The Gifted

What happens when an ordinary girl is cast into a world of magic and dangerous people all because of one fateful night? Ellie knows nothing of the world of The Gifted, that is, until she becomes one by pure chance. To no fault of her own, she's thrown into a world that mere moments ago she would have considered impossible to even exist, and is forced to try and find her legs in this new world, will the help of a couple of people - friends might be stretching it, though. As if this wasn't enough, there seems like there are darker things going on outside of the normal Gifted life, and it looks like Ellie might just get caught up in it...


Note: Wrote this two years ago, but I just joined here and I'm like, eh, I need to post something, right? I feel like its corny and could do with a lot of improvement, but I just want to get something out here, I suppose. Enjoy! If this gets enough love, I might just finish it :0 Have a wonderful day! <3

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2. Elmeals Are Not Edible

~~I woke with a start, my head pounding and my body aching in places I didn’t think was possible. As soon as I opened my eyes, I was subject to bright white lights, matching the white surroundings – the walls, the bed I found myself upon, the chair in the corner of the room… Clearly, I was in some sort of recovery room, but how I had gotten there, I didn’t remember. Trying to recall everything that had happened, I started back at the argument with my Dad, and tried to figure out what had happened afterwards. I was met with my own denial, insisting that what I think had happened last night was just part of my imagination or something.
There had been no gunshots, no dead people, no spikes coming out of the earth, no flames. Edren had not died. I had not fought off dangerous people with a burst of flames that I had somehow summoned.
No, none of that had happened. It was simply impossible. The things I remembered happening last night simply could not and would not ever occur. They were things of fairy tales, bed time stories, movies, not actual reality. Rubbing my eyes tiredly and placing a cold hand on my temple which was still throbbing painfully, I sat up on the bed, kicking off the thin white linen sheets that had been laid over me. I was wearing a simple white hospital gown which I did not remember putting on and did not recognise where I was, and I admit, I was beginning to panic a little. Carefully, I tried to stand up, but almost collapsed to the ground instantly when a wave of nausea hit me out of no-where. Staggering unsteadily, I forced myself to the door, and tried the handle –
It was locked.
I’m not sure what compelled me to do it, maybe it was just pure nerves, but I started banging on the door loudly, not caring that with each thump my headache seemed to grow even worse, if that was even possible. I wanted to call out, but I wasn’t sure what to call out for. I felt trapped and lost, and I really just wanted to go home.
After a brief moment of door-abuse, I heard the lock click and saw the door handle turn. Gasping with surprise, I fell back onto the bed, staring wide-eyed at the door and hoping that whatever was on the other side, it would not make the situation I was currently in any more freaky, but instead reassure me that yes, last night had not happened, and yes, I was perfectly fine and I had only seen what I did due to some unknown events, for reasons I couldn’t quite think of. Was there any reason or explanation that could explain what I had seen?
The door opened with a soft whirl of wind in my direction, to reveal a middle aged woman with long red hair and a nervous expression creasing her features. She had a clipboard and pen tucked under one arm, and a folder containing several sheets of paper under the other. She took a noticeably deep breath, seeming to summon her courage, and gently closed the door, walked cautiously over to my bedside, grabbed the white steel chair and dragged it alongside the bed so that she could sit and face me.
“Hello, my dear. I’m Lauren. Now, I’m sure you have a lot of questions,” – she said to still the questions that were about to rapidly tumble out of my lips – “but they will have to wait. I need some basic information from you first, if that’s alright?” she asked softly, gently, not in any way forcefully. At a loss for words, I simply nodded. “Alright, first up – what is your name?”
“Ellie… Ellie Shantra…” I replied softly, unsure if I should be telling this total stranger anything at all about myself, but decided that my name couldn’t do much damage.
“And now, what is your age?” Lauren asked, scribbling done notes on the clipboard that must’ve been my file. When I tried to see what was written on it, she quickly recoiled and held the clipboard closer to her chest where her nurse’s outfit hid the information. “There will be time for that later, darling. Now, if you wouldn’t mind,” she said, pursing her lips, for what reason I was unsure, “I would like to know your age.”
