had been three hours since Sarah had left, and already Hoggle was terribly bored.
The walls of the cave threatened to suffocate him in their biting dampness and
dreary demeanor. Even though he
knew it was wrong of him to do so, Hoggle was feeling betrayed and angry for
those two to have left him there. He felt he would go insane if he had to stay
there a week.
a bit sorry for yourself, Hoghead?" a familiar voice asked him from the
shadows. Hoggle shivered violently
at the sound of the accented voice. Jareth
came out of the shadows, a black, whispery cape of translucent material covering
him all around, only to be pulled back and reveal a midnight blue silk shirt
beneath. The shirt was tucked in at
the waist of his tight, dark grey breeches and tied at the collar by
criss-crossing strings of the same silk; the collar fell low beneath his neck to
show a portion of his chest. A black, suade vest hung over it and matched with
his black boots and gloves.
was perfectly groomed, completely emaculate, and always polite – making him
all the more threatening in Hoggle's eyes. The supposed calm, genteel manner
Jareth put forth was usually a way to hide secret intentions or to intimidate.
he was being intimidating.
you doing here....your...Your Majesty?" Hoggle asked both grudgingly and
nervously at the same time. He needn't have asked, though, because he had a
vague idea of what to expect. Maybe
if I wish it hard enough, he will disappear, Hoggle thought.
He wished and wished, to no avail.
come, Hogbrain! Can't I pay my former ensign a friendly visit without question?"
Jareth replied in a mock injured tone. Hoggle
didn't asnwer. "Your...friends
leave you all alone, did they?" Jareth said, playing concerned as he loomed
over Hoggle. Jareth was full of contradicting behaviors. "We know how much
they truly care about you, now, don't we, Hoghead?"
had to do what they done," Hoggle argued in a subdued manner.
course they did!" the Goblin King agreed affectionately. He bent over to
Hoggle's ear and whispered, "But I bet you're burning inside for revenge."
rose and Hoggle found his courage. Jumping from his sitting position, Hoggle
commanded, "Come and say what you done come here to say, Jareth. I ain't
going to play any fool games, and I ain't a turncoat."
Jareth smiled sweetly then glowered at the dwarf. "No, not you, higgledy...,"
he poked Hoggle in the chest to emphasize, "piggledy...," he poked
again, "Hoggle. You're no turncoat. Only a traitor to your own king and
kingdom, my dear, former ensign. But most certainly you are not a
turncoat." Hoggle turned his
head away with shame. He wasn't ashamed because he had gone against Jareth five
years ago, but because he had lost his nerve.
"You don't deserve friends!" Jareth exclaimed calmly with his
wicked grin. "Seeing how easily your favor is swayed, I don't think your
friends would be able to trust you, my dear Hogwart!"
hated the way Jareth kept calling him, "my dear." By no means did he
belong to Jareth, even if only in word. "It's
Hoggle," the dwarf mumbled.
well, Hoggle, dear fellow, I think you owe me one."
that's what the snake was here for! "I don't owe you nothin'," Hoggle
bravery," Jareth mocked. "I wonder where your courage was when I
turned all of your friends into metal charms." He bent close to Hoggle's
face, only three inches separating them, and stared quietly at him; Hoggle
shivered with anxiety, not liking the cold, silent stare, yet not daring to move.
He just waited for the inevitable outburst and closed his eyes.
Jareth finally declared emphatically, causing Hoggle to flinch. Jareth just bent
back and laughed wickedly. "Still the same, timid Hoggle who used to work
for me. No need to worry, Hoggle. I don't plan to turn you into an ornament
anytime soon." Like that was
really a relief to Hoggle. "I
only am curious to know about something you said to Sarah. Or rather, started to
mean?" Hoggle queried suspiciously.
that concerned me. Something that began, 'I think that maybe Jareth cares...'"
Jareth stared expressionless down at the dwarf. "What is it that you
suspect I care about, Hoggle?"
wadn't nothin' important," Hoggle replied rebelliously.
tell me," Jareth began sinisterly, "or I will find a punishment much
worse than the Bog of Eternal Stench."
me all you want," Hoggle said, knees shaking despite his cold tone of voice.
