Labyrinth Fan Fiction ❯ Dark Crystals ❯ Within the castle walls ( Chapter 6 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter Six: Within the Castle Walls

The Goblin King said nothing as he climbed the stairs and neither did the girl at his side.

From above, they could see the dim glow of a light source. It lead to a plain looking room, a small dungeon with cobwebs covering the bars, their footprints were left clearly imprinted in a layer of dust that covered the floor.

They moved quickly and silently across the room and climbed a short flight of stairs; the Goblin King pushed open the wooden door that led to the dungeon. They came across a great hallway, where many corridors led in every direction. Jareth chose a hallway to his left; they passed several doorways and more corridors before they entered a specific couloir.

Jareth's lips parted when he suddenly felt a familiar presence that was in the air. He quickly rushed up the spiral stone staircase, making a few flames of the torches flicker and entered the famous Escheresque room; Chantal a few steps behind. He stopped at the edge of the platform overlooking the confusing room. He was certain that the presence was there; for a moment it was strong and then it was as though it had left the room.

"Stephanie?" he called out, his voice echoed throughout the room.

No response.

His eyes narrowed in confusion; he shook his head at Chantal and he turned around to descend the steps that was situated to one side of the platform; he informed the girl that they will take one more shortcut to the throne room; Chantal groaned with another roll of her eyes to which Jareth held a chuckle.

It took them several more minutes as they made their way through the many passageways and staircases, it took more time because the mortal girl could not walk in any direction within the room like he can, so he had to find a way around this obsticle. At one point he wanted to use some of his magic to help the girl to shorten the process but who knew how powerful or dangerous this enemy was; he decided to keep any powers he still had.

The Goblin King smiled a bit when he saw the platform they needed to reach; to Chantal they all looked the same, even the markings etched above each doorway. The smile faded when he entered the castle's main hallway instead of the throne room.
"Hmm," he said and quickly made his way down the hall; he motioned for Chantal to stay put for a moment. Chantal nodded and shifted her bag upon her shoulder. Serek toyed with the necklaces around her neck. She found it strange that his boots did not make a sound upon the marble flooring. She watched him move with cat like graces before she lost sight of him.

"It's quiet," the Goblin King's voice said, startling Chantal, his tone low by her ear. He was standing next to her.

"But- you- Don't do that!" she whispered back.

"Do what?"

"Oh, never mind!"

Jareth raised an eyebrow. "I'm going to the throne room. Stay here until I return." he held up a hand to quiet her protests. "If I do not return, you'll leave; go back to your own realm. No use putting yourself in danger. Do you understand?"

"But-" Chantal protested.

"No." he cut her off. "Do you understand?" he asked again.

Chantal sighed. "All right, but-"

"Good." he nodded and left as quietly as he came; not giving Chantal a chance to say anything further.

"Stubborn." she commented as she watched him point to her, indicating that he meant for her to stay put, he then exited the Escher room.

"Like I'd listen to him." Chantal said. "He might get himself into more than he bargained for." she tiptoed down the hall, making sure her footsteps were not heard; heading towards the Goblin King's direction.The Goblin King looked around his silent throne room, his footsteps echoed in the empty room. Certain things were different; it was gloomier than usual, the throne seemed smaller, the pit remained in the middle of the room and so did most of the objects he was familiar with.

Lightning flashed outside the circular window and something caught his eye. A large crystal on a stand was near the throne. Dark claws held the crystal in its place upon the stand; he actually expected to see claw marks on the perfect orb.

Jareth wondered if Chantal had actually listened to his warnings, and also he wondered where Stephanie could be; her presence was so very strong now within the castle.

Within the throne room, the air had seemed to thicken, he almost shivered. He warily glanced around the room as he approached the large crystal by the throne; he knew he was not the one who put that there. His eyes narrowed at the clear sphere. Perhaps he would be able to answer a few questions with a search. He placed a glove covered hand upon the crystal and felt nothing from the globe. To get a closer feel, he removed his gloves and placed a hand upon the crystal and searched; brief images of the past hours traveling the Labyrinth with Chantal was all he managed to get, other than a few blurred shapes of a mysterious figure.

Something brushed against the back of his neck. He spun around, a hand upon his neck but sudden dizziness made him fall to his knees. He heard footsteps approaching as he tried to remain conscious, his vision was blurry and he couldn't make out the figure's form. He squinted in vain as the figure stopped next to him; all he saw was ivory feet clad in dark sandals.

Jareth's eyes rolled up into his head, he fell forward and lost consciousness.Chantal frowned. She was certain that Jareth took this corridor. Her hands were on her hips. "I was sure of it." she mumbled.

Serek growled suddenly deep in his throat and Chantal whirled around.
Her eyes widened at the figure before her, she opened her mouth to speak but it was too late; she was thrown back by a force and hit her head on the grey stone. Chantal let out a short cry of pain and landed on the floor.

Serek had left Chantal's shoulder, sharp teeth bared and flew towards the figure.

"You're in the way," the figure said. A snap of her fingers and the little dragon turned into a stuffed animal, landing on the floor at her feet with a comical squeak.

The figure approached Chantal who was squinting at the figure before her. What to do with this one? Her eyes shot to her left. "You might as well reveal yourself," she said.

There was silence and then a goblin appeared; his helmet was over his eyes trying to hide his fear, he didn't make it far before getting caught. His hands were clutched together, nervously.

"I'll spare you if you make yourself useful," the figure said as she snapped her fingers once more. Chantal then turned into a doll, the same size as her pet.

