Jareth/Sarah [LADYONYX04 and BOWELS]
Sarah hadn’t eaten a peach in five years.
She wanted to say because she just woke up one day and realized how disgusting they were, but that wasn’t it. It wasn’t that she’d never liked them in the first place, either—because they’d once been her favorite fruit. Neither of those reasons were it, and she knew it; deep in her bones, she knew why she hadn’t been able to touch a peach for five years.
Disbelief. Trauma. Anger. Resentment. Regret. Sadness. Insubordination. Many reasons, all lumped together to form a peach she refused to have again.
This self-made oath, unspoken to even herself, was now being violated, as she sat on her bed, in her childhood room.
Pensively, her pale green eyes coasted the fruit as she lamely rolled it in her grasp. The last time she remembered eating one of those, it had been in a dream—a painfully realistic dream, that in a nightmarish way brought all she ever wanted true. After many failed attempts to resurrect her friends in the real world, though, she lost hope in its credibility. It was an entire year after the incident before she realized how ridiculous it all seemed, and left the childish dream. She had boxed away all of her favorite things and stored them in the far bowels of this large home, never to be seen again.
In fact, she’d never planned on seeing this house again, but her father had called her, and informed her of the grim news. Ever since her step-mother came into the picture, there had been friction in the house, and it only got worse when Toby was born—and even though the conflict drove her away from this place, Toby was her little brother, and she loved him. She loved him enough to come back to this hellhole, and when she was desperate enough for answers, revisit a long-lost hunch.
On that day, after at least a week of him being missing, she found a peach on her bed—obediently resting on her pillow. And now, here she was, contemplating doing something that seemed childish, stupid and absolutely terrifying.
After at least an hour had passed (with her mind on plenty of other things besides this peach), she decided it had been long enough. It seemed so terrifically idiotic, but she had to do it—just to get that possibility out of her head, and she could banish the theory overall.
Slowly, she raised it to her plump lips, and opened her mouth. All she needed was one bite… just one… and then years of doubt would be solved, and she could refocus on finding…
It slid down her throat like battery acid. On the back of her tongue, it tasted like vomit, and it burned the walls of her esophagus more than any fire could. Suddenly, her body had drifted into a complete numb, and she had no idea what her body was even doing. The room went hazy, and things began to spin. Her tongue felt too big for her mouth. Her head was compressed. Her eyes felt like they were going to pop out of their sockets.
A great tidal wave of white noise came over her head, and then, nothing. Then, water—water weakly bubbling nearby.
Her eyes shot open, and she burst upright. Sarah’s heart gave thick, empty throbs in her chest as she looked around her and recognized everything she’d believed to be a figment of her imagination. There was a small square filled with water, lightly rippling, and there was an opening in the hedges. It wasn’t nearly as lush as she’d remembered (these plants were thin and lame), and it seemed much emptier than before, but she knew what it was: it was the labyrinth, which had haunted her for years in mystifying ways.
It didn’t take her long to readjust. Rather than sitting and dwelling on it, she leapt to her feet, and set to tearing through the corridors of the winding maze. A million questions a minute popped into her head as she raced through, noting all the dead and desolate nooks and crannies, but she didn’t stop and try to find answers. She didn’t even stop and try to find her long-lost friends. There was no doubt in her mind that Toby was with Jareth the Goblin King, and she was determined to get him back, above all else.
Doors that had once been locked were now left unattended and wide open. This made her mad dash much less disrupted, and helped her cut time. It was maybe an hour of straight running before she could see the castle in the distance, calling her name. Since she had last seen it, it looked as if it had aged significantly—faulted, dry, and discolored from loose soil drifting through the breeze—as did everything else around it. It only made her want to get there faster.
Sarah didn’t pace herself until she reached the large, heavy doors of the Goblin City. At that point, she gave a few heavy pants, and pattered to a complete stop. There wasn’t anyone at the gate; the door was partially open. Were all of the kingdom’s inhabitants on vacation? Where had they all gone?
She shook her head and slipped through the welcoming crack, resuming her speeded jog.
As she came up to the castle, she wondered if he’d recognize her. Surely he’d remember her, but how? Had he been watching her? Had he even looked at her since the day she outwitted him? It wasn’t entirely impossible to see it as her, but things had certainly changed; after all, she’d been only fifteen when she first ventured through the labyrinth. She hadn’t gotten much taller, perhaps an inch or so, but her body had certainly filled out. She had the waist and hips of a woman, but her bust still wasn’t anything to get too proud over. She still kept her thick brown hair long, and she still had that distant quality to her expression, as if she were always dreaming of something better or different. But, in relation to her face, she’d lost some of the baby fat and grew into it more.
Overall, she’d just… grown up.
When she reached the castle’s doors, she stopped once again. Her first instinct was to open it, but of course, it was locked. Her eyebrows knitted together, and after taking a deep breath, she began to violently pound against the door.
“Goblin King, give me back my brother!” she hollered. Her voice had also changed; she was twenty, after all. “So help me, if you don’t open this door, I will break it down!”
Somehow, she thought.