Jareth took off his gloves carefully, without rush. Hoggle always knew
Jareth meant business when he took off his gloves. The dwarf made a loud gulp.
have the well-being being of your companions to consider, Hoggle," Jareth
remarked levelly as he put the two gloves together and looked at something other
than Hoggle. "I don't think you would wish any harm to come to them, now
would you?" Slowly, he turned
to face the dwarf, his eyes piercing his the small man like knives.
I'll tell you," Hoggle capitulated. He prepared himself to feel pain as a
response to the statement. "I told the little missy that I thought you..."
he lowered his tone to nearly inaudible, "I thought you cared about her."
cupped his hand around his ear and declared, "Speak up, Hoghead, I can't
quite make out what you're driving at."
said I thought you cared about her!" he burst out, flinching from Jareth's
Jareth exclaimed as he replaced his gloves. "I do believe that this repays
me somewhat for your treachery."
Hoggle said, baffled.
know, Hoggle," Jareth said, bending down to make level eye contact with the
dwarf, "now she'll be so confused she won't know whose side she's on."
He placed his hand warmly on Hoggle's shoulder, grinning from ear to ear. "Thank
you ever so much." Jareth rose
and walked back to the shadows. "I apologize for having to leave you in
these cramped quarters, but I'm afraid I haven't the time to take you to the
dungeons at the moment. You don't mind, my dear Hogbrain, now do you?"
disappeared before Hoggle could answer. Hoggle
plopped back down on the stone ground, feeling worse than ever for having said
something to disturb Sarah. Jareth was probably right about the confusion she
must be feeling.
sure had been right about the caves being confusing. Sarah had lost all sense of
direction in the caves and was feeling herself come to tears. It was much more
diffivult than the Labyrinth, because at least in the Labyrinth she could see
her goal high above the walls of the maze. Here she couldn't tell where she was.
sure wished she had listened to Hoggle. "Stop,
Didymus," Sarah commanded. "We're getting nowhere this way."
The fox did as told while Sarah sat down to think of something. She
continued to hold her torch before her, causing her shadow to flicker wildly
against the walls of the cave.
Didymus said, seeming to have a revelation. "Why don't you use the compass
the elves gave you? At least we would know North from South."
be silly!" Sarah's voice mocked. "I've never heard such a stupid idea
in my life!"
looked up from her cogitations in horror.
you don't have to be so rude about it!" Didymus declared indignantly to her.
didn't say it..." Sarah said, looking at him with a disturbed expression.
then, who might've said it?" Didymus wondered, cocking his head to the side
shadow shimmered teasingly. "I
did, you numbskull!" Sarah's voice declared. "Can't you hear?"
then why did you say you didn't say it?" Didymus delared in an unknightly
jumped up from her seated position and cried, "Whoever's out there, show
greatly confused, milady," Didymus confessed.
is hiding and impersonating me," Sarah explained.
Didymus's face lit up with understanding. "Yea, scoundrel, show yourself!
How dare ye impersonate this fine lady!" he cried, thrusting his staff
dare ye impersonate this fine lady!'" the voice mocked. "You're sure a
character. Hammy. Completely hammy. Over the top, too."
you learn that?" Sarah demanded from no one in particular.
say hammy. And over the top. How'd you know that I say that?" Sarah turned
around because she thought she heard something behind her. The torch lit up the
wall before her, casting her shadow opposite of wherever she faced.
moving around like that!" the voice declared. "You're making me dizzy!"
my question!" Sarah ordered.
didn't learn it from anyone. You say it, I say it."
you find out?" Sarah was tiring of talking to a voice with no source,
although it always seemed to be coming from somewhere behind her.
on! I know a lot of things about you."
what?" Sarah asked curiously, letting down her anger.
how you got your eyes on the Goblin King. Bad move if I do say so myself."
Sarah declared furiously. "Just come out here and let me get my hands on
worry. I won't tell anyone."
up!" Sarah declared. "It's not true!"
two Sarahs spoke their next words in synchopation, almost as if they were
operating on the same wavelength.
contradicting yourself," Sarah said contemptuously.
contradicting myself," the voice corrected itself.
rose her fist threateningly, jangling the bracelet that hung there. "Show
thing," the voice said. "Just hand the torch over to your fox friend
and turn around."
complied to come face to wall with her shadow.
this must be some kind of elaborate joke," Sarah said. "You can stop
it now, Jareth, I'm not amused!"
know very well that Jareth doesn't play games like this," the voice said
put her hand to her forehead and declared, "I have a big headache."
