• The girl woke up cold and tired. She tried to move but only her right arm would move. Then the coughing started. Every cough brought a copper taste to her mouth. When she looked at where she was coughing she noticed a red glint, and every time a car passed by she saw the blood. 'Am I dying? But I'm not ready yet!' She tried to mover her left arm, but even a slight twitch brought a white-hot pain racing through her arm. She couldn't even feel her legs. 'Where am I?'

    When she woke up again it was raining. The water was lapping her cheek and soaking her clothes. 'I'm in a ditch.' Oddly that realization didn't scare her. Actually she was feeling calm. 'The ground is really soft. Maybe I could just stay here.' Then the coughing started again. More blood left her body. 'I'm dying.' Again this realization didn't scare her. Until she saw a dead squirrel float past her. Its eyes were wide open with fear. Showing her what her fate would be if she continued this way. 'That'll soon be me.'

    The next time she woke up, her own coughing was the cause. Blood and water left her lungs, only to be quickly replaced. Her head felt heavy and smoky. 'I need to find out where I am.' Using what felt like the last of her energy she lifted her head and tried to look around. The only thing she could see was a purple sign. She couldn't read the sign though. Her glasses must have fallen off at some point. 'Purple sign? How many purple signs are there…?' Using her right arm she tried hard to get her phone from her pocket. 'I'm so tired.' Her coughing got worse as water started getting into her lungs.

    She opened her eyes again when she realized the water was at mouth level. The coughing never seemed to stop. 'I need to call for help!' Again she reached for her phone. Her energy was quickly leaving her. 'Come on. Almost there!' Then it was in her hand. The ditch was quickly filling up and she knew she didn't have much longer. With shaking fingers she called 911.

    "What is your Emergency?"

    "I'm in a ditch, by a purple sign in El Dorado County. I think it's the Psychic sign." Her coughing started again. "I can't move. The water's…" More blood came out.

    "Help is coming. I'll stay with you."

    "No…They'll take too long. Got to call…" Pain raced through her. She hung up. Quickly she called her best friend/mentor/father figure.

    "Hello?" He voice was thick with sleep.

    "Hi Coach. I need to tell you something…"

    "Veronica?" She couldn't reply though. The coughing was getting worse. She knew she didn't have much longer. What seemed like 5 minutes later she stopped coughing; the water around her had a red tinge and a very coppery taste. She was dying.

    "I love you Coach. Not like you love you wife. I love you…" Pain raced through her body again. "Like a father. You're always there for me when I need you…" The pain came back, along with the coughing.

    "What…Why are you telling me this now? Are you okay?"

    "I'm dying Coach…I don't hear any sirens…" Then her vision left her completely. She was so tired; instinctively she knew if she tried her vision would come back. But she was so tired, and cold, and weak, and in so much pain that she didn't want to try.


    "I have to go now…" Her voice was getting weaker. Fear consumed her again. The thought of dying alone scared her more than she imagined. She wanted so badly to ask him to stay on the phone. But then her coughing started and she realized it wouldn't be fair. She had no right to ask him to listen to her die.

    "Veronica, don't hang up. I love you too…Let me stay with you."

    "I'm sorry Coach." Then she hung up. Soon she was drifting back to sleep. Her body begged her to resume coughing. But she was so tired and weak she couldn't summon the strength. Soon the water filled her lungs. The girl closed her eyes and went to sleep; distantly she heard the sirens wailing.