As Jimmy K lowered the lever and got even closer to the water, he could smell the salty spray as he swung the door open. “C’mon Emma Jean, don’t fail me now” he muttered under his breath. The searing annoyance ate at him like fleet of hell bent wasps. For the first time in his career he knew he was in trouble and would have to think fast. Out of habit he pulled the black leather bound book out of his pocket before looking at the dash in front of him. It wouldn’t really matter if he documented the coordinates now; he was a dead man regardless. Leaning back he pushed several matte black buckets out of the plane door. Sweat dripped down his face as he began to think of which direction he wanted to head. The sky was the limit; this might be his best feat yet. Gazing down at the gas gauge he pulled up before putting the plane into auto-pilot mode.
Blood seeped out of a wound on his right abdomen as he tried dabbing it with a loose oil rag. He was unable to think straight anymore. This was supposed to be a routine—easy-peasy, boring, vanilla job; one that would net him a cool twenty-grand. It was one of the simpler jobs he had signed up for which should have been his first clue as he thought about what had gone wrong. He went against his better judgement and this time, it just might get him killed.
Some would have you think this story is all about a plane—and they would be right, it very well is. You see, wherever Emma-Jean was her pilot was almost certainly expected to be. Search parties thought—as most would have you believe—that this was a surefire way to find the elusive and newly missing—Jim Kane.
The logic went something like this—If you find the plane you find Jim Kane. If you find Jim Kane you find the black book, if you find the black book, you find the missing product…if you find the product, you find the coordinates to everything else. Jim Kane was now wanted by multiple countries. He had both a bounty and a search and rescue reward.
The airwaves broadcasted minute-by-minute updates and neither Jim Kane nor Emma Jean was anywhere to be found. Many thought they had simply vanished into thin air but the truth, as you will discover couldn’t be any different. It would be a story that would haunt pilots and passengers alike for ages, spinning tall tales into wild adventures with the next up-and-coming thrill-seeker on the hunt.
The prize for such a find was teetering in the six-figures—a hundred grand to be exact and the cost of finding the plane and its pilot—dead or alive were steep. Many others had come and gone, literally. Dozens of brave men and woman had met their alleged demise in the dense trees and choppy waters that Emma Jean and her co-pilot was thought to have met a similar fate, but after so much time, nothing had washed up. There was absolutely no trace of the pilot or his plane, even after all of his compatriots bodies had been discovered. This led many to think Jim Kane was still alive and well, living off of his stow-away treasures.
The stories of what disappeared the day Emma-Jean went off the radar were rife with exciting finds—bushels of money, pallets of drugs and a little black book of coordinates with locations of buried treasure; some true, some not so true but no one could say for sure. Only Jim Kane knew those answers and unfortunately for those who were interested, he was still nowhere to be found. Whatever it was, the twenty-thousand he was supposed to earn for that ill-fated trip was a drop in the proverbial bucket. Jim Kane was sitting on a cash-cow; he had money in the bank, several banks. He had money in floating islands, enough to buy an island floating around somewhere—not discoverable to anyone but Jim Kane. The man was smart. The man made sure to keep himself enough to live on for several life-times and it helped that Jim Kane wasn’t exactly on the up-and-up if you catch my drift. He had spent most of his adult life either working for law enforcement or trying to avoid them.
Jim Kane or Jimmy K as he was known to friends, family and work-associates had a long and storied past checkered with tales of the unimaginable—a love affair with flying coupled with an addiction to making money and beating death. He had flown over and through the most war-torn and desolate places one could find and always managed to find his way out.
But flying and chasing new highs got him in and out of trouble so many times that those around him lost count. He always knew there would be a day where he wouldn’t be able to tempt fate and live, is this what had happened? Had Jimmy K finally met his match?
Jimmy K would refer to all of this has his best years, but as you will soon come to learn, those in-between gray areas aren’t good places to be, not for anyone, especially Jimmy K. There would be many times that Jimmy K would go unaccounted for; where he would just “disappear”. Those times were referred to as the “lost” years and pretty soon, it was for a good reason. Jimmy K was truly lost. At this point, he had been missing for quite some time—the weeks and months had started turning into years and his family and friends had no idea what had become of the illustrious Jimmy K, the debonair pilot.
Let’s rewind some, to a few weeks before any of this happened. It wasn’t often Jim Kane had the time to take his beloved plane— Emma-Jean out for a spin as most of his flying revolved around work. Work for Jimmy K was time consuming and regulated. He had to maintain a tight schedule and get his client’s product in and out of places unseen, unheard and unknown and that wasn’t the hard part; the hard part was remaining a secret. So many people were after Jimmy K that he had started leave stashes in places only known to him but that was getting harder as technology progressed and land became more developed. This required him to get creative…and creative he was.
Right before he disappeared, it was discovered Jimmy K would drop loads of his “keeps” as he called them in catch all’s or floating safes tracked by way of GPS. It was a way for him to offload product or personal gains without getting caught. To anyone who might come across them—they were generic anchors someone might use while out fishing, ordinary five-gallon buckets of cement; little would the finder know how much they were actually worth once the contents were busted open. Jimmy kept all that information in a little black book, a traveling dossier worth a few million dollars. To some, it was a priceless book that led to a few million dollars’ worth of product—guns, drugs, money, jewelry, all the usual things. The only thing Jimmy K didn’t run was bodies. He needed items that didn’t have a shelf life or a conscious.
But his key-codes in the book were indecipherable—he documented different products—some “islands”, some “trees”, some “mountains. It wasn’t easy to track down what was what even if someone was to find the little black book—only one or two people had ever seen the contents and to them it was a jumbled mess of neatly documented numbers and words. Was it actually an island or did Jimmy K just call the product inside an “island”, we will never know.
This was both a genius trick and a problem. Sure, Jimmy K plotted the coordinates and wrote down the tracking information for each of the drops he unloaded but for those missing their products, this wasn’t good. Since Jimmy K had dropped off the face of the Earth many began to speculate. Whatever happened to Jimmy K and his floating empire? What happened to Emma Jean? Was this truly her last flight or did Jimmy K have it all mapped out?
When hundreds of matte black cement buckets started washing up on shores in various island countries was it all a coincidence? It was hard to say.
About the Creator
Writing my escape, my future…if you like what you read—leave a comment, an encouraging tip, or a heart—I’m always looking to improve, let me know if there is anything I can do better.
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