...             ...


"Put them in the dungeon," he ordered in a forceful tone.

            He laughed inwardly as he faced the group that stood before him.  Hoggle, the grotesque looking dwarf was shivering so much that the jewelry that hung from his belt began to rattle.  The beast, Ludo, had stepped on the dwarf's foot numerous times in his confusion, and the fox was yelling valiant obscenities at the goblins.

            The Goblin King's throne room glowed with a dusty reddish light and cast ominous shadows across his countenance as he faced Sarah's friends with his back to the window.

            "Put them into," he said as he slowly eased closer to the dwarf's face, "the dankest, darkest, most loathsome dungeon you can find. I don't let traitors see the sunlight."

            He remained inches from the dwarf's face, and waited silently until the dwarf shivered so much that he could barely continue to stand.  Once he was satisfied that Hoggle was thoroughly frightened he retreated calmly and smoothly to his throne at the back wall.

            Everyone, prisoners and goblins included, remained quiet until Jareth had become comfortable.  Jareth eyed them all thoughtfully before quickly waving his hand towards the door to the right of his throne.

            The goblins acted immediately and began to shove their new prisoners into that direction.

            And then all hell broke loose.

            The dwarf began to make a fuss, commanding, "Put me down! I ain't done nothin'! Put me down!"

            The beast suddenly became disagreeable to the idea of being bound in shackles, and started to flay about wildly, still confused and acting as a bound animal might.  The guards had a time keeping the beast chained up. He knocked many of them over with ease, even though his wrists and ankles were tied together.  He went towards Hoggle and Didymus, attempting to grab them in order to make an escape, but the goblins ganged up on him and used all of their strength to push the overwhelming creature over. He fell to the ground with a loud thud, his agonized cry echoing throughout the entire castle.

            The fox was very noisy and sent a lot of idle threats to many of them. "I say, put me down or I'll be forced to put Ambrosius upon you!"  Ambrosius, his "trusty steed" (which was a white shaggy dog with a saddle), heard his name mentioned and found someplace to hide.  Sir Didymus didn't notice, for he was too busy dealing with a small goblin that had snuck up behind him and decided to treat his tail to a nice yank.  "Oowch! Don't pull my tail like that, you ruffian! There you go! Your foot hurts, doesn't it? That'll teach you a lesson about pulling my tail! Aaah! So it's come to that, has it? Well, here's one for your memoirs! You'll think twice about Oowwwch! I have a very sensitive nose! How does it feel when I pinch your nose, like thiisss!? Haha! Not very good does it? Ah, so you've decided to join the battle, my friend?! No matter, I can take the both of you!"  Finally one goblin got smart and gave him a nice club on the head with a big stick, sending Didymus to the ground with only minor consciousness left in him.  "That's not fair," he protested with a great deal of effort.  "You goblins don't know how to fight man to man."

            The dog caused an equal amount of trouble. He whimpered and whined, running and hiding in every nook and cranny that he could find. When he was discovered, he hid somewhere else. The guards were running back and forth. The throne room and all of the areas around it were in mass confusion. The chaos continued even after the prisoners were put into their cells.

            Jareth did not participate in or concern himself with the foolishness.  He watched with little interest as the noise continued before him, knowing, whether or not his goblins could contain them, that they would not escape him.  They were easy game.

            A goblin guard eventually returned and bowed before Jareth.  "They are imprisoned, your majesty."

            "Finally," Jareth replied absentmindedly.  He closed his eyes and motioned away from himself.  "Get someone in here to clean up this mess."

            "Your majesty, it's always this messy"

            Jareth swiveled about with a sudden direction of one hundred percent of his attention toward the guard.  His eyes narrowed angrily.  "Just get someone in here to do it."  He stared at the guard silently for a few moments before continuing.  "I don't want to ever have to repeat myself again.  Asking once should be good enough.  Do you understand?"

            "Yes, your majesty." the guard bowed again, and left to comply with the king's orders.

            He put his hand to his forehead in an attempt to ward off a headache.  As he did so, he thought better of it and swivelled his hand about on his wrist.  A crystal sphere appeared within his palm. Slowly an image coalesced from the center.

            He looked into the glass sphere. The scene placed before him by the sphere's power was as he had hoped it would be. His plan was working perfectly. It was almost time.

            "Isabelle!" his voice rang clearly throughout the castle.

            A small figure rushed into the room and bowed before him. He noticed the fear and reverence in her eyes and it made him tingle in his overwhelming fatigue. She was a simple soul, naive in her ways, but she was the only creature in the whole wretched kingdom that he had felt no complete boredom in powering over.

            "Yes, sir?" she replied timidly.

            "Is the room ready for our guest?"

            "Yes, sir."

            "And the garments I asked to be prepared are they in the closet?"

            "Yes, sir. All is as you asked for it to be."

            "Wonderful.  Tell the guards in the dungeons to make sure our prisoners are not going to be able to escape.  It is time."  His fatigue eased away and was replaced with a feeling of excitement.  The boredom would go, the pain would cease, and there would be no more questioning himself.  Jareth was ready for Sarah this time.  He finally had her

            In her weakest state.

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