awoke to sounds of clanking pots and talking elves, smells of sumptuous food and
hearty ales. When she sat up and opened her eyes, the sun was already high in
the sky and the clearing was bustling with energy, elves preparing the midday
meal, her companions gathering supplies; for what she did not know. The air was
quite warm, so she removed the opressive jacket that Jareth had given as the
only means of keeping herself warm on cool nights. It was so much a part of him
that she really was not prepared to make it a part of herself as well, though he
had found a way of forcing her to.
son came across the clearing to greet her. "Good morning, sleeping beauty!
I trust you slept well?"
she replied, blushing. "What time is it?"
Well, elves don't follow the hands of a clock. I suppose that it's sometime in
must have slept a long time!" she exclaimed.
you did," he answered cordially. "According to my father, it was a
greatly needed rest. I take it that your thoughts no longer plague you as they
thanks to your father." Sarah smiled at the speed in which news passed
around the elfin group. Of course, he was Sage's son, so what should she expect?
It was healthy for a father to share things with his son.
you don't mind," the young elf put forth respectfully, "my father
would like a word with you."
gladly obliged as he directed her to where Sage was.
Awake, I see," Sage happily observed. He held something of white cloth
draped over his arm. "This morning, when the early risers opened their eyes,
a few young ladies among them pointed out to me that you were in need of some
fresh clothing. My belief was quite in accordance with theirs, so they took it
upon themselves to conjer up something for you."
held it out and Sarah saw that it was a dress, very similar to the one that she
had worn while practicing for the play entitled, "The Labyrinth", five
years ago, the morning before she had made her first journey to the Underground.
one that Sage held was white, with long sleeves that flared out at the wrists,
and an unobstructed, curved collar. She accepted it with enthusiasm and many
thanks, putting it against herself to find that it was only a half a foot away
from touching the ground. It was so flawless in its formation that she wondered
if the elfin girls had really "conjered it up."
Sage interrupted her admiration of the dress, "It seems likely that you
haven't bathed in days, so I am sure that you would like to join the other
maidens as they bathe in the lake at which we found your party last night."
she thanked him, and walked through a small stretch of forest before reaching
came back to the clearing, feeling refreshed and comfortable in her new dress,
the smells of freshly made food causing her stomach to churn impatiently with
spring in her step, she plopped down next to Ludo and greeted him. He gave her
his usual, warm, simple response.
was promptly handed some ale and stew, looking to her like nectar from the gods
after days of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Eagerly she ate the food as
she watched Hoggle and Didymus talk to a few elves. Occassionally she sipped at
the ale, washing it around in her mouth in order to savor the strange flavor.
She was quite sure she would never taste its like again. It was far from any
breakfast, or lunch rather, that she had ever had at home.
found herself thinking of the elves, their rejoicing during the night, their
pleasantness during the day while they worked, leading into the next night in
which they would rejoice again. It seemed to her that the elves truly savored
life, like a fine ale, determined to wash every bit of flavor from it before
their passing from its realm. She wished that she could live her life like an
elf. Sadly, though, she would have to leave soon if she wanted to complete her
you just about ready?"
turned as Hoggle put his hand on her shoulder. Was she ready? "For what?"
resume the quest," he replied plainly.
didn't think we would leave SO soon," she answered, putting her cup of ale
down. "I figured that you guys were ready for a break. You were getting
along so well with the elves-"
but what you're after's more important," he said. "To ev'rybody."
Sage told you, too?"
He had plenty of time," he added teasingly.
sure," she playfully replied. "You didn't have to worry about the
whole world half the night."
just picking at you, missy. We won't go if you're not ready."
looked around her and observed the tranquility with regret. "No, I think we
should leave as soon as possible. There's really not time to waste."
thing," he declared as he headed back to the fox to tell him.
spooned up the rest of her stew and got up to look for her jacket. She found it
folded up by the tree she had slept near the night before. As she picked it up,
she noticed something red in a tree across the clearing. When she rose, she saw
Rattlebeak staring quietly at her.
he greeted despondently as she walked to meet him.
