Paper Jack

Paper Jack had a secret: He lived on a piece of paper.

You might have thought that was obvious from his name, but the truth is, his friends didn’t know.

They thought his name was some sort of clever, hipster nickname. Like Two Fingers Tommy or Rick the Knife. Two Fingers Tommy didn’t really have only two fingers; the nickname had come from his penchant, as a child, for stