Gifted: Part Three
Gifted: Part Three
Author Allison Ziegler
In an instant, Mia’s fingers were curled around Jackson’s collar as she yanked him closer to her and hissed, “WHAT!?” Her eyes narrowed into slits. “Jackson, I swear to God, if this is one of your pranks, I’m gonna—!”
“It’s not, it’s not, I promise!” Jackson insisted, squirming to free himself from his sister’s grasp. “Th-They’ve found us, they’re coming, they’re armed, they’re gonna try and kill us all, and—“
“Jackson!” Christopher suddenly interrupted, voice stern. “Calm yourself! It’s not as though we haven’t prepared for this very situation; they’re not going to kill us!”
Mia’s blue eyes instantly flickered over to the mind reader as the girl’s muscles tensed. “You mean he’s telling the truth?” she asked, feeling anxiety creeping up on her.
Christopher’s only response was a short nod. Within moments, he was running off, presumably to warn the king and mobilize the defense force. Before Jackson could move a muscle, Mia grabbed him and practically threw him into the home of Christopher and his wife, Alexa.
He let out a less-than-masculine yelp as he hit the floor, then whipped around to glare coldly at his sister. “What the hell was that for, Mia!?” he exclaimed indignantly. He tried to stand, but Mia pushed him back down.
“Oh no, you’re staying here, kid,” Mia stated firmly. “There’s no way I’m letting you get mixed up in all this, especially with your useless Gift.”
Jackson’s jaw dropped. “Useless!? I’m not useless, I can help!”
“Not happening,” said Mia. “Now stay with Alexa; she can protect you if the Ungifted show up here armed to the teeth, which, according to you, they are.” She began to close the door, but Jackson stopped her by sticking his leg out, successfully holding the door open.
“Mia, I can fight!” he insisted, mismatched eyes holding a fierce flame she had never seen coming from her immature little brother. “I’m not a child anymore and you know it!”
The shapeshifter’s eyes narrowed. “Then act like it,” she growled, then kicked his leg. He winced and was forced to withdraw his limb as she slammed the door loud enough for Alexa to hear. She knew that if Christopher’s wife found Jackson sitting there on the floor, she would want to protect the boy as Mia had said, and would not let him leave.
Idiot… Mia thought as she stormed away from the house. Can’t he see I’m just trying to protect him? Those damn royals can beat at me all they want; I can take it…but no one’s touching my baby brother.
The battle was in full swing by the time Mia joined it. She smirked as she realized that the Gifted faction heavily outnumbered the Ungifted. The royals had brought their entire guard, which only amounted to about one thousand or so soldiers. The Gifted defense force, however, consisted of tens of thousands of talented men and women, each with a special ability that was all their own.
It was an Ungifted slaughter.
Dozens lay dead already, and more were falling by the minute. Mia scoffed at the Ungifted royals’ foolish arrogance. Did they really think they could successfully invade us? she thought. They have too much pride in their battalion…they were fools to think they could end us with steel alone.
Mia smirked then allowed orange and black fur to sprout all over her body, hands and feet turning to paws, and teeth and nails turning to fangs and claws. The tiger let out a fearsome roar and charged into the fray, taking down Ungifted soldiers left and right.
I’m glad Jackson isn’t here, she thought absently. He never was one for fighting, or killing for that matter. I’m not sure he’d be able to handle a battle as bloody as this one.
Most of the fight was a blur to Mia. She allowed her animal instincts to take over halfway through, ruthlessly cutting down enemies and fearlessly protecting allies. For a long time, this was all she knew. The tiger never once was hit by a sword, lance, or axe, was never pierced by an arrow or cut by a dagger.
This held true until a fiery pain erupted in her shoulder.
Mia let out a roar of pain, which quickly turned to a scream as she returned to her human form, hitting the ground with a light thud. She groaned slightly, then turned her head to see who had been able to hit her.
The Ungifted king stood before her, blood glistening on his silvery blade. He looked down at her with an unamused expression, his eyes showing nothing but contempt for the shape-shifter who had cut down scores of his best soldiers. Without saying a word, he lifted his sword. Mia, in too much pain to move, closed her eyes and waited for the blade to fall.
It never did.
Instead, it was the king who fell, his limp form collapsing just as Mia opened her eyes. From what she could tell, he was dead before he hit the floor.
She stared in awe at the Ungifted king’s dead body, and at the sword that had lodged itself deep within his back. Slowly, Mia lifted her gaze past the corpse, and her blue eyes fixated on her savior in pure shock.
“H-Hey there, Mia,” said Jackson, a shaky smile present on his pale face. “Told you I could help.”