Marko in Unicorn of Death (1_96)

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Birthday Greetings

Anna M.C.
Vector's Monocle


From: Jareth The Goblin King
Subject: Birthday Greetings to Pale Jewel

My Lovely Jewel,

Having been informed by Hoggle that Monday marks the anniversary of your illustrious birth, I immediately resolved that the first e-mail to be sent from my new computer would be a birthday greeting to you. I am certain that you must have heard from the Labyrinth List by now concerning my recent acquisition, although I was somewhat surprised when I did not see you among the horde of candidates offering me technological assistance (although considering your -- to put it politely -- less than sterling proficiency with computers, perhaps that may have been a blessing in disguise).

However, I believe that I have now discerned the reason for your conspicuous absence of late. You've been seeing another mailing list, haven't you? This ridiculous "Wizards and Warriors" affair. Don't try to deny it, I've seen your subscription records. Jewel, how could you? I'm utterly crushed, really I am. I feel so . . . betrayed, so used! I thought I was the only villain in your life. I thought we had something special. Those nights in the Labyrinth, under the stars, just you, me, and my crystal balls. *sigh.* Do pardon me for a moment, I'm getting all sentimental here. *sniff* *nose blowing*

You know, what really wounds me to the depths of my black little heart is for WHOM I have been betrayed. Who in the Underground is this Blackpool character, anyway? Come, now, you really can't tell me that you see anything in that overgrown goblin, can you? Absolutely no fashion sense -- I mean, that Pulp Fiction S&M "more black leather than a Harley Davidson convention" look is so 10 minutes ago, really, without even a speck of glitter or a hint of eyeshadow anywhere to brighten the whole mess. And we won't even begin to discuss the disastrous shortcomings of his hair. Textbook tyrant, no style at all, with only stolen magic to his name. Tsk, tsk. Jewel, I'm so disappointed. With me as your basis for comparison, how could you possibly choose this wretch? It's not fair! Turn back, Jewel, turn back to me before it's too late!

The only logical explanation which I can discover for this uncharacteristic display of bad taste on your part is that this is all due to Anna's insidious influence -- she's been plotting against me ever since that first damn round-robin on the Labyrinth List. Yes, that must be it -- she badgered you into betraying me in this fashion, didn't she? Such a pity. Well, Jewel, I understand the lengths to which your kind heart will go for friendship's sake. All is forgiven and forgotten.

I want to be sure that you have the happiest of birthdays, my sweet. Remember, you're as young as you feel -- and you've always felt quite young to me, dear Jewel. Why don't you come back to my place and we'll celebrate together, share "a piece of cake," just like old times; you can fear me, love me, do as I say, and I can show you your dreams. Among other things . . . *wink*. Actually, I've brought you a present (no, not a crystal, too cliché). Do you want it? It's a special bottle of peach wine that I've been saving for just such an occasion. I have it right here . . . hmm, that's odd, I could've sworn I left it right here. The goblins wouldn't have dared to touch it. Where could it have gotten to? Just give me a moment, it has to be here somewhere. I mean, no one could have stolen it, after all!

All my love and crystal wishes,

His Royal Highness
Jareth the Goblin King

From: Dirk Blackpool
Subject: Attention Jareth


Well, well, well. What have we here? I do believe it's the Sugar Plum Fairy. How very quaint.

I would caution denizens of glass castles such as yourself, Jareth, to refrain from hurling stones quite so freely. I choose my leather armor for the sake of functionality and intimidation. Try as I might, I can't think of a single reason to justify your appearance. You're wondering why Jewel has defected to my list? Perhaps she was curious to see what a "real" man is like. For Kaltrinnia's sake, you make Bethel look masculine! In fact, you rather remind me of someone, only I can't quite think of who . . . yes, that's it, you're the spitting image of Vectra, one of Vector's sisters. Poor thing is quite color-blind, and her hair was never quite the same after her encounter with a lightning hawk at a tender age. A tragedy, really it is.

So you're a wizard as well as a monarch, are you? (Vector, don't get any ideas, I warn you!) I think I need hardly remind you that such an unorthodox combination is strictly prohibited under Aperanian law, which you are, as luck should have it, very subject to whilst residing upon this list. Would you care to have Vector drag you before the council? I hear their interrogation process can take days. I'm quite certain that they'd successfully shatter those crystal balls you're so proud of within the first hour or so, however.

