Sarah rubbed at her tired eyes as she crept through through the slumbering Goblin City in the early morning light. The place was eerily silent which, Sarah was thankful for she didn’t want anyone seeing her and reporting back to Jareth.
Sarah had woken early after a restless night, not being able to go back to sleep, she decided that she might as well get up and do something useful. She blamed her uneasy night on her confrontation with Jareth the night before. She berated herself for letting Jareth play on her emotions, now he knew what an effect he could have on her, he was bound to try something similar again. Next time I won’t be so pathetic, he’s The Goblin King for crying out loud, Heroines aren’t supposed to go all mushy when the Villain kisses them, heck the Villains aren’t even supposed to kiss the Heroin in the first place! Sarah fumed and she pulled on a simple green dress over brown leggings, which she had found at the back of her wardrobe, and tied a leather belt round her waist.
Sarah had snuck out the Castle, cautiously creeping past two sleeping Gargoyles that guarded the Castle door. Now she tiptoed through the quiet streets of the Goblin city, careful not to wake the Chickens and Goblins who had passed out drunk on the path. When she reached the gates to the city she noticed that the remains from humongous were still in the process of being removed. Metal parts still littered the area, but most of it had been piled into a cart. The sentry at the gate slept on and Sarah wondered if it was the same one as when she’d first arrived at the city.
She walked on and quickly came to the Junk Fields; since she couldn’t sleep, she might as well search for that damned peach.
Sarah starred in horror at the mounting Piles of old toys, books, trinkets and more that covered the large area. Her heart sank.
“How is anyone meant to find anything in all this mess?” Sarah asked despairingly.
“How does anyone find anything? By looking of course!” Cackled a voice off to Sarah’s left. Turning Sarah noticed Agnes the Junk lady watching her. “Backs agains I see, what you lost this time then?” Agnes shuffled around Sarah.
“I’d rather not say.” Sarah told her, remembering how the old junk lady had tried to hinder her journey.
“Is it this?” Agnes asked, holding up a broken doll with only one eye. Sarah shook her. Agnes rummaged through another pile of junk before pulling out a deflated ball.
“This?” The old lady tried again.
“No, I’m not looking for anything like that.”
Agnes harrumphed in response and started picking through the pile again.
Sarah stared around her at the seemingly endless fields of Junk.
“This is impossible.” She sighed.
“Nothing’s impossible.” Agnes muttered.
Leaving Agnes to her pile of Junk Sarah tucked her skirt into her belt and began climbing one of the huge mounds of useless items, it took her a couple of minutes due to the size of the pile and also because she had to be careful where she put her feet so as not to dislodge anything. On reaching the top Sarah turned to survey the area below her, from this height she could see the Labyrinth stretched out before her. She watched as the sun slowly climbed high into the sky and illuminated the giant maze. The glitter that covered the Labyrinth sparkled in the morning light, adding to the dreamlike view below.
“It sure is a beautiful sight.” Sarah sighed
“Yes, it is, a view that is only improved by your presence my dear.” Jareth’s voice came from behind her.
Sarah started, and lost her footing; the junk beneath her started to shift and began to tumble down the slope taking Sarah with it. Quickly a strong arm wrapped round her waist and pulled her back onto stable ground.
Sarah gripped Jareth tightly as she watched the avalanche she had caused to slowly stop.
“That precious, is what you humans would call a ‘close call’. If I hadn’t been here you’d be buried under a mass of forgotten belongings.” Jareth whispered in her ear.
Sarah cautiously extricated herself from his grasped and warily stepped away.
“If you hadn’t of been I wouldn’t have caused that avalanche in the first place.” Sarah snapped at him.
“Really precious, I did just save your life; a thank you would be nice.”
Sarah glared at him, but she begrudgingly knew he was right.
“Thanks.” Sarah muttered.
“Can I get a kiss for my heroic deed?”
“Don’t push your luck.” Sarah growled.
“Might I ask what you are doing all the way out here my love?” Jareth inquired
“I woke early and couldn’t get back to sleep so I thought I’d go exploring.” Sarah said innocently.
“Did you not worry about getting lost again?” Jareth asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I knew you’d find me eventually.” She shrugged. I was true; Jareth probably kept tabs on her with those damn Crystals of him.
“That’s right; I’ll always find you sooner or later.” Jareth smirked. Sarah narrowed her eyes at him.