A pause, and then I gave in, unable to meet her eyes. I didn’t want to tell her anything, to be honest. It wasn’t that she scared me, or that I didn’t trust her really, but it was just the situation I found myself in that caused me to be so stubborn and uncompliant. “I’m… 15. Born on February 7th,” I told her, my voice quiet and unsure. At that, Lauren frowned, and when she placed a gentle hand over my own that I had placed over my knees I realised that it was out of sympathy.
“I did not realise you were so young. You appear older,” she smiled kindly.
“I… uh, thanks…” I said awkwardly, clearing my throat. More relaxed now, Lauren started to record the information I had told her onto my file, and soon she was quickly asking questions and getting quick responses from a bewildered, frightened, but obedient me. Do you attend school? Yes, high school. Do you have any medical illnesses we should know about? No, I don’t think so. Who does your family consist of? My… my Dad, Mum… she died when I was young… and so on, so on, until Lauren finally seemed satisfied.
“Seems in order,” Lauren smiled warmly at me, and it was as if she had never been worried at all, although she had looked quite bothered upon entering the room with me inside of it. “You may ask your questions now, Ellie. But please, one at a time.”
Surprise was the first emotion I felt when I realised I did not know what to ask. Everything was so muddled up inside my mind, there was just so much going on, so much so that I simply did not know where to start, and I stuttered stupidly for a while before Lauren nodded, a look of understanding dawning on her face.
“Silly me – you must have a lot on your mind right now, but you needn’t worry. Shall we start with what happened last night, perhaps?” Lauren offered as she set her clipboard down on the folder of papers she had set down on the small table next to my bed. I nodded hesitantly.
“I, uh… What exactly happened last night?” I laughed nervously, shaking my head and disturbing my bird’s nest of hair. “I mean, I saw all this weird stuff…” I trailed off, noticing Lauren’s grim expression. She lowered her head a little sadly, and nodded at my unsure expression.
“Yes… If you’re referring to the people – the, the battle that was fought last night… It did indeed occur, I’m afraid,” she told me softly. For some reason all I could do was laugh and shake my head.
“You’re telling me that – that actually happened last night? You’ve got to be joking. Maybe we’re thinking of different things. What sort of battle do you mean? I mean, like, I personally thought I saw people die and-,” I laughed, and stopped abruptly when Lauren did not join in, but kept her solemn expression. “Lauren, what the – no, but. Come on, I mean, April Fools isn’t for several months yet!” I laughed nervously, wringing my hands in my lap. She remained silent, and panic began to rise within me. “No way, far out, no, no! You’re telling me – that – that there were gunshots and spikes of earth and evil people on fire and dead corpses and that guy, that guy, you’re telling me he’s dead?” I exclaimed in panic.
Lauren’s silence was enough to answer my questions, and in a panic, I tried to back away from her.
“No, no, that’s absurd, Lauren! Tell me it isn’t what I think it is, please, Lauren, please – where’s my Dad? Is he okay? Can I see him? Lauren, please-”
“Ellie…” she said softly, miserably, taking one of my hands in hers as she brushed the tears away from my eyes which I had not noticed had begun to fall. “Ellie, it’s okay, my dear, it’s okay… I know, Ellie, it must be overwhelming…”
“WHERE’S MY DAD?” I squealed in panic, looking around wildly as if he might appear randomly at any moment. “Lauren, Lauren! Where’s my Dad?”
The look of despair upon Lauren’s features made me assume the worst – and I began sobbing, loudly at that, unable to stop myself. “Oh my god… is he… is he..?”
“No, no, your father is perfectly fine, Ellie, dear, there’s no need to worry about that. It’s just…” she sighed, letting the sentence hang within the air, unsure of whether she should continue or not.
“It’s just what?” I asked, begging her for the answer. Lauren sighed, took a deep breath, and then began to explain.
“He… no longer knows you exist, Ellie,” she informed me gloomily, “Everyone who had nothing to do with the battle last night… they had their memories wiped of the event, you see, to keep them safe and unaware of the danger that is going on around them. This included removing you from your father’s memory, Ellie, as you… you can no longer stay with him, darling. Things have… changed…”
“Why not? Why can’t I stay with him anymore? What do you mean things have changed?” I exclaimed through sobs. Lauren waited until I had calmed down a little, which was not much, I admit, before she continued.
