In Gathering Blue, what does Thomas fear?

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Thomas fears that he will lose his special talent as his creativity stops speaking to him.

Thomas is a young wood carver who lives down the hall from Kira.  He keeps a small piece of wood that he first carved, which gives him inspiration.

Both Kira and Thomas’s work is described as “painstaking” (Ch. 11).  As Thomas works on the Singer’s stick, he is grateful for the wonderful tools he has, but he gets headaches and his eyes ache.  He also feels like he is using his magic, his inspiration, or his touch.

"I have a piece of wood that does the same. One I carved long ago, when I was just a tyke.

"And sometimes I feel it in my fingers still, the knowledge that I had then." (Ch. 9)

 Kira realizes that he uses the past tense.  He does not feel the same gift or inspiration.  He seems to be losing it as he works on the Singer’s stick.  He worries that he will continue to lose it bit by bit until it has nothing yet.

Like Kira, Thomas is basically a slave of the guardians.  They are manipulated and hoarded for their special talents and magic, and treated like commodities and not people.  Thomas’s worries are well-founded.  If he can’t produce, they will have no reason to keep him around.

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