What'cha been up to?" Sarah asked.
nothin'," he replied with an effort to sound happy.
how did you fare with your lady-friend last night?"
realized why he was so despaired and was somewhat flattered by it. "You
know, I hate to leave."
don't," he articulated, suddenly speaking with sharp conviction as he began
to show his disappointment over her parting. "You've got your friends back,
so you don't have to go after what'sisname's treasure anymore!"
know I do," she replied softly. "I have to keep it away from him. If I
don't get it now, Jareth will find someone else to do it, and chances are that
they won't be so aware of what danger it holds for the whole Underground. This
is the only chance I have to overthrow him."
looked at her sadly and said sincerely, "Good luck, Lady."
sure you won't come with us?"
I've had enough excitement to last me awhile. Besides, my folks will worry."
found herself wondering if her parents were distressed by her sudden absence, as
well. "Well," she replied
cheerfully, "you may always find another lonely traveler who needs their
life brightened up just as much as you did mine."
hush with that mush," he retorted. Even as he said it, Sarah could tell
that he was flattered by her remark.
She revolved to see the elf leader, Sage, standing behind her.
thank you for everything."
nothing of it, child," he replied.
Ludo, and Didymus approached from behind Sage, Hoggle carrying a leather
knapsack by a strap.
do you have there?" Sarah asked him.
told me that you've lost all the food and supplies," Hoggle explained.
saw by the way that Hoggle mentioned Rattlebeak that the two were finally
acquainted and on the way to friendship. "Unfortunately," was her
reply to Hoggle's remark.
spoke with the elves this morning," Hoggle continued, "and they agreed
to replace what you had lost."
that's what he had been up to earlier that morning.
"You don't know how much all of this means to me," Sarah said
to the elderly elf. "I am forever in your debt."
took her hands in his and said softly, as if it was meant only for her to hear,
"You owe us nothing. Succeed in your quest and we shall be repaid a million
was suddenly reminded of the unknown importance of her journey and the words of
the elfin song that had deemed it so: "Now comes another journey,
significant to all, to bring a longed-for concept, to answer destiny's call..."
halted her contemplation by placing something in her hand.
this?" she inquired as she looked down upon it.
is an enchanted amulet," he illuminated. "The elves are aware of many
secrets the Underground bears. You may use it to contact us for advice. But be
wise in your use, for it is only charmed enough to make two communications."
I need to know anything in order to use it?"
already have in your knowledge how to use a magical item such as this," he
crystals. That must be what he meant. "Again, I thank you for everything."
She gave him a warm hug and turned to face Rattlebeak who was atop his perch on
the tree. "Well, I guess this
is it, then," she remarked sadly. "Thank you for bringing my friends
brushed her comment aside with a wave of his wing. "Nothin' to it." He
paused before sobering up. "I'll miss you, Sarah."
was filled with a strange mixture of happiness and sorrow. "I was starting
to wonder if you remembered my name," she said with a slightly put on
chuckle. She brushed his beak with the tip of her finger and continued, "I'll
miss your rattling beak, Rattlebeak."
stood more erect on his scrawny, yellow legs and said with a cheery voice,
"What can I say? The name defines character...You'd better get going before
this Goblin King of yours wonders why you're not back already."
don't claim him!" she countered lightheartedly, then bent over to kiss him
on the beak. "Good-bye, Rattlebeak."
turned around to find her friends at the front of a great crowd of elves and
Magicmockers. She felt as if, every time she had managed to make new friends,
she ended up having to leave them.
was holding out a cloak for her and she bent down so he could drape the ties
about her shoulder for Hoggle to fasten them. She then looked down at the jacket
that she carried, removed the objects from its pockets and, no longer having a
use for it, offered it to Sage. "Maybe you can find something that this
will be good for. It's good leather."
nodded his head and recieved it thankfully. It seemed to Sarah as if he knew why
she was really getting rid of it. Perhaps it was just a case of paranoia on her
party of old friends gave their good-byes and began on the trail toward the
mountain. As they left, Rattlebeak called after Sarah, "Shoo, lady!....You've
got the idea!!"
then the group was somewhat far off and Sarah acknowledged Rattlebeak with one
last wave. As she turned around, never to look back again, she did not hear him
whisper to himself, "Good-bye, Sarah."
had made all preparations. The goblins had been tucked away within their
quarters, the afternoon meal had been made, the day's plans had been laid out.
Jareth had finally decided to keep the Underground a secret, seeing that he
would have very little to gain from telling Toby about it, perhaps would even
lose some of his present footing if he did so, and found that his instincts told
him that a lie was safer.
