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Talia Morgan is 17 years old. Two years ago, she was the cause of her family's death. Ever since the fatal car crash that left her homeless and an orphan, she’s been smoking to get rid of her depression. Then she gets diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer, and her entire life slowly comes to a terrifying stop.
With the help of her best friend Hunter, she sees life in a different way. And the nurse who had saved her life two years before returns and changes Talia for the better.
A touching and deep story about grief and the battle of cancer that people fight daily, “Death Breath”, will keep you on the edge of your seat and leaving you with a new respect for victims with cancer.
It was just a joke... Or at least, it was supposed to be.
"Warning: Black Ice", the sign read on the left shoulder. Talia eyed it momentarily, figuring the sign was old from the blizzard a few days ago, just never taken off the highway. She shrugged, glancing back at her phone. Her dad sat in the driver's seat, her mom in the passenger, her brother, Cam, next to her, and her sister, Emily, on the far left beside him. She began texting her friend, Hunter, sharing jokes and laughing quietly. Hunter lived in California, in the same city as her aunt and uncle, and she met him when she went on vacation to see them. Music played over the GMC Yukon's speakers, drowning out most of her laughter. It was quiet aside from The Mix 100 playing over the radio with the occasional crackle of static.
Talia scrolled through her apps, tossing her blonde hair out of her eyes. She bit her lip as she saw her newest addition to her applications: Air Horn. She had used it on her friends over the week, and she smirked as she remembered how they all jumped and glared at her. She was famous for her pranks, and everybody knew it.
She nudged Cam pointing to the app with a wide grin. Her brother didn't understand, and he just went back to texting his new girlfriend. She then decided she would just video it instead. She leaned over Cam's lap and grabbed her sleeping sister's phone. She pulled up the camera and tapped record. Talia then tapped the button on her own phone.
The loud sound of the horn was instantly accompanied by the screech of breaks. She heard her dad swear, as the car suddenly began veering out of control. Talia screamed, dropping her phone, her sister's device still recording. The Yukon hit the guardrail, forcing Talia to launch forward into her seatbelt as the restraint dug into her skin uncomfortably. Her loud cry never ceased as the car rebounded and slid across the three lane highway, barely missing oncoming traffic. The car dove off the road, crashing through trees, uncontrollable.
Then began the death roll as the vehicle began flipping. Still screaming, Talia watched as everything around her spun and blurred around her. With one last slam, her head smacked on the window. Finally, everything went totally black.
Subaru slammed her foot on the gas, flicking on the emergency sirens and lights. There was a crash just ahead, and it was bad by the sounds of it. A rollover and going off road was never good. Sudden fear seized her as she realized she might not be able to save somebody today. Her foot pressed harder on the pedal.
"No!" she snapped to herself. She would save these people. She wouldn't watch somebody die on her watch. Not today, not ever.
It was even worse than she imagined. Her efforts to save everybody were in vain; four of the five passengers had been killed before she even showed up. The only survivor was a teenage girl, roughly around the age of 15, with pretty long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Or at least that's what her file showed. Now she was a mess, matted, tangled, bloodied hair, and an unresponsive, dead, blue gaze. The firemen had flipped the now destroyed car back up and removed all the bodies, be them dead or alive. The four were put in body bags and getting ready to be sent to the morgue at the same hospital the girl was going to for emergency attention. Finally, the helicopter came into view above Subaru and she sighed in relief. The stretcher lowered from the bird overhead, and quickly and smoothly, Subaru and a few other paramedics strapped in the girl. So far, it was determined that she had a broken femur, seven broken fingers, and a broken wrist, with at least three cracked ribs. She had a collapsed lung, and her heart had been stopped, but with CPR and a defibrillator, they saved her.
"Stay strong," Subaru murmured quietly as he gurney was lifted up off the ground.
When Talia woke up, the first thing that hit her was lancing pain. She cried out as the numbness of being unconscious left her to suffer.
"Ma'am, I need you to tell me your name and your age," said a strange voice from her left.
"Talia Morgan, 15," she choked out. She shielded her eyes with her hand from a light above her, unable to see. As she raised her arm, pain lanced up both of her sides. She drew in a sharp breath, dropping her hand immediately. Her side ached still.
"Talia, you've been in a terrible accident... We're sorry to tell you that your parents and your siblings didn't make it... You were very lucky."
"We found this phone in your hand when we got to the crash site. It was recording a video. We didn't delete it because it's evidence to the crash. If you would like to see it, the phone is next to the bed there. We'll leave you alone."
Footsteps faded away, and her vision cleared slowly. After a little bit, she found herself in a hospital room, but that wasn't what scared her. Her torso was wrapped up, and so was one of her hands (the other only wrapped up two of her fingers), along with her right leg. As if on cue, her entire body began to scream in pain. She cried out, silently pleading for the treacherous pain to disappear. Minutes passes, but the pain remained. She finally gave up trying to make it go away, and she trying after a while. She, frustrated, reached to the side and blindly attempted to grab the phone that she was told about. Pain continued to sear through her. But then something began to pour into her arm, and she glanced to her right. An IV was hooked up to her, and a clear liquid was being pumped into her. Immediately, the pain began to cease and she sighed in relief. She looked back to the device in her hand and she bit her lip. It was her sister's phone. Talia ran her three unwrapped fingertips along it's cracked glass before she turned it on. It still worked, which was a relief, and she unlocked the phone. She went to the iPhone's library. She clicked on the most recent video, and Talia found herself staring at the girl she wanted to be... The one who still had her parents and her siblings, even if it were only for a few more short minutes.
The air horn went off. She listened to her own screams that were joined with that of her families. Loud slams of metal on metal echoed through the phone's speaker, and Talia cringed with each one. She couldn't take her eyes off the cracked screen. Then there was stillness and silence. The phone had landed so it was facing all three of the siblings... Cam, Talia, and Emily. Six lifeless eyes glared at nothing, blood coating each of their faces almost like a painting, but it was one Talia didn't want to look at. The the sirens came. Soon after, she heard loud creaks, and the phone tosses as the car was flipped over back onto it's wheels. The doors were promptly ripped off their hinges and firefighters carefully pulled everybody out of the car. The phone fell out of the vehicle, landing face down. She almost stopped it, but the video was still going. Some time later, the phone was picked up by a pretty brunette paramedic, and the video ended.
Sudden realization came crashing down on Talia as she realized exactly what she had done. She had caused the death of her family. It was her fault... And finally, the tears came pouring down her cheeks and she let out a loud, pained scream.