- LABYRINTH II
...             ...


CHAPTER IX

Sarah threw the diary across the room with all of the force she could muster. The book hit her doll rack and it knocked off many of her stuffed animals. She felt desolate, lost, and angry. She searched her scrambled brains for some means of finding out where she was. Yes, this was her home. Toby was her brother and Jareth her her what? She met him in this maze thing. He was

            I AM GOING TO REMEMBER!

            She gripped the sides of her head and fell back onto her bed.  Her brain felt as if it were going through a meat grinder over and over again, not giving her a tremendous headache as well as turning her thoughts into ground beef.  She rocked back and forth on the mattress and tried to retain some kind of grip on herself.  Her heart pounded furiously in her chest, and an instinctive fear washed over her, filling her with the need to run.  It was a feeling that something had been stolen from her.

            Then a twig cracked in the recesses of her mind.  She knew everything, for only a second, but in her memories' quick passing she was able to grab a few thoughts.

            Jareth was her sworn enemy. She had cereal for breakfast that morning. She greatly missed her three friends from the Underground. There was a necklace in her pocket.

            A necklace in her pocket. She took it out and examined it. She poked at the glass sphere. It glowed a such a brilliant blue that the light blinded her momentarily. She covered her eyes with one hand until the light ceased. When she removed her hand from her eyes, she saw a man's face staring back at her from the sphere.

            "Jareth," she spat.

            As she stared at his image, she became infuriated.  "No!!" With that, she threw the amulet against the wall with all of her strength. It clanked and fell to the carpet with a thud.

            She walked toward it slowly, hoping with each step that she had shattered the glass.  She knew that she could not face him again. Not in her condition.

            Once she reached it, she warily bent over and picked it up from the ground.  It was harmed none whatsoever. Thankfully, she noticed that his image no longer haunted the sphere.

            Before she could count her blessings, her strength suddenly left her, and the sphere fell from her unresponsive hand.  Sarah stumbled over to her dresser and maneuvered into the chair beside it.  It was getting too much for her to handle.  Jareth was stretching her nerves on purpose.  But, to what end?

            She propped her swimming head up with her hand and stared thoughtlessly at the surface of the dresser.  Waiting for her was the necklace, no longer on the floor where she had left it.  Instinctively she jerked her eyes over to the spot on the floor where it had once been, but knew, even before she attempted to look, that it would not be there.  She would not be able to escape it.  She would not be able to escape him. 

            Damn him! I should've just left it in that wretched box! She didn't feel like screaming anymore. She was drained of all energy.

            "What are you doing here?" she asked it listlessly.  "I left you on the floor over," she pointed across the room, "there."

            "You know you can't get rid of me that easily, Sarah."  Jareth's face arose within the crystal once again and taunted her with a flirtatious grin.

            She felt frustrated. She felt tired. She felt hysteric. But, most of all, she felt angry. The adrenaline flowed into every vein in her body, and she found new strength. She flung the necklace, even harder than before, against the wall. It hit with a mighty clank.

            And to her amazement, the necklace merely bounced off of the wall, threatened to hit the ground, and stopped a couple of inches from it to hover. It hovered for a minute, standing still in midair like a black wraith foreshadowing a death to come.

            She began to approach it, and, in response, it shot high into the air and began to shiver. The shiver turned to a shake and then to a violent rattle. It swooped from side to side of the room as a possessed demon would in insane frustration. It stopped with a jerk, a yard from Sarah, startling her and causing her to jump in reflex.

            Then it swirled and swirled before her, round and round, creating a whirlpool of blue light. It stopped in the middle of the sixfoothigh cylindrical funnel it had created. With a bright and silent explosion, the light fled from its position and into nothingness, to reveal the figure of the Goblin King standing before her. He held the amulet in his hand. She noticed that the sphere of the pendant was glowing a bright blue at his touch.

            He looked at the necklace in his hand, then turned his gaze to Sarah.  "I'm kind enough to give you a gift and you carelessly toss it to the ground? You're lucky," he held it out, "that I'm going to let you keep it."

            He walked over to her and placed the necklace in her hand.

            That was it. Amnesia or no amnesia, strength or no strength, she would no longer be intimidated by him and his parlor tricks. They were parlor tricks. She knew from experience that he had no way of keeping her memories just as long as she wasn't ignorant enough to believe that she had no way of getting them back. His power was just magical imagery in her world. He was on her turf right now, wherever her turf was, and she wouldn't take what he was trying to force down her throat. Not now, and not in a million lifetimes.