- commonly known as Jareth, the Goblin King - checked his appearance in the
mirror one last time before making the journey above ground to retrieve Toby.
hour later, Jareth, in the form of the white unicorn, blown up to its natural
size, stood before his great castle with an awestricken Toby at his side.
stronghold loomed over them, a maize-colored structure with scattered openings
for windows and tall parapets stretching into the sky, prodding it like jousting
live here?" Toby managed to ask.
am the king of this castle," Jareth replied proudly, admiring his home as
didn't know a unicorn could be a king," Toby said disbelievingly.
Jareth explained, "I don't know of any unicorns who are king, either. You
see, Toby, I am not really a unicorn."
I used the unicorn figurine to travel from my home to yours. I," he said
before transforming into his natural form, "am a human."
summed him up before saying, "You remind me of the Goblin King."
had to protect himself from the child's obvious intelligence.
If Toby got even the slightest chance to see an element of Sarah's
storytelling within this realm, the boy may not be so trusting.
I?" Jareth replied, playing coy. "I certainly hope that I don't act
like him as well."
Toby assured. "You're nice."
am appreciative of your acceptance."
led Toby up the steps and into the throne room, allowing the child adequate time
to marvel at his surroundings before answering any of the boy's questions. When
he was finished, he bent over to Toby's height.
Toby, what is your pleasure?"
ignored him and pointed to the covered painting. "What's that?" he
looked at the source of his curiousity with slight worry, his trepidation
quickly dissolving with the formation of a new addition to his plan. He wanted
Toby's complete trust. He would have it.
that cloak, my young friend, is a painting of my future queen," he answered
while approaching it. He pulled the cord at its side to reveal the painting of
the fifteen year-old Sarah.
looks like my sister," Toby said, showing little surprise, but feeling it,
no doubt. "Are you and Sarah gonna get married?"
if she lives here," Toby said with a little disdain, "I won't get to
see her anymore."
so, my young friend. She told me to bring you here to show you your new home,"
the Goblin King lied, "per chance she and I do wed."
about Mama and Daddy?" Toby said, showing less concern over them than he
did his sister.
can visit whenever they like," Jareth replied, grinning like a cheshire cat.
Sarah?" Toby asked, seeming pleased by the false news.
will she be back?"
may be awhile," Jareth conceded. "Don't worry, though. Sarah told me
to take care of you until she returns."
he declared with excitement. "How long do I get to stay?"
now, just today. She doesn't wish to worry your parents. She also wants to keep
me a secret, until she's ready to introduce me to them. Will you help us keep
this a secret?"
Sarah says so," he replied.
Jareth answered, not able to hide the pleased, cockeyed smile that was crossing
his face. "Now," he turned his back to Toby and sat on his haunches,
"if you'll just climb onto my back....there's a good fellow....and I'll
take us to the dining room where the cook has prepared our lunch." He
turned his head to address Toby, who was now on his back.
"How does that sound to you?"
the five year-old replied with visible enthusiasm.
further inclination, Jareth sped down the hall towards the dining room, a
thoroughly delighted Toby riding his back.
traversed the land with her companions, feeling ecstatic that her friends were
present, proud that she was on her way to perform a notable deed, and petrified
of the consequences that came with failure.
forest had thickened noticeably since they had begun and it was quite dark for
the early afternoon. The ground they treaded on was thick with vines and fallen
leaves, the bark of the trees burnt umber and oozing sap. She forced a barrier
around herself, a layer that protected her from letting her surroundings
frighten her or even sway her mood. She had a great deal more than she had ever
had during the entire journey, and she would not be the one to look the gift
horse in the mouth.
could see that her companions were trying to ignore the environment as well.
hath been a long while since I have gone on a quest," Sir Didymus remarked.
"No doubt, fair maiden, that it is of great significance?"
assure you, it is," Sarah replied.
shall it be rewarding?"
suppose you could say so, yes."
laden with peril?" he asked hopefully.
certainly hope not," she answered with conviction, looking to find Sir
Didymus greatly disappointed. "Well, maybe there will be a LITTLE bit of
danger," she corrected tactfully.
looked up at her scornfully. "I certainly hope not!" he countered
took off her cloak and draped it over her arm thinking, Well, whether their
is or not, we will, unfortunately, have no say in the matter.
observed the lighting situation again. It had become dramatically darker.