“But what, my dear, prompted you to come to this part of my Kingdom it’s certainly isn’t the most picturesque part of the Underground.”
“She’s looking for something!” Cackled Agnes suddenly reappeared again. Sarah glared at her.
“Yes, but what?” Jareth pondered as he studied Sarah closely, “What could Sarah Williams possibly be searching for in the Junk Fields?”
“I wasn’t searching for anything.” Sarah prayed he believed the lie, “I was just curious is all.”
Jareth moved closer and tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear.
“Curious of what exactly?” he asked
“All this.” Sarah motioned with her hand at the Junk Fields.
“What about it?” Jareth asked
“Well, what’s it all doing here in the first place?”
“It is here as part of the Labyrinth’s defences. As to how it all got here, well, that’s simple, magic. All the objects you see once belonged to humans. All objects that are lost or forgotten about end up here.” Jareth explained as he took her hand and carefully helped her down the pile of broken junk.
“What if you lose something in the junk fields?” Sarah asked
“Eventually it will vanish into the ether. Once you lose something here it can never be recovered.”
Sarah hoped that the peach had not been completely lost.
“Has your curiosity been sated yet my love?” Jareth inquired.
“Mostly, but I’m not done exploring. If I’m going to be stuck here i might as well know my way around.”
Jareth grinned down at her.
“I’m glad you’ve finally conceded to living here.”
“Well, you haven’t given me any choice, have you?” Sarah pointed out.
“Your life will be so much more pleasant once you stop resisting me.” Jareth smirked.
“As I told you last night, me, giving in to you is never going to happen.” Sarah hissed. Jareth only continued to grin.
“We shall see precious.” Jareth chuckled, “oh and for future reference Sarah, I can think of something far more enjoyable to do when you can’t sleep than taking a walk.”
Quick as a flash Jareth darted forward and captured her lips in a hard kiss. Before Sarah had time to react he had vanished in a flurry of glitter.
“Insufferable jerk!” Sarah muttered under her breath, choosing to ignore the spark of excitement she’d felt. Damn treacherous body!
“So you is going to be his Majesty’s Queen then?” Agnes called.
“Not if I can help it.” Sarah mumbled as she started to search through the junk for the enchanted peach.
Jareth settled in his chair in his study and elegantly positioned his feet up on the desk in front of him. He grinned wickedly to himself. Sarah really had no idea who she was up against.
He snapped his fingers and four terrified Goblins appeared.
“The Lady Sarah is exploring the Kingdom today; you will accompany her and see to it that she doesn’t get lost. Is that understood?” Jareth told them.
The Goblins all nodded in unison.
“I don’t have to remind you of the consequences should Sarah come to some harm do I?”
The Goblins all shook their heads; one was shaking so violently that its edges were blurry.
“Good, get out.”
The Goblins scrambled over each other in their eagerness to leave. Jareth smiled, it was good to be King. After banishing those three yesterday his subjects had been on their best behaviour. Except those cretins he’d set to watch Sarah the day before, who were now languishing in one of the dankest darkest Oubliettes. Hopefully today’s Goblins wouldn’t make the same mistake. Anyway, it was only for today; Sarah’s new Watcher would be arriving later today.
His study door banged open and in rushed and out of breath Goblin.
“Your Majesty your Majesty!” the creature shrieked.
“If you’re here to tell me another building is on fire, I’ll bog you where you stand!” Jareth snarled.
“No your Majesty, it’s flooded this time.” The Goblin squeaked.
Jareth closed his eyes and rubbed his temples, he had been wrong; sometimes it wasn’t good to be King.
Some hours later, Sarah had gotten nowhere.
“There’s so much stuff here I can’t tell which piles I’ve gone through and which ones I haven’t!”
Sarah despaired picking up a chipped wooden solider and hurling it away.
“There has to be a better way to search than this!” she cried.
A clattering noise behind her caused her to turn. There, scrabbling over the Junk was a small Goblin, the toy soldier clamped between its teeth.
“Here you go Lady.”
“Umm...thanks.” Sarah said, tacking the small toy the Goblin was offering her. “Why are you giving me this?”
“That’s how it works doesn’t it lady?”
“What work?” Sarah asked, deeply confused.
