Continuing Tales

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 21 of 24

<< Previous     Home     Next >>
The Debt

Finding Trust...

Books were strewn all over the library. Tossed on chairs, tables, the floor. It looked as if a tornado had gone through the place. Jareth glanced quickly through another book and with disgust threw it at the floor.

"What are ye looking for yer majesty?" Jareth spun to see that Riley was standing behind him.

"A very important book. Perhaps Sarah's only chance to be rescued."

"What does it look like? Maybe I can help ye find it?"

Jareth regarded the man for a moment. He had not left his King's side in hours and he had offered his help more then once or twice within those hours. He seemed genuinely concerned about Sarah and wanted to help, no matter what that help might entail.

"I've forgotten. I could have sworn it was brown leather with gold trim but I've looked through every book I could find like that. We're running out of time."

"Couldn't we rescue her without the book?"

'No. I don't believe I have enough power to enter Darkwood without being noticed. The book I search for could change that."

"Sounds like a powerful book." Riley commented.

'That's an understatement." Jareth turned back to the shelves and continued to pull out books. Riley made his way to a shelf on the other side of the library and began to go through the books.

'I found something, mighty interesting, yer majesty." The stable master called nearly an hour later. Jareth was at his side in an instant.

"You brillant man. You've found it." Jareth could hardly keep the joy and relief out of his voice. The first spark of light in a time of darkness. Jareth reached for the book and flipped through the yellowed pages.

"Ye're really fond of the Lady Sarah, aren't ye, yer majesty?" The question hung in the air for a moment and Riley feared he had said too much.

One of Jareth's brows arched as he looked at the stable master. Returning his eyes to the pages of the book he replied. "That's another understatement." Jareth shut the book quickly and tucked it under his arm. "Prepare me a horse."

"Which...which horse?" Riley had never seen the Goblin King ride any other horse but Esperance, but the stallion was now dead.

"Saddle the Friesian kept near Velvet. He is a powerful horse and he will be able to carry me to the gates of Darkwood quickly."

Riley nodded and left the room in a rush. Jareth knocked books away from a chair and sat in it opening the large brown leather book again. He would need to study everything carefully. These spells were ancient and had not been practiced in centuries. To own the book was an incredible thing itself. It had been deep within his Labyrinth, lost for centuries for none could tame the Labyrinth's wild and ever changing ways. He was the first who tamed it and harnessed the wild energy. He made a pact with the Labyrinth that thus far, he had never broken.

It was after midnight when he had finally finished reading and re reading to make sure that everything was perfect. He memorized the spell and hid the book in his private chambers so he would find it easily should he need it again. The Friesian stallion was saddled and ready at the barn and standing in the next set of cross ties stood another horse, saddled and ready to go.

"Riley, you can not come with me. As good as your intentions are I can not permit it." Jareth told him with annoyance.

"If I had been on my guard, they would not have taken Sarah."

"Don't be a fool and blame yourself for what happened." The Goblin King told him angrily. "I have already done that myself and it gets us no where."

'I'm not just goin' to help find the lady, but to protect my King." Riley told him standing taller.

"I don't need protecting. My magic and the spell will protect me."

"Ye may need me for something. I can stay outside the gates with the horses ready should we need to escape."

Jareth sighed. This man was as stubborn as Sarah. "Very well. You will stay with the horses outside the gates." Riley nodded and the two men mounted their horses in silence. They kicked their heels into their mounts sides and they were off into the chilly night air.

Sarah shivered in the darkness and jumped every time she heard a sound. It was usually the rats scurrying about looking for food. Light suddenly flickered and she stood with baited breath, praying it was Jareth or even Aiden who had come to rescue her. She felt the hope flee her when Farris came to stand before the door of the cell, a lantern in hand. She stood tall before him, refusing to give in to the fear she felt for her situation and for him. She knew what he had done to other mortal women. She would not let herself become another victim.

Farris gazed her over quickly, an insolent smile gracing his face. "Enjoying your stay?" he asked. Damn these Fae and their arrogance and control.