Looking up she saw that the foliage blocked out most of the sunlight, letting
only scattered rays of light sift through and reflect off of spores and
particles of dust that were floating in the air. The atmosphere suddenly took on
a pungent odor as well, like that of decomposing organisms. She watched the
ground sink under her feet slightly with each step, leaving behind an inch-deep
footprint every time. If it hadn't been for that, she wouldn't have noticed the
net that was hidden under a bunch of leaves a few feet ahead.
she ordered, putting her arm out to block the progression of her comrades.
is it?" Hoggle asked.
she pointed to the hidden mesh. "A net."
great," Hoggle declared disdainfully.
was Sarah's turn to wonder. "What's wrong?"
really deep in the Whispering Forest," he explained with distaste. "These...things
called the Tusk-Noses live here. They sets lots of traps, to catch unsuspecting
animals. For dinner."
the fox proclaimed, "but we are not animals."
looked at him irritably before saying, "It don't matter to them."
Didymus suddenly looked as if he no longer wanted the danger. "For dinner,
you say?" he managed to say before taking an audible gulp.
owl hooted from a nearby tree and Ambrosius, Sir Didymus's dog, whined.
cocked her head suspiciously to the sound of the owl before deciding what to say.
"Okay," she finally began, "we'll have to be really careful.
Watch where you step and keep your ears open. Talk as little as possible. Hoggle?"
long before we're outta this place?"
too long," he answered.
she replied thankfully. "'Cause it sure gives me the creeps," she
finished, mumbling to herself as she headed the group off.
did not know that Hoggle had heard the remark and nodded in agreement.
had they gone five yards before she discovered a trip wire. "Here's one,"
she pointed out tersely, holding up some low branches that made it difficult to
pass. "I'll hold this while everyone goes over it."
made it over and, just as Sir Didymus was about to climb past, a bird in the
forest made a horrendous screech that sent the cowardly Ambrosius running for
cover in the direction that the party had come.
had not seen the dog flee and said to Sir Didymus when he turned around, "Are
glanced agitatedly to the bush behind which the canine was concealed and
answered, "I'll be with thee in a moment, milady."
looked at the trail ahead apprehensively, afraid that the Tusk-noses would come
out of hiding any minute, but quickly gave him an answer. "Okay, but hurry."
acknowledged her statement with a nod and headed off.
be careful," she called after him quietly.
Didymus picked his way through some brambles while whistling and calling the
dog's name. Not long after he began the search for his "trusty steed,"
he saw a white patch of fur mingling with the green of some dying underbrush. He
called the sheepdog once again forcefully, but the canine continued to cower
behind the thorny obstruction, shivering violently.
this is the last occurrence in which I will tolerate this," Sir Didymus
said angrily, strengthening each word with the thrust of his staff. "How do
you imagine it looks for a noble knight such as myself to have such a cowardly
mount? I am terribly ashamed of your behavior. When we return home, I am going
to purchase one of those wretched creatures that the goblins ride! Now, see
Sarah had crossed the trip wire, barely having completed her journey to the
other side when she heard Hoggle's cry for help. Once she had examined the far
side thoroughly, she found Hoggle dangling upside-down from a tree, a vine
wrapped about his feet. She could tell that he was quite shaken.
what happened?!" she cried as she approached him.
was waiting for you," he explained, spitting the words out as quickly as
his mouth would allow, "and, before I had a chance to blink, everything's
topsy-turvy!! What took you?"
had to do something," she said calmly as she began to search the knapsack
for a blade to cut the vines.
he should stop being such a nuisance!" Hoggle declared vehemently. "Oh,
hurry up now, I don't want to hang here all day!"
found the knife and answered, letting some exasperation slip into her tone,
"I'm going as fast as I can. Don't get your underwear in a knot, I'll have
you down in no time."
ain't working fast enough!" he exclaimed nervously.
the deal?!" she shot back at him. "Why are you in such a big rush?"
soon's one of these traps have been set off, sure thing a Tusk-nose's not far
good gracious, why didn't you just say so!" She began to work at the ropes
with a new vigor, calling to Didymus as she did so, "Help Ludo over the
rope, Didymus! We have to hurry!"
Didymus looked at his dog spitefully before turning around and walking away.
