Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Goblin King & The Baker's Daughter

... Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way to the castle beyond the Goblin city to take back the child you have stolen.” Daphne threw down the play in disgust. Forget the screaming baby, choose the Goblin King, she thought. That's what she would have done, but she knew Sarah didn't.
The amateur dramatics society was performing The Labyrinth and Daphne as Sarah was word perfect, but she argued the script should be updated, they should end the story differently. Give it the ending all teenage and grown up girls wanted: to stay with the Goblin King in his castle. Her will was strong, but in each rehearsal the director refused to discuss it. And it didn't help that the boy cast as the King was wimpy. If that had been the case in the film, she too would have saved her infant brother.
The eldest daughter of a baker with 15 younger siblings, the 'noisy brats' as she called them, she wanted to run, but with nowhere to go, she plastered her bedroom walls with posters of the Goblin King and spoke to him hoping that he'd hear her.
One evening after a busy day helping in the bakery and caring for her siblings, Daphne flung herself on her bed and sobbing said “Goblin King! Goblin King! Wherever you may be, use your power over me!”
There was frantic tapping at the window. Had he come? There were shrieks of laughter and the angry voice of her mother, “Climb down this minute!” Three of her brothers were in the apple tree outside her window.
Daphne and Jareth sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” They chorused before scrambling down hurriedly.
I have no privacy!” Daphne shouted, “I wish the Goblin King would come and turn the world upside down! Right now just for me!” She fell asleep in her clothes and dreamt of the castle's ball where she let Jareth seduce her. But when she awoke she was in the same bed and late for Sunday morning rehearsals.
Racing to the village hall, she passed a blind beggar, dressed in black with a brimmed hat and white stick. She stopped, turned around and went back; his strange appearance was vaguely familiar. His hand shook a tin mug in an appeal for silver. Daphne generously gave a pound from her jean pocket. Could it be the Goblin King? She continued to stand in front of him, waiting for him to transform before her. Instead from the folds of his cloak he drew out two crystal balls, twisting and turning them in his hand, releasing them like bubbles. Her two futures floated towards her: one with the blind beggar, but living without his love and without his great kingdom; the other, an adult life chained to lazy kids and feckless husbands. As the crystal balls were carried away, Daphne was bitterly disappointed.
The blind beggar spoke, “My kingdom was great, but it's gone. My will was once strong, but love destroyed it. A shabby, blind beggar doesn't have to live up to a young girl's expectations. Wish again and I'll fulfil it.”
Daphne didn't want either of those lives he had shown her. She saw The Labyrinth in her head and knew what she had to ask for, “Then I choose freedom! I wish to be turned into a creature of the night. Turn me into a snowy white barn owl!” And as the words left her lips, it was done. The Goblin King had freed the baker's daughter from captivity.