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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1. It Started Off With a Bang

It Started Off With a Bang

A low chuckle and a shake of the head was all he needed to do to set me off once and for all. That laugh, the one I was so familiar with by now – both so accusing and suggesting, accusing me of not understanding, of being wrong, and suggesting that I know no better, and that Dad, as always in his belief, is right, and cannot be wrong under any circumstance.
“Just you wait, Ellie, you’ll see. It’ll only be a matter of time before I have to haul you off of boys and you’re stressing about how you look in public,” he chuckled, shaking his sadly, as if I should know better, as if he was disappointed in my lack of knowledge.
“But you don’t know that, Dad! I’m telling you, that’s just not me, okay? I’m not interested in love. Never have been, never will be. And as for my looks or anyone else’s, I couldn’t care less!” I growled at him. In response, he simply chuckled and shook his head again. Silly girl, the look said.
I despised that look.
It made me feel stupid, and let me tell you now, I wasn’t as dull as he was. I remember back to when I was 7 years old, he couldn’t spell elephant. “E-L-E-P-H-A-N-T,” I had told him proudly. I’d like to hope he was only testing me, but seriously, he did not know how to spell elephant, so excuse me for my lack of trust in his ‘never-ending knowledge’.
“Can’t you give me a break? Aren’t I allowed to live my life the way I want to, and not have to be the exact person you want me to be, even when I am clearly not? Am I not allowed the freedom of choosing my own path, Dad?” I asked indignantly. Once more, a simple shake of the head, and that oh-so-irritating look of his.
It was enough to get me moody, and horribly so. I’d had enough of my Dad’s pointless insisting, and I just wanted to get out of the place and have some time alone. So much for a Happy New Year’s Eve, I thought solemnly to myself. Not that I celebrated it anyways, though one could hope that they didn’t feel like an absolute load of crap during a time meant for new beginnings and forgiveness or whatever it’s meant to be for, as I said, I’ve never really celebrated it.
In fact, I’ve never really celebrated anything. Christmas? Yeah, presents, move on, next day. Birthday? Same deal. I’m not complaining, well, I am, but I mean…
Gee, give me a second, okay?
I mean that whenever I saw other kids having full blown parties with friends and families, I’d simply feel jealous. That is all. I’m content with what I have – even on the years I’m unable to receive anything as presents as we’re too poor to be able to afford them.
Yeah, even when we were perfectly fine with money just a month before, and then you know, a new Triple A game came out and Dad wanted to play that, and this new model of a car was for sale second-hand and it looked semi-affordable even though he had a perfectly fine working car as it was and oh, don’t forget the new huge TV he had bought even though he had a perfectly fine, perfectly sized TV just before that which he had discarded of somehow, I’m still not sure how.
Okay, alright, I’m complaining. But only because I can still manage to get my Dad presents, and yet he cannot do the same for me, although he can do so for himself.
Envy is a cruel thing. I hate feeling so negative, and I just want to feel better. To get a breather, to start anew – no more complaining, blah, blah, blah… the usual stuff, you know.
With that in mind, I’d decided I’d attend the New Year’s Fireworks down at the beach tonight. I’d only seen fireworks once before, and being so humiliated and frustrated, something new and fun like going to an event like this was sure to clear my mind, even if I went alone. Now I know what you’re thinking – how old are you? Why are you heading out at night alone?
Alright. I probably shouldn’t – but the beach is only a five minute walk away, the way there is largely populated, and I can borrow Dad’s mobile and call him should anything bad happen.
I’ll be back by the moment it’s over. I’m not a teenage girl with a death wish, you know. I seriously just need to take a break, or I swear to unicorns I will KILL SOMEBO-
Right. Fireworks. New Year’s Eve. Happy thoughts.
Taking a deep breath and clearing my mind, I sat up on my bed from where I had been lying, hair tousled, as I finished recalling the earlier argument with Dad.
“Dad, do you mind if I go see the fireworks tonight?” I asked sweetly, forcing myself not to yell the words out. I have a temper. I’m aware. “I’ll bring your mobile and call if I need anything,” I added, making sure he knew that I wasn’t going to be reckless.
The following two sentences changed my mood in an instance, each for different reasons. First, being, “I’ll come with you.” And second being, “That way, I can make sure the boys don’t try anything on you.”