She soon jerked it away from her head in surprise; the edges of the
locket on the bracelet were glowing, as if something were longing to escape. She
gingerly opened the locket to reveal the glittering dust that Sage had placed
her shadow declared. "Throw some at the wall!"
lived in your shadow all my life," the voice declared passionately, "and
I finally have the chance to possess my own identity. Throw it at me!"
this to me first," Sarah said looking at nothing in particular and wagging
her finger, "If you have your own identity, then why the heck did you wait
until now to pipe up about it? Why did you have to take a crucial point and
decide to waste my time by talking now? Why didn't you just do it when I really
wanted an imaginary friend?"
Einstein, I live here, not Aboveground. I replaced your false shadow when you
came inside the mountain and, if you'd hurry up and sprinkle some of your 'fairy
dust' on me, then I'd be able to leave the mountain with you. Face it, Peter Pan,
you're lost and you need someone to help you out of this dump."
you sew yourself onto me when I wasn't looking?" Sarah said sarcastically.
you got some real spunk in you after all. We could get to be friends. That is,
if you'd do the honors."
looked at her shadow suspiciously, shrugged her shoulders and blew lightly on
the glittering dust in the locket to send a sparkling cascade on the air.
Instead of it just hitting the wall, it ran into an invisible barrier. Once it
had spread itself evenly over the impediment, Sarah could see an invisible human
form made discernable by the layer of glitter. Sarah bent closer to look and was
eye to eye with herself.
gasped in disbelief.
me!" Sarah exclaimed.
quite. For one, my name is Sara, which you might notice has a slightly different
pronunciation and which you might not notice is spelled differently, too. Like
all shadows, I have at least one characteristic opposite that of yours, perhaps
even more. I am a unique being, so don't expect me to agree with everything you
nodded her head dumbly.
don't go around looking like you're in a trance. I don't want everyone to think
my counterpart is hammy, or something."
She looked down at Didymus. "I almost forgot about you, Didymus. Sara, this
is Didymus. He's a very good friend of mine."
Sarah's shadow, was still like a hollow glass figurine, made up of nothing more
than a thin veneer of glitter. Didymus seemed awkward about speaking to her, but
politely bowed and removed his hat saying, "I am honored, milady."
the gentleman, I see," Sara remarked. "I find that sweet in a guy,
human or not. I am similarly honored." She shook his hand.
noticed that her shadow's mocking demeanor had vanished, as if she had only been
putting on a front before to see their true nature.
"Well, hey, if we want to reach the outside before sunset, let's get
crackin'," Sara said courteously. "I'm just dying to see a color
walked down the corridor proudly, feeling pleased with himself for successfully
discovering what it was Hoggle had said and for doing such a good job of
occupying the dwarf with a few days of guilt for ever saying it to Sarah. Hoggle
had indeed assisted in getting Jareth what he wanted.
Goblin King was feeling very alive at that moment, having finally decided to
spread some of his generosity. He also wanted to take a walk around his city and
mingle with his minions.
reached Sooty's door and knocked. The elderly goblin called for him to enter and
he did so without hesitation. "Yer
majesty," she acknowledged him.
lady," he said with a slight inclination of his head. "Have you yet
gone to the market?"
yet, yer majesty. Though I'll be goin' soon."
come to tell you that I've decided to take on this task myself. Do with the time
whatever you like."
yer majesty. I'll finish some cleaning, if ya d'not mind."
yourself," he said as he left.
he turned his head.
might like t'know, the elves're in town. They're selling merchandise, me thinks."
odd," Jareth remarked. "They're not scheduled to come until fall. Why
wasn't I told?"
just found out m'self. I can't figure why they'd come so early either, tell the
truth. I be hearin' that they're setting up at the market."
you. I'm sure that I will have fine goods to choose from for Isabelle's gift."
