Aug. 11th, 2010

Ball

Aug. 11th, 2010 06:06 pm
fates_illusion: (Serious at the Ball)
It was a scene of faded decadence, of wealth so old and jaded in its own power that it didn't see how faded the silk curtains were that enclosed the room like a soft cloud. Wax stalactites dripped from tarnished silver chandeliers, and none of the dancers below ever noticed or cared. The dancers' clothes were elegant once, but they were faded and worn now. They danced to a bewitching tune, familiar and yet dreadfully alien, or else they lounged on silk cushions around the room, feeding each other fresh grapes from silver platters. All wore hideous half-masks, with rams' horns and vultures' beaks, of pigs' snouts covered in silk and jewels. Their eyes sparkled with amusement and with knowledge, as if the world were a joke that only they understood. Their smiles wore nothing of innocence.

All remembered a time when youth and innocence found its way into their midst. She was a girl on the cusp of womanhood, radiant in her white silk gown, taking her first tentative steps into their midst. Her face was unmasked, and full of questions they all answered long ago. The dancers found her youth intoxicating, and not one  of them could keep from staring as she crossed the floor. None could keep from admiring her beauty. Ah! If only she wasn't so young! She'd been so beautiful in the arms of their King!

If only. It was a phrase that Jareth dwelled on more and more. He stood in the center of the ballroom, while dancers whirled about him, but he just watched. What if? More and more, the Goblin King who had all the answers found himself asking questions instead. What did I do wrong? Why can't I see?

The answer came to him, as if from a great distance. The words of a lowly Worm, and yet...were they wise? "That's cuz you ain't lookin' right."

The King saw and heard everything. He looked around, now, at the whirling dancers and their weary ball. They were...missing something. Something vitally important. He was beginning to see it, like a picture developing before his eyes. As the colors became more vivid on that snapshot of decaying decadence, the Goblin King turned and strode quickly from the room. If they even noticed him leave, it was only to laugh at the joke of it. They couldn't see they were alien. Wrong. But their King recognized it, even if he didn't understand what was missing in that ballroom.

And as the Goblin King left the dancers behind, soaring silently on velvet wings, it came to him. Sarah understood. And that was why she left.

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