Now, I’m fine with him coming along. We’ll keep our distance, but still be in sight, plus, it’s safer that way, I’ll admit. I’m not going to whine about it when it means that the situation can be slightly improved from possibly being not-so-safe. I’m just ANGRY THAT HE THINKS THAT HE’S GOING TO HA-
HAPPY THOUGHTS
BUT NO OH MY GOD WILL HE-
HAPPY-
HOW COULD HE-
THOUGHTS-
….
I realise as Dad pokes his head into my room that I had made a rather strange sound, something between a moan, groan, sigh, sob, shout and growl. It hadn’t sounded pretty. I’m not a pretty person, so it doesn’t exactly matter anyways. “Alright. Alright, we’ll go together.” I say, biting on my lip to stop myself from adding in “but you won’t need to worry about boys,” to him, knowing it would only push the argument on further. At that, he smiled, probably believing he had won the argument or something, and told me he’d get ready and that I should too. For me, that consisted of standing in front of a mirror for about five minutes, grating my teeth whenever I got to a particularly difficult knot in my messy, dark brown hair, and finally tying it up into a lopsided pigtail. For clothes, I didn’t have much choice, considering EVERY SINGLE FEMALE TOP happy thoughts IS THE COLOUR PINK happy thoughts…. And I simply hate the colour pink. Too feminine for my tastes, though I’m not against other people liking it. That’s their choice. Anyways, added to the ugly bright pink t-shirt, I slipped on a pair of jeans and my joggers that I had gotten when they were on a special for $10. Nothing special. Ordinary, just the way I liked it. For the final touch, I tried brushing a stray strand of hair out of my face, only to give up with a half-hearted attempt and join Dad as we headed down to the car together.
The car ride there was relatively silent, save for a few outbursts regarding old people and how they shouldn’t be on the roads, and we arrived there in no time. As I got out of the car, I waved to Dad and pointed to where I’d be sitting, on a bench looking out over the ocean, and headed off. There was excited chatter coming from all the gathered people, who had set out blankets and towels on the ground to sit on while they waited for the fireworks to start. When I reached the seat I had set my own sights on, however, I realised that someone was already seated there, an old man with greying hair and a walking stick, and was about to find another place to sit when he motioned me over with a gesture of his hand and a welcoming smile. Part of me thought stranger danger, then one look over my shoulder confirmed that although Dad was striking up a conversation with some of the locals, he still had his eye on me. What better way to prove to him that I’m not looking for a romantic night out to entirely avoid people my age? I thought, and so I sat by the man, nodding and giving an awkward smile, unsure of what to say or do. “Nice night, isn’t it?” he ventured, his voice so quiet it took me while to understand what he had said, and there was no way I was going to ask him to repeat himself because that never ended well with me, considering I usually rarely heard people on the second time either.
“Oh,” I said with a start, “Yes… It is, isn’t it?” I said, realising I had basically just copied his own words. Thinking that I should add more, I continued, “You can smell the sea here, can’t you? It’s really relaxing.”
“Indeed. Along with the fruit bats,” he smiled. Peering up at the gum trees around us, fruit bats could be seen hanging in the branches and going to and fro between the trees, screeching loudly.
“Yeah. You can smell their poop – they stin-”
I baulked at my own words. “I-I I mean that, well, they…” I trailed off, blushing with embarrassment and thanking the darkness for concealing my features.
“They do smell quite a fair bit, don’t they?” he chuckled softly, quickly setting me back at ease once more. In response, I simply nodded, and we continued to sit there in a comfortable silence for a while.
“So, if it’s alright, may I ask you of what your New Year Resolutions are this year?” he asked brightly, curiously, finally breaking the silence.
“Oh, umm, I haven’t really thought about it,” I admitted a little sheepishly. Way to go, Ellie – going to a New Year’s Eve Celebration and not being prepared.
The man simply smiled, “Should get thinking then. You still have a few hours.” I nodded in response, and I did just that. Honestly, my life could use a lot of improvements, all of which could probably be partly resolved, if not fully, by actions taken by myself.
“I suppose I should be more understanding of people around me. And appreciate what I have more than ever, because it could all be lost in the blink of an eye, huh? Even if it is considered not much, it’s still something.” I thought aloud, looking over to the old man to see his reaction.
“A wise choice,” he said softly, the corners of his mouth pointing upward in the shape of another smile. “You sound like a smart young lady – err, what is your name?” he chuckled.