left Sooty's chambers, passing Isabelle's room along the way. He didn't wish to
speak with her until he had returned, so he passed by her open door without a
greeting. Isabelle's eyes followed
him expectantly, but he did not acknowledge her. If she was listening, all she
would have heard was him telling a passing guard, no doubt the general, to keep
careful watch over the palace while he was gone. She was probably wondering
where he was going.
was still wearing the attire he had used when speaking to Hoggle. He undid the
brooch that fastened the cape when he reached the throne room and he laid it on
his throne. With a small bag of
gold coins in hand, he exited through the front doors. While he climbed down the
steps a goblin who had been keeping watch over the south entrance insisted upon
getting the king an escort into the city. Jareth refused the offer with a wave
of his hand and continued onto the cobblestone streets of the Goblin City,
passing ramshackle houses of different sizes, trashladen sidewalks, a bustling
variety of goblins who all bowed in his presence, and a number of sidewalk shows.
walked with purpose, perfect posture and head held proudly. It was rare that
Jareth walked the streets of the Goblin City, especially as informally as he did
now. Most often he would be flanked by a number of escorts, while he was dressed
in the most kingly of garments.
he didn't want to bother with all of that nonsense, no matter how much more
important it made him look and feel. He
noticed with contempt that the city was still scarred by the flood of tumbling
boulders that had accompanied Sarah five years ago when she had come to retrieve
her sibling. His disdain was worsened by passing the clock tower – the one
from which she had assisted her beast companion in from escaping. Many things
that surrounded him could be tied with her existence, could make him remember
forever that she had once been there.... Too bad the memories were not ones to
Goblin King finally reached the town square, extremely impressed by the turnout
at the sale of merchandise the travelling elves had visited his kingdom to bring.
The large square was crowded with goblins who were eager to buy the elfin
products, the booths of the regular market mingling with the brightly colored
ones of the gypsy-like elves. Naturally, more goblins were eager to buy from the
elves than the regular sellers, but those who normally did business at the town
square market were getting buyers, as well.
walked up to one of the elfin booths and said to the elf who ran it, "Fine
day to be selling such lovely goods, is it not?"
The elf looked up at him, and at the sudden recognition
he cried, "Well, for goodness sake! It's the Goblin King himself! We're
honored that you would take time out of your busy schedule to come and see our
travelling market! What can I do for you?"
smiled warmly, sensing something strange about the sudden appearance of the
elves. He didn't know what to make of it, but he was determined to find out.
"I'm honored to have you," Jareth nodded his head
diplomatically. "I just have one question. Why the early appearance?"
don't know, Your Highness," the elf conceded. "You'd have to ask Sage
about that one. I just follow where he leads."
is this Sage?" Jareth asked.
the booth of magical items," the elf pointed. "He's the old fella.
Though, I must warn you, he's not as old inside as he looks on the outside!"
The elf laughed heartily. "He's the only one here who knows a scrap about
magical items. I don't know how he got stuck with us, I tell you."
you," Jareth said, looking curiously at the items on the elf's table. He
saw a jade hairpin with curving vines and blooming flowers and a lovely piece of
lace ribbon beside it. They were
perfect for Isabelle. "How
much for the jade hair ornament and lace ribbon?" he asked.
elf seemed doubly honored to have the king considering to buy one of his items.
"Twelve gold coins altogether, if it pleases Your Majesty."
Jareth opened up the small sack and dropped a handful of coins onto the
table without counting. They were at least twenty in number. He then took the
jade hairpin and lace ribbon, wordlessly heading for Sage's booth and leaving an
open-mouthed elf behind gaping at the money on his table.
found the old elf giving a magic demonstration to a crowd of goblins. Sage took
a stick from his booth and uttered a few words, causing the end of the stick to
burst into flames. The viewers were delighted.
"This torch," Sage explained to his audience with youthful
vigor, "doesn't need any trouble to light it and never burns out.
No more fumbling with flint and spattering sparks. Thirty gold coins. If
you have any useful items to trade, we will happily try to come to an agreement.
Come back later this afternoon, and I'll demonstrate some more of the uses of
the items at my booth. Thank you."
crowd dispersed to leave just Jareth and Sage in that small area. The elf
muttered a few words, putting the torch's flame out, and set it on the table
before finally looking up to see Jareth. Jareth
was somewhat taken aback that the elf did not seem surprised to see him there.
