By Louise Gikow, Illustrated by Bruce McNally A Purnell book published by Macdonald & Co Ltd, 1986 Copyright Henson Associates, Inc.

Somewhere on the edge of your imagination, there is a Labyrinth. It twists and turns like wicked thoughts, and no one - no man, woman, or child - has ever reached its centre. There standing within the walls of Goblin Town, is the castle of Jareth, the goblin king.

Goblins are nasty little creatures whose greatest delight is stealing babies and turning them into goblins. But this can only happen if you wish for it. You must say exactly the right words for your wish to come true. СI wish the goblins would come and take you away right now!Т are the right words. When the goblins hear them, they will comeЕ

In a little town just outside a big city lived Sarah, her father, her stepmother, her half-brother, Toby and her dog, Merlin.

Toby was just a year old, but Sarah considered him a terrible nuisance. She was always asked by to bay-sit for him when she had something better to do.

He was allowed to play with all her favourite toys - even her very special bear, Lancelot. Besides, everyone paid lots of attention when he did something silly, like made noises or stand up. While no one, Sarah thought, pays any attention to me at all.

One summerТs night, Sarah was alone with Toby when a storm swept in from the east. Lightening flashed, and thunder roared. Toby began to cry.

No matter what she did, Sarah couldnТt make him stop.

She tried picking him up and bouncing him on her knee. She tried his rattle, his bottle and his fuzzy yellow chicken. She tried everything she could think of.

But the tiny, red-headed, red-faced Toby cried louder.

СOh, be quiet!Т Sarah was furious. СSometimes I really hate you.Т Then she added, stamping her foot, СI wish the goblins would come and take you away right now!Т

And they did.

Toby was gone. In his place was Jareth, king of the goblins, tall and stern in his dark cloak, eyes glittering in the gloom.

СWho are you?Т Sarah whispered, trembling. СAnd where is my baby brother?Т

СToby is mine,Т Jareth told her. УHe is in my castle, at the centre of the Labyrinth.Т

СBut I didnТt really mean it!Т Sarah gasped.

СYou must have,Т Jareth replied, raising his eyebrows. СYou said the words.Т

СWhere is the Labyrinth?Т Sarah asked.

Jareth made a grand gesture, waving his arm and swirling his cape. Sarah found herself on a hillside. The sky glowed yellow and orange. In the distance was a castle surrounded by darkness.

Jareth spoke. СIn thirteen hours, Toby will be turned into a goblin. Then he will be mine forever.Т He waved his arm again and was gone.

Fingers of light spread over the hillside as the sun began to rise. Stretched out at SarahТs feet was the Labyrinth.

Sarah walked down the hillside towards the huge wall that surrounded the Labyrinth. She hadnТt gone very far when she came upon Hoggle, who was gardening outside the labyrinth walls.

Hoggle was not very nice. That wasnТt unusual because it isnТt very nice when you live near the Labyrinth. But Hoggle was not very nice to everyone, including Jareth and that was unusual.

СExcuse me,Т Sarah said politely, СCan you tell me where the door to the Labyrinth is?Т

СMaybe,Т Hoggle replied, sniffing.

СWell, where is it?Т

СWhere is what?Т

СThe door,Т Sarah said. СHow do I get into the Labyrinth?Т

Hoggle shrugged and pointed. Behind Sarah, a pair of doors had mysteriously appeared. They swung open.

Sarah looked at Hoggle. This was a strange place, and even someone as disagreeable as he would be better than none. But he wasnТt about to join her, so she entered the Labyrinth alone.

As the gates swung shut behind her, Hoggle shook his head and went back to his work.

The corridors of the Labyrinth seemed to go on forever, but Sarah took a deep breath, straightened her shoulders and started walking. Sooner or later, she thought, IТll have to get somewhere.

The Labyrinth was determined to prove her wrong. The walls moved closer together. A damp chill settled heavily over her, and small noises sounded loud in the echoing air.

She walked and walked. Then she began to run. The sound of her won breathing was harsh in her ears. The Labyrinth stretched out before her, never-ending.

Finally she stopped, out of breath. She reached out to steady herself, touching the rough surface of the Labyrinth wall.

СHello,Т said a cheerful voice near her hand. СWhy donТt you try walking that way?Т

A small worm peered at Sarah from a crack in the wall.

СThat way,Т the worm repeated. СDonТt you see?Т

Sarah didnТt see. As far as she could tell, there was a solid wall in front of her.

