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Lost to the Mortal World

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The girl was born, hair already black and silky like her mother's. The Goblin Queen looked up to her husband, wonder in both of their eyes. "What shall we call her, Jareth?"

With a small smile, the Goblin King uttered one, quiet word from an ancient and dead language. "Moanna. She is beautiful." One hand, in a rare state of lacking gloves, went to his wife's hair. "Much like you, Sarah."

"The beauty is your genes, Jareth," the Goblin Queen protested, though her blush alleviated her tone. A small smile found its way to her lips, and tired green eyes met the Goblin King's mismatched ones again. "She is every bit as beautiful as you."

And there was celebration in the Underground.

Many years passed, and Princess Moanna grew up with the dark hair and fair skin of her mother, though the clear markings of an immortal displayed for all to see that her father was the Goblin King. Her parents taught her to love stories and music. The Queen instilled a deep curiosity, and the King a sense of confident independence.

The Labyrinth had long forgotten what it was like to have an immortal child within its walls, and often let the Princess wander where she oughtn't go. It was only her immortal magic that prevented Moanna from a terrible fate many times as a child.

Like her mother, the Princess felt the call, the incessant push for rebellion. And so when she found the stairs, she took them, and was dazed by the sights at the top of them.

The Goblin Queen felt the moment the Princess had left. Shocked and terrified, she sought out her husband. "Jareth? Jareth, where is Moanna?" Such an empty hole, such panic. She had not felt this since her brother had been stolen away, nor had it been this strong then.

Her words served only to pass these emotions to the Goblin King, fracturing his ever-calm demeanor. For the first time since she had met him, he stuttered. "…I, I do not know. Sarah, I cannot find her."

With a cry, the Goblin Queen dragged her King to the stairs, and sought for their lost child.

Mortal woe. In the air, there was not a lack of magic, but one different than the Princess had ever known. But without the sustaining power of the Labyrinth beneath her feet, Moanna began to feel the agues of a mortal body, the sorrow and pain. Collapsing beneath the relentless sun, the Princess realized her grave mistake.

It was the Goblin Queen who saw her precious daughter first. "Jareth! She is up there, Aboveground." Any terror she had felt before was insignificant to what she knew now. "How will she know to come back?"

So it was ordered, throughout the Underground, that portals were to be left, anywhere and everywhere aboveground. There were left beside them guardians and guides, sent to bring the Princess home.

It had been too long, they knew. Many, many years had passed, so many that they had forgotten all of what had happened in their daughter's years, but never did the Goblin King and Queen forget their Princess. "Jareth, what if she never found a portal? What if she has died?"

"She will come home, Sarah." Knowing that he could not hide the truth from his wife, the Goblin King amended his statement. "There are still ways into our world, Sarah. Moanna will find her way."

The Goblin Queen was not satisfied. "Jareth, you know how the Aboveground effects your kind. Our Moanna is gone, smitten beneath Pandora's harsh gift. There is only one way to bring her back."

Heart shattered in a million pieces, The Goblin King took his Queen's hand. "It will take much magic, and endless pain, Sarah. We will have to be mortal, for a time."

Nodding, The Goblin Queen leaned into her husband. "I am willing."

Her name was Carmen, though it had never felt right, and she was in love with the tailor. The town thought him a strange creature, with hair that was feathery and a color more common in the North Country. That was not the least of his oddness, for his eyes were mismatched. Despite all this, Carmen loved him with all of her heart from the first moment she had met him, and never loved another the same way.

On her deathbed, Carmen saw what had happened, the entirety of the plan. She was not Carmen, but the Goblin Queen. With her last whisper, though her poor Moanna and the vile husband that had made her daughter's return possible could not hear it, she looked forward with hope. "I'll see you soon, Jareth."

The Goblin Queen stood, triumphant, with her King. He had returned early, for he could not neglect his duties. It was this return that allowed them their Princess, their dear Moanna. She had missed him so, those many mortal years she had spent without him. They had been emptier than their eons Underground without the Princess.

But now they were nearly reunited. A moment more, and they would be a family again. His hand clasped hers as they watched their child face one last test. It was a test of suffering, and love, but it was one that would prove their Princess to be a rightful immortal.

It pained the Goblin Queen that death of the mortal body was required for them to accept the immortal form. Death was far from sweet, from losing her tailor-King, to shaking off her own flesh. Tears fell as the Princess felt the woes of Pandora for one last time. And then they were one.