"Coming, milady!" he called to her.
dog whined, looking for pity. "It's
no use, Ambrosius, I'll not stall the journey a moment longer," he said,
hurrying away to the site of the trouble. "Stay there if you like!"
he arrived, Sarah was still rushing to sever the tough vines, and Ludo was
watching for him before the rope. Sir Didymus held back the obstructing branches
in order to let the beast pass safely before going over himself.
fox tripped and fell, sprawling across the ground. Everyone shot him an anxious
glance, a look of fear on each of their faces as they waited for the trap to
spring. Nothing happened.
Sir Didymus said collectedly, brushing himself off, "There is no need for
fear. All is well."
were no longer looking at him. Their gazes were now fixed on a stone placed
precariously on a branch, its form beginning a swaying motion that had been
triggered by Didymus's fall, the sway becoming a steady rock, the rock becoming
a dangerous swing. All were silent. The rock did not fall, but began to slow
down in its wobbling until it had nearly stopped.
sighed in relief, having narrowly escaped another trap.
was when the rock fell.
The rock dropped to the ground with a hollow noise, the rope that had been tied
to it suddenly visible. There was a split-second of time for a "well-wouldn't-you-know-it?"
expression to find its way to their faces before the remaining three that stood
on the ground were swept into the air by a crude net.
knife that Sarah had been holding fell from her hand with the suddeness of the
jolt and landed silently, its blade stabbed into the ground.
was crammed together in the net awkwardly, Ludo's bulk crushing Sir Didymus,
Sarah in a cockeyed position, her head pointing toward the ground.
know," Sarah said sarcastically, the mesh pressing up her face so that it
was hard to speak, "it seems to me that I should stop hanging around so
much while I'm here. It's not healthy."
you guys look just peachy," Hoggle remarked bitterly. "Now we're
doomed. No thanks to Mr., 'And will this trip be full of danger?' over there."
Didymus tried to make a counterstatement, but he was just finding it difficult
enough to breath with Ludo on top of him, without trying to be articulate as
well. The result was a pitiful mixture between a mumble of words and a painful
Sarah began, determined to attempt an escape, no matter how hopeless it seemed,
"try to move over some and let Sir Didymus climb to the top."
complied, the net rocking back and forth with his efforts.
can feel the blood rushin' into my head," Hoggle complained. "You just
watch, my head's gonna pop open any minute now."
Sarah managed with her struggle to move and allow Ludo more room, "complaining....At
least....you have (grunt) all of that space to....yourself."
a great amount of shuffling and racket, the three had gotten just about as
comfortable as they were going to get.
looked over the edge to find Ambrosius waiting patiently, his tongue hanging out
in a pant.
Didymus cried. "So, you came after all!"
Sarah began her cogitations, attempting to concentrate over Sir Didymus's
heartfelt, one-sided conversation with the dog. "Now," she stated
resolutely, "how will we get ourselves out of this one?"
need to think upon the matter, sweet damsel!" Sir Didymus suddenly declared.
"My noble steed shall rescue us!"
dog barked in what seemed to be affirmation.
dog!" Hoggle exclaimed vindictively. "He's going to stay there and
watch us get dragged to our death!" Hoggle shot the dog a malicious look.
"But, guess what, doggy? You'll be the first one they eat!"
As far as Sarah knew, Hoggle bore no resentment for the dog, so he must
be taking his agressions out on him instead. He was being more sarcastic and
vengeful than usual. The dog whined
in response to Hoggle's remark and took a step backward.
Sir Didymus began, "loosen the rope that is bound to yonder stone." He
poked his hand through the mesh and pointed to the rock.
The canine looked at it and shook its head, barking a reply.
"Forget what I said earlier!" Didymus said desperately. "This
is no time to argue the matter!" The
dog remained motionless, barking again.
was audible in the distance, accompanied by the crunch of twigs and leaves.
better do something!" Hoggle said angrily. "'Cause we ain't
gonna be here to argue the matter in a little while!"
you use this opportunity to redeem yourself," Didymus said to the dog
anxiously, "all of my former ravings shall be hereby null and void."
The dog, satisfied with the arrangement, sauntered over to the rock and
gripped the rope with his teeth. After some tugging and vicious growling on his
part, the rope slipped free and the net, including all of its occupants, fell
harshly to the ground. They all grunted with the impact and took only a moment
to check their bruises. They had little time to make their escape, for the
noises from the distance were coming closer at a great speed.
made a dash for the knife and grabbed it, jumping from the ground to release
Hoggle from the vines that had ensnared him. Before she could finish, Ludo came
up behind her, gripped the vine with both hands, and broke it loose, his
reflexes fast enough to catch Hoggle before he hit ground.
slipped the vine that bound his ankles once he was on the floor and rose
Didymus gave his dog well-deserved plaudits while Sarah warned that they should
act with Godspeed if they were to escape.
too close!" Hoggle said with a loud whisper. "We can't run, so we'll
have to hide!"
