King of the Jellicles
by Juniper

It was a beautiful day in the Kingom of the Goblins, hot and dry. But Jareth, King of the Goblins, was not happy. He was bored. He'd tried throwing a few of his Goblin-knaves into the Bog of Eternal Stench and it hardly even made him smile. He'd watched a few of his minions torture another one of those large furry beasts like the one that had befriended that girl... he shifted in his throne with agitation.

"I'm sick of this..."

"Sick? Do you need some Pepto-Bismol, your majesty?" one of those random goblins asked.

"No, you idiot! Get out of my sight..." he hurled the greenish colored creature out the window and picked up one of his crystal balls. Twirling it on his fingers, he looked into its depths. He saw sparkly lights and eyes...

King Jareth sat up. What? It couldn't be that there was a part of his kingdom that existed and still escaped his knowledge. But then, what strange place was this?

"I must investigate," he said to himself, and amid graphics of a snowy owl and a fish-eye lens, he found himself standing in the middle of a huge... junkyard?

"This can't be right... I know that the Junk Lady's yard doesn't have all these sparkly lights, unless you count the fires, and it surely doesn't have a tire of this size..." he stared at the large tire that lay on its side before him. But as he marvelled, he was startled by a stream of giggles from behind him.

"Look, Jerry! Wha' is it?"

"Oi dunno..."

Jareth whirled around, his eyes searching for the speakers, but they found naught.

"Who's there?" he snapped, and more giggles ensued. And suddenly... two figures sprang out from behind an old washer. They were covered in calico-colored fur, which was surprizing because one of the figures was male...

"Cor! Lookit, Rumple! 'E... 'e looks like Tugger!"

"I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about," said Jareth as he stared at the figures, which began to look more and more like large cats.

Yes... they had cat-noses, whiskers, and tails... exceedingly strange.

" 'Ey, Munkustrap! Look whot we found!" the female called over Jareth's shoulder. He spun around, finding himself nose to nose with a large... grey tabby?

"Who are you?" the tabby asked sternly. "What are you doing in the Junkyard of the Jellicles?"

Jareth looked around, pitifully confused.

"What the heck? I don't have a clue who's Junkyard I'm in... and what's more, you're in my kingdom! Explain what magic you've used to elude my vision, or you face certain doom!" he rose up, staring the cat hard in the eye. Munkustrap raised an eyebrow.

"Excuse me? Your Kingdom? Sorry, but you don't look too much like the Everlasting Cat to me... and I don't have a clue what you're talking about either. But you speak of magic. Are you a magic cat?"

"I'm not a cat! Do I LOOK like a cat?" Jareth turned around.

"Well, Munku, 'e don' have no tail," Mungojerrie nodded.

"I don't know what to make of this," Munkustrap shook his head and paced about for a bit. "We must take him to Deuteronomy."

By the time that Munkustrap had decided on this solution, a fair-sized crowd of cats had gathered. Jareth looked around, confused. Munkustrap strode out of the junkyard and led the large group down the streets of London and to a random vicarage wall where the fearless and benevolent leader of the Jellicles was invariably sitting in the sun. The scene looked extremely strange to the humans that witnessed it.

"Hmm... what interesting looking cats," one man remarked. "I must write a few poems about this..."

Deuteronomy called for silence. Jareth lounged on the wall beside him, wearing his usual aloof expression.

"I do not know what to make of this, either, Munkustrap," Deuteronomy shook his head. "You claim to be the Leader of this Kingdom?" he asked Jareth.

"Obviously you need it written out for you," Jareth said. "What else would I be doing here?"

"This is outrageous! I call for a match to the death!" Munkustrap yelled above the din as the rest of the cats mused to each other.

"Who will volunteer?" asked Deuteronomy.

There was a jostling amid the crowd, and a small black and white tom fell forward.

"I'm supposed to fight you?" Jareth asked incredulously.

"Wait... no..." the small tom began, but he was drowned out as Deuteronomy shouted:

"Our first challenger! Mistoffelees challenges you, Jareth!"

The small tom gulped. "Here goes nothing." He shot a streak of blue lightning from his right paw. It flashed with electric power, aimed directly for the heart of the mysterious man.

And it did nothing. The crowd gasped.

"I've failed! Forgive me, father! Ah, the evil nine-clawed cat...

*Everyone moves backwards very quickly as the author rewinds the story - whoops, wrong 80's fantasy movie, folks...*

Mistoffelees ran from the crowd sobbing hysterically, heading in the direction of the cosmetics testing plant down the road.

"Poor guy," Tumblebrutus said, having no more than a bit role in the fic.

