::Two stagehands pace nervously around backstage; the audience can still be heard clapping from the last presentation.::


Stagehand one (nervously): This is bad; Jareth should have been here by now!


Stagehand two: Don’t worry; I’m sure he’ll show up… Eventually.


Stagehand one: What if he doesn’t?


::The applause dies down, as the spotlight moves to the right of the stage, awaiting the next speaker::


Stagehand one: Oh god…What should we tell them?


Stagehand two: We’re just going to have to…hmM?


Stagehand one: What is it?


::Stagehand two, slowly approaches the back exit and puts his ear on the door::


Stagehand two: It sounds like claws, scraping at the door.


:: Stagehand one slowly approaches the door as well::


Stagehand one (crowding): Lemme hear.


Stagehand two: Move, I was here first! I was— WAH!


::In crowding around the door, Stagehand one had leans on the bar, causing the door to swing open. The two watch in horror as a large, white barn owl flutters in. A strong breeze keeps the door open::


Stagehand two: Oh my god! We let an owl in!


::The owl flaps past them and flies onto the stage. Oddly enough, the spotlight follows it. The J.A.M. dives for cover::


The J.A.M.: ¡<I>Los santos nos preservan</I>! It’s Strigidae!


Stagehand one: Okay don’t panic. All we need to do is get security down here with their tranquilizer guns, and we can avoid any rodent guests from being—Huh?


::Both Stagehands stop panicking and stare, as the form of the white owl begins to change. While they cannot see the owl itself, the can see its shadow against the curtain. They watch as the shadow of the owl melts away, and that of a man’s rises in its place::


Stagehand two: Oh, that’s right. He does that in the beginning of ‘Labyrinth’.


::Both Stagehands (and The J.A.M.) breath a huge sigh of relief as the audience claps.::


::Jareth stands onstage, dressed in his usual “goblin king garb”. He waits, as a silver, tiger-sized, seven tailed fox approaches from the left, and a seven-foot tall, black, bat like creature approaches from the right; Darien and Jamba. Both stand on either side of him.::


Jareth: Well, I just flew in and boy, are my w—


::Jareth stops when he sees both Jamba and Darien shaking their heads.::


Darien (whispering): Don’t. It’s been done to death.


Jareth (whispering): I’ve never spoken to an audience before.


Jamba (whispering): What about the goblins?


Jareth (whispering): That’s different. They’re obligated to laugh.


Jamba (whispering): Then just talk like you normally would, only don’t use jokes.


Jareth (whispering): Fine.


::The audience begins to grow bored. A few un-muffled coughs can be heard::


Jareth (raising his hands): Good evening, my putrid, parasitic sacks of entrails!


Mrs. Clutchcoin: Well, I never!


Darien (thinking to himself): Close enough.


Jareth : Every year, dozens upon dozens of stories are written. Some are only a few pages, while some have been over three hundred. However, out of all of these, there is always one that stands a notch above the rest. It may seem strange that I’m one of the nominees as well as the presenter, but Indy trusted me to do it.


Jamba: Actually, you begged him…


Jareth (giving Jamba a hard look): But I’ll be fair about it, even if by some strange twist if fate I don’t happen to win.


Darien: That’s not what you told the goblins last week.


::Jareth reaches forward, as if he were expecting something to be dropped into his hand.::


Jareth: The envelope please?


::A high pitched ringing noise can be heard from the back of the theater, as a small, pool ball sized crystal comes rolling down the aisle; people watch curiously as it rolls by. Upon reaching the stage, the ball leaps up off the floor as if it had been catapulted into the air somehow, and into Jareth’s outstretched hand::


Stagehand one, from backstage: Yup, did that too.


Stagehand two: SHHHH!


Jamba (looking curiously at the crystal): What is it?


Jareth, rolling the crystal about his hands: <a href=“http://www.wavcentral.com/sounds/movies/labyrinth/crystal.mp3”>It’s a crystal, nothing more</a>.