Sarah acknowledged him before turning to the others. "Everyone get in the
saw to it that everyone was in their hiding place before concealing herself, as
well. The group struggled to
control their breathing while waiting for the arrival of the Tusk-noses.
a matter of seemingly endless seconds, the foliage across from their hiding
places parted to reveal what they had been feeling trepidation over having an
encounter with. The three
Tusk-noses that came forth to explore the clearing were grotesque creatures with
tangled, splotchy, purple and brown fur. Their two yellow eyes slanted so far
into their head that they nearly met, while two warthog fangs of a different
shade of yellow protruded from beneath their upper lip. But, the embarrassing
fact was that these grotesque creatures, for all their forceful snorts and
squealings, were only a mere one and-a-half feet tall.
gotta be kidding," Hoggle whispered. "Them's what we was afraid of? I
was sure they'd be bigger than that."
watched with the same baffled expression as the animals jabbered back and forth
to each other, one of them pointing emphatically to a trap that had been set off.
"How did they climb the trees?" Sarah asked with confusion. Hoggle had
begun to make a comment when Sarah noticed that one of the creatures was coming
closer. She silenced the dwarf.
think we can handle it," he sneered.
Tusk-nose that had been exploring their area jumped at the noise of the two
conversing companions and inched closer to the underbrush that cloaked them.
Sarah motioned for everyone to hug the ground more tightly, but it was no use.
The Tusk-nose had seen them and was now making a ruccus, jumping up and down and
making his discovery known to the others. The
four travellers were covered from the rear by the creatures in no time, being
prodded to the center of the clearing with sticks.
Hoggle vocalized. "That hurts!" His
outburst only earned him another sharper prod with the stick.
Hoggle spun around irately and grabbed the stick, yanking it from its
furious owner with a vicious, "Gimme that!"
Hoggle," Sarah admonished. "Maybe they're just curious."
Her statement was followed by a painful bite in the leg by the Tusk-nose
that was pushing her ahead. She made a short, severe utterance before knocking
the animal across the clearing with a steady swing of her hand.
just curious, huh?" Hoggle said sarcastically.
shrugged her shoulders. "I could be wrong."
one that bit her bounded from his landing place and made a mad dash to repay her
swinging hand with another visit to his mouth. Before he had a chance to make
his anger fully known, Sarah seized him by the scruff of the neck, pulled him
before her face at a distance, him squirming and snapping, her snarling in
response, preparing to close it with a tongue lashing.
"Listen, squirt," she ordered. "I'm considerably bigger
than you, so I advise that-"
Hoggle said with a quavering voice, staring nervously into the forest ahead.
right now," she replied tersely, moving her attention back to the
still-angry creature in her firm grip. "As I was saying, I advise that you
Hoggle managed to say evenly with a rattling lower jaw. "I-I-I think now
would be a good time."
halted in her attempt at intimidating the animal to see the fear plastered on
Hoggle's face as he stared directly ahead. "What is it?" she asked, a
bit of fear finding its way into her own words.
pointed in front of him to the source of his concern. Three Tusk-noses were
approaching, their growls deeper and more threatening than the ones in the
clearinng, their height considerably greater than that of the creatures that had
used their annoying sticks to push the group to the center of the clearing. They
were over six feet tall, to be precise.
think...you've angered Junior's parents," Hoggle quietly pointed out.
dropped the animal she held, its purple hide disappearing from sight as it
scuttled behing the adult Tusk-noses. "No kidding," was her murmured
and Sarah began to back up, Ludo following their lead.
Sir Didymus, seeing this as his chance for gallantry, jumped from his
position at their side to one between the party of travellers and the pack of
hungry Tusk-noses. He stabbed his
staff into the earth beside him and held it at an angle, warning the creatures
in an authoritative tone as he held his head high, "I order you to step
back or we shall be forced to harm you."
Tusk-noses proceeded, their growls becoming more fearsome.
don't think they're buying it," Hoggle said.
don't think they speak the same language," Sarah remarked, looking around
apprehensively. "There's got to be a way out of this!"