“The Game!” the Goblin said happily,” The game we see humans playin with those hairy thingies. They throw things and the hairy thing brings it back!”
“You mean fetch?”
The Goblin nodded enthusiastically.
“Throw again Lady!” The Goblin bounced up and down with excitement.
“Hang on a minute did Jareth send you to spy on me?” she asked suspiciously.
“King sent us to make sure Lady no get lost!” he informed her.
Three more Goblins abruptly appeared, all staring fixedly at the toy she was holding.
Suddenly Sarah was struck with an idea. One that would help her find the peach without Jareth finding out.
“How about we play a different game?” she suggested.
“What game?” the first Goblin asked.
“It’s called Treasure Hunt.”
“How do you play it?” another asked.
“Well, I give you a list of objects to find, you search for them and when you found them you bring them back. The one with the most items wins.”
The Goblins all squealed and shrieked with enthusiasm.
“What will we be looking for Lady?” A Goblin piped up over the din his friends were making.
Sarah quickly rattled off some objects for them to hunt including a peach and watched with satisfaction as the Goblins all rushed off in search for them.
“If any other disaster befalls any more buildings in this city, the Goblin responsible will be joining those in the Outlands!” Jareth thundered, as he stormed back into his Castle and up to his Throne room. There he found a Goblin shaking violently outside his study.
“What now?” he demanded.
“Sorry, your Kingship, but... he’s here.... the one you sent for.” The Goblin stuttered pointing a shaky finger towards the study door.
“Excellent.” Jareth said, striding into his study and slamming the door, “Fenrir, my thanks for your speedy arrival. I trust your journey was not tedious.”
A deep growling laugh came from the shadows and out stepped a creature that was neither wolf nor man, but something in-between. Fenrir, a creature who had inspired countless tales and whose very name struck fear into the hearts of men. Some believed he was the son of a God others a man who’d been cursed into a wolf for devouring human flesh, but the truth of Fenrir was shrouded in mystery so that none but he knew what was truth and what was legend.
“I found ways to amuse myself on my travels, hunting those who stray from the path is a favourite pastime of mine.” The deep voice rumbled and the creature bent low in a bow. “But now I am intrigued as to why the Goblin King has seen fit to summon me?”
Jareth seated himself behind his desk.
“I have need of your special skills, old friend.” He said, reclining back into his chair and regarded Fenrir.
“Whatever you need, I shall oblige my liege.” Fenrir answered in his growly voice. “I shall not rest till your enemies blood runs from my jaws or find whatever it is you seek.”
“There is a human girl in my Kingdom. I need her watched and my Goblins have proven inadequate for the task.” Jareth told him.
The fur on Fenrir’s back bristled and stood on end.
“I am a hunter of men Goblin King, not a babysitter for some Human wench!” he snarled baring his teeth.
The air in the room suddenly buzzed with magic and Fenrir realized that he may have just made a big mistake. Jareth’s eyes blazed with anger as he stared coldly across the desk.
“Never refer to Sarah as a human wench again Fenrir less you want to lose everyone one of those teeth you’re so proud of.” The steel in his voice told the wolf that it was not a bluff.
He bowed low again.
“My apologies, my King, I meant no disrespect, I just think my talents should be put to better use than keeping track of some ordinary human.” Fenrir grunted
“That is where you are wrong, Sarah is no ordinary human. She is the only one to ever defeat the Labyrinth and rescue a wished away child. She also is going to be the Goblin Queen and my Wife.” Jareth informed him.
Fenrir was shocked he’d none the Goblin King for centuries and he had never expressed any desire to take a wife.
“If she is your future bride then why do you need me to spy on her?” Fenrir asked.
“Because Sarah mission in life is to fight me every chance she gets. I have managed to trap her in the Underground and use her friends as leverage to get her to agree to marry me but still she seeks away to escape me. She is up to something and I want to know what, but she has a natural talent when it comes to evading my spies. That’s where you come in, with sense of smell you can track her no matter where she sneaks off to.”
“And you wish me to report back to you on her movements?” Fenrir asked.
“You can start tomorrow and I will not be pleased if she manages to elude you as well.” Jareth said darkly. Fenrir grunted as he loped towards the door.
“Seems like a lot of troubled for just one small human.” He growled
“Well, she won’t be human for very much longer.” Jareth grinned as he began to work through the pile of paperwork that had accumulated on his desk.