Jamba: Uh huh…


::Jareth stops rolling the crystal, stopping it in-between his fingers::


Jareth: But if you turn it this way and look into it…it does this.


::With a loud lighting noise, the crystal becomes an envelope::


Darien: Oh, that’s what that was.


::Jareth opens the envelope::


Jareth: and the winner for best story goes too…




Okay, here’s where it gets tricky. As you probably (hopefully) know, I’m also one of the nominees. Because of this, I have prepared two separate endings. Please add the first one if someone else wins. Likewise, add the second in the unlikely event I manage to beat Fish and all the others.


Jareth: and the winner for Best Story goes too… Fish for “Oh Mice and Mayhem”!


::Audience applauds as  Fish stands up, both shocked and ecstatic. He begins to approach the stage, but Jareth holds up his hand. “Wait! I’ll have it brought to you”::


::Suddenly, the silk shawl Mrs. Clutchcoin is wearing begins to wiggle. She shrieks and throws it off, as it swirls around, turning into a small, squirrel like goblin.


Goblin: Eeeeeee hee hee hee hee!


::The goblin runs to the stage, where Jareth hands it the award. From there, it quickly runs the award to Fish, running from there to the exit::


:: Fish now walks onto the stage as everyone continues to applaud.::


Fish: Wow- thanks, Acorndamy, this is getting a little much.


::Applause dies down.::


Fish: I’m running out of things to say, here, which is probably just fine with most of you.


::The audience laughs appreciatively::


Fish: But- as long as we’re talking about my favorite subject; me- I’ll expound fur-ther.


This story - as well as being a standard-issue CDRR Chipn’Gadget-centric fanfic, was also a way of dealing with some things in my not so-distant past.


The sense of loss that I nefariously imposed on everyone by “killing off” Gadget without so much as a good-bye was a textbook case of dealing with my mother’s death. She was unceremoniously given 6 months to live after a blasé doctor found cancer all throughout her body when she was only 58. Sure enough- almost to the day- she passed in November 1993, leaving my Dad an absolute mess to the point that I had to be “Spock” and take care of everything he couldn’t deal with, being no more than a kid myself.


I still have dreams that she shows up at my door and talks to me like nothing ever happened- like it was some big mistake due to clerical error. I guess this story of Chip finding Gadget so long after he thought she was gone forever was a form of fantastical closure or something. Not to mention, being an artist herself, ‘ol Mom was adamant that I someday tap into my art talent again, which I had abandoned for music. Either way- it sure makes for some good old-fashioned heart-string tugging storytelling in the Disney tradition, I think. Walt lost his mother to a gas leak in the house he built for her right after his financial success with “Snow White.” Explains a lot, don’t it?


::The audience had remained quiet throughout, with Chip putting an arm around Gadget when he saw some tears starting to form in her eyes::


Fish: Pain can give birth to creativity, sometimes. But don’t look for any theme parks from me for a while.


::The audience applauds as Fish shakes hands with Jareth, glancing nervously at Jamba and Darien::


Fish (to Jareth): You’re not err… mad about not winning… are you?


Jareth, (surprised): Of course not! You beat me fair and square. I’ve no right to be angry, and neither do they.


::Jamba and Darien look away.::


Fish: Oh, that’s good.


::Fish begins to walk off stage, but Jareth stops him.::


Jareth: Wait! I almost forgot; Here.


::Jareth tosses a crystal to Fish. However, when he catches it, it is a peach.::


Jareth, (smiling kindly): For if you get hungry during the ceremonies.


Fish: Thank you.


::Fish walks off stage smiling, carrying his award in one hand and the peach in the other. The crowd continues to applaud as Jareth, Darien, and Jamba exit the stage, waving. Dr. Batorious comes over the loudspeaker::

Dr. Batorious: And that’s the end of the Written categories. When we return from break, the Special Awards….