Hoggle said. "Hope we can outrun them!"
she said, shaking her head. "Our supplies are on the other side of clearing.
Behind," she pointed to the advancing Tusk-noses, "them. And I'm not
leaving without them."
continued. "We're gonna have to fight," she decided, looking to the
retreating Didymus and the unsure Ludo. She saw that Ludo was about the same
height as the slowly approaching beasts.
gave the creatures a summarizing glance. Their hideous, drooling faces prompted
her to act quickly.
you take the one on the far left, Hoggle and Didymus the one in the middle, and
I'll take the one on the far right."
Didymus stared up at her disapprovingly. "Damsels were not meant to take
part in battle, milady! I can handle-"
hush and do as I say!" Sarah cut him off with exasperation. The enemy was
drawing ever nearer. "There's no time for heriocs!" She gave the area
a sweeping glance before asking, "Is everyone ready?"
She recieved one nod of uncertainty, one of dread, and yet another of
one went to their appointed station of battle.
approached his character as quickly as his legs would allow, reaching the
waiting combatant and having to step aside when the creature swung a shoddy
punch towards his head. He avoided it effortlessly and shoved the beast forward,
close to sending it sprawling across the ground. But it was a worthy opponent,
equal in size and bulk to Ludo, and it regained its balance shortly after Ludo's
forceful push, returning with snarls and growls. Ludo was not intimidated, nor
did he bear any resentment for his adversary. He was merely driven in his
attempt to subdue the creature by his determination to protect his friends.
in the confrontation, one of the Tusk-nose offspring began to whack madly at
Ludo's leg with a short stick, distracting Ludo from the battle with the adult
creature. Whenever the smaller animal would hit Ludo with the stick, the
red-haired beast would shoo him away with one hand, missing each time because he
was busy watching the movements of the older monster. He eventually turned to
swing at the Tusk-nose child and took a direct punch to the head from the older
stood erect without having taken care of the child and shook his head to ward
off the effects of the punch, knocking the offspring from its position at the
side of his leg once he had recovered. He then resumed with the six-foot tall
the meantime, Hoggle was taking advantage of his smaller size to outmaneuver the
larger creature while Sir Didymus beat the creature from the rear with his staff,
crying, "Take this you heathen! And that!" The Tusk-nose would swat at
Didymus with one hand, as if shooing a fly, while he tried to catch Hoggle with
was at the far side of the clearing, feeling quite inadequate to battling such a
massive creature, but hoping that her greater intelligence would balance the
scales. One time he managed to grip her by the shoulders, she stomped on his
foot with the heel of her boot before he could lift her off of the ground. He
howled with pain and dropped her, looking down angrily at his injured foot. 'Serves
you right,' she thought somewhat childishly to herself.
finally looked up at her, Sarah thinking
that a sudden determination to eat her was growing visible on his grotesqe
countenance. He stomped toward her resolutely and she sped into the other
direction, wondering what it was she would do next.
looked down at the ground, got an idea, and bent over to grab some dirt. She
turned back around with great speed and flung the rich soil into the monster's
eyes, just as it had been about to lay its grubby paws on her.
scratched at its eyes furiously, howling with pain as it stumbled about the
clearing blindly. In its sightless confusion, it flailed his arms about,
knocking Sarah down in the process. She landed uncomfortably on one of the ropes,
the cord being stretched out perpendicular to her body. As the blinded Tusk-nose
made its way across the clearing to support itself with a tree, she rubbed the
area tenderly where she had landed on the rope.
had finally grown tired of fighting his creature, so he took one of the large
rocks in the clearing and hit the creature in the head with it, doing no other
danage than to knock it unconscious. It rolled its eyes upward before falling
limply to the ground.
problem solved, he directed his attention to the smaller creature that had
eventually continued to swat him with its stick, picked it up by the scruff of
its neck, and threw it deep into the forest, its frightened squeal trailing
behind it. It did not return for another flight.
and Sir Didymus did not fare as well. The creature's aggravation with Didymus's
persistent beating had reached its peak and it easily got a hold of the fox's
staff, pulling Didymus along with it.