But Munkustrap rose up.

"You've beaten our magician... but I insist! He must be tested in another way! He may have his own magic, but he may be weaker than most..." Munkustrap began, but was cut off as Jareth reached out to grab him.

"Yo, I challenge the dude," a figure stepped forward.

"YAYYYYY TUGGY!" Victoria, Electra, Etcetera and Jemima held up signs reading "We Heart the Tugg-ster" and "Will You Marry Me?"

Jareth stared at the large maine coon with the impecable hair. The cat strode up to face him.

"Hey, man... what brand of hair gel do you use?" The Rum Tum Tugger asked.

"Actually, it's Vidal Sassoon..."

"Can we get on with this?" Munkustrap asked.

And so the two circled each other, looking for a flaw in the other's defense. Tugger seized his chance. He grabbed Jareth's perfectly-set, platinum blonde hair, and jerked with all his might.

"What... it doesn't even move, dude! Wow... do you epoxy this stuff or what?"

But Jareth jumped at Tugger as the cat gaped in surprize, and with a simple brush of the hand, mussed the mane.

Victoria, Jemima, Electra and Etcetera immediately rushed toward the fallen cat as he stared at the Goblin King in astonishment.

"Nobody beats Tugger and gets away with it!" Victoria screeched and launched herself at the man. But Munkustrap restrained her, and took a stand before the crowd again as Tugger ran off dejectedly.

"He may have powerful magic and great hair, but will no one else stand up to this insolence?" he asked.

"I will," said a voice, cooly.

"Bombalurina..." ten tom-voices chorused, enraptured.

The crowd seemed to take a step back and gasp in unison. A red queen stepped out to face the man.

Jareth looked at his third challenger. For a cat, she was nice looking... more than nice looking. She was a sultry beauty... Jareth felt his knees go a bit weak. Could he stand the pressure?

She began to dance... her hips swivelled, she circled him provocatively, waving her lush tail suggestively. Until... she tripped on it.

"NO!!!" the males cried. Yet Bombalurina rose again.

"Hmph. You men are all alike," she said, and kicked dust at his feet as she stomped off.

The crowd was silent with anticipation. Deuteronomy rose.

"You have beaten our best, Jareth. I therefore hand you the title of Leader of the Jellicles," he bowed to the King of Goblins.

Would he gloat? Would he say "about time!"? Would he dump them all into the Bog of Eternal Stench and leave them there to forget about them and go on with life as usual?

Tears glittered in King Jareth's eyes.

"I don't know what's wrong with me..." he said. "I don't want to be your king. But... but... you're all so cool! I want to be a cat like you! I want a tail and whiskers, and..." he sat down on the ground, his head in his hands. "I don't want to be an evil dude who sits in his castle and kidnaps babies anymore... I want to be a cat!" he sobbed.

"Um... what do we do now?" Munkustrap asked Deuteronomy. The benevolent cat helped the King of the Goblins up.

"If you truly wish to be a cat, you can... for in the wonderful land of The Great White Way there are such people that are cats like us... can you sing?"

"Yeah, man!" Jareth dried his eyes on his shirtsleeve hopefully.

"And dance?" Deuteronomy asked.


"Then why don't you stay and be our leader? I'm old... I want to go vacation in Florida, and," Deuteronomy's voice dropped to a whisper, "I don't want to leave this to that overbearing prig," he gave a meaningful look in Munkustrap's direction.

"Hey, sure!" Jareth jumped up and did a happy-dance. "I'm a cat! Look, Gepetto, I'm a real cat! My mouth's bleeding, Bert!"

*The Author rewinds again*

And so the cats handed their tribe over to Jareth, who was no longer King of the Goblins, but King of the Jellicles. Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer "borrowed" a tail, wig and some face paint from a theatre in London that seemed to have such items lying around, and Jareth became a "cat" in an ethereal sense. Bombalurina forgave Jareth for humiliating her, and became his mate, however gruesome that may be for a cat and human to mate. And so the members of the tribe led their happy lives. Later, Jareth even permitted some of his faithful goblin minions to join. In fact, they tried to make themselves look as cat-like as possible, and when they were spotted they gave another man an idea. This man went on to make millions of dollars as the creator of the Furby, but that's another story...

Mistoffelees sat in his metal cage in the large white room.

"No, seriously, Tugger, mauve is SO not your color... Now why don't you try some of this nice warm salmon pink eyeshadow..."

"No, man, check out this blue Maybelline stuff..."

"I favor the Clinique myself, doesn't cause any allergic reactions, you see..."

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