...             ...


She walked up to her old room, anxious in her travels. She hoped that it had been left as it was when she had gone to seek out her own life. The suitcase she carried was light, as it should be for a twoday stay, reminding her again of her childish foolishness.

            She was beginning to think that she was wrong about how she would feel better once home. As a matter of fact, she was feeling worse.  The little confrontation with her mom, for one, had not helped; for two, she felt even more fatigued, and it seemed that, once she got to the end of the stairway, she was going to have to face a leviathan of power one that she had no hope of conquering. Sarah knew that, more likely than anything, she'd be fighting against the numerous memories harbored there.

            She opened the door and smiled to herself. Everything was as it should have been, including the cleanliness the room had lacked her Senior year of high school. All of the scattered papers that used to be on the dresser were now gone,(probably in the drawer where they should be) and her jewelry was put away. The bed was made, as it had always been, but done properly, unlike when she had cared for it. There were no wrinkles in the bedspread, and the pillows no longer poked out of their covers.

            Sarah put her suitcase down on the bed. She looked at the doll rack above her bed and noticed that her old stuffed bear, Lancelot, had been put back into its place. She had given it to Toby upon returning from the Labyrinth, and it seemed he had grown out of it a lot faster than she had. Yet, it did seem odd for it to have eluded his grasp; it was only a year ago that he was dragging it after him in the hall.  Maybe he just put it there for the time being, as a welcomehome surprise. He did do those sort of things.

            She took the bear and held it close to her. Sitting on her bed and looking around the room was so comforting. Her mind drifted momentarily to worlds that were not her own, places of high adventure and romance, places of elves and fairies. To go someplace where she would never have to grow up, and all of the things necessary for survival would be an imagination's stretch away To do so would be such a pleasure and relief to her.

            But this is the real world, Sarah, so live with it, she scolded herself.

            She put the bear back in its place on the rack. She opened her suitcase and removed the diary from beneath her clothing; it was one of her most guarded possessions. One who could read her diary would know the way she thought and that would lead to knowing about all of her little quirks. A person's thoughts are as private as you can get, she used to say when she was in high school. She had always hated the concept of mindreaders and fortunetellers; though she believed they were all a hoax, the idea was frightening to her.

            Ever since she had returned from her trip to the Labyrinth, she made it a habit to keep a diary. She wanted to remember all of the details of every important moment of her life. The story of the Labyrinth took up half of the cloth book.  Due to her frequent writing in this journal, every picture had stayed vivid in her mind for the past seven years; she couldn't understand why she was forgetting the most important ones.

            She gazed mawkishly at the diary, and suddenly wanted to read of her adventures in order to bring back the memories of them. She was going to fight this amnesia with every ounce of her being.

            Page after page flew between her fingers as she skimmed the familiar words, but it was not long before her reading slowed.  Each page began a descent into incoherence, for several words were missing.  It began to dawn on her that each gap represented a missing name, and that each name must have belonged to a friend.  All of a sudden, the words dribbled and whirled into a bluish pool on the page, sucking away at the center.  When she turned the page, the same process began, only with the sudden awareness that, as it left the page, it left her mind, as well. She was sure that someone was trying to make her forget her friends, and, though she knew in the back of her mind who her likeliest suspect was, she could not get his name off of the tip of her tongue.

            Well, she was determined not to forget.

            She turned to a clean page, and wrote with ferocity:


                        It's nice to be back home and see my old room

                        again. Toby has grown up quite a bit in the

                        past year. The only thing that troubles me is

                        the strange goingson that have occurred ever

                        since I got within the city limits. I have been

                        having my dreams again, about the Underground,

                        but I have never actually seen things from the

                        Underground, until today.  All of the things I see (or think I see)

                        seem to relate to my trip through the Labyrinth.

                        The main problem is that I can't remember most of

                        those happenings. I can't even remember what

                        happened on the way into town. I know there was

                        something. It only happened a few hours ago!

                        Why can't I remember, dammit!?


            She paused a moment and calmed down. She continued:


                        Toby showed me his hiding spot today. It

                        was in the forest that I played in as a child.

                        Now that I think about it, it was a strange

                        sight. There wasn't a clearing there before, as

                        I remember it. Even stranger, there were no signs

                        that trees had been cut to clear the area away.

                        It was as if it had appeared from nowhere. I also

                        found a curious jewelry box in the clearing. It

                        contained two pieces of jewelry that I had given

                        away in the Labyrinth. And a peculiar pendant.


            She continued on the next page:


                        It reminded me of


            What reminded her of what? Had she forgotten already? She was beginning to feel nauseous. Her head started to spin. No! she exclaimed in her thoughts. I will not forget! Whoever you are, leave me alone!

            She had the slight sensation that this pain was not her own.  Her body tingled with anxiety as she felt it become violated with the essence of another human beinga human being in tremendous pain.  A hungry tremor passed through her, eating her very thoughts, causing her to pace the room with agitation.  It was making her forget everything that was sacred to her.  And she wanted to stop it.

            She turned back to the last page of the diary. She would remember, come hell or high waters.

            The page was empty. No writing on it whatsoever. She flipped through the entire book, but every page was suddenly empty. She stopped on one particular page that contained one word, written in the center.

            "Jareth," she read out loud.

            Then it vanished, as if tucking tail and heading for cover due to her discovery of it. The documentation of her entire life had disappeared just as easily as his name. For her there wasn't a past any longer, because it had been taken from her in both word and thought. All that she had was the present; she didn't remember a single thing. Only three words lingered in her mind:  Toby, Jareth, and me, Sarah.

Jennifer Connelly     David Bowie    Jim Henson            C    C