СGo on,Т said the worm. СThings are not what they seem in this place.Т

And they werenТt.

Sarah had learned her first lesson. She would no longer allow the Labyrinth to lead her in a straight line to nowhere. She had found her way through the wall. But two hours had already passed, and there was still a long way to go.

She soon came upon a pair of doors that were guarded by two of the oddest creatures she had ever seen. A riddle unlocked the door that led her onward.

One of us will tell you true, One will always lie. Just one question is your due, And only one reply. One right answer gets you through, Which door will you try?

Footnote: The solution to the riddle: Sarah was allowed only one question of her two doorkeepers, one of whom always lied and one of whom always told the truth. The question she finally asked was: УWould he (she pointed at the other doorkeeper) tell me this door leads to the castle?Ф

If the door she was indicating was the wrong one and she was asking the lying doorkeeper, his answer would be yes - because he would lie. If she was asking the truthful doorkeeper, he too would answer yes - since the other doorkeeper would lie. In either case, the other door would be the correct one.

If the door she was indicating was the right one and she was asking the lying doorkeeper, his answer would be no - because he would lie. If she was asking the truthful doorkeeper, he too would answer no, since the other doorkeeper would lie. In either case, this would be the correct door

The door Sarah chose was the correct one. In the Labyrinth, however, the correct choice is not always a good one. As she stepped through the door, the floor opened up beneath her feet.

Sarah fell down and down a narrow chute. She barely had time to be frightened before she felt a hand grab her. thank heavens she thought. Then she looked around and noticed that there were thousands of hands - all growing out of the walls.

Sarah was too frightened to scream.

СUp or down?Т the hands asked her. СUp or down?Т

СDown,Т she finally managed to say.

She was passed from one hand to another until they finally lowered her into a small, dark cell. A door clanged shut over her head. There seemed to be no way out.

But Hoggle was there, and there was a way out.

СI knew you were going to get into trouble as soon as I saw you,Т he said grumpily. СThe Labyrinth is too dangerous. IТll show you how to get back.Т

СI wonТt go back,Т Sarah replied. СIТve got to find Toby, and IТve come too far to give up now. She took a bracelet from her wrist. СHere, you can have this if you help me.Т

Hoggle shook his head. But he took the bracelet.

Sarah had only eight hours left in which to rescue her brother, but now she had HoggleТs help.

This displeased Jareth, who had been watching SarahТs progress from his castle. He wrapped himself in his cloak and appeared before them.

СI promise you,Т he warned Hoggle and pointing angrily at Sarah. СIf you help her, I will suspend you head first over the Bog of Eternal Stench!Т

What made this threat so terrible was that the Bog of Eternal Stench smelled a thousand times worse than anything imaginable. WhatТs more, if you touched any part of it, you would smell that way too - forever.

Hoggle was more afraid of the Bog than of anything else in the Labyrinth. Yet, in a secret place in his heart, he liked defying Jareth. He was also beginning to grow fond of Sarah.

СIТm only leading her out of here, your highness!Т he lied.

But Jareth had already disappeared.

Sarah and Hoggle were wandering in a maze of hedges when a terrible moan came from behind one of the bushes. Hoggle, who knew the terrors of the Labyrinth, ran off. Sarah went over to the bushes. She found a frightful scene.

A huge beast was hanging upside down from a tree, being tormented by three little goblins.

Sarah didnТt have the heart to leave him. She waited until the goblins had run off. Then she untied the ropes that bound him.

СLudo Е friend.Т The beast smiled at Sarah adoringly, and she gently patted his nose.

СDo you know the way to the centre of the Labyrinth?Т she asked him.

СLudo Е lost,Т Ludo replied sadly.

Sarah sighed. Around her, the rustling of leaves sounded like hissing voices.

S - s - s- six hours, they seemed to say. Only s - s - s - six hours left.

Two doors stood nearby. Sarah chose the one that led into a dimly lit forest. Giant, twisted trees had grown there forever, trees that reached higher than Sarah could see.

СNot Е good,Т Ludo said, looking nervously around him.

Sarah laughed. СImagine a great thing like you being frightened! IТm sure itТs perfectly safe here. anyway, if youТre afraid, itТs a good sign. Things are not always what they seem in this place.Т

In this case, they were.

Ludo suddenly let out a small squeak. Then there was silence.

