The nightmare begins for Selene.
|The dark night held in store promise.|
Selene had agreed to meet her beloved, Jareth, in the grove beyond the gardens. He had whispered sweet words in her ear and gazed into her eyes in such a way as to promise more. Counting off every moment until she could be in his arms nearly drove her wild with anticipation. Her head filled with thoughts of his arms around her and his sweet kisses.
Looking into the large oak wardrobe, she chose a flowing, white skirt and a peasant blouse to match. She wanted to look like a romantic vision when Jareth laid eyes on her. She brushed out her long, auburn hair, all the while scrutinizing herself in the mirror. Once satisfied with her appearance, she arose.
Selene lived in the Victorian-style manor of her parents. They had taken an instant dislike to Jareth, feeling he would never amount to anything and would not be able to support their daughter in the way in which they wished. Her family was old money in the village and had their own ideas for their only child. Jareth lived and worked on his family’s farm. He would be the sole heir and therefore felt his fate was predestined.
Selene and Jareth had met in their teen years. The land that their families owned adjoined and they had encountered one another at the stream that divided the properties. They spent that first warm afternoon talking and had found ways to spend together since that day. They were deeply, hopelessly in love. The only obstacle was Selene’s parents. Jareth’s family had loved their son’s young lady from the moment they laid eyes on her.
Selene opened her bedroom door a crack to check for any signs of her parents. She heard no one stirring, so she slipped stealthily out the door and down the long hall. She turned at the stairs to the servant’s quarters, making her way to the back door. She stepped into the night. The air was crisp and she watched as her breath made little clouds in front of her. It was chilly enough that she wished for her shawl, but dared not go back into the house to retrieve it.
She started on the path to the garden, feeling the gravel crunch beneath her feet. Her heart quickened with the thought of her sweetheart waiting just beyond the rose bushes.
As she neared the grove, the old apple trees sprang into sight in the pale moonlight. She spied Jareth sitting against one very old tree with his broad back to her. Feeling saucy, she decided to surprise him. Moving quiet as a cat, staying to the shadows, she crept up behind him. He made no move as to whether he heard her. She tiptoed to the back of the tree, leapt out at him and screamed!
Jareth was staring sightlessly into the sky. His body awash in blood. Selene gathered her senses and knelt beside the still form. A touch of his icy cheek told her he had long been dead. A sobbing moan escaped her lips. She cradled his body, rocking to and fro, weeping.
“Jareth! No! Don’t leave me please!”
Just then a couple from the village, out for a moonlight stroll, entered the grove. The sound of Selene’s anguished sobs had brought them to the old tree. As they stepped into the clearing, their eyes fell on Jareth’s lifeless body and Selene’s blood-soaked dress.