"Shut up, you little twat", shouted her father.
Sarah held the crib bars with her small fists and screamed terrified of the new light she was seeing her father in. Her voice cracked and she crawled back in the corner, observing him silently.
"Robert", Elena shouted and stood up in front of the two-year-old, blocking her view of his anger filled face."How dare you speak to our daughter that way?"
"Oh relax, Elena, she doesn't understand. Don't you, you stupid ugly thing?"
Robert pushed his wife away from the crib and reached in to take Sarah. She curled up, frightened and cried as loud as she could. Her father's palm opened up and slapped her. It was not a full strength hit, but for a tiny person like her, it was like hell. The sound echoed into the small room, leaving her mother breathless. Sarah's loud cry flashed and broke the silence.
"Shut, the hell, up, Sarah", Robert kept screaming at the little toddler's face, making her cry in terror.
Elena stood up and tore her up from his arms.
"You are never to touch her again, you monster! I'm leaving! And so is she!" she shouted at him, tears now flooding her face also.
Sarah hid her head in her mother's shoulder. Her soft hand pressed her tighter and tangled in her long wavy hair.
"I never wanted this little brat to be born anyway!" Robert screamed.
A smell of alcohol lingered around mother and child, explaining the new situation.
"I wish you both were never in my life. I wish you'd go away. Right NOW!", he screamed at the ceiling as if someone would hear. Slamming the door behind him, he left the two girls crying softly. Elena hummed a lullaby to calm the scared Sarah but nothing seemed to help.
"Excuse me, madam, are you, by any chance, Elena Williams?", a small voice reached behind her.
Elena turned around. She saw a small, troll like creature that had a shiny green skin and white hair. It looked like it came with peace. His clothes were made by something that looked like a brown bag, making the creature look poor. Poor but safer than her own husband.
"Yes", she said quietly.
"You are requested by Jareth, The Goblin King, who was unable to join me. Please, follow me.", the little thing said and its little feet tapped their way to the door. Elena's heart skipped a beat. She raised her free hand to stop the creature but when it opened the pale white door, it showed something else. A reddish light glowed on her face as she stepped in to see the Labyrinth. In its middle stood a glorious gothic palace, making the view look even more unbelievable.
"We will not be going through there, madam. Come.", the creature said and raised its hand to show her the way. Elena walked beside him rocking Sarah in her arms.
"Can I ask you something, if I may?", she said quietly.
"Anything", the little green thing looked up and smiled, showing its yellow teeth to her.
"What are you?"
"Why, I'm a goblin, madam.", it said."And I live in the Labyrinth village over there"
The goblin raised a finger and showed a house. Elena opened her eyes wide. She was almost in front of the castle. It was impossible to pass the maze that quick!
"How did we do that?", she asked amazed.
"We passed through a portal. It's quite easy, you see. And no one even notices."
They entered the castle and walked its beautiful halls, arranged with strange flowers, bloody red curtains and incredible sculptures. Stopping in front of a large oak door, the goblin told Elena to stay in front of it, while he introduced her to the king. She nodded slowly and looked at her daughter's face. Little Sarah had just woken up and examining the room with her wide open eyes. Her baby fingers reached to touch a sculpture of an angel, merged with the walls. "Ga", she said.
"Yes, my darling, yes. You're an angel too. You're mummy's angel." Elena pressed her cheek to Sarah's head.
"Madam, you may enter", the goblins head popped in and opened the door for her.
There he stood. Magnificent. Beautiful. His long blond hair fell freely down his shoulders. His eyes peering into them, examining every last inch of both. His smile scared her but she knew he did not intend it to. Still, it was warm and welcoming. The Goblin King raised his hand and his puffy shirt flew a bit down.
"Come, come, my guests." he said simply.
Elena stepped in. The room was quite small and filled with goblins. At least, they looked like goblins. Their king sat down on a large chair and called Elena in front of him. She obeyed.
"I was told of your husband. Terrible person, is he not?" he said as his eyes showed how his mind wanders around the room.
"He wasn't always like this, my Lord", Elena said holding her tears back.
"Now now, Elena. There will be no use of your tears. And who is that wonderful little girl?" the king said, looking at Sarah's open eyes.
"My daughter, Sarah."
"May I?" he asked politely.
The Goblin King held his arms out. Sarah smiled and did the same.
"Ga", she blurted out and squeezed her fists a couple of times.
Elena chuckled and passed her into his embrace.
"And please, call me Jareth" he said, taking the baby from her.
Sarah looked up and smiled. Then laughed and clapped her hands, snuggling into Jareth's shirt. The entire room watched her amused by her carelessness.
"GA!" she shouted and laughed again at the echo. "Ich. Ich."
"We can see your teeth, darling" Elena smiled.
Jareth looked at her. He was surprised at how his heart filled with love towards that unknown child. Sarah placed a palm on his cheek. He caressed her hair and sat back on his throne, letting her rest in his lap.
"Why are we here?" Elena asked him.
He looked away from Sarah and said.
"Sometimes I'm called for wishes that were not made by your mouth, but by your heart. I believe you want me to protect young Sarah here." he said.
Elena nodded and thought "Magic"…
"My days will soon be over", she said. "And Robert will have to take care of her. Please, keep her safe!"
Jareth looked down at Sarah. She held his necklace in her hands and looked at curiously. Then slowly started to guide it to her mouth.
"Now now, little one. That's not food." Jareth chuckled. "I will, Elena. You have my promise as The Goblin King. It's a wonder how this little girl can make you love her in less than a minute."
"Thank you", Elena smiled and let her tears finally slip freely down her cheeks.
Jareth picked Sarah up. He caressed her cheek with his gloved hand and placed a kiss on her forehead.
"Goodbye, little one. We shall meet again.", he said to her.
Elena found herself in her room.
"As if nothing happened.", she said to Sarah.
Placing her in her crib, Elena walked out. Her heart started beating more slow. Her sides hurt. Her vision got dark.
"Take care of my Sarah" she whispered and fell on the floor.
A drop of blood slid down her cheek and on the carpet. Jareth's mission had begun.