46 pages • 1 hour readMindy Mcginnis
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Ashley wakes around noon the following day and can see bones and tendon protruding from her injured foot. She is incredibly thirsty and drinks from a stream nearby before pulling herself to her feet. The pain in her foot almost makes her black out, but she refuses to call for help, deciding instead to try to find her way back to camp. She starts looking for the way she came the previous night but finds no signs of the right direction or the white blazes on trees that mark the main hiking trail. She makes slow progress on her one good foot. Ashley notices sounds from birds and squirrels and realizes that noise from animals must mean that her friends aren’t nearby; if they were, the animals would be silent and on their guard. She finally starts to call for her friends, but no one answers.
Ashley realizes that upon seeing Duke’s broken nose that morning, her friends probably concluded that Ashley and Duke had a fight and Ashley hiked back to town. They probably took her backpack with them when they left, thinking they did her a favor. Rain starts to fall, and Ashley laments that she is not only injured and alone in the woods but also menstruating and without tampons.
By Mindy Mcginnis