The Keeping Place – Chapter 11 – Part Two

Chapter Eleven – Part Two

Now things get interesting. Elspeth and Maruman are on the dreamtrails, looking for the carved doors of Obernewtyn. They are now in front of Obernewtyn, and a carriage has just arrived. Elspeth saw that the driver of this carriage was Enoch, but he was younger. As Elspeth saw who his passenger was, she realised that she was inside the carriage. So not only is she at Obernewtyn, she is also arriving at Obernewtyn for the first time. Exactly like time-travel, just think of the time-turner scene in Harry Potter, not only were they there in real time, their ‘past selves’ were there too.

The shock of realising that she was actually in her past world, caused the scene to shake a little. Elspeth focused, and saw herself see Obernewtyn for the first time. As this ‘past Elspeth’ looked around, Elspeth had the fear that maybe she would see herself. Maruman admits that this could happen, but only if Elspeth wanted it to happen, and if she did, everything would change. The dreamtrails are not memories that do not change, they are their own things, that change. The practicalities of ‘time travel’ and seeing your past self can make your head hurt. Which is why it is so hard to ever will exist.

As the ‘past Elspeth’ entered Obernewtyn for the first time, Elspeth couldn’t help but remember just what was said and what it was like. Quickly Maruman warned her of remembering, as if she continued to do this, she would merge into the memory and become the ‘past Elspeth’. As Guardian Hester left the house, Elspeth saw what happened outside, when she was taken inside. Guardian Hester was quite angry at being sent away from Obernewtyn, and Enoch departed with her, away back to Guanette. It would be such a strange experience to relive a memory but from a different point of view. I wonder if Elspeth could farseek someone or read someone’s mind in the dreamtrails, or would that affect things?

Elspeth is ready to see the doors but Maruman stops her, just as Rushton appears. He looks to have wanted to speak to Enoch, but there is clearly no chance of that happening, so he soon leaves. Now they can go and see the doors. As Elspeth and Maruman approach the steps, she pictured them as she saw them on her first night. Now in front of the doors, she could see the intricate carvings on the door. As Elspeth studied the panels, she was certain that it was Kasanda who carved them. Elspeth struggled to see in the darkness if there is any sign hidden on the panels. She says that she wishes it was daylight aloud, and the scene changes to her command. Maruman informs her that any command said aloud on the dreamtrails becomes reality, and because Elspeth has changed things, Dragon will be arriving soon, so they must leave.

Elspeth does not want to leave, as she is yet to find the sign she is looking for, and Dragon should be listening to the twins singing. Elspeth soon found letters on a banner, but they were not English (or is that urolish?). She wished for some paper, and she soon found Dameon’s letters, and visualised a piece of charcoal to rub out the letters. Maruman warns that Dragon is approaching, just as Elspeth is about to finish. Maruman announces there is no more time, and pulls her away from the door, and probably out of the dreamtrails.

Elspeth and Maruman were back on the cloud, where the roads forked. There was not time to wait, as Dragon appeared, following them from the trail. Maruman pushed Elspeth off of the cloud, and she was sent flying. Elspeth remembered that she actually had wings, so decided to test them out. She was then absorbed by a vision.

Elspeth was standing somewhere outside, and when she turned around she saw Ariel! Well, a younger Ariel. His form however, transformed into the Ariel that he would be now. What a nightmare! Elspeth asks him what does he want. He replies, that he wants her. Isn’t that the most creepy sentence ever? And he whispered it! That automatically makes things 50 times creepier. Elspeth responds that he hates her, us. Not quite sure about the ‘us’. Yes, he does seem to hate Elspeth, but ‘us’. Is she saying that she is more than one person, i.e. Ariel hates Obernewtyn? Or is she saying ‘us’ as in Ariel and Elspeth? Ariel replies that there is no ‘us’, and that he does not hate her, he needs her. Again, very creepy. Elspeth screamed at him to leave her alone. His face changed, and he glanced behind him, and vanished.

Was that really Ariel? Was he on the dreamtrails too? Was it just Elspeth’s imagination/dreamtrail? What just happened? Why does Ariel need her? Is it because he is the Destroyer, and as she is the Seeker, he needs her to get the signs which are meant for her? Maruman appeared, and told her to ‘go down’ and wake. I forgot that they were ‘higher than consciousness’ and first thought he was saying to go to the mindstream, but he just means to wake up. Elspeth quickly obeyed, and was back floating above her own body. She knew she needed to be back in her body to really be safe from Dragon, but she was concerned for what might happen to Maruman. Would he get injured? Just thinking of him, she was transported to the Healer Hall, where Maruman’s body was sleeping.