"I would have expected better quarters then these, but then when I look at who I'm staying with the dungeon is probably the best room in the house."

Farris chuckled and it wasn't a nice sound. "Metta was correct, you're spirited, much more spirited then any mortal I've met."

"Violated more like it!" She let the anger flow with her voice.

"Harsh words my dear. Harsh indeed. I gave them pleasure and they couldn't handle it."

"You raped them, pure and simple. There is no pleasure in that." She moved towards the bars of the door, the raw anger flowing from her like a waterfall.

"There will be pleasure and you will feel it for yourself. You will cry out my name in release and not the Goblin King's!" Sarah rushed forward and spit at him. Farris wiped the liquid from his face and gave her an amused look. "I see it will be a challenge breaking your spirit. And I do love challenges." He tossed his cape behind him and left the dungeons. Sarah fell back onto the bench in her cell, relieved that he was finally gone. She was unaware of the pair of angry eyes that watched from the shadows.

They rode their horses hard, very hard. Standing outside the gates of Darkwood Jareth tried hard to not shiver. The last time he was here had not been pleasant experience. He could still hear the screams in his mind at times.

Jareth dismounted the black Friesian and took a deep breath. "Either this will work or it won't." He began to recite strange words that Riley had never heard before. A blue light surrounded him and then suddenly the Goblin King was gone.

Jareth looked around, noticing that he was in the halls that lead to the dungeons. His memory of the estate was well intact and his magic had not let him down. The halls seemed darker then he remembered. There were more grotesque statues and tapestries. He moved slowly down the hall, creeping along the walls quietly. If the spell worked properly, he would be invisible to everyone and his magic could not be traced or detected, but he could still he heard. The floors were creaky in spots and he to be cautious. It was night and most of the castles inhabitants would be sleeping. Now was the time to find Sarah and free her.

Sarah sat on a damp bench, knees drawn to her face. She shivered at the cold and jumped every time a rat went scurrying by her. Her arm was throbbing so badly and the conditions of this cell were no doubt doing more harm then good. The chains on the door to the cage rattled on their own and Sarah flew back against the stone wall glancing up fearfully. She wasn't ready to face Farris again, but when she looked up no one was there. The chains rattled again and harder this time.


She looked around her. She saw nothing. But that voice. "Jareth? Jareth is that you?"

"It's me." Came the response.

Sarah shook her head. "I must be going insane. I thought I heard Jareth and I don't see him."

'You can't see me because I'm invisible. But I'm here." He chanted a few strange words and in front of the cell door appeared the Goblin King. Dressed in black with armor plating and his sword at his side.

"Jareth!" she cried. Was she dreaming? Was he really here to save her?

"Sshhh. You'll wake the guards." He warned. Sarah rushed to the bars of the cell and Jareth noticed the bandaging around her arm and the blood that stained the once white cloth. "What did he do to you?" his voice was full of horror and anger.

"It wasn't Farris. It was Metta. I tried to escape on the way here and she shot me with an arrow." Jareth's eyes grew cold and they narrowed. "I'm ok, I'll heal. Let's get out of here." Jareth drew forth a crystal from the air, but with some difficulty.

"Back away from the bars." Sarah did as he told her. He hurled the crystal at the bars and it exploded. The smoke cleared but the bars remained.

"What happened? Why didn't it work?" Sarah asked frantically.

"I feared it. The bars contain iron. No magic, new or ancient can destroy iron. I need the key. It's the only way I can free you. Who has it?"

"I do." Jareth spun at the voice and his eyes narrowed. A tall slender woman with long wavy red hair and pale skin stepped forth from the shadows with a key in her hand. "You! What are you doing here?" Jareth looked ready to kill.

"Believe it or not, I've come to help."

"I don't want your help Cyla."

Sarah gasped. This was Cyla, the very one who had betrayed Jareth. The woman he had loved so long ago.

"Do you want to free your woman or not? I've come to help you. You don't know what I've been through these last 400 years."

"You? What about me Cyla? Banished to the Labyrinth because of you!"

