholding her as if she were his entire world. "I can." He gave her his most coveted smile as the normal flow of time resumed once more. "Farewell, my Sarah."

"Jareth!" Sarah screamed loudly, reaching out a hand in vain to stop him. Once again, the self deprecation stirred violently within her. She had questioned his affections and had wanted him to unequivocally prove his love for her. Now, he was about to do just that. The Goblin King intended on sacrificing himself for her.

Sarah finally had the answer to her long sought and all encompassing question, but the knowledge didn't bring with it the happy release she had hoped for. All it brought was massive amounts of anguish and heartbreak. The same heartbreak she had so desperately tried to spare herself of by distancing herself from the Goblin King. A stabbing, cold, harsh deep seeded hatred for her very being welled up within her as she recalled all the things she had said and done to the man who she could clearly and undeniably see loved her.

Sarah watched the Goblin King as if she were frozen, seemingly rooted firmly in place by some unseen force or magic.

Jareth allowed his knee to buckle, sliding his sword up and splintering the spear in twain, sending Euryale spiraling forward as he slipped fluidly out to the side of her. Euryale's eyes flashed wildly, surprised by the move. She shot forward, colliding heavily with the ground. She twisted around, unable to comprehend the strength and finesse the Goblin King exhibited.

As she spun against the floor, Jareth raised his sword high, plunging the blade smoothly and deeply into the Gorgon Queen's chest.

Euryale faltered, bringing her hands up to the blade, grasping it in horror and disbelief. A wail began to rupture from her throat, a high pitched sound of torment, fury, and defeat. She began to writhe beneath the sword, convulsing as a snake would once its head had been severed from its body. Her skin sizzled, burning bright orange and then darkening as it charred into black and gray ash. Sarah watched in horror as Euryale's skin flaked soundlessly into the air and disappeared with a tiny flurry of smoke.

"You!" Euryale wheezed, the rattle of death deep within her chest. "I… curse… you."

Sarah swallowed hard, her eyes glued to the golden depths which burned fiercely with unparalleled hatred. Euryale's eyes began to glow like the dying light of coal embers before turning to gray ash, wisping away into the air and vanishing without a trace. Jareth's sword clattered to the ground as the last pieces of the Gorgon Queen disintegrated.

Finally, Sarah was able to tear her eyes away from the grotesque flameless pyre of death. She looked to Jareth and felt her heart leap into her throat. His legs had begun turning a paltry slate gray. He groaned as he endeavored to take an unsteady step toward Sarah.

"No!" Sarah moaned, jumping to her feet, breaking the paralysis which had firmly gripped her moments before. The muscles in her legs protested the harsh movements and she stumbled, but regained her balance quickly as she limped to the Goblin King.

Jareth staggered, gazing at Sarah. A small, serene smile drew across his lips and his eyes filled with a gentle acceptance.

Sarah was moving quickly now, her hand reaching for the Goblin King. "Jareth!" She cried, panic and despair entering her voice.

Jareth reached for her as well, the stone gray swiftly enveloping his abdomen and chest. He strained against the transformation.

"I… never… stopped…," he uttered haltingly as the stone crept up his neck.

Sarah reached him, her hand entwining with his. Jareth's fingers curled lightly around her hand as the stone made its way through his arm, turning his warm, soft touch cold and rigid beneath her own. Sarah gawked in disbelief at the transformation, watching as his very eyes, which lingered on her, faded, replacing the brilliant multicolored jewels with a flat, unremarkable gray.

Sarah stared uncomprehendingly as everything that had once been the Goblin King evanesced, replaced by hard, heavy stone. Sarah grasped at the hand which still held firmly to hers, searching for any signs of warmth and life.

"No," she moaned, shaking her head incredulously. "No, you can't be gone. You can't."

Sarah reached for the face of the statue. It remained cold and hard under her touch. She gasped, bringing her hand back to her mouth as she stifled a sob.

Euryale had gotten the revenge she'd sought on both Sarah and Jareth. The Gorgon Queen's death placed a curse on her slayer, turning him to stone. However, Euryale knew the weight of such a curse would not only be suffered by her executioner, but also by the one left behind.

Sarah, in all her folly, had doubted Jareth in the end and the knowledge of her final betrayal caused her to wither and shrivel inside.

"It's my fault," she whispered, a bitter and bilious revulsion for herself rising steadily. "I promised I'd save you, but look what I've done."

She swallowed hard, hoping beyond hope that there was a magic deep inside her which would break the curse.

"There has to be a way," Sarah muttered, gripping the pendant with her free hand. "There has to be a way to bring you back."

The effigy of Jareth moved under her hand. A wonderful feeling of elation and hope soared through Sarah, causing a wide smile to break out over her lips. However, her hopes were thoroughly dashed, replaced by overwhelming despair as she realized why the statue appeared to be moving.

It was falling.

Return to the Labyrinth

A Labyrinth Story
by ArtemisFallen

Part 22 of 24

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