Elspeth could see Maruman’s and Dragon’s auras, but it was hard to distinguish them from one another. Dragon’s aura was creating a disturbance, which was red, orange and yellow light. It is obvious that this is a physical representation of Dragon’s mental interference, that is affecting Obernewtyn. Elspeth looked at the other people in the room, to see their auras. The nearest one was lavender and pink, and had a link connecting theirs and Dragons’s. Elspeth decided to touch it (without knowing what would happen), but she could tell it was Angina’s connected to Dragon. There was another link connecting Angina to something else outside of the room, and Elspeth touched it to find out it was to his twin, Miky.

The next figure had a pure blue-white aura, which Elspeth guessed was the futureteller, Dell. Next to her, was an aura which was green, with a single stain of red, surrounded by purple, like a bruise. Elspeth reached out and touched the aura, and found it belonged to Kella, and the red was connected to her grief/sorrow over Domick. I am sure that the colours of the aura have specific meanings, green is probably healing/healer, and red is some sort of emotional stain, it would be interesting to analyse, but the specific meaning, Isobelle Carmody had in mind, would be hard to find. Elspeth focused on Maruman’s aura, and could see the ‘madness’ of it all, he even had black, but before she could investigate, Dragon’s aura began to move around Elspeth. She became very afraid that Dragon was flying towards her, so she quickly went back to her room to try and get back into her body. At first nothing happened, she was stuck. The link to the mindstream, was preventing her waking, so Elspeth pictured it being flung away, and Elspeth’s consciousness rushed into her body.

Back in her own body looking around the room, Elspeth found it very boring, compared to the strange world she was just in. Even though Elspeth was quite tired, she could not afford to sleep, lest she be attacked by Dragon again. Elspeth was left to reflect on the events of the dreamtrail, especially her exposure to Kella and Dragon’s auras. It took Elspeth a moment to remember just what she went to the dreamtrails for, and searched for Dameon’s letter, to see if the markings were still there. And sure enough, they did. I wonder about the logistics of something like this. How did the paper get the markings? Did they just appear, because she drew them on in the dreamtrails? Or was the paper somehow covered in them, to begin with?

Of course, Elspeth could still not read the words, but she would show Fian in the morning, to see if he can translate them (why she doesn’t pick Jakoby, I am not sure). If the rubbings proved to be unreadable, what would happen? She can’t quite risk going on the dreamtrails again, with Dragon on the loose. Elspeth thought of Cassy, and her look of triumph at getting access to the Agyllians again, but Elspeth was frustrated that she would not be able to learn any more about Cassy, unless the mindstream decided to throw up another memory. But given how much we have seen of Cassy already, there will be more of her to come.

Elspeth could feel the fatigue setting in, and knew that Dragon cannot stay at Obernwetyn, and they will have to decide on what to do. Elspeth thinks of the dreamtrails and how bizzare they are, that she could alter them with her thoughts. But a perplexing question presented itself, if she went to that moment again, would she not only see herself getting out of the carriage, but hiding in the trees? Would her presence mean that that scene was forever changed? What would happen if she saw went there, would the scene just implode at having three Elspeth’s, would the first dreamtrail Elspeth, be frightened of the second dreamtrail Elspeth, and then alter the possibility of Elspeth re-entering the dreamtrails, like some grandfather paradox? And would Dragon also be in that scene attacking Elspeth? And then Elspeth wonders, if she could go to any event, or only those that she had witnessed? Maruman seemed to suggest that you could only go to a time/place where you remembered, but he was able to come along for the ride. Does this mean if they got someone who did remember, Elspeth could go to that time/place? What if Elspeth relieve a memory via her dreams, like Cassy’s or through farseeking someone’s mind, would this allow her to go back to that time, or would she have to be there in the flesh? Way too many questions about the dreamtrails!

Elspeth thought of her encounter with Ariel, and decidedly did not want to dwell on the nightmare, so she picked up Dameon’s letter, and read it for the first time. I find it interesting that the chapter ends now, even though, the next section could easily be incorporated into this chapter, but that would be one immense chapter. Travelling the dreamtrails has been very interesting, and I can’t wait to find out the message that has been left for Elspeth.


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