I laughed a little with him then, and when I stopped, I answered him, “I’m Ellie,” I said, smiling brightly.
“And I’m Edren, a pleasure to meet you, young miss,” he smiled once more, then we shook hands, laughing a little as we did. I was thinking his name was quite strange but chose not to remark on it, concluding that he probably had enough of those sorts of comments anyways. The evening had gone well so far, and throughout the night I found Edren’s company to suit me just fine. He told me of New Year’s Celebrations he remembered from when he was young, among other things like how he thinks there’s a possum in the roof of his house and that it likes to have late night parties. He remarked that most young people would turn their heads in the other direction whenever they were told of old times, but I had always found it interesting when people shared what times used to be like with me. It was like an insight to the past, a life that was not mine but could’ve been, had I been born earlier. When he ran out of things to tell me, I told him a bit about myself – how I considered myself a little bit of a tomboy, being into video games and despising any form of gossip. I told him how Dad thought that I was the stereotypical teenage girl, out chasing boys and going to parties, although I personally belied that I was not. He was a great listener, and told me that if this was indeed the true me, which he believed it to be, then Dad would have to see that one day or another.
Out of nowhere, Edren noticeably tensed. I was worried I had said something wrong or he was in pain or something and I hurriedly asked him, “Are you alright? What’s wrong?” in a voice a bit of a higher pitch than what was my normal. Eyes wide, he looked around him, before shaking his head slowly, then chuckling softly once more.
“Nothing, my dear. Just an old man hearing things, is all. Don’t you worry,” he nodded, giving me that reassuring smile of his. Curious of what he had heard, I tried to listen out for anything unusual – but I heard nothing besides the chatter from the other people out around us tonight. Then it occurred to me – that was the problem! The fruit bats had gone still, the wind had stopped, and the insects had stopped chirping, and the toads making those awful sounds…
They were all gone. The only sound was the ever so quiet lapping of the waves against the beach and the chatter of people. “I can’t hear anything,” I said to him, a little concerned.
“Yes. It does seem rather quiet all of a sudden, doesn’t it?” he said, he smile faltering, but only for a second before he was back to her cheerful, confident self.
“Oh, do you think it could be because they’re getting the fireworks ready? Wouldn’t want fried fruit bat in the air should they be around, huh?” I laughed, closely followed by Edren’s own soft laughter as well.
“Yes. It could very well be that,” he said, smiling. It was only a few seconds after he had finished his sentence that he murmured another under his breath, one that I couldn’t quite catch.
It was only until later that I figured out what he had said:
I sure hope so, young one.

BANG. CRACK.
Both Edren and I whipped around to face the source of the sound, and laughed heartily once we saw that it was only the fireworks, which had finally begun. Brilliant green sparks, followed by gold, and red, pink, orange, every colour you can imagine, all exploding out from the middle after slowly shooting up into the air, leaving a trail of sparks behind them.
“Beautiful,” I breathed.
“Remarkable,” Edren agreed.
It went on that way for several more minutes, the cracks and bangs of the fireworks, the brilliant sparks of light that lit up the world around us, until they began to increase in size and consistency for the grand finale – a shower of colourful sparks, pleasing to the eyes in many ways.
Crack, Bang, Crack, BANG!
Like that of thunder, it was expected that the louder the noise, the more light there would be seen accompanying the sound.
There was, however, no brilliant shower of sparks that went along with the last particular sound.
Edren, looking rather pale, got to his feet, leaning heavily on his walking stick, and peered around worriedly.
“Edren, is everything oka-”
BANG
It slowly dawned on me that it was no longer fireworks that I was hearing, but gunfire. I had only ever heard gunfire through movies and videos, and in real life it was quite the terrifying experience. People screamed, ducked their heads, and ran back to where they had parked their cars – just away from danger in general. I saw so stunned, I could barely move – but I knew I had to find a way out of there.
“D-Dad?..” I called shakily, looking around myself wildly for him. Through the large mass of people, I could no longer see him.
BANG, BANG, BANG
Smoke was billowing up from nearby trees, and I realised a fire had begun. Panic began to rise within my throat, and my nerves were certainly not eased when darkly-clad figures strode out from the darkness and into the light before my eyes, weapons, actual firearms, at the ready. Gently, ever so gently, Edren, pushed me down and behind a tree, placed a finger on his lips and went to face the approaching armed people alone.
