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Adam Harris was born in coal country, right in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. His father, Gregory, worked the mines every day and came home to his best friend, Jim Beam. Gregory had many friends that he met every week, they were all named Jim Beam.


One day his wife, Phyliss, said to her husband that she had enough of Jim Beam to last a lifetime and it was time to spend time with her and at least be sober enough to come to the dinner table with Adam who was only five at the time.


After consuming a full friend of Jim Beam, Gregory reached for his baseball bat that he just used hitting soft ground balls to Adam and bashed Phyliss’s head with it. It made quite the mess. Gregory didn’t even realize that his son watched the entire episode and that his mother was dead. That’s because he reached for another bottle of Jim Beam to help him clean up the mess. Adam ran out of the house to his closest neighbor’s and convinced the neighbor to call the police.


The police came and Gregory didn’t even put up a fight and told the cops that his wife deserved it as she told him he could no longer hang out with his best friends. He was taken away and sentenced to life in prison. Meanwhile. Adam went from one foster home to another until one lucky day the state with extra money collected from the coal companies decided to put Adam in a high school that taught the latest in AI and electronics. The bonus was that it had a dormitory.


Adam excelled quickly and became one of the top students at the school. Not only did he learn everything he could about adaptive AI, he also learned about the newest technology that was only available on the dark web, IAI (intuitive AI). What made IAI so powerful and amazing was the power of harnessing the human brain as the central control point. Most interesting, it was all connected using a dark web semiconductor chip smaller than a pinhead.




Elliot Larsen was the CEO of Float My Boat which made among other things, blow-up ducks for pools. Float My Boat’s best-seller was Quack, a giant yellow duck that featured a bright red mouth, black sunglasses and plenty of space for kids to jump on it and float away. While the company sold thousands of them, the company was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy because it lost a major lawsuit in which a child died on one of its floats.


It didn’t help that Elliott was an ex-con who got caught co-inspiring with others that broke into people’s homes and stole money, artwork and anything else of value. He spent two years in jail. But before he was caught, it was incredible how much money he made. It turned out most people were lazy and left their valuables in open places for anyone to take.


It also just happened that Float My Boat was a local sponsor of the technical high school in which Adam was a student. Elliott hired students for his company at minimum wage for teaching them critical business skills. Just as Elliott was figuring out where he was going to get more money to avoid bankruptcy, Joe Vargas, the school’s principal, called him.


“Elliot, I have a student that you will definitely be interested in hiring for your company. His name is Adam Harris and he has this gift for IAI, which I know nothing about but I do know he can be a tremendous asset to your company.”


Joe knew all about Elliot and his past experience with crime but also knew that Elliot was a great sponsor of the school and wanted him to be happy. That’s why when opportunities like this came up, Elliot was first to be called.


One day after school, Adam came to the entrance of Float My Boat and was surprised not to see a receptionist waiting for him. Instead, he walked into an empty lobby and saw a sign: QUACK QUACK! He saw a picture of a large yellow duck float in a huge pool and underneath that, it read: If you are here to see Elliot, press the button below. CAUTION: ONCE YOU PRESS THE BUTTON, BE PREPARED FOR YOUR ULTIMATE CHALLENGE.


Adam was ready for an ultimate challenge and pressed the button.



A door in the lobby buzzed and Adam opened the door and walked into a large factory and saw what must have been Elliot waiting for him. “Nice to meet you Adam, let me give you the nickel tour.”


They walked the factory and Adam was impressed with the operation and seeing how the pool floats were made. After the tour, they went into Elliot’s office. “Adam, Joe told me you were an expert in IAI, so why don’t you tell me more about it?”


Elliot, recently divorced, nearly fell off his chair after listening to Adam. “Mr. Larsen, I have figured out IAI like no one else because not only can I use adaptive artificial intelligence, I have figured out the intuitive part through my connections on the dark web. My brain is now part of IAI and the power is super human.


Elliot stood up from his chair and walked around to confront Adam, “If what you are telling me is true, how would you like to make some real money?” Adam knew exactly what Elliot was referring to and replied back, “Damn right.”


On the first day of the job, Elliot gave Adam a Quack and said “Let’s see what you can do with this.” Adam spent a week perfecting his program and alerted Elliot that he was ready for his presentation.


They met in his office with Quack blown-up and they were ready for the demonstration. Adam turned on his smartphone and opened his specially-designed app which he appropriately named, Quack Quack You. He explained to Elliot that he placed a miniature microchip inside his red mouth which were his eyes to the world. This made Quack not only able to see but able to move around the pool at will. Elliot couldn’t believe his eyes. His best friend, Norm Perkins, owned a beautiful country estate with an Olympic-sized pool. He couldn’t wait to get in touch with Norm.



Situated on five acres, the enormous country estate was built in 1925 and updated in 2010. The star of the estate was the pool overlooking Lake Chalmer. It was the perfect retreat and Norm even had his own personal chef and housekeeper while his wife attended to menu selection for meals, wines for the week and weekly massages for both of them.


Elliot came with Adam and was introduced to both Norm and his wife, Taylor. Adam never saw a house like this in his life or a more stunning woman and was blown away. He was carrying Quack and both Norm and Taylor thought he was the cutest float ever. They went to the pool where Adam put Quack in the pool. Norm came up to Elliot and asked him, “So what’s the big deal about Quack, he just looks like a typical pool float to me?” Elliot replied back, “He is intuitive, that’s all I can say and he floats like a real duck. I’ll call you in a week and get your feedback.”


Elliot and Adam drove back to the Float My Boat’s headquarters and went directly to Elliot’s office. He then turned on his 75” TV screen and Adam connected to it with his iPhone 15 and turned on the app. There was Quack floating in the pool and they could both see what Quack was seeing. At this moment, Quack was looking at Taylor relaxing on a lounge chair wearing a red thong bikini. Adam then moved Quack around the pool to check out the 360 vision and saw Elliot mixing a couple cocktails at the outdoor bar. Elliot marveled at how perfect the opportunity was.



Elliot met Hank and Bubba at a strip joint years ago and they hit it off right away. Neither of the men had any money, no thoughts of getting a legit job and kept dreaming of getting rich the easy way, which to them, was stealing from others. Elliot was the mastermind who figured out a way to break into homes and business was brisk until they got caught.


Now with Quack in action, Elliot gave both Hank and Bubba a call and asked if they wanted to meet for drinks at the Riverside, a popular hangout for losers that featured Mezcal, tacos and hot girls.


 They met up the next night and Elliot laid out his plans. While Norm and Taylor were hanging out at the pool, they would enter their home and steal as much as possible. It was the perfect scenario; they could do it in broad daylight because Quack was on watch. If someone went into the house for any reason, they would be alerted by Adam and could hide until that person went back outside.


They chose the next Saturday for their adventure thinking that was a perfect poolside day. They sipped on iced coffees while waiting for Adam to give them the go ahead once Norm and Taylor were poolside.


Sure enough, at 11:00AM, Taylor first emerged, this time wearing a tiny green bikini and carrying the latest Elin Hilderbrand book. Norm was right behind her carrying his iPad and two margaritas. Quack was in perfect position and watched every one of their actions. Adam gave Elliot the signal to proceed.


The entire operation took less than 30 minutes and they netted more than $100K in cash, jewelry, artwork and other tokens. Best, they didn’t have to worry about alarms, breaking in or getting caught. They all met back at the factory and Elliot put in an order to produce 10,000 Quack’s as soon as possible. Within six months, Float My Boat was not only solvent, but the most profitable in history.

C 2024 by Larry Gaynor. All characters are fiction. This is my first fiction short story, so hope you enjoyed it!


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