“You… You saw what happened to Edren, did you not?” she asked softly, tentatively. Unable to form words, I simply nodded, causing a few of my tears to drip from the bottom of my chin and onto the clean white sheets. “You… you also saw what he was capable of, yes?” Again, I simply nodded in response. “Ellie, dear, things are not as they seem. You… perhaps you’d call it magic? Yes, we’ll call it that for now. Edren, and the people that attacked him, could use… well, magic. Do you understand me so far, Ellie?” she queried carefully, patting me on the back in a form of reassurance. Again, a simple nod was my only response. “He… There are some things I cannot tell you, Ellie, but you must know this: You are no longer what you would consider a normal being. Edren, he… In a panic, he transferred his magic to you. We’re surprised that you were, well, able to cope with it so suddenly. You must’ve been under extreme tension for such a sudden transition, and yet you were able to somehow defend yourself with his Elmeal of a Gift, one that you had never even known had existed until that night. You now possess his Gift, Ellie, and therefore we cannot let you go back into normal society. You see… Edren was, let’s just say special, shall we? We cannot let someone with his power walk freely with no knowledge of what they could potentially do without taking an unnecessarily large risk for everyone’s safety. You must now be educated on Elmeals and Gifts,” she said, and seeing my expression, added, “Elmeals and Gifts are basically what we, the Gifted – that’s what we call ourselves, for we have the Gifts that you consider to be magic – anyways, yes, that’s what we call what you could consider magic…” she trailed off, creasing her brow in confusion, “I hope that made sense. It seemed much clearer in my head,” she chuckled softly, patting my hand. “Are you with me so far, Ellie?”
“I… I think so…” I croaked, wiping away the remainder of my tears. “But did he have to give me his… his Gift? I don’t mean to sound horrible in any way, but if he had kept it, wouldn’t we all be safer?” I asked, shaking my head, “I mean, if I didn’t receive his Gift, then I could still be living with Dad, and you wouldn’t have to educate me like you said you will, and…”
“My dear, Edren did what he did for reasons that are still unknown to us. And at the same time, we place all of our trust within him – he has never once made a wrong decision, and we doubt that his last would’ve been any different. Surely, he had his reasons,” Lauren told me, nodding proudly, and I realised that she must’ve known Edren quite well, for she appeared to be missing him more than she was letting on.
“Oh… I see…” was all I could manage to say to that.
“So, yes – you understand now that you have obtained a Gift and must be trained to use it properly and safely, Ellie?” she murmured, and I realised it was taking an effort for her not to cry. Sympathetically, I squeezed her hand.
“Yes. I think so. How exactly do these Gifts work though?” I asked, genuinely curious.
“They just… do. Like how you can walk, and talk, you just can – sure, it takes practise, but should you have the Gift, it’s just something you can do. You’ve already used yours once, Ellie, so it won’t be hard to harness is once again should you need to,” Lauren reassured me with a deep breath.
“But I don’t know how I used it,” I insisted, a little frightened that I might not be able to do what was required of me.
“Trust me, Ellie – with time, you will. It will become a part of you. Just give it time,” she said fondly, patting my hand and then handing me the folder with the sheets of paper within it. “About your education, Ellie, we’re offering you the best possible one out there for those in Australia like yourself. It will be hard to keep up with all the new work, admittedly, but even if you do enter the Academy of The Extra Gifted of the Gifted with no prior knowledge regarding Elmeals and/or Gifts, I believe you will do well. You seem like a smart girl, Ellie,” she smiled, opening the folder so that I could see its contents, “Inside of this you will find all the basic information you will need to know about the Academy you have been enrolled in. Should you have any questions, feel free to ask me anything,” she said cheerfully.
“You make it sound as if there are other Academies. Are there? Do I not get to choose where I go?” I asked, wondering whether this was another one of those situations where you just had to go with the flow.
“Yes, there are, Ellie – but the one you are attending will give you the best possible education and training – you should find it in your interests to stay enrolled within the Academy, for you must understand, it was tricky finding a place for you within its ranks.”
“But I don’t understand. Why go through all of this effort just for me? If there are so many others with Gifts, probably better trained and more capable ones, why would you let me in but not them?” I asked, incredulous.