Let's get to the point, shall we? This is MY list. MINE. Back off. I'll be issuing the only birthday greetings around here, thank you VERY much. Which reminds me -- happy birthday, Pale Jewel, and all that rot. Excellent peach wine, by the way, do bring more next time. Now, where were we? Ah, yes, I was threatening you. Get off my list, Jareth, and take all your blasted glitter with you, or I just may start training Vector's lightning hawks to do a little owl-hunting, if you catch my meaning. I trust we understand each other.


His Royal Highness (much more royal and higher than Jareth, certainly)
Prince Dirk Blackpool

From: Jareth The Goblin King
Subject: Attention Goblin-Face

My, my, touchy, aren't we? Woke up on the wrong side of the Bog of Eternal Stench, perhaps? I must say I'm rather surprised. From what Jewel has told me, I didn't think you even LIKED the attentions of the women on this list. What's behind this fit of possessiveness? You should thank me for taking one of these nuisances off your hands.

You know, you look familiar to me as well. Let me think . . . I've got it! You were the boy who wished his little brother Geoffrey away, it must've been, oh, 20 years ago. I remember being surprised when you didn't request the opportunity to search for him like everyone else always has -- you just said "good riddance" and started playing with your crystal. As I recall, your dreams all had to do with world domination. Fortunately for said world, however, I soon realized that transforming a child as colossally dim-witted as Geoffrey into a goblin would create a negative intelligence vortex of such profound proportions that it could threaten the very existence of the Labyrinth at large, so I returned him and retrieved my crystal. How ironic that we should meet again, after all this time. And you're still as much of a brat as ever! Why, it makes me positively nostalgic.

Well, I'm afraid I really must fly. This owl has a pressing engagement with a certain List member of your acquaintance. Terribly sorry, old boy! Well, not really, but it's the polite thing to say. And I'm nothing if not polite! Unlike some monarchs.


His Royal Highness
Jareth the Goblin King

From: Dirk Blackpool
Subject: Attention Glitter-Brains

LIKE them? What does that have to do with it? Of course I don't like them. I don't like Karteia --it's a wretched, freezing, miserable little wasteland. I don't like Vector -- he's a scheming, underhanded little toad. I don't like Geoffrey -- he's a hopeless little cretin. I don't like much of anything, for that matter. That's not the point. The point is that they're MINE, just like the Listians are mine. And I do not take kindly to encroachments upon my territory. This is war!

His Royal Highness
Prince Dirk Blackpool

From: Anna M.C.
Subject: Break it up!

All right, you two, knock it off! We've had just about all the testosterone displays and fragile egos we can stand for one day, ok? This is Pale Jewel's birthday, and I will NOT have it overshadowed by a machismo posturing contest between you two!

Dirk, you don't remember much about the party after you drank that peach wine, do you? Let's just say that, courtesy of kbcory, I have a photo that's MUCH more embarrassing than the dungeon one I posted. Does the phrase "the Full Monty" mean anything to you? Good, I see it does. So there'll be no more of this squabbling, then, will there? I can't hear you . . . Good. : )

As for you, Jareth, I'm so glad to see you finally got your computer working. Do you have any idea of just how many twisted technogeeks I count among my friends? Do you have any idea of just how badly they can hack into your hard drive if you push me too far? Now, Jareth, really, there's no reason for all this fuss. You have your own mailing list, with a huge contingent of frenzied worshipers of your movie, "Labyrinth." Go back to it and leave poor Dirk to enjoy his little entourage in peace, would you? Jewel and I still love you. Not to mention your peach wine.

Now, both of you, apologize to Jewel. I can't hear you . . . Much better. Now, you're both going to join me in singing a round of Happy Birthday to Pale Jewel, aren't you? AREN'T YOU? Excellent. Here goes:

"Happy Birthday to Jewel,
This gal is no fool;
She's got a King in the Labyrinth,
And one in Aperans too!"

Happy Birthday, Pale Jewel, from all of us!

Anna M.C.
One of the Lesser-Known Winslow Sisters


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