Frankie’s Flight

June 5, 2008
By Arturo Zuniga, Chicago, IL

“I need you to arrange a flight from Houston to Cancun, Mexico,” Frankie told his associate. Frankie was a hard working businessman from Houston. He had live a tough childhood, which inspired his famous saying, “Whatever doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.” His family was poor when he was young. His touch childhood, however, simply motivated him to become a better person. He was a always a smart person, regardless of his struggles at home. Frankie lived a good life but he wanted to achieve something great. Sometimes he lost himself just trying to make more money. Frankie’s business was going well but he wanted to expand it. Recently, Frankie had decided to go on a business trip to Mexico, he also saw this as an opportunity for a vacation. His fear of planes was the only problem Frankie had.
Frankie had always looked at the positive side of things, except when it came to planes. Frankie simply couldn’t be in a situation where he was so high up and had no control. The September 11 situation made him fear planes even more. As the day to his departure grew closer his confidence grew. He had almost forgotten about his whole plane phobia, until the night before his trip. The night before his trip was scheduled Frankie had a nightmare, in this nightmare the plane he was on crashed. However, Frankie simply disregarded it.
The next day, he went to the airport and asked where he could board his private plane. The receptionist told him he could board at gate 911 in the east wing of the airport, Frankie quickly headed towards the gate as he realized he was a bit late. He hoped on the plane and took his seat. The flight attendant gave him something to drink and made sure he was comfortable. Frankie was a bit nervous but overall relaxed. He looked at the skies and found grey clouds. By this time Frankie just wanted to relax and rest to ease his slight tension.
About halfway through the flight, Frankie was startled by an uneasy quaking that the plane was undergoing. He asked the flight attendant what was going on and he simply replied, “We apologize for the inconvenience, sir, but were undergoing slight turbulence.” Frankie’s tension slightly grew by the minute. Suddenly he heard thunder. As Frankie began to panic a little, he heard the Pilot say, “We apologize for the inconvenience, please remain seated and be sure to buckle your safety belts.” Suddenly the plane was struck by lightning which shut down all of the plane’s engines. The flight attendant told Frankie his best chance at survival was to put on an emergency parachute they had and to jump off the plane. Frankie had no choice but to go along with it. Before he jumped he asked the flight attendant if they were near any large mass of land, the flight attendant replied, “We’re several miles from Mexico, but if you’re lucky you’ll find an island.” The Flight attendant also gave Frankie a backpack which he told him was a survival kit, which he said might come in handy. The flight attendant also gave him a jar and explained, “If you are to survive, you’re going to need a way to drink water. Use this to collect water.” Frankie, frightened for his life, thanked him and took off.
Frankie had a long fall ahead of him. When he leaped he saw nothing but grey skies, which frightened him very much. He didn’t know what was ahead of him. He couldn’t help but fall asleep as his parachute made his fall comfortable and peaceful. Seeing his parachute open eased him very much, and made his worries slowly die down. He fell for a couple of hours. Finally, Frankie landed on a beach, somewhere he wasn’t sure what he was. He slept for a bit and was woken up by the rising tide.
He woke up and had a nervous breakdown for a bit. He was worried. He was unaware of what would become of his life. The island didn’t look very beautiful due to the stormy weather and cloudy skies. He used his parachute as a roof to keep him dry and tried to relax. As he lay still in the sandy beach he could hear animals in the tropical wilderness. He was frightened. He kept repeating to himself, “You’ll be fine, you’ll be ok.” However he thought that he might not be in such a great situation at all. He knew that there was a great possibility of him dying.
He slept for a while and his shelter held up. When he woke up the storm had passed. Suddenly, the island wasn’t looking so bad. He looked around and saw a nice, tropical, warm, island. As he looked around he couldn’t help but wonder where he would find food. He looked around and saw many trees. He went inside what looked like a tropical forest and began scouting for fruits or any sort of edible plants. He found several trees that had mangos and oranges. He also found coconuts, bananas and grape trees. He thought that this was enough to keep him healthy for a long time.
While he was in the tropical forest, he saw many harmless animals. He saw many chimps, monkeys, parrots, frogs, and several types of birds. He looked in the ocean that surrounded him and found many fish. He suddenly wasn’t so frightened. However, he missed the civilization back at Houston. He was alone and couldn’t figure out what to do for company.
To ease his thoughts he began to work on his shelter. He used the parachute as a roof and began looking for a way to start a fire. He remembered that flint rocks could be used to start a fire so off he went on a scouting journey. After hours of searching, he finally found what he needed. He began to gather wood as he realized that his stay may be longer than he wanted.
The sun started to set and he was quite thirsty after all his hard work. However, he couldn’t think of a way to get water. After hours of thinking he finally had an epiphany and realized that there might still be some water in the parachute after that rain. He collected it in the jar the flight attendant had given him before his fall. The water was murky and slightly dirty. He didn’t want to drink it. He was back to where he started. Again he sat down and began to think and remembered that he could use sand to filter the water. He cleaned the water and began to drink it. It was a very nice way to quench his thirst.
Days went by and he just got lonelier and lonelier. He was healthy and in good condition, but he missed his social life. He went crazy by himself. Finally, with no other choice, he decided to try to have fun with some of the animals that inhabited the island. He saw the monkeys and tried to pet them. The monkeys feared him. He decided to use some bananas as bait, and fortunately, it worked. He fed the monkey and the monkey enjoyed it. Every day Frankie tried to feed some of the animals and he found joy in that. Pretty soon, the animals came to him.
After weeks of wanting to go home, suddenly, he wasn’t so eager to go. He kept a healthy diet and felt he had all he needed. Suddenly, surviving didn’t feel so impossible after all. He enjoyed the company of the animals. The food in the island was pleasant. Also he couldn’t ask for much better weather. Little by little his shelter grew and improved as he figured out how to use the resources around him. He began to love his new home. Pretty soon he had forgotten about his previous life.
Frankie decided to not even try to leave the island. He realized he didn’t need money and material things to live a good life. He learned a lot about animals and had fun with them at no cost. His food wasn’t fancy but it kept him happy. He was amazed at what he had accomplished. He knew surviving wasn’t easy after living with all of the modern technology making life easier, but he had managed to do it. Frankie became just another inhabitant in the island. He was proud of himself and didn’t want to have things any other way. He went from living a tough life, to living a life of greed, and finally realizing he didn’t need money and power to be happy.

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