© Dawn M. Miller

Even when he was a kid, he had always wanted a place in the country away from people. Sure, he had to put a lot of work into it over the years, but he was still in pretty good shape. He’d just cleared that dead tree which he’d turn into firewood tomorrow.

“Leave the freaking wheelbarrow for later, too.” He wiped the sweat from his brow with an old rag and then took a moment to look back down the dirt drive. It was almost a mile to the road, and that was just some little, rural ribbon of crumbling asphalt. He drove into town every other week or so to buy supplies augmenting what he grew in his field out back and the two hothouses.

He never had internet put in or used satellite for TV. Power came from solar and wind, used a septic tank since he was too far out for sewage, he was as self-sufficient as he could manage.

Conceivably they could still find him. He was as about off the grid as you can get, but they were relentless. When you pull off the world’s first skyjacking, you’ll never fall off their radar.

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge of February 4th 2018. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 198.

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about the man authorities know as D.B. Cooper who, on 24 November 1971, hijacked a Boeing 727 extorting $200,000 (a lot of money in 1971) and then bailing out of the aircraft somewhere between Oregon and Washington. His true identity and whereabouts, assuming he survived the parachute jump, have never been established.

I read a news story yesterday where someone claimed to have broken the code Cooper left behind in his note of demands. Supposedly, Cooper is really Robert Rackshaw, a former member of Army intelligence, and the code he employed was one recognized as used by his unit.

Rackshaw is still alive and residing in the San Diego area but the FBI issued a statement saying they have no evidence to solve the case.

I had “Cooper” on my mind, so I thought I’d write about him.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

33 thoughts on “Fugitive

    • Thanks, Susan. I once saw a documentary on DB Cooper and the chances of him making it safely to the ground with the weather and terrain involved was pretty slim, although you never know.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps, but then we don’t know anything about Cooper’s motivation beyond wanting cold, hard cash. Maybe it was the quickest way to put together a nest egg, Michael.


  1. Wow what a coup for him. I hope he has plan B, and plan C, should he ever come close to being caught. Hopefully enough money to disappear again.


      • You’re welcome. Guess he needed to take more if he wanted to stay safe. Wasn’t thinking ahead I guess? You’re welcome!


      • I’m sure, and that would make sense. For instance, I remember what my parents told they paid for University and College tuition in the late 70’s and early 80’s, it’s ridiculously less than what I paid, or what many Canadian and American students pay now for University, or a diploma program. Several-hundred compared to ten thousand a year at the least, depending where in Canada and the US you attend. US is much more expensive, I read somewhere that Harvard is Aprox $ 45,000 in total/ per year. Here, somewhere like Dalhousie or Queens in Toronto, is likely more than 10 grande. But in Alberta that’s about average with books & supplies, depending on the program. I know my Grandpa too, bought a house for Btwn $35,000 and $40,000 grand in the 70’s. When my Baba had to move to a seniors place at 84, (10 yrs ago) she got almost $300,000 for her house, again big difference! It needed a lot work, but she almost had 10x what Grandpa paid. Have a good night 🙂


      • It’s not just what things cost but what the dollar (or whatever currency) will buy. in the 1950s or 60s may have seemed to have earned a ridiculously low salary compared to what the same job would pay today, but that amount of money may have bought a lot more goods and services. My wife has several magnets on our fridge which tell what certain goods and services cost in years gone by. For instance in 1957, a new house cost on average $12,225.00, the average income was $4,594.00 a year, gasoline cost 24 cents per gallon, and a U.S. postage stamp was 3 cents. In 1988, a house cost $91,177.00, the average income was $24,457.00 a year, gasoline cost 91 cents a gallon, and a postage stamp would run you 25 cents. The interesting thing is to compare the radio of income to housing costs. It’s not stable across time so what an average person can afford isn’t either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s really neat. And of course your right. Perhaps what we earn now makes certain cost of living increases as affordable? Or in some cases, maybe not as you say income and goods etc. aren’t stable.

        Liked by 1 person

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