Majesty, the Goblin King," he seemed to announce to no one in particular.
"Thank you for seeing fit to observe our travelling market. You are
probably wondering why we have chosen to come so early in the year."
I am," Jareth replied sagaciously, inwardly amazed by the admirable nerve
of the elf. A vague feeling of deja'vu came over him at the sight of the
elf's face, but he wasn't sure why.
far off kingdom we usually visit at this time of year seems to have been
devastated in war. I decided to bring my group here to replace the business. I
hope you don't mind that we gave you no notice on the matter."
at all," Jareth said. "Though I do wish you had come to see me first
thing when you reached my fair city. I like to know the goings-on."
would be a foolish king to wish otherwise," Sage remarked kindly. "And
you are no foolish king." Jareth
wondered if he should take the remark as courteous input or false flattery. Sage
did not seem imprudent enough to take Jareth's own wisdom for granted, though.
Jareth forced a gracious smile. "We
were in a hurry to start business," Sage continued. "I was just going
to send a messenger to inform you about it when you suddenly arrived. I had one
last demonstration to perform. I didn't believe you would mind the intrusion,
seeing how kindly you accepted us into your domain before."
are welcome to stay," Jareth affirmed. "I shall put you up at the
tavern at my own expense. And I invite you to dinner in my palace tomorrow night.
I want you to make yourself comfortable in my city." Jareth had made sure
that it was clear who was ruler of this kingdom in order to dissuade the elfin
leader from doing anything that he might disapprove of.
cannot take so much," Sage said politely. "We shall put up the money
for our board ourselves, but will gladly accept the invitation to dinner. If it
pleases Your Majesty, we shall bring our minstrels to repay your kindness with
is no fool, Jareth thought. He will not accept too much hospitality, for
he knows that he will be indebted if he does so. He even makes sure to keep
dinner an occassion which cannot be taken advantage of. Impressive.
"Do whatever pleases you," Jareth said. "Meanwhile, I am
in search of a dress for a young goblin female."
party reached the end of the caves by the time night came.
"God, I never thought I'd be so happy to see the Underground,"
shadow, who had finally formed into a regular human being, identical to Sarah
instead of being a mass of glitter, was staring with awe at the land, her face
bathed in a pale glow of moonlight. "It's so beautiful. I've never seen
anything like it."
haven't?" Sarah asked. "Can't you at least come to the edge of the
cave and look?"
forbidden. Someone might see us."
how come you're with us now?"
in a human form, so it's not so odd to see me come out of the mouth of the
cave," Sara explained. "Seeing a shadow walking along all by itself is
too strange for most people to handle. Their hearts just go,
kerplunkety-plunk-plunk and they begin to think they're insane and continue
acting as if they are. You know about those legends that keep everyone away from
the caves?" Sarah nodded,
remembering that the one who told her about them was stuck in a cave by himself
somewhere on the other side of the mountain.
"Well," Sara continued, "as you can see, they're
the people can't find their way out, and that's why they disappear, right?"
But, sometimes it's not just the confusing caves that get them. You know how I
told you that shadows are opposite their cohorts in some way? Well, sometimes
the shadow is evil while his twin is good. Into murder and all that."
Sarah turned pale. "Don't
worry, though," Sara said as if seeing where her counterpart's thoughts
were travelling. "I'm not like that at all. If so, I would have killed you
already. Anyway, I'm too eager to see the world."
you say. You could have just gotten us to transform you and then got on with
you're not dead yet. And I'm transformed. Naw, I wouldn't kill you. I need a
guide." Sarah looked almost
white under the moon, but she soon turned back to her normal color when she
thought that her shadow had shown no violent intentions.
"Well, do we camp here?" Sara asked.
suppose we should, seeing that we don't really know what's out there waiting for
us. As much as I hate to say it, we ought to go back some way out of sight of
the outside world to keep safe."
looked disappointed. "I guess you're right. I'll just have to wait awhile
to see what it's like to sleep on the grass. I've waited twenty years as it is,
I can wait one more day."