Damn wretched girl!
Back in his castle, Jareth hurled the crystal at the wall opposite him. How dare you throw his generosity back in his face! After all he'd tried to do for you! Do what you had asked!
Anger bubbled inside him. He'd thought you were smarter than this foolishness, than this childish defiance!
Didn't you see? Didn't you bloody understand?
He'd done it- he thought with clenched teeth- out of the kindness of his heart. Pah! Look where that had brought him!
"What I want is you "
He'd said it in tender truth and passion.
He thought he was setting you free by binding you to the wish, this way you could escape, with him, but you had taken it the wrong way completely, warped him a cruel villain in your mind...The look of disgust and disdain on your face when he'd said it...It had honestly crushed him.
Jareth had been adamant that you would come so willing.
The way you had held him in your arms on the first night...
A shiver washed over him at the warmth of the memory. It was at that very moment, he'd realised then, in his wretched Raven form, that he'd felt something , something he hadn't felt for eons...
Curse these feelings!
The Goblin King had granted you such a kind gift, and yet, there you were, walking towards the Labyrinth, a challenge you could not hope to win, to run it, from him- the very nerve of you!
It was rare that runners far and wide trialled and triumphed the Labyrinth- what made you so sure you could do it? He scoffed at this thought.
Another bitter thought crossed his mind: You’d forgotten. You’d forgotten everything. The dream. The beautiful dream that you’d adored.
Rage calming, Jareth waved his hand for another crystal to peer into, observing you curiously as you walked up and down the outskirts of the labyrinth, with a hand under his chin.
He gave a begrudging sigh. There was nothing else for it. He would have to make you see what you wanted again, direct you towards him.
The Goblin King had to admire you for at least giving the task a go.
He drummed his fingers on the arm rest of his throne. Maybe you would give up in the end- you would see how tough and trying the Labyrinth could be eventually.
‘They always do’, he thought.
Then again, the look on your face said resilience. You wouldn’t be so easy to give in.
This couldn’t be right. Your feet were already aching and you hadn’t turned any corners. In fact, you hadn’t even entered the labyrinth at all! You were following the high wall, still looking for the entrance! Dammit!
You slam your hands against the wall in frustration.
This wasn’t fair! You at least expected the Goblin King to open the bloody door. You were sure the cheater had started the clock too. You could practically hear the minutes ticking by and see the smirk on his face. Fuck! You kicked the wall.
“Hey watch it!” A stern voice makes you jump, dropping your hissy fit. There were other people here? Couldn’t they get in either? Were they trapped too?
There was a shorter man standing beside you glaring at you. He came up to your knee. You removed your hands from the stones sheepishly.
“Y’ ought to watch y’self- especially in here, that temper won’t get y’ far” he turns back before you can reply, holding a makeshift weapon of some sort, pointing it at something you couldn’t see. “58!” he cried cheerfully.
“In here? But I’m not even in the Labyrinth yet! There’s no door!”
You looked up at the walls as if he saw something you didn’t. What was he talking about?
The short creature stops counting to give you a tiresome expression. “That’s because y’ not looking hard enough- 59!” and then, triumphantly “60! Things aren’t always what they seem in here”
Were the people from here always talking in bloody riddles?
You decided to be patient.
“Well…You must know how then- how to get in?” you offer hoping he’ll just tell you.
He wore a skull hat and shabby vest, scruffy shoes and trousers, he had long ears and nose. “Are you a gnome?” you say aloud accidentally. A real gnome imagine! An hour ago you would have scoffed at the idea of meeting a gnome. Well there was a king of goblins so why not.
The scruffy man turns sharply “I’m not a gnome, I’m Hoggle!” he snaps.
“Oh,” as if you have any idea what that is “Nice to meet you, Hoglet” you hold out a hand though this really isn’t the time to be making friends. Suddenly 13 hours seemed far too little.
He scoffs, insulted “Hoggle, not Hoglet”.
“Oh, sorry” you falter, already you weren’t getting off to a great start in this place. “I’m Sloane. Sloane Hazel” but like he cares anyway.
“That’s what I thought” he grumbled under his breath pointing the weapon at seemingly nothing and continues counting.
“What did you say?” you follow him to catch up “you know me?”
Hoggle's stoic manner dropped and he looked anxious suddenly, obviously he’d let something slip that he wasn’t supposed to.
“You do ! You know me!”
“Wellll, it’s uh, it’s a popular name ain’t it” he was lying; any fool could see that. He started to walk faster ignoring you by his side.
“Hey come back!” You grab his arm bending at the waist a little to look him in the eye. “You know something don’t you? About me?”
Hoggle twists in your grip “I can’t” he whines “Jareth will kill me!”
“The Goblin King?” you let him go at the mention of the name, but still keep him cornered “why would he kill you?”
Hoggle seemed genuinely nervous to speak with you “Y’- y' ask too many questions for y’ own good!”
“I’m not leaving until you answer!” you cry, frustration building in you.
He groans realising he’s stuck “we were given strict instructions not to help y’, alright? Now go!”
‘We?’ there’s more like him, here?
“Wait a second, if he told you not to help me then that must mean… you know something important that can help me through here!”
“I’m telling y’ if you don’t stop asking questions then we’re both dead”
“Just tell me where the bloody entrance to this maze is and I’ll go I won’t bother you again”
To your surprise he kicks your shins and you move out of the way to nurse the pain, allowing him to escape. “Hey!” you call after him but it’s too late. “Thanks for nothing Hop-scotch!” you yell holding your leg.
You faintly hear him correct you.
You rest your arm against the wall. This was going well.
A loud screeching noise startles you and you remove your arm to see the wall swing forward, but it’s not a wall at all- it’s the door!
