Continuing Tales

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 19 of 24

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The Debt


The ride back to the castle beyond the Goblin City was uneventful for Jareth. He rode straight though the first night in order to be back at the castle late the following evening. Already his goblins had polished their armor and pulled swords, cannons, spears and other weaponry from storage. Goblins weren't very intelligent creatures but one thing Jareth had learned about them and had come to admire was that they were loyal and very protective of their homes. He had no doubt that they would fight to the last to protect their King, their land and their own. Jareth dressed Esperance in armor and he dressed himself in black with a thick, black leather chest plate. His father's sword was on his hip. Everything was ready. Now it was time to wait.

* * * * *

Sarah awakened in her cot within the temple. It was still dark within the stone building but that didn't mean it wasn't day. Her part of the temple faced the mountain and very little light ventured forth. She stretched and got out of her 'bed' and moved to a small pan with fresh water. She splashed the water onto her face and felt refreshed. She dressed quickly and left her part of the temple to go outside. It was going to be another beautiful sunny day. The sun had just risen over the horizon and it cast strange shadows as it touched the jagged rocks of the mountain. She shivered at the cool morning air. Riley was attending to the horses as he had the day before. He kept himself busy by caring for them. There was not much to do here. She turned to face the gateway to the temple and for a moment she could picture Jareth and Esperance before they had left her. She wondered where he was and if he was ok. He must be at the castle by now. She turned back to watch Riley and a hand covered her mouth. She struggled but whoever held her was strong. A figure dressed in armor crept up behind Riley and Sarah tried to make as much noise as she could to warn him. Riley glanced up, his eyes wide with horror when he saw Sarah and then the hilt of a sword crashed upon his head. He fell to the ground with a sick thud. * * * * Jareth paced in front of the group of goblins assembled before him. He sensed something was very wrong. Aiden had not arrived with his forces as he promised and he counted on Aiden to help defeat Farris. Only united together would their armies be victorious. He stopped his pacing and gazed up at the mountains in the distance. He wondered what his beautiful Sarah was doing. He had been away from her for only 2 days and he missed her so much, his heart ached. There was a shout from within the goblins and Jareth looked up to see that in the near distance horses and riders approached. Farris' men. Jareth straightened himself to full height and forced his thoughts of Sarah to the back of his mind. He needed to concentrate if he was to defeat Farris and see Sarah again. He shouted to a group of goblins who went scurrying into the nearing woods to hide and come around. Jareth mounted Esperance and waited. Soon very soon, everything would begin or end.

* * * *

When her captor made no motions Sarah bit the hand that covered her mouth. There was a male scream of anguish and she spun around to face a young elf man who gripped his hand. He looked familiar but she didn't know how.

"You fools. Can you not even hold a human woman?" That voice, so familiar but so cold and cruel. Sarah spun to face the newcomer and her jaw dropped.

Standing before her, hair pulled into a pony tail, a leather band around the head, and dressed in pants and coat with arrows and a bow was none other then Metta.

"What's wrong 'Lady Sarah'? Oh, but you never expected that the na

"How could you? Who?"

"Oh come now, you beat Jareth's Labyrinth, you must some brains."

"You work for Farris, don't you?" The fear hit her for a moment and she forced it away.

"Very good." She purred.

'But, but.."

"But..but." Metta mimicked in her usual soft voice. "Really Sarah, I think you were the one who was na

Sarah grew angry and prepared to charge the elf woman, but she was held back by strong hands again. This time they didn't clamp her mouth but held her roughly by the shoulders.

"Jareth was hurting so badly because you defeated him, it was easy to get him to feel pity for us and go into his services."

'It was all a setup. Farris sent you to work for Jareth so you could spy on him." The realization was said quietly.

Metta clapped her hands together as if complimenting someone on a performance well done. "What do you think, Lior what should we give her? A medal or a chest to pin it on?" The elf who held her laughed.

"Farris is a brilliant Fae. He knew that Jareth would be vulnerable after he was defeated. Part of his Kingdom was destroyed so Farris didn't want it just yet. He sent us to work for him and then I could not have overheard a better thing. Jareth talking to Aiden and revealing his plan to claim you by way of the debt. It was easy to convince Farris to wait and hold off until you came. Jareth is at his weakest. He will fall easily and if he doesn't he will soon after. I must say, that little display between you and Jareth before he left was perfect. He will not hurt Farris as long as Farris keeps you prisoner. The dark lord will make him grovel at his feet, embarrass him in court again, take his kingdom and all because Jareth would give up everything for you. The magics of the past only know why he would waste so much on such a pitiful creature. Humans have no place here. And they never will. Jareth will realize the truth or he will die. Then again, he might just die anyway!"

"You're sick! All of you are sick and twisted!" Sarah cried out angrily.

Metta laughed. "Think what you wish little mortal. Once Farris has his way with you, that spirit your precious Jareth loves so much will be gone. Gag her, bind her hands and feet and put her in the wagon. We must hurry if we are to reach Darkwood before the Lord returns from defeating the Goblin King."

Another elf moved toward her with a white cloth in his hands. "JARETH!!!!" Sarah's cry echoed through the mountains. It was the last thing she said before the cloth was forced into her mouth and tied tightly behind her head.

* * * *

Esperance staggered on three legs and finally collapsed to the ground beneath Jareth. His faithful steed had taken a spear and 6 arrows before finally falling. Jareth leapt from his back, rolling to the ground. He nearly cried out as he watched the horse fall to his side. The horse's breathing was labored and a few moments later the white stallion lay completely still. After enduring 2 days of battle, the mighty stallion was dead.

There was blood in his spiky blond hair, some of his own, most belonging to others. He gazed around him and saw that his goblins were retreating. Farris' army was too much for them. They had heeded his advice for once that they should flee rather then be slaughtered like animals. He gazed wildly around at the edges of the woods and fields. Where was Aiden with his army?

"Ready to give up Goblin King?" his title was spat with disgust and Jareth looked up to see Farris sitting on the back of a black horse. The dark lord was grinning deviously. "Be a smart boy and give up."

'Never." Jareth said calmly controlling his fury.

'Oh I think you will want to surrender. I've just come into possession of something I've wanted. Something of yours and I hear it is something dear to you. Something you gained for your own just recently."

Jareth's eyes widened.

"That's right Goblin King. I have your little mortal lover." Farris's blue eyes were full of amusement.

"Nice try Farris." He wasn't about to fall for his deceptions.

"Ah, you think I jest? You'll know I speak the truth when you hear her cries as I take her for my own." Farris laughed and called back his men. "Come to Darkwood for her if you dare Goblin King!!!!" Farris' black horse reared and the dark lord and his horse faded from view.

The sound of approaching hooves forced Jareth to look north. Velvet approached at break neck speed, but it wasn't Sarah who rode the mare. Riley jumped down when he approached the King and fell to his knees. "They took us by surprise your majesty. They knocked me out and I was powerless to stop them from taking her."

Jareth closed his eyes. No, this was not happening. Farris did not have Sarah. "Who? Who took her." He tried to remain calm.

"Metta and the elves that worked in the castle. They took her. They must be working for Farris."

Jareth turned from the stable master and fell to his knees in the blood stained grass. Darkwood was a well guarded estate. Nearly impossible to penetrate and Sarah was there. His Sarah was held by Farris. The cruel Fae who brutally raped and murdered mortal women. Jareth let out a cry of anguish and his head fell forward into his hands.

Hope had died in more ways then one....

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 19 of 24

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