“Edren. Thought we’d find you here,” spoke one of them, his deep voice muffled by the mask he was wearing.
“There are innocent people here who have done you no harm at all and never will. Why must you pose such a threat to such defenceless beings?” Edren spoke loudly, furiously, as he gestured to a few bodies scattered across the sand of the beach.
Were… were they… dead?
Full blown panic seized my heart, and I bit down on my hand to stop myself from screaming out loud. So hard, in fact, that I immediately drew blood, but was unaware of it as I could not feel the pain that I should have at the moment.
“Those who were too slow to escape have been killed. Those who remain are just my men, yourself, and I, Edren. Time has slowed – nobody will know of our battle here. You may fight as you please, but I assure you – you will not win. You are outnumbered greatly,” he said, motioning to even more people who were striding into the light to stand beside the speaker.
Battle? Fight? He’s an old man! They’re dead, oh my god, they’re dead…
I choked back sobs, determined not to cry, to make the situation worse. I would be brave, and I would find a way out of this – I knew Dad still had his mobile phone, and to move out of my hiding place would mean being instantly being seen, but there had to be a way, there had to!..
A sigh. One of defeat, of acceptance. “Very well then,” Edren said, and raised his walking stick above his head and pointed it at the speaker.
SWOOSH.
A brilliant wave of fire lurched blindly forward out of Edren’s walking stick and into the darkly clad figures, immediately engulfing them in flames.
“The Renowned will be here in mere moments – do not think you will best me so easily,” Edren bellowed, continuing to fire, well, literally fire at people with his flames. It must’ve been taking a toll on him, because soon his posture became slumped and it was visible that he was breathing heavily.
“You will not win!” he yelled at them, he face set in grim lines.
Unbelievably, the darkly clad figures, doused in fire, stood. And in unison, they all looked at Edren, and laughed.
Laughed.
“Foolish old man,” spat the original speaker, who raised his hand just as the ground shook and a spike shot up from out of the ground, instantly impaling Edren through his frail torso.
No! NO!
Edren choked and spluttered, but remained smiling. Through ragged breaths, he turned to face the speaker once again, pain wracking his features, “You… will… not… win…” he said once more, still smiling that smile of his.
“A rather arguable point, I might say, Edren,” the speaker said, strolling up beside him, and taking out a tube filled with dark, gooey liquid inside from his pocket so that he could shake it teasingly in Edren’s face. “With this, you won’t be so sure…” he purred. Edren’s eyes widened, and he tried desperately to free himself of the spike – but what use was it? There was no way out. He was trapped.
Edren was going to die.
“Ehhh…” he coughed, “llliieee….” He winced, closed his eyes, and weakly raised his hand for one last final effort – for what, I had no idea. A new wave of fire, so bright that it pained the eyes to look at flowed out from within his body, soared into the air, whirled around and flew straight into –
-me.
With a scream of agony, I felt it enter my body, like I was being burnt from the inside out, like it wanted to tear me to pieces. I screamed and wailed, and somewhere between the pains, I knew that Edren had died. I knew that the darkly clad figures were rushing over to me. I heard Edren telling me “Be brave, young one. Be brave,” and I knew I had to get away. Through blurred, teary vision, I saw the darkly clad figure open the tube of dark liquid. I saw him cup my head in the palm of his hand. I saw him slowly pour the liquid down towards my lips that he had forced open with cold, forceful fingers.
Saw that he was going to win.
Something sparked within me at that instant, something deep, and something primal – an instinct to survive, to protect, and to live. I screamed, my lungs hurt, heart hurt, head hurt, everything hurt, and in an instant everything was engulfed in huge, wild flames.
Golden flames.
I don’t remember much of what happened afterwards. I know that the darkly clad figures were seriously injured but not dead, and had been forced to retreat for the time being. I knew that should I move, I’d probably die, for I was so weak, so terribly weak… I could however, sense Edren’s praise, and knew that whatever I had done, it had been enough. I heard people approaching, and small snippets, the whispers of a hushed conversation…
“…Edren… impaled… gifted… the girl…”
“…what to… should we…”
“…kill her…”
“…do not…”
“…but… she is… danger… threat… powerful…”
“…she is one of us.”

These were the last words I heard before I lost consciousness for the first time in my life.

Before everything I knew would change forever.

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