Categories > Movies > Labyrinth

Side Effects

by shadowlurker13 0 reviews

what if she got the wrong potion?

Category: Labyrinth - Rating: PG - Genres: Humor - Published: 2017-07-22 - 1527 words - Complete

Side Effects



Summary: This is an alternate outcome with (what else?) the infamous peach. Those of you familiar with the Goblin Companion might know where this is going. I blame Terry Jones for this.
(Once again, I don't own any of this stuff nor am I making money from it and kudos to Henson and Froud and Bowie and everybody involved in the original work)

Side Effects

The goblin army had been quickly repurposed as a reconstruction crew out in the city once the remaining boulders had been ejected or subdued. The place was a total wreck; it would take months to fix all the damage. Jareth was alone, pacing in the Throne Room. How in the world had he failed? What had he done wrong? All the factors that he controlled had been executed perfectly. The peach should have taken care of everything. Why had the drug worn off so quickly? It should’ve lasted for hours. The drug…

Jareth suddenly had a thought that made him go cold inside. He ran upstairs to his workshop as fast as his feet would take him and raced to the table. The small windowless tower room was full of books and concoctions and small experimental devices of all shapes and uses. A bunch of brown apothecary bottles were carefully lined up at the back of the table. One was a little forward because it had been used recently and had been replaced in a hurry. A large scrying crystal on a metal pedestal and an even larger candle, melted down to about six inches in height, were the only other objects currently on the table. Jareth quickly ignited the candle and picked up the used bottle, holding it to the light to inspect the label. Seeing what it was, he suddenly felt the need to sit and collapsed into a nearby chair. He had used the wrong potion.

He had been just a touch too confident in his memory of the room. While he had been ‘fixing’ the peach, he had been watching Sarah in the crystal, plotting, instead of watching his hand and, in consequence, had grabbed the bottle directly to the left of the one he needed. The potion he had meant to use was a love spell, or, rather, a lust spell, one that would have kept her completely out of commission for the next hour at least. What he had unknowingly substituted was a virulent poison, one completely unknown outside the goblin kingdom and without antidote. The initial side-effects were so similar to those of the love potion that he hadn’t even realized his mistake.

But this was no ordinary virulent poison, not the kind that kills you in three seconds flat. Nor was she in any danger of dying of disappointment and ennui, as she would have with a single drop from that foul brew a certain famous pirate carried with him. No, this was a very different kind of drug altogether, and it would take an entire three days to expend itself fully upon the victim.

The chief reason that this was such an exotic concoction was a little-known, obscure goblin law dating back to the mid 1800s: The Abolition of Death. Yes, the little buggers had actually managed to unanimously vote down not only the death penalty or real killing of any kind within the Labyrinth proper, but death itself. Signing this measure into law had been a rather popular move for Jareth at the time but it had made his duties of administering justice in bad cases far more work than it should have ever been. As a result, he had been forced to devise some of the most ingenious, diabolical, and just plain in-poor-taste punishments known to man (or goblin, as it were.) The Bog of Eternal Stench was, of course, the most famous, but the king had a whole slew of petty torments up his billowy sleeves. Yet, the Abolition of Death was kept pretty quiet when it came to the human runners - the mere threat was enough to stop most of them. But really - seriously - he couldn’t legally kill anyone! Torture? Sure, fine. Humiliation? Why not! But no death. Ever. Not even by accident, either genuine or implied.

To be blunt, deliberate ‘poisoning’ was never fatal here, although the effects varied wildly from formula to formula. Sarah had gotten one of the more…err…interesting ones. It was rather juvenile of him but Jareth was beginning to smirk in spite of himself, knowing precisely what about to happen to her. He grabbed a snack from the shelf behind him and lit up the crystal. He was going to get the last laugh after all.


Sarah came home feeling decidedly unwell. She attributed this to the stress of the occasion, the untrained-for 20 mile hike, and - correctly - the peach. After she was sure her parents were safely asleep, she forced herself to throw up just in case any of it was left in her stomach but she was too late.

The next day she woke feeling vaguely under-the-weather but she couldn’t really place how. Just generally cruddy, sort of tired, almost like she was getting a cold. But her nose was fine and she had no temperature. She briefly thought of going to the doctor but quickly ruled it out: what she had ingested was probably a completely alien substance if it had been a substance at all. Chances were good that it had just been magic and clearing out her system wouldn’t help that. And if they did the wrong thing to try to fix her, it would make her way worse. Still, she tried on her own, forcing herself to drink huge amounts of water to flush out. It didn’t work.

She never got to feeling worse but she certainly wasn’t getting any better. She was aware that her seizure of judgment in eating that peach could potentially be fatal. She’d read enough stories about faerie fruit to know it was often addictive to the point that the body would shut down unless it was given more or an antidote but she wasn’t about to go on her knees begging Jareth. Not yet, anyway.

Her fears, however, appeared to be justified. She was eating normally and was mysteriously losing weight; her clothes were quickly loosening. She had lost five pounds in under three days! This was especially troubling because she wasn’t overweight in the least and what she was losing was muscle mass.

She had finally decided to see her doctor after school on the third day, tell him something vague, get some tests done. It was only lunch hour, however, and she was in line to buy hers. As she walked toward an empty table with her tray, she was totally unaware that the poison, which had actually caused only a negligible amount of long-term damage, was now properly situated in her abdominal and thigh muscles and was about to do its ugly work. In a single second, all of those muscles contracted quickly and violently in a rather unique kind of spasm that temporarily constricted Sarah’s figure to a tightness that under normal circumstances can only be achieved with a rather unhealthily-laced corset and compression hose three sizes too small.

And Sarah’s pants fell off in front of the entire cafeteria.

She was so shocked by the spasm that she dropped her tray and its contents went flying. She was quickly brought back to reality by the raucous laughter and turned beet red when she saw what had happened. Dying of embarrassment, she quickly pulled her pants back up, having to unbutton and unzip them first just to be able to put them back on, and did her best to clean up the mess as she caught her breath. Then she ran to the bathroom to hide and recover. What the heck had just happened back there?! As her humiliation was replace by confusion, she suddenly noticed out-of-the-blue that she now felt perfectly fine. Her clothing, however, had taken on a peculiar chemical smell. The poison had successfully exited her skin where the spasm had taken place. She sniffed the hem of her shirt. That smell was very familiar.



The goblin king was in his workshop laughing his head off; he had gotten back from overseeing repairs to the city gates just in time to see the debacle. He took one last triumphant look at her pretty, infuriated face before darkening the crystal.

It was almost worth the price of defeat.

The End


Epilogue for the Concerned

Sarah Williams made a full and quick recovery. The clothing she had been wearing that day, however, did not.

Having the presence of mind not to try to wash it at her house, she raided her piggy bank and went to the laundromat. After seven washes three hours later, it was apparent that the stink wasn’t going anywhere and the whole outfit had to be thrown away.

As did the washing machine she had used for the job.
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