“Ellie, Ellie… Edren was a special person, and he has passed his Gift onto you, making you now possibly just as special as him, Ellie. It is in everyone’s best interests that you are trained to use his Gift to the best of your abilities, so that you remain safe and do not fall into the hands of The Judgement, the people who had attacked you and Edren last night who will seek only to use you as a weapon in a war they plan to fight,” she told me, and I found that I already trusted her, although I was aware that she was keeping further information at bay. I could ask for it later, I thought, best not to push for it now. 
“I… I see,” I breathed, looking through all the information within the folder. “Would you mind going through this with me, Lauren?” I enquired politely. In response, she smiled kindly and nodded.
“If that’s what you would like, Ellie, I shall,” she replied. “What would you like to start with, Ellie?” she asked, moving over to sit beside me on the bed so that she didn’t have to read upside down.
The first thing I pointed at was the title, which was clearly the name for the Academy:
The Extra Gifted of the Gifted,
Of any and all Elmeals and Gifts,
The best Academy within Australia!

“It sounds… corny…” I commented, unsure if I should be talking about it in such a way. My worries were erased, however, when Lauren burst into laughter.
“Many would agree, Ellie, though no one has bothered to change it. It is as it is, for better or for worse,” she chuckled softly. I smiled, and nodded.
“Okay. Fair enough. So what’s the difference between Elmeals, Gifts and whatnot?” I asked, tilting my head to the side curiously as I looked to her for an answer.
“Alright, so, I’ll try to think of it in terms that you’d understand. So an Elmeal is like a class, right? Say, you’re studying Science. The Gift is the speciality of that class, so like Science, Biology,” she explained patiently, then added, “For example, I have the Water Elmeal of Soothing Healing.”
“Oh, that sounds really cool. You can heal people?” I asked, amazed.
“Mostly just bruises and sprains,” Lauren admitted, chuckling. “But yes, yes I can.”
“Cool!” I shouted in excitement. “So, umm, do you know mine?” I asked curiously.
“If Edren’s Elmeal and Gift was anything to go by, you’d have the Fire Elmeal of the Flame,” she told me, smiling. “An honourable title, Ellie. Wear it with pride.”
“So how many Elmeals are there?”
“Four. Every Gift is sorted into one of the four Elmeals, which, coincidentally, are the four elements – fire, water, wind and earth, based on what they relate to – fire being attack, earth being defence, water being a sustain and wind being other.”
A pause as I collected my thoughts, then I went onto some other papers.
“Says I need all this stuff, I hardly know what half of it is,” I said, pointing to a list of required items.
“Mostly just items you would use in a normal school, and all of it will be supplied by us. Think of it like it’s as if you’ve got a scholarship and everything has been paid for,” she smiled, scanning the list herself.
“It says you need your weapon of choice. Pardon me, but I don’t usually bring weapons to high school, Lauren,” I laughed, a little stunned. This was actually happening, wasn’t it?
“Ahh, yes, some things you may not bring to a normal high school, I suppose,” she laughed, “And I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have a weapon of choice – but do not fret. Many first years have yet to discover which weapon they are best suited to, and tests will be provided to help you figure that out,” she assured me, seeing my worried look.
“Ah. I see. So this Academy stuff, when does it all start?”
“At fifteen years old through to when you are twenty six years old.”
“What would have happened should I have arrived earlier or later?” I asked, skimming over the fine print on the leaflet to see if I could obtain information from it by myself.
“If you were younger, we would have simply waited until you were old enough to have you attend an Academy. If you had been older, you would have received special tutoring to catch up on what you had missed,” Lauren explained to me. Makes sense, I think to myself. Nodding in response, I picked up the next sheet of paper.
Tips For Juniors, Seniors and Teams
I read the title aloud, and titled my head once again, perplexed and yet interested. “I think I get the junior and senior part, but how do the teams work?” I asked Lauren.