"I haven't come here to argue with you, but if it makes you feel any better I've spent the last 400 years in agony."

Jareth let out a horrible chuckle.

"You don't believe me? The very man I loved who claimed to love me never returned those affections. He turned our son against me and made me live in fear by threatening to kill him. He's taken every mistress he wants to bed with no regrets or concern for me and now he has his eyes set on your mortal." Cyla's blue eyes were full of fear and truth. "He deserves to die and I will help you."

Jareth put his hands on his slender hips. "And you want to help us why? Because you are jealous that your husband can't control himself? Because he wants Sarah and you're jealous?" One brow was arched as he gazed at her. If nothing else, Jareth was amused.

'I'm not jealous, not any longer. I've gotten used to it after 400 years. I wish to help you to free my son and I from this place. And to try and undo some of the damage I have done. I was so wrong to betray you Jareth, but I didn't love you, not like you loved me. Farris made it all a game, a very fun game. One where he promised me him and his estate and power for my help."

"You have your own kingdom to inherit. Why did you need him?"

"I wanted more land then just my father's kingdom and I paid dearly for my greed. My father will not speak to me. My mother and he bore another child that they have named heir to the throne. I have nothing! Nothing but this hell that I made for myself. But my son should not be made to suffer because of me. I want to see Farris cut down."

"How will I know that you won't turn on me? Won't betray me? I will not gamble with Sarah's life because of you!"

"I do not expect you to! Take the key, free your Sarah and leave. But Farris will go after you. He won't rest until he has killed you and your precious Sarah. But if you allow me to help you, I can get you both through the castle safely to Farris' chambers. You could kill him while he slept." She reached out offering the key to Jareth in the same manner he had offered crystal balls to Sarah when she was a child. He eyed her wearily. "I know you have no reason to trust me, with all that I have done to you. I don't blame you. But if I wanted to betray you, I would not have offered you the key to Sarah's freedom. I would have called for the guards the minute I saw you appear."

Jareth reached for the key and took it into his black gloved hand. "We shall see if you have changed Cyla. I warn you, if any harm comes to Sarah because of you, I will kill you." He spit. Cyla nodded and Jareth turned from her thrusting the key into the lock. It turned and he opened the door. Sarah rushed to him and he took her into his arms holding her tightly. He glanced down at her arm. The recent activity had caused the wound to bleed again.

"I'll need to get you to a healer, before that becomes infected." He told her.

"There is a healer upstairs. I can take you to her." Cyla informed them.


"Jareth. It's all right. I'd rather have this healed then get an infection." Sarah told him. Cyla watched the two interact. Jareth brushed Sarah's hair back with his hands and gazed down at her.

He truly loved the mortal woman who stood before him. Cyla knew he had once loved her that way and she had been foolish enough to throw that love away.

"How can you trust her?" he asked Sarah, still playing with her hair.

'She helped to free me. I know the past you've shared was difficult, but she wants to change. Things weren't always so wonderful between us. In fact it was only a month ago that things weren't well between us. Yet look at us now. Give her a chance. There doesn't need to be anymore bloodshed or suffering." The fact that she trusted Cyla so easily hurt him. It had taken a long time for him to gain her trust and she was putting trust in Cyla so quickly. But he understood why, the situation was very different from the two of them, and he had her love now as she had his. Cyla was a means to escape from Farris and the horrible deeds he would force upon her.

Jareth and Cyla glanced at each other. "Perhaps you were right about mortals after all. They are equals and this one is wise for one so young. I can see why you love her." Jareth shot her a look and Cyla grinned. "It may have been 400 years that we have not seen each other, but I can still read you like a book. The healer is this way." Cyla began to walk away down the hall.

Jareth looked down at Sarah and then unexpectedly picked her up into his arms careful to avoid touching her arm. "You're tired and weak. Let me carry you." He told her. She nodded and let herself fall against him, resting her head on his shoulder. He placed a kiss in her hair and followed Cyla through the dark hall.

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 21 of 24

<< Previous     Home     Next >>