Suddenly, something snatched at her feet and pulled her violently down. Ellie's eyes swirled as her world tumbled. She reached out to steady herself but could not; there was just too much force. Her breath choked to a standstill in her throat as she tried to cry out, "Patrick! Help! Save me!"
But Patrick was gone, replaced by the tumbling. Her vision was a blur of black and red, and she finally discovered her inability to catch her breath, which frightened her.
Was she drowning? Had a tremendous wave suddenly rushed up and taken her from her beloved, with intent only on claiming her for the sea?
No, she was not drowning -- the tumbling was dry and hard. This was different. It was as if she were trapped in a clothes dryer and she was unable to free herself from its horrible cycle before she even had the chance to protect her head.
She heard bones snap and tendons pop, yet there was no pain. She distantly heard the squeal of tires on the pavement and people screaming. While sensations seemed lost on her, she vaguely noticed the smell of blacktop, scented delicately with old motor oil. So strong, so distinct.
Her body came to rest as the sun shone down on her shattered frame. She was able to move her head enough to see the vehicle that had just run her over, and saw one thing before blackness closed in around her vision: MICHAEL BEALE and THE COLLEGIATE RECORDER.
As the blackness became all encompassing, Ellie was aware of a warm and wet sensation on the right side of her head. Her final thought was, I hope that's not my brains leaking out my ear. Patrick will be so upset if it's a closed casket funeral.
And then everything slipped away.