Despite having survived a plane crash, earned a few injuries along the way and now finding myself in the middle of nowhere with strangers - I still had a bigger problem. I had a power, I knew I had a power and I had lied and told these strangers I didn't. Only half of them believed me, others – like Toby - weren't so sure I was telling the truth. I kind of wanted them to know, but on the other hand I didn't. When people know you can read minds their thoughts are more protected and censored and you miss out on hearing all the good stuff. When I told them I didn't have a power, I hadn't been planning on staying around – let alone travelling to a foreign country with them. Yet here we were, building a camp fire and settling down for the night. The air was already bitter and I could feel my toes slowly turn numb – thongs [flipflops to all you non-Australians] don't offer a whole lot of warmth for your feet.
The night grew colder and even though no one spoke, I knew everyone was still awake and just waiting till morning. Thoughts become less coherent in the cold and I was struggling to tune into what everyone was thinking, everyone but Toby who had selfishly made his own coat. I tuned into his brain, 'This coldness could kill them' I heard him think. Suddenly a huge hyperbolic groan sounded from him as he stood up and headed towards the trees where dead leaves lay on the ground, he moulded them into blankets and then made his way back to his spot. I listened as others got up and grabbed a blanket, I sat up and made my way over to the pile. Elise picked up the last one and headed back as she wrapped it around herself. I clenched my chattering teeth, did this Toby guy seriously want me dead? I headed back to the warmth of the fire and sat facing away from Toby – I could hear him yelling at me in his head. 'It wasn't my fault I had been hit on the head while saving the stupid people on the stupid plane on the stupid trip!' If I hadn't been so cold I'd have found his rant amusing and maybe even thought of a sly comeback to mutter under my breath but I hadn't the optimism for such rebuttal. I curled up and tried to tune out of Toby's inner monologue trying to persuade himself not to help me out. I knew he hated me which was why I hated him back. I fell in and out of consciousness until suddenly I felt a warm pressure over me and I realised Toby had given me his jacket. I didn't stir as he left, nor say thank you but realised that perhaps there was something deep inside of him that was part-human.
Morning finally came and people began to rise from their slumber – or lack of slumber in Toby's case which I was sure he'd voice sometime soon. I got up and walked over to him, I held out the coat and offered it back to him. He looked at me and his lip twitched as he thoughts 'She's not even grateful the little...'
“Thank you,” I said as he grabbed it off me, he nodded and I turned away.
“What's the plan?” Alex voiced as he folded up the blanket and stored it away in his backpack.
“Find civilisation, get a plane back to where we came from. Simple.” Toby said,
“I don't think it'll be as simple as that,” Sophia muttered,
“I think civilisation is a good call though,” Elise nodded as she stamped on the remaining embers of the fire for safety.
“How are we going to find that?” Toby asked,
“Keep heading towards the lake?” Alex replied,
“Lakes don't necessarily mean people Alex,”
“Why don't we just ask the birds?” Sophia asked, if anyone but this group of people had heard her say that they'd have thought her crazy, but this seemed plausible for nature girl.
“Can you do that Sophia?” I asked her, she nodded and then looked up into the canopy of trees. She began to whistle a bird call which resembled a swallow, we all watched in amazement as the dawn chorus replied. “On the far side of the lake there's a small town, but it will be far quicker to travel across the lake that around it.”
“How are we going to do that? Swim?” Alex asked,
“No, Toby can just make a boat!” Elise replied,
“No can do, sorry guys, I can't just magic things out of thin air continuously. It takes up so much energy...”
“I've made a raft at scouts before,” Alex voiced, “it's not too hard and I think it could work?”
“Come on then, let's find some logs.” Sophia grinned.