“Juniors are students aged 15-20 and Seniors are students aged 21-26. As the Academy strongly encourages teamwork and often finds that students get more competitive and helpful should there be teams, three juniors and three seniors are taken and formed a group that will stay with them throughout their entire Junior or Senior years. Teams are formed according to age and randomization accordingly: 15s are paired with 21s, 16s with 22s, 17s with 23s, 18s with 24s, 19s with 25s and 20s with 26s. The team will remain exactly the same through the Junior and Senior years, and…” seeing my utterly confused expression, she cleared her throat and tried to explain it once more. “Right, so, Juniors are paired with Seniors,” a nod from myself, “And throughout all their Junior years, the Juniors will remain with the same Seniors they are grouped with at the beginning of the education path until they, themselves, become seniors, and will be given Juniors to look after themselves. You see, the roles of the Seniors are to look after their Juniors and help them should they need anything. They teach the Juniors the basics of what they know, saving the Academy’s limited staff from having to confer with every single new student. When Seniors are finished with their Juniors, they will also have finished their education, and so with that in mind there are only two phases you will go through as a student within an Academy. Do you understand, Ellie?” she asked patiently.
Head whirling with all the information and not having the confidence to ask her to repeat herself, I nodded. “Yeah… I, uh, think so,” I smiled weakly. Lauren sighed at my expression, knowing that I had only gripped the most important information and misunderstood the rest, most likely.
“It’s rather complicated, I know, but you will understand it one day. It will just take time,” she reassured me, and that was something I could understand.
“So, like, the teams work so that Juniors can get the help they need easily and will always have older, more experienced people to refer to?” I checked with her.
“That and more. Teamwork is also graded – the ultimate goal of all students after receiving their education is to become one of the Renowned, the soldiers who fight against The Judgement, the people who attacked you last night, like you saw then. Edren was a Renowned. To become a Renowned, teamwork is especially crucial. Many tests and exams are done with your given team, and points are awarded on how well you work together.”
“Right, so, points. They matter because?”
“If you fail to receive enough points at the end of the Term, you will unfortunately have to find an education elsewhere. As I stated earlier, it is in your best interest to stay in the Academy you are currently enrolled in, as it is the best option available.”
“What if you get like, a crappy team?” I ask her, suddenly becoming nervous and excited at the same time. The prospect of learning about my new Gift seemed interesting, much better than the boring, drab lifestyle I had had back with my father. Or so I hoped.
“I’m afraid…” Lauren frowned, then sighed, “That you are then stuffed.”
“WHAT?” I exclaimed, standing bolt upright and, forgetting my headache and nausea, almost toppled over. Lauren, ever so quickly grabbed me by the arm, however, and murmured a few words. Blue tendrils shot up my arm from the tips of her fingers and to where it hurt on my forehead, and suddenly the pain eased considerably. Before I could remark on what she had done, she was forcing me to sit back down again.
“Ellie! Careful, you’re still unwell! Look, I’m aware the system is unfair-”
“Then why don’t you change it?” I cried out, horrified.
“Because,” she said, waiting for me to calm down once again, “The Judgement are busy wreaking havoc everywhere. The Council has little time to refine their education system when they are trying to save as many lives as possible in the most efficient way possible as well as teaching the younger generation how to fight and defend themselves like the current one can. Lives must come first, Ellie.”
I nodded, “Of course. Sorry, I hadn’t thought… What’s the Council? Why do they have so much responsibility?”
“The Council consist of 20 different powerful Gifted, who make all the big decisions regarding everyone with Gifts: education, war – that sort of thing, it’s all their business. They’re like the politics you would find in what you would consider your normal society,” she explained, seemingly amused by my never-ending amount of questions. “Does that answer your question, Ellie?” she asked.
“Yeah, I believe so. So they like run the show, pretty much?” – A nod from Lauren – “Right, cool. Got it. I think I understand now. Thanks for your time, Lauren. I really appreciate it,” I said with a bob of the head in the form of a thank-you.
“Not a problem, Ellie. It was nice to meet you. I wish you the best of luck with your future. Should you have any questions, feel free to ask me. Your door will be left unlocked, and you may approach me at any time,” she concluded, standing up and moving the chair back to where it had originally been. “Your time at the Academy will start on January the 5th. Until then, I suggest you rest up and try to recover as much as possible from your… adventure… last night,” she winked, then turned to leave.
“Wait! Lauren, about the Renowned – you said that everyone who attends an Academy ultimately becomes one of the Renowned – does, does that mean that I will have to, too? Lauren, I… I don’t want to fight…” I said, trailing off, concerned for what I was about to walk into.
“Relax, Ellie. It’s – It’s optional. You’ll see,” she beamed at me, then exited the room and closed the door behind her with a soft click.
…Was it just me, or had there been a slight tremor in her voice?

 

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