СLudo?Т Sarah looked around, but Ludo had vanished. She searched everywhere for him, but it seemed as though the earth had opened up and simply swallowed him whole.

Again, Sarah was alone.

Sarah was drawing nearer to the castle every minute, and Jareth was starting to worry. So he decided to pay Hoggle another visit.

СHere,Т Jareth told Hoggle, handing him a peach that glowed like a small star. СGive her this, or I will plunge you into the Bog of eternal Stench. And if she kisses you,Т he added, feeling particularly clever, СI will plunge you both in.Т

СI wonТt do anything to hurt the little missy!Т Hoggle cried. But Jareth gazed deep into HoggleТs eyes, and Hoggle knew he had no choice.

In the forest, Sarah came upon a band of strange creatures who were able to take off their heads and toss them into the air. Sarah found this most peculiar. Yet they seemed friendly and willing to help.

The creatures promised to take Sarah to the castle. But the deeper they travelled into the forest, the more she realised that they didnТt even know what a castle was, let alone how to find one.

Try as she might, Sarah could not get away from them.

Finally, she ran. The creatures chased her until she came to a wall that blocked her path. She looked around wildly for a way to escape.

СUp here!Т a voice called.

It was Hoggle. He lowered a rope to her, and she climbed to safety.

СHoggle!Ф Sarah cried in delight. СYou came back!Т

СNo! DonТt kiss me!Т Hoggle screamed. But it was too late - she already had. The wall gave away, and Sarah and Hoggle plunged towards the Bog of Eternal Stench. They slipped and slid down the steep incline until they landed on something soft and large. It was Ludo.

СArh!Т Hoggle shrank back, noticing LudoТs large teeth.

СLudo!Т Sarah gratefully hugged the furry beast.

СSmell!Т moaned Ludo, tears pouring down his cheeks.

Sarah gasped, the she held her breath.

There was only one bridge across the foul - smelling bog. It was guarded by a gallant knight, Sir Didymus, and his faithful steed, Ambrosius.

СI am sworn to do my duty,Т Sir Didymus told them. СWithout my permission, no one may cross this bridge.Т

СOh please!Т Sarah begged. СIТve got so little time left. I must find Toby!Т She stepped towards the bridge, but Sir Didymus stopped her, brandishing a walking stick.

Ludo jumped up to defend Sarah, and a battle began,. Ludo had size and strength on his side, but Sir Didymus was courageous and determined. He also had one great advantage - he didnТt seem to notice the smell.

The duel ended in a draw.

When the fighting was over and Ludo and Sir Didymus had shaken hands, Sarah approached the little knight once more.

СWhat exactly have you sworn?Т she asked him.

СI have sworn with my life blood,Т Sir Didymus replied, bowing deeply, Сthat no one shall pass this way without my permission.Т

СWell then,Т Sarah said politely, holding her nose, Сmay we have your permission?Т

The gallant Sir Didymus turned SarahТs question around and examined it from all angles. He could see no flaw in it.

СYes,Т he finally said. He bowed low again, kissing SarahТs hand. СAnd I , Sir Didymus, will join your courageous band.Т

Sarah now had three companions to aid her on her journey.

Sarah had just stepped onto the creaking, groaning bridge when it collapsed and sank slowly into the bog.

СOh, no!Т she gasped. СHow will I get across now?Т

СThere is no other way, milady,Т Sir Didymus told her, shaking his head.

At that moment, Ludo sat down on the bank and began to howl.

Sir Didymus turned in amazement. СMy brother!Т he said. СAre you the manly knight I fought just now? How can you sit by and howl when yon maiden needs our help?Т

Ludo kept howling. As the astonished Sir Didymus watched, a boulder rose up put of the bog ion answer to LudoТs cry. More boulders joined it, becoming a bridge of stepping stones that led to the opposite bank.

СRocks Е friends,Т Ludo said sweetly.

Sarah, Hoggle, Ludo and Sir Didymus moved quickly through a deep, dappled forest. There were only three hours left. They were tired and very hungry.

Hoggle found himself holding out JarethТs peach. СHere,Т he said to Sarah through clenched teeth.

Sarah accepted the fruit gratefully. But when she took her first bite, she realised that it was magic.

СHoggle,Т she said. СOh, Hoggle. What have you done to me?Т

HoggleТs eyes filled with tears. He turned and ran back into the forest, hating himself and Jareth in equal measure.

