Ebbing the Internal Storm (narrative)
His Sophie, and his worlds, were lost to him. The City had defied his and Jareth's attempt to escape. Then it had thought its change of the shop's sign was adequate appeasement. Just because he had always liked the name Pendragon better than Jenkins didn't mean a change in the name of the castle's storefront would be enough to please Howl. Not even close. There was something condescending about the City's attitude. No you can't have a cookie, but here's a carrot instead. As if he was a child that could be placated so easily. The next day, the sign was back to announcing the owner as Wizard Jenkins. The City had made its point. It was in control.
The storm's rage had mirrored his own. Just as the City's current state did as Howl made his way through the ravaged streets. It was broken, defeated, and dejected, just as he was. As he walked, strange shadows followed him, though the usual trail of green slime that normally came with the shadows did not. He was in a genuinely dark mood, and the slime was normally a tactic for dramatic effect. He had no one to demonstrate it for, nor was he in the mood for flamboyant displays of emotion. Who would care? Who would be there to coddle him? He was alone.
Stepping over a fallen tree branch, Howl trudged on, with no particular destination in mind, when a thought occurred to him. This was destruction brought upon the City, not caused by it. He was sure of that. A being, no matter its form, was ingrained with self preservation. It was instinctual. He stopped mid-stride, taking a good hard look at the City around him.
He forced himself to focus. He recalled the past two days to mind. The storm had been caused by magic, powerful magic. Howl had known it at the time, but somehow it had not registered in the haze of rage and depression he'd been in. Now, looking back, he could see it clearly. Someone had given a little back to the City. There was someone else here, someone who was powerful enough to have taken on the City and won the battle. He tilted his head back and laughed at the sky. It wasn't over.
His step lightened as he turned to make his way back to the castle. He smiled broadly at each sign of destruction he saw on the way, delighting in his newly gained insight. It had been beaten. Only for a short time, and likely to bounce back, but it could be done.
Now he just had to find the person that had done this.