'im down!" Hoggle commanded.
put me down, you brute!" Didymus concurred.
animal did not comply, but instead prepared himself to give Didymus's neck a
good sqeeze. Hoggle, seeing the danger his comrade was in, despite his better
judgment, punched the Tusk-nose in the stomach. The creature gave him an
irritated look, unphased by the punch, while Hoggle noted with a scowl how the
punch had smarted for him.
air was filled with another cry as the creature tossed Didymus into the
underbrush, deciding instead to deal with Hoggle. It advanced and swung, missing
the ever-evading Hoggle with its fist, but succeeding in knocking the dwarf over.
He fell about two yards from where Sarah lay.
Ludo went to deal with the animal that had been attacking Hoggle and Didymus,
the beast with sand in its eyes had finally recovered and was charging toward
she exclaimed hurriedly. "Grab the other end of the rope!"
complied, and together they pulled the rope taut. The creature ran directly for
her and, once it was within a few feet from her, she shuffled aside, allowing it
to trip over the rope and go hurtling, face first, into the underbrush.
Ludo took the rock and caused the remaining creatures to fall into a slumber
like he had the other one, Sarah suggesting that he finish the task by dragging
all three to the net that had ensared them and pull it back up to its former
position above the ground. He complied, and soon all of the larger Tusk-noses
were dangling unconcious from the trees, their grotesque faces pressed against
Didymus came from his prone position in the underbrush with cockleburrs caught
in his fur. Sarah signaled for him to come and when he did, she removed the
irritants from his dusty fur.
retrieved the supplies and handed them to Sarah, while Didymus called Ambrosius
and mounted him. Sarah accepted the supplies and said, "Good, let's get
out of here."
two had eaten lunch, Jareth being correct in his prediction that the desserts of
many kinds that he had planned for the meal would please the young boy.
was now walking with Toby through his castle, pointing to objects that he
thought would attract the child's interest as he led him to his private balcony
on the highest parapet.
you live here all by yourself?" Toby asked.
is everyone?" Toby asked.
no doubt," Jareth lied.
would they go to sleep so early?"
is custom for my servants to take an afternoon nap."
would anyone WANT to take a nap?" Toby scowled.
dropped his guard for a moment and started to laugh at Toby's remark. "I
don't know," Jareth said with a chuckle.
little boy walked at Jareth's side in silence for awhile, letting his questions
subside, if only for a short time. The Goblin King looked down at the small
child and realized how small and impressionable the boy was in comparison to
himself. Toby was innocent and accepting, loving of his parents and adoring of
his sister. Even the Goblin King who was so repelled by his sister was a
potential friend in this little boy's eyes.
Jareth regretted that it would take so long a time for Toby to really care for
him the way he did his own family, maybe just as long for the child to trust him
reached the balcony and Toby asked the boy if he was afraid of heights. Toby
replied in the negative and Jareth lifted him up so that he could see over the
what do you think?" Jareth asked.
looks so small up here," Toby answered with awe. "I wonder what it'd
be like to be a bird out there."
that a wish?" Jareth asked.
turned around and gave Jareth an enthusiastic nod, only to find the Goblin King
suddenly missing, and himself sitting on the ledge of the balcony. He gave out a
frieghtened cry and gripped the ledge tightly, looking ahead despite his
large blond-colored bird flapped its wings before him, hovering in place and
looking intently at the little boy.
be afraid," the bird said, the voice of Jareth escaping its beak. "I'm
going to place you on my back and you will get to see the lands from up above."
nodded his head slowly in response, only jumping slightly when he felt the very
air lifting him from the ledge and placing him on the back of the great bird
that was the Goblin King.
Toby was in place, Jareth asked him, "Do you trust me?"
replied, "I think so." That
wasn't the best response that he could get, but Jareth was satisfied that he was
making speedy progress.
soared across the sky, a winged creature carrying a thoroughly amazed child on
its back over the beautiful lands of the Underground.
they returned to the castle that evening, Jareth set Toby on the ledge of the
balcony before transforming into his natural form. Then he lifted the sleepy
Toby from the sill and the young boy promptly wrapped his arms about the Goblin
King's neck, giving Jareth an indication that the child wanted to be carried.
Jareth obliged silently, holding the tired boy softly as he walked to his throne
instantly fell asleep, his head propped on the Goblin King's shoulder, a sweet
peacefulness taking grip of Toby's face as Jareth watched the napping child.
Jareth felt awkward holding this child, just as he had the few times that he had
held Isabelle, but was awash with a new kind of sense that came with this
unfamiliar type of need. This young child trusted him to give something that he
had rarely given before.