Then Sarah forgot everything - Hoggle, Ludo, Sir Didymus, even Toby. There were bubbles floating above her, glittering bubbles that seemed to beckon her to some enchanted place. She followed them.

The bubbles took Sarah to a gold and crystal ballroom. Dancers whirled across the floor. In the centre of it all, watching her, was Jareth.

He took her in his arms. СGive up this foolish quest,Т he whispered. The music washed over her as he spun her around in dizzying circles.

She felt herself giving in. Then somehow, she thought of Toby.

СNo!Т she gasped. In an instant, the ballroom and everything in it crumbled into dust.

Sarah found herself in another dream, floating down into a bleak, grey landscape full of mounds of junk. One of the mounds drifted towards her. She heard a voice.

СHello dearie,Т the voice said. It was coming from an old woman, wrinkled and bent. The mound of junk sat on her back.

СIТm searching for something,Т Sarah said, wondering what it was.

СWe all are, dearie,Т the junk woman replied.Т HereТs what youТve been searching for. All your toys Е your nice, fluffy rabbit, and your panda slippers. And hereТs your old horsey Е and Lancelot, your very special bear.Т

That was when Sarah remembered. СI donТt want any of that!Т she shouted. СItТs all junk. I only want Toby, back home and safe.Т

Sarah found herself at the gates of Goblin City. Ludo and Sir Didymus stood over her. she hugged them both, but there was little time for explanations.

СI must go quickly,Т she told them, Сor IТll lose Toby.Т

Hoggle, who had decided to help Sarah no matter what the cost, joined them there. Together, the four friends entered the city. At that moment, Jareth was warned of their approach.

СStop her!Т he ordered. СCall the guard! She mustnТt get the baby!Т

Sarah and her companions met an army of goblins outside the castle walls. At the first, their cause looked helpless. Sir Didymus parried goblin thrusts with his walking stick, while Ludo used his size and strength to block their approach.

Hoggle smashed bits of crockery over their heads. But there were too many goblins and SarahТs small band was sadly outnumbered.

The four fought their way to a goblin tower and barricaded themselves inside.

Goblins were swarming over it when Sarah suddenly cried out. СCall the rocks, Ludo!Т

Ludo did. Slowly at first and then more quickly, the rocks rolled into the city.

They chased the goblins up and down crooked streets and around corners. They trapped goblins against walls and inside doorways. By the time Ludo had finished his howling, the goblins had been defeated.

Inside the castle, the friends moved cautiously.

Their footsteps echoed along the stone corridors and damp passageways.

They found JarethТs throne room, but it was empty. On the far side of the room, a staircase seemed to drift lazily up the wall to nowhere.

Sarah looked at Hoggle, Ludo and Sir Didymus. СI must go on alone,Т she told them. СThatТs how itТs done.Т

She took each of their hands in turn. First Sir Didymus who pressed her own hand to his lips. Then Ludo, whose tears fell onto her fingers. Finally Hoggle, who wordlessly lifted her hands to his heart. None of them could speak. They all knew they would never see Sarah again.

Then she climbed the stairway and disappeared from sight.

The clock struck the thirteenth hour just as Sarah found Jareth. He sat on the wall of a room with no up or down, in or out, beginning or ending. the room wound around itself like a coiled serpent.

Toby was there, but Sarah couldnТt reach him. The walls and ceiling kept changing places.

СGive up Sarah,Т Jareth said, Сand I will give you anything you desire. Look!Т A spinning crystal ball hung in front of him, and in it were things that Sarah had only dreamed of.

SarahТs eyes remained fixed on Toby.

Toby sat at the top of a staircase that led into nothingness. Sarah screamed.

СGive up, Sarah!Т Jareth thundered. СWhy is the baby so important to you? Why must you have him?Т

СBecause I love him!Т Sarah eyes blazed. Her gaze split JarethТs heart in two, for Jareth had no strength at all against the power of love. He shrank into himself and uttered a terrible cry.

Then the castle and everything vanished.

Sarah found herself in the hall way of her own home. She rushed upstairs to TobyТs nursery.

СToby! Toby! She called. Toby was there, lying in his crib, smiling up at her. she picked him up gently.

СI love you, Toby,Т she whispered to him, Сand I always will. I promise.Т

Sarah has kept this promise. She keeps it still, Though Toby has long since grown up, and Sarah has children of her own.

Transcribed by Shirlee, 2000.

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