"Get rid of them," she pointed to both dolls, the girl at her feet and then the dragon a few feet away.

The goblin was going to ask how he should get rid of the dolls, but a quick glance at the woman's eyes made him bite his tongue. He nodded solemly and rushed after grabbing both dolls in his pudgy arms.

The goblin ran as fast as his tiny feet could take him and entered one of the servent's quarters. He panted to catch his breath and looked behind him, making sure that the woman had not followed him to make sure he did his task; he doubted it; she looked very busy.

He crossed the room where a trapdoor was located. He placed the dolls gently by his feet and pulled the ring that was used to lift the wooden door. The hole was fairly big, enough to place anything to get rid of, books, food, furniture, etc. and that's what it was used for. The goblin gave the dolls a longing glance and asked silently to forgive him before he tossed them into the hole.

The Chantal and Serek dolls slid down the vent with a soft sound, they had no trouble making their way towards their destination; the Junkyard outside the Goblin City.

A panel in the vent opened up and a small force blew Chantal and Serek towards the side opening. The dolls flew out of the new vent, missing platforms and staircases by inches.

The dragon doll glowed suddenly and returned to his normal form. He squeaked and quickly flapped his wings to stop himself from falling. He let out another sharp cry as he saw the Chantal doll falling deeper into the abyss of the Escher room. He dove and opened his back claws, catching Chantal, but the doll was still too heavy for him. He manuvered his flight to a nearby platform just as the Chantal doll began to glow.

Serek's eyes whirled as he let out another chirp. The doll changed back to the human form and Serek lost the fight with gravity.

"Wha-?" Chantal managed before both she and Serek landed roughly upon a platform. Chantal tumbled and hit her head again and was knocked out cold. She landed on her stomach and Serek landed next to her. After a moment he blinked his orange eyes and moved towards the girl. He nuzzled his head against her cheek, nibbled her ear to try and wake her but to no avail.

Serek chirped worried.

At that moment, a creature entered the Escheresque room; the creature was thin and was dressed in a pale dress like garment, almost the same color as the platform the girl and the dragon stood on. Her thin paper like wings were deformed and she could not fly and so she was an outcast from the feary kinfolk. She managed to live for a long time within the Escher room, gathering items and things here and there to survive or whatever sparked her curiousity, before they were thrown to the Junkyard. She had found a way to transport her finding with means of a magical item around her neck. If the Goblin King knew of her presence in this room, he did not show it.

The feary saw that the girl was unconscious with a small cut amist her hair and quickly disappeared. She then appeared again with a small blue bottle that held a small amount of liquid and approached the two figures. Her bare feet made no sound upon the stone platform. Serek did not growl but slowly moved aside for the faery to help out. The feary smiled and petted the dragon's head with one tiny hand.

She turned to the girl, there was no need to kneel beside her, and gently turned the bottle over to pour some of the liquid into her hand, she then placed her hand over the tiny cut. She did this a few times before Chantal moaned and opened her hazel eyes.

"Where am I?" Chantal said and sat up. Serek chirped and rubbed his head against her hand, which she acknowledged. She fumbled for her glassed, put them on once found and then looked down at the tiny feary when her vision and the throbbing in her head disappered. "Hello,"

The feary waved shyly with one hand, the other held the bottle. She took a few steps back to look up at the girl better. Serek remained by the feary.

"You helped me with my injury didn't you?" Chantal asked. The feary nodded. "Thank you." she said to which the faery smiled. Chantal returned the smile and then looked around her surroundings. She saw that she was again in the Escher room. An idea came to her suddenly and she turned to the feary.

"Do you think you can help me get out of this room and to the throne room?" she asked the feary. The feary nodded with another smile. Chantal got to her feet, brushed off any dirt that clung to her clothes. She then gently picked up the feary and asked her when she was ready to lead the way.Jareth's eyebrow twitched and both furrowed, fighting the grogginess he felt invading his head. He knew he was still somewhere within the castle; he felt the cool rough stone beneath his cheek.

The Goblin King slowly opened his odd greenish-blue eyes, his vision still blurry, the dizziness persisted; he managed to figure out that he was not in one of the dungeon's chambers, but still in his throne room. Objects he would usually recognize in the room were fuzzy shapes and colors. He squinted and blinked to clear his sight. He lay still for a moment, wondering if he would be able to at least sit up.

Jareth moaned as he slowly pushed himself to a kneeling position, a hand to his forehead as though to keep it intact. He was about to take a chance and stand but a wave of dizziness made his stop halfway, a hand on one knee, half kneeling.

His vision became clearer after a moment and he stared suddenly at a foot clad in a thin black strapped high heeled sandal; at the base of the throne. He raised his head as he cleared vision went further up, to inspect this person; revealing a long dark dress with a slit, held together at the thigh with silver chains; a leg was over the other. The bodice of the dress was a darker color compared to the dress and had some vine like designs embodied into it. Long sleeves started at the upper thin arms and stopped at the wrists with odd cut edges, in a bell like pattern; the arms rested upon the arms of the round, ram-horned seat. An onyx crystal pendant hung around the woman's neck with a silver chain. Long, dark brown hair flowed over pale bare shoulders of the being; stands covered the cheeks of the pale face.

His gaze stopped at almond shaped, dark liquid crimson eyes; they looked upon Jareth with such intensity that it gave him chills. A small smile appeared on the being's thin lips at Jareth's discomfort.

"Stephanie?" Jareth said in disbelief.

The girl upon the throne said nothing, but smiled again; a rather innocent and yet malicious expression.