*Written in collaboration with Pirate-Yashimaru
. Please see A/N.*We join this story at some point after the beginning, uncertain of how close to a resolution. As far as we know, Jareth the Goblin King has agreed to an interview with a mortal female. Her reasons for requesting and his reasons for agreeing are at present unknown. The stipulations include a complete lack of filming said interview, although audio recordings are permitted; further, the interview must not take place in-person. Who enacted which restriction is a saga unto itself. The Goblin King has agreed to answer truthfully, and the interviewer is under the impression that she has been granted 20 questions.
Interviewer – I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak with you, Your Majesty, and that we could agree on terms.
The interview occurs via mirror; the questioner appears to be in a studio dressing room, based on the lights that border the mirror, and somehow has kept her face from being completely visible to her counterpart. The Goblin King’s face, however, is plain as day opposite her, and has a smug sort of grin across his face as he slouches haphazardly in his throne.
Goblin King – Not at all. Something about your drive for answers has piqued my own natural curiosity. Just remember, I will only answer the questions that you ask, and no other. Shall we begin?
As he finishes speaking, a goblin peers out from behind the throne with a small notepad in hand, snickering to herself. Oddly enough, she appears to wear a glittery washcloth as a hat.
Trying not to be distracted by the sight of a goblin, the interviewer maintains her composure, and smiles as she proceeds.
Interviewer – Of course. First of all, how did you come to hear of my search for answers, of my curiosity about you, your world, and what to us in the “mundane” world is so very unknown?
The Goblin King’s blank stare lasts a moment or two, but does not come close to masking the slight irritation in his reply.
GK - Unknown...? Such an impertinent insinuation. Do you have any idea how many stories there are in your world about my own? Every
one of them was birthed by a truth we let slip into your world like a seed. We are not unknown; we are simply ignored according to the genius of our own design. But that is beside the point.
His deep breath gives him enough time to compose himself, and invites his devious grin to return to his face.
GK – Now, to answer your questions
. I will be kind and count those four questions as one, but do not expect me to be so kind in the future. I received a letter.
During the King’s reply, the goblin makes four quick marks, and then tries to rub them out without an eraser, and now tears the page away. She gravely makes a single mark on a fresh page.
Trying to do a lightning search of her own memory while having the Goblin King not-quite staring at her through such a highly unlikely medium as silvered glass, the interviewer can’t quite recall just how very many letters she had sent during this slightly more than year-long quest for information.
Interviewer – My apologies for the unspecific
question, Your Majesty, and I appreciate your generosity
in the reply. I meant no insult in claiming that your world is unknown; rather you have probably noticed that there are countless different legends and stories and cultural traditions that involve what we call “magic” and could possibly relate to your realm, but I don’t think that they would all have been seeded by you and your subjects. Now, I freely admit to having written many letters during my active search to understand.
She shakes her head, realizing that her preparation in forming questions was inadequate to this moment, at least, and possibly to this entire conversation. She suspects that her counterpart will have more of his questions answered, those both asked and left unasked, than she will.
Interviewer – Knowing that I follow somewhat obsolete letter-writing conventions, I dare ask this: What information was in the full address header of that letter?
GK – I never look for anything more than the return sender’s name. After all, as acting monarch, I must know whom I address. This particular letter must have been routed through the system more than a few times; by the time it arrived on my desk all I could make out of the name was 'Will'.
The smirk returns during these few sentences, that devious smirk, as he continues looking the girl over, attempting to soak in every possible detail about her.
Noticing the Goblin King’s imperious response, as though he dismisses the idea of any importance to be found elsewhere within a letter’s direction, the interviewer smiles with a touch of relief. Her relief is tempered, however, as she can feel
his gaze seeking to penetrate her careful lighting scheme. She successfully squelches a momentary doubt within her own iron will, and distracts herself with a quick, querying glance at the goblin, who is even now trying to balance herself on a single elbow without falling into the throne.
Interviewer – Wait, Your Majesty… “acting” monarch… What does that
mean in context of your title “Goblin King”?
GK – I certainly hope that you don't mean to imply that I resemble these lovable brutes in some way. I am not a goblin myself but have been 'elected' as their leader for several reasons, but more specifically as the leader of the Underground kingdom. There are several goblin tribes I have no influence on whatsoever.
He stops for a moment realizing that he has once again been caught monologuing; in continuing he would give her far more information than is deserved by that single question. He smiles, almost seeming sincere before he continues his answer.
GK – I am the king and as such the monarch, but I can pass the title to whomever I wish, whenever I wish.
Curious about that pause, but knowing no way to ask after it, the interviewer smiles as she shifts carefully in her chair. Seeing that movement, the Goblin King becomes more alert, proving that he is not as relaxed and in command of the situation as he apparently wants her to believe. Her smile deepens. She has relaxed a tiny bit, for she doesn’t realize that her smile is fairly recognizable, even in uncertain light.
During the King’s description of his own role, and the brief political history of the Underground kingdom, the goblin settles back onto both feet, and sinks down as though prepared to nap. Exercising phenomenal self-preservation, she wields her writing utensil in determination to fulfill her Kingly-appointed duty: counting the questions and taking notes as directed by the King.
Interviewer – I’m going to follow this rabbit trail a ways, Your Majesty. What would make you pass on the title?
She leans forward and almost stops herself from gesturing during her first sentence, thus throwing her face into a different combination of shadows, and making her face even more difficult to see clearly. This is a clever lighting scheme.
The Goblin King smirks, all too pleased by this question.
GK – A great many things, I suppose. A child
with the potential power to replace me one day. The enchanting smile
of a young girl – you know, the kind that stays fresh in your mind from the moment you see it until the day you die. Whatever it may be, it would have to come and take this power
far away from me.
He puts a special emphasis on certain words, and leans back in his throne far more relaxed now after seeing her smile. He keeps a careful eye on her facial expression as he speaks, as he made sure to drop hints that only she would catch.