She cut her finger chopping onions for her stepmother. Thinking it was a watery eyes induced hallucination she dismissed it and put on a bandage.
Later, when she took her bandage off before she took a shower she looked closer and saw a gleam to the dried blood that was unnatural.
"Well, that's weird."
She turned her finger back and forth, watching the light hit her finger. At certain angles, her blood glittered.
A chill went up her spine, but it had to be something that got into the wound.
It had to be.
There is no other explanation.
Sarah shook it off, grabbed her robe and left her bedroom.
She missed the glint of eyes in the mirror, and a soft chuckle that came from nowhere, and everywhere.
2 years later
She was 19 and in college. Playing on her college softball team, she dove for home plate, and her knee rasped along the dirt, ripping the skin, scraping layers of flesh off as Sarah hissed in pain.
"Safe! " the umpire pronounced.
The crowd cheered as Sarah limped to the dugout, waving.
"Damn Williams that's a bad scrape. You better get that taken care of." a teammate said.
"Hah. Totally worth it, 2 runs in! "She joked back.
The medic came over and crouched in front of her went she sat. She grabbed a sterile wipe and dabbed at Sarah's knee.
As she did, her brow knitted together. "Hey, Sarah, was there glitter all over the ground? You have some, well, a lot in your skin."
Sarah leaned down. Her eyes widened.
"Uh I didn't see any, but who knows. Some jokers might have thrown some around." Sarah answered in a shaky voice.
The medic kept dabbing up the blood, and it kept sparkling.
Panicking slightly, Sarah jerked the wipe out the woman's hand. "It's okay I'll do it. You should get back in case someone else needs you." She grabbed a towel beside her and covered her wound.
The medic was taken by surprise, but stood up, still pondering the situation. "Okay, if you want to do it yourself that's fine." she backed away.
The game was over within a half hour and everyone left the field.
The medic looked around where she knew Sarah had hit the ground, and couldn't find a trace of glitter. "Oh well." She shrugged and left.
He watched the scene playing within the crystal, smiling.
Soon, my love.
We have forever, and that's not long at all, is it, pet?
He stroked the glass, as if to run a glove finger over her face.
That night, Sarah, alone in her dorm, pricked her finger with a sterile needle, letting a few drops fall on the snow white paper. She then smeared it across the surface.
"Oh God, it does. It sparkles, there is glitter in my blood." She murmured, horrified.
What the actual fuck?
She went to bed, but couldn't sleep. She tossed and turned.
She knew what the origin had to have been because there was only one reason, but she didn't know how, or why.
The Labyrinth. That night. The biggest regret of her life, wishing her baby brother away.
But she got him back, and they returned home.
Hoggle's voice echoed through her head.
"Even if you get to the center, you'll never get out again."
She knew who to ask. There was only one who could answer the question, but she couldn't.
I'll just have to learn to live with it.
After that night she was very careful.
She looked over her shoulder, expecting him to appear, but he never did.
She wasn't stupid. She knew down deep, he watched. She swore could *feel* him.
But she moved on, convincing herself it was her imagination.
Sarah's 21st birthday.
It was summer, so she was home. The day had gone off without a hitch.
Sarah now avoided sharp objects around others and watched where she went. Her secret couldn't get out.
She knew as long as she was very very vigilant, she was safe. No one would know about her odd little affliction.
As she crawled into her childhood bed, she failed to notice the owl silently watching.
It was time.
The goblins danced and sang.
"it's time, it's time, no more waiting, it's time it's time, our queen is coming home…"
He crept through the mirror glass, silently towards the bed. As she slept he passed a hand over her.
The girl was gone. He watched as everything within the room dissipated into nothing.
The girl was never there.
The Goblin King grinned. The window opened silently with a twitch of a finger.
He took flight, winging his way through the sky, off to be with his new bride, promised to him by a young, desperately unhappy mother, who had preferred to trade her sad domesticity and her first born daughter for her silly dreams of fame and fortune.
I wonder what she'll do, what she'll say. She thinks I am cruel, wait until she knows how cruel her mother was. That I found her walking in those nearby woods, planning to do away with her own child and telling her husband a two year old Sarah had been taken at the park.
That The Goblin King offered her selfish mother her dreams, in trade for her daughter at the age of 21, when she was old enough to keep. Linda had gladly taken the crystal, hesitating only seconds to ask of him one thing.
How will she feel to know I saved her life.
What will she think when she finds out about her own cruelty. That she alone created the story that ended in wishing her brother away, because she wanted him gone that badly. The book had been blank when he had given it to her mother, to be given as a gift to the child to write her own path to him, when she was ready.
It was written by her alone, using the powers she was gifted with. What will be her thoughts when she learned that she created the game board, and the pawns, and I only did what she wanted. She wanted me to be cruel, as well.
She was the cruel one, not I. She seems less cruel now, but the underground changes people. I should know.
He wanted to be there when she woke. He had leverage for her cooperation now. The very friends she created, that lived happily and oblivious to their origins.
With a sweep of his hand, he could destroy them. She had powers but he was not foolish enough to make her more powerful than him.
Too bad no one told her what fairy bites really do. I warned her. I told her to turn back. If she had never written the story, she would have lived oblivious to him. He had promised Linda he would give her chance to avoid her fate when the woman had a momentary twinge of guilt, to make it a little more fair.
That reminds me, I owe the fairy queen a small favor, don't I? Later, much later.
I have much to do, and there is much to discuss with my dear precious Queen.
He would get to it…eventually.
Sarah woke slowly. Her eyes felt gummy and her limbs were as heavy as rocks. She turned and pushed her face into the soft pillow, that smelled of lavender.
Her eyes opened. She wasn't alone, there was someone sitting in a chair next to the bed.
He was smiling at her.
She screamed and sat up.
"Hello, my love," The Goblin King said. "Welcome home. We've missed you."