Falling in the Fall

October 28, 2011
Doom. That’s what I was thinking as I was falling 20,000 feet out of an airplane. It would not have been doom had the release cord to my parachute not have gotten stuck. The worst part was I didn’t even know where I was supposed to land. You see, my air diving team of twelve people, including me, was supposed to land on the outskirts of the Hawaiian Islands. That did not go as planned.

It all started when I woke up that day, looked out the window, and said “What a beautiful day. Today would be a great day to go diving.” It was a beautiful day and all. The trees all orange and brown and yellow, a breeze that couldn’t be any better, it was perfect. This beautiful day didn’t turn out to have such a beautiful ending though. I called up the team and then went to meet them at the port. With me, I brought my usual gear. Except two days ago, I bought a team member that had retired the previous year. His name was Jack Strought. He had been diving for fifty-some-odd years. He knew everything there was to know about it. He was good. Really good. He’d won to many medals to count and my dream was to be like him. He had tons of parachutes, parachutes of different colors, designs, shapes, and sizes. This collection included some that had experienced technical difficulties.

I just so happened to get one of those faulty parachutes. It was a large one that had probably cost Jack thousands of dollars. Jack was getting old though, and with age comes memory loss. Had Jack not become old, I probably wouldn’t be falling 20, 000 feet to what appears to be my death.

Now I was probably only 15,000 feet above what appeared to be a wooded island. It looked so beautiful from way up here. Ground of any kind is hard enough to kill someone though.

I was still pulling on my release cord frantically. Hoping and praying to God that the short time of twenty-two years that I had been on this great Earth wasn’t over. It was crazy to think that my life held in the balance of one little string that would or not work. The cord was not budging! I looked up to see my team, some staring in disbelief and others screaming frantically. Who knew what was they were thinking?! I kinda felt bad for them, having to watch your friend fall to her death while you watch helplessly.

Still pulling. At this point I was about 14,000 feet. I had just now realized that because of the emergency jump we had to take when the pilot told us to “Jump at this very second” there must have been some major malfunctions. Fourteen-thousand feet below me was my flaming pile of plane parts on the East side of the island. Now it didn’t matter if I had jumped or not, either way, I was going to die, it all depended on this little rope. Thirteen-thousand feet. I was close to peeing my pants. I did not know anything I could do that would help save me.

I looked up again, still remembering that I had no control over my life. I would live or I would die. I saw five people frozen with fear (with their parachutes out), 6 people screaming (parachutes out), and my best friend, Beth Shastine, doing the craziest thing I had ever seen anyone do in my entire life as a human being. This woman must have been nuts! I have no earthly idea what she was thinking. This would not benefit me nor Beth in any way and if Beth died, I would not be able to live with myself.

Where did the knife come from?! Why did Beth have this pocket-knife out? What was she thinking? What was she doing? I know exactly what she was doing. She was trying to save me. What Beth was doing wouldn’t help me though. Beth needed to stop ASAP!

I was so focused on Beth that I forgot the whole reason we were in this situation in the first place. Now I was about ten-thousand feet up. I decided to try the rope one more time. My hope was just about run dry. I had to do something though, something that would keep Beth from continuing and trying to cut her ropes. If Beth cut through her ropes, there was no doubt about it, she would die.

Nine-thousand feet. One more yank could save my life, but I had no control over it. Ending it was another possibility. I could not get out of this situation no matter what I tried. The only thing that could save me was this cord. The same cord that had no meaning before today, but today it had all the meaning. Before I gave it my best and final tug, I looked up. My team… desperately wanting to save me, Beth, so close to death. I pulled.

This last pull had saved mine and Beth’s life. My parachute exploded out of my pack and I was saved. The team stopped screaming, Beth stopped trying to cut her ropes, and I stopped panicking. I was relaxed. It was this amazing, surreal feeling. I don’t understand why it hadn’t worked all along. Thank the Lord I didn’t give up! He was definitely on my side.

Now I needed to focus on what I was going to do after we landed. We had no way of communicating with anyone. Your not aloud to bring cell phones up in the plane and the plane that had the CV radio in it had crashed and blown up in flames. We are pretty much screwed!
I figured now would be the time to get a birds eye view of the island for future reference. I was probably about six-thousand feet up now. The island wasn’t very big. It was mostly wooded, except for the beaches that surrounded all sides of the island except for the North side. It was just a massive cliff.
I was scanning the island to find any sources of food. I spotted some banana and coconut trees scattered around the island. I saw no animal life on the island at all. So, I guess our only food choices are going to be bananas, coconuts, and fish. One problem with this menu, I HATE fish! I guess I’m just going to have to get over this though. Jasper wasn’t going to be able to get over it though. He is allergic to fish! I wonder if he can swim in the ocean? Or maybe its just shellfish he’s allergic to? I guess we’ll just have to figure out eventually.
At this point in time we are probably about four-thousand feet up. It will be all over soon. Then what are we going to do? No communication, no food, no supplies, no clothes. Wow, I had just remembered that this was a spur of the moment outing. We didn’t even tell anyone we were going out today! Yeah… we are SCREWED! UGH!
The fact that we were screwed I was going to have to keep to myself. I needed to think positive thoughts. Maybe I should make a list of things to say to my crew members when we landed. After all, we only had about three-thousand more feet till we landed. The list sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
List of the Upsides of Being Stranded on an Island
We survived! No one was hurt, we are all okay.
We are all together. We didn’t get separated.
If all else fails, we can live here and all make babies(: <- Only say this if you can’t think of anymore positive things.
1,500 more feet. It sure is a good thing that no one on the team has children. If I had a kid I would be freaking the heck out right now at the thought of never being able to see him/her again. That’s terrible to think of. However, some people on the team are married. I can’t imagine what they must be thinking right now. One good thing is that Janice and Alvin Dove are married and they will be together.
500 feet. I need to start preparing for the landing. Make sure all my hooks and straps are ready. Get my feet out. 200 feet. 150 feet. 100 feet. 50 feet. Land. I stick it perfectly. I wait for my other teammates to land. No one speaks till every one has landed. We have all landed. We look at each other. Then, Beth says, “ Falling in the Fall?”

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Courtney_77 said...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 8:14 am
Good Story Destiny!!!! lylas
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