Part Two – Heart of the Darkness
The next day, which is Elspeth’s first day out in the fields, she spots a Guanette bird, which is a rare sight as we know, but they just keep popping up a little too much. Matthew and another boy with a ‘big nose and millions of freckles’ are with her, and the other boy is staring at her. Matthew asks the other boy, Dameon, if he couldn’t feel how uncomfortable Elspeth was, which is an odd question. But Dameon, is blind, so the staring isn’t really his fault. Matthew had been declared a Misfit in an odd way because he was living alone, after his mother died, and was hardly surviving, and some local boys got ill and injured so the town blamed him. I swear people just use anything as an excuse to denounce people.
Ariel finally arrives to let them through the maze and on the way to the fields, a voice talks in Elspeth’s head. Next to her Matthew, registers her shock, and begins to talk to her. He had read her mind, when she tried to ‘listen’ to the twins who were in the group and were discussing how to escape. Matthew was delighted that he had found out Elspeth could read other people’s mind, just like he could. Elspeth thought she was alone, as did Matthew, but it appears that there are many more secrets we are yet to learn about Misfits and their true mental abilities. What is interesting is that Elspeth did not know that Matthew had read her mind (as we know he did from him knowing Elspeth’s nickname of Elf) which I thought she might of because she can read minds so might have known someone was in her head. But it goes to show that a person doesn’t know their thoughts are being listened to and memories looked at, which is really creepy, and almost makes you want to get a tin foil hat.
Matthew tells Elspeth that he had been trying to contact her but she has a really strong mental shield, which he thinks means she is stronger than he is. Elspeth then proceeds to probe his mind, and seems to go a little too deep as Matthew is able to sense it and sorta ‘blocks it’. It is strange thinking about all these mental powers, and how they would work and what it would feel like. Apparently Matthew wouldn’t be able to deep ‘probe’ Elspeth’s mind, and Elspeth can ‘farseek’ her thoughts, which I think means she can send out her own mental probe. Dameon has powers too, but they are unlike Elspeth and Matthew’s, he can feel what others are feeling, which would be an odd thing to be able to do and I think it would get annoying, and painful it you were around too many people.
All these revelations shock Elspeth and make her think that there must be so many more just like her, and that she will have to be careful whose mind’s she reads, as ‘it is different when they don’t know’. I don’t think it makes it any better if someone doesn’t know their thoughts could be read, at least she is going to be ‘considerate’ about it, but the ethics will have to be explored later. Elspeth then trusts Matthew and Dameon, and it is the burgeoning of a close friendship. Elspeth goes to probe Dameon’s mind, and he too sense it and recoils from ‘pain’. He explains that it felt different to Matthew’s, and he could sense her curiosity. He calls his ability, empathy. Ariel quickly ends any further communication, but they will talk again soon.
Elspeth even daydreams for escaping with Matthew and Dameon, but quickly controls herself and asks herself is she can really trust them, which I think she can. Rushton dishes out the tasks for the day, and Elspeth gets to clean out the stables. He asks her to wait a moment, while he sorts out another in the group. Elspeth meanwhile talks to a nearby dog. Who is surprised at a ‘funaga’ speaking. The dog is called Sharna and the two begin a conversation of sorts. Elspeth asks if he is a pet here, and he gets quite offended and says he is free to go wherever he wants, and indicates he will leave, but doesn’t move, probably from his curiosity. Sharna gives Elspeth some interesting news, apparently Maruman is at Obernewtyn too! But Sharna didn’t see him, another beast did. So maybe he is still over the blacklands.
Rushton returns and gives Elspeth her instructions to clean the 2 stables, there seems to be a lot to do. Sharna tells Elspeth that she should ‘mindspeak’ to all the horses first before making them leave the stable. The first horse, seems amused at speaking with a human and blames Sharna. The horse decides that she will walk herself out, and doesn’t need any ‘halter’ to lead her out. All of the horses, but one who was mistreated get to the field without fuss. When Rushton returned, she had finished. Rushton comments on how quick she was, even if Enoch recommend her. Elspeth thinks about how foolish she was to move so quickly, it was unnatural and brings attention to her. She becomes afraid of Rushton and what he might say/do because of it. Rushton seems to be an interesting character, and I think there is more than meets the eye with him. He will be one to watch.