“YOU KNOW NOT WHAT YOU SPEAK.” The ground shook and the wolf moved to lunge forward again, but Theron was gone.
The Goblin King’s hand still outstretched as if mid-fondle, but it quickly dropped and he stood taller without even looking to confirm the elf was gone. The fierce curl of his lip as the sky darkened and a stark shadow descended over the maze extending far past the castle. “You ungrateful welp who knows not to WHOM HE SPEAKS.”
The growling intensifies, but the wolf doesn’t pounce. A fact that seems strange considering how his muscles trembled beneath his fur.
“You…” Jareth sucked in a slow breath, seeming to take in the breeze teasing the pale spikes of his hair and his collar. “…have lived too long, I think. So long that you’ve forgotten so much. Immortality does that. If we don’t unmake and remake ourselves… start over, if you will. Step outside of ourselves, if you won’t…if we don’t change, then we subject ourselves to false logic. False memories, as it were. A GLORIFIED PARADOX…where we forget where we first began. I’m willing to bet, my friend, that you’ve forgotten everything but pride.”
The wolf’s form seemed to shiver harder until a loud crack echoed around them, followed closely by another…and another until slowly, limb by limb transformed. Until Solas was left kneeling, his face glistening with strain as he shifted back onto his ankles and glared at the Goblin King from where he knelt. “You dare command me here?”
“Where do you think you are, Pride?” Jareth smirked slowly, reaching out a black-gloved hand to trace along the elvhen’s cheek, who flinched and snarled in response but did not move. “This is my territory. You followed Theron’s threads believing that nothing he could imagine could be dangerous. Believing that you were the closest thing to a god this world has left.” He chuckled darkly and suddenly, his hand was tight around the elvhen’s sharp jaw, pulling him up so that pride could feel each bitten-off word against his cheek. “The only thing saving you is Theron’s belief that you can be better than you are. I disagree, but I am ever so accommodating to the one who gives me substance.”
Releasing him, Jareth begins to walk away, his boots crunching loudly as if even the wildlife were afraid to interrupt his fervor. “So you will remain here until you remember who you really are and what is really important.”
“You can’t keep me here.” Solas choked out through gritted teeth, more sweat sliding down his cheek as he still fought to move. He strained so hard that when he was released, he fell forward, his eyes closed and a deep, enraged scream shattered the landscape.
He knew without looking that the Goblin King was gone.
“He can, you know.”
The voice was small. Too small and Solas took a slow breath to try to calm himself before he turned his head to the right to observe the source.
A worm. A small worm with a red scarf perched on a wall that had not been there before. Solas shifted onto his heels again, a frown forming as he realized that he’d been moved. It had been a long, long time since he hadn’t had control over his environment. Was this even still the fade? He had always been so sure before, but none of this was familiar. Nothing responded to his command. Not even this small…worm. “You know nothing,” he said. “No one can keep me caged. All I have to do…is wake up.”
The worm watched as the elf’s form disappeared in a blink. He was silent a moment before he barked out a tiny laugh. “Martha! I met an elf that thought if ‘e woke up, he’d escape the labyrinth! Silly git. Can’t wait to see what ‘e says when ‘e falls asleep again.”