            She dropped the necklace to the ground and kicked it into his direction.

            "I don't want your worthless gifts," she stated to him in a forceful tone, veneered with disgust and layered with contempt.  "And I especially don't want you playing with me or my brother's mind. The battle is over, so leave me alone."  When he did not immediately reply, she became nervous, wondering what would happen next.

            "On the contrary," he finally said with a smirk, "You still owe me."

            She could not believe the gall of this man! First he scrambled her mind, then he invaded her home, and now he was asking favors of her!  The sudden urge rose within her to raise her arms up and squeeze her hands tightly about his neck.  It fell when she realized the utter futility in such an action.

             He winced slightly at her facial expression.

            That was the last straw. Even if she couldn't remember who she was and what she was fighting for, she knew who she was fighting. Like a candle in a pitchblack room, he shone through her entire mind and cast flickering shadows over everything. She would never be able to forget her hatred of him.  Never.

            "Owe you?! For what?!!"

            He placed one hand on his hips, passing the other through a wide arc, and smiled slightly. "For all of my generosity."

            His generosity. His never ending generosity. She had had enough of him and his false generosity. "I forgot about my infinite debt to your generosity," she replied sarcastically.  "I don't want your generosity or your necklace."  She threw the necklace once again, and he caught it with a graceful sweep of his gloved hand.  "You may have taught me a lesson about myself, but it was not through your  generosity.  The lesson I learned was no part of your plan before, and I don't thank you for it now.  I don't owe you anything."

 

 

One question played on Jareth's mind. One he had been pondering for a long time now. Many years ago, he had placed a Labyrinth before her. Virtually impossible for one so young to get through without giving in. Yet she succeeded. Now he took her every means of strength from her and she still resisted.

            Would you look at that? he thought with amusement.  There's that little pout He paused in his thoughts as he examined her.  Well, no, he decided, frowning.  It's changed somehow.

            How could she stand before him in such a state and still not give in? He felt respect. At first he felt respect.

              Then he felt anger. Anger at himself for feeling any respect toward her, then anger at her for so easily trampling on his plans.

            He swept his hands out skillfully with his rage carefully painted onto his face.

            "You'll have the necklace whether you want it or not!"

 

 

She winced. It was if he had commanded the very air to strangle her.  The pressure ceased, and she felt the weight of the necklace dangling from her neck. She yanked at it forcefully, but to no avail.

            "Take it off!"

            He grinned wickedly. "As you so quaintly put it, so many years ago, 'You have no power over me.'"

            She watched in complete and utter disgust as he turned his attention away from her and walked over to her mirror to straighten his jacket.

            She glared at him, her hatred growing more each second. Look at how smug he is!

            "Come see how beautiful the necklace is," he requested with a slight grin.

            She spited the way he stared at his reflection, but, most of all, she spited the way he looked at her.  Part of his expression mirrored amusement over a toy, while the other clearly reflected a sexual interest.  She hated him and the necklace with all of her being, and she did not want to see either of them united in any way with her.

            "I don't want to see!" she exclaimed viciously.

            He grabbed her by the arm with a violent snatch. She knew him to be insane, but she had expected no violent physical contact.  It took her totally by surprise.  She felt the blood in her arm shut off from its course and begin to curdle as she looked up at him, her eyes wide with terror.  His eyes unsettled her further, their deep blue so engulfing and ferocious, she thought she might get sucked in by them.  As she jerked her head away to escape their trancelike nature, he pulled her by her arm toward the mirror.  She became frantic at his display and pulled away from him with all of her strength, but, try as she might, she could not elude his painful grasp. She decided, instead, to defy him, despite her utter amazement at his actions.  She didn't have to look. She turned her head the other way and shut her eyes.

            "I said look!" he exclaimed with venom.

            The pressure from the pinch of his fingers was now also on her chin and he pulled at it so that she was facing the mirror. Despite her efforts to keep her eyes shut, she felt a tingling and stinging sensation of magic in her eyelids, and they began to open against her will.

            Sarahdon't defy me.

            Those words that Jareth had said so long ago at the beginning of her journey into the Labyrinth rang again through her mind as she realized his capabilities. When she was young, he only required words to frighten her. Now that she was older, threats were acted upon. She was no longer scared so easily; new tactics with more critical outcomes were being used. Things were ten times more crucial as they had once been, and mostly because his power had grown.

            Grown and changed.

Jennifer Connelly     David Bowie    Jim Henson            C    C