“Oh thank god!” you whoop sprinting through before they closed again. How on earth had you missed that!
You noticed the shift in the atmosphere immediately. The wind died down, there was no noise.
The walls were narrow and both paths to your left and right stretched out far ahead of you. Isolation. The air felt stiff and cold.
You pulled your jacket tighter around you, extremely grateful that you didn’t change into your pyjamas before you slept.
Left, or right?
You dithered between them though they looked exactly the same.
You strode down confidently, stepping over a tree branch every now and then.
You looked behind you after a good few minutes of walking and seemingly getting nowhere. The walls and path looked the same you were sure you just stepped over that exact same branch.
“There aren’t any corners!” you huffed coming to a stop . “It just goes on and on!”
There must be some somewhere surely! What kind of maze didn’t have corners or turns?!
You turned back, checking if you were alone or if you had somehow missed a turning- and then began to sprint down the path, maybe there were corners- you were just being too slow to reach them.
You watched your footing, hoping over tree branch after tree branch, suspicious cracks in the stones, hearing your footsteps slap against the path .
Just keep going. You ran for what seemed like forever. There's got to be one somewhere! Still, nothing.
You slowed to a stop, panting slightly.
“This can’t be right!” it felt like you hadn’t moved at all- the scenery looked exactly the same.
It was a trick, it had to be. Ugh! You slammed the wall and kicked the other opposite with a frustrated shriek. It felt better to get that out.
You were drenched in sweat and your hair sticking to your face, calves throbbing. You were going to waste your entire 13 hours looking for a fucking turn! Maybe he was right, maybe giving up isn’t such a bad idea after all.
What was wrong with you- you’d only been here five minutes and already you were giving in! This is exactly what he wanted. You couldn’t think that way already, you just had to remember why you were in here in the first place. You weren’t about to let a devious, tight-panted overgrown elf get the better of you.
“Fuck” you mutter. You clapped your hand to your sticky forehead, sliding down the wall to sit against it, not caring how grimy it was. You just wanted to sit and stare at these miserable walls.
“You’ll never get anywhere with that attitude!”
You lifted your head to the croaky voice by your ear.
A blue worm on the brick beside you smiled “ ‘allo”
You stared at it . It had a tiny red scarf around its neck and an unsettling pair of red eyes.
"Did… you say ‘hello’?”
You’d met a king of goblins and Hoggle, so a worm talking was not a surprise.
“No, I said ‘allo’ but that’s close enough” he nodded.
“Oh…okay” you sat up to face the worm fully “you don’t by any chance know the way through this labyrinth, do you?”
He shook his head “who me? Nah I’m just a worm”
Your shoulders slumped, disappointed “oh” was nobody here able to help?
“come inside and have some tea!” the worm offered
“No, thank you, but I have to solve this labyrinth-“ you gestured to the high walls “ but there aren’t any turns openings or anything”
“well you ain’t looking right- it’s full of openings it’s just you ain’t seeing them!” he gave a chuckle and shook his head.
“well, where are they?”
“There’s one just across there, it’s right in front of ya”
You stared dumbly at the brick wall opposite, nothing had changed it was just a wall. What was he talking about?
“No there isn’t?” you peered at it but it looked just the same.
“Come inside and have a nice cup of tea” he implored, undermining you very desperate need to find the turns.
You were still staring hard at the wall expecting it to move or something “but there isn’t an opening!”
He laughed again and you felt stupid “of course there is!”
You stood, determined to show the worm that there really was nothing there.
“You try walking through it, you’ll see what I mean!”
You turned “what?” walk through? Like through the wall? You hesitated.
“Go on, go on then”
“It’s just a wall, there’s no way through!” you protested.
“things are not always what they seem in this place- so you can’t take anything for granted”
“So everyone keeps saying” you muttered under your breath, sticking out your hands out in front of you, expecting to smack straight into the bricks.
You were able to walk forward a couple of paces and your eyes focused so that you could see the gaps where the two paths were.
“Hey !” you said gleefully, there they were, the corners! You felt a huge weight lift off your shoulders. You looked left and right down this new path. No wonder you’d missed this! You started down the left path.
“Hey, hang on!”
You peaked around the corner with a relived smile “thank you! That was really hel-”
“Don’t go that way!” The worms voice was hushed and tense.
“What was that?”
“I said, don’t go that way, never go that way!”
You frowned “But why?”
“If you keep going down that path, it’ll lead you straight to the castle” he shivered at the thought.
You gave a winning smile “No, no, you don’t understand, that’s exactly where I want to go!”
He looked frightened, unsure “are you sure, dearie? That castle…awful place” his eyes widened and you dropped the smile.
“The king. Take my advice, avoid the castle, save yourself” he whispered and turned tail to crawl back into the hole.
“But I need to get to the castle to win!” you called but he was gone.
You were dithering between the left path or the right. Both made you feel unsettled.
Risk it or play safe. Play into his hands you corrected yourself. This was exactly what he wanted, you to second guess yourself -that wouldn't get you far in here if there were more tricks up ahead which you very much suspected there were.
You could spend the next 12 hours in this miserable place- hell, it had taken you this long to find a corner! – scurrying around as time ticked on.
Or you could go against the advice and follow this path to the castle and it would be over. You could be home before Kari and Brian would even notice you were missing.
You didn’t need to think twice. You shook off the worm’s advice following down the castle path.
Why was everyone so afraid of The Goblin King here? What was the worst he could do? He didn’t frighten you, you were sure, you’d have to face him eventually.
You strode confidently down the left path “I’ll show him” you mumbled under your breath, the sky was changing the further down you went.
“Dammit” you noticed your shoelace was untied and leaned against the wall to do it back up quickly, you stepped out when the stone beneath your feet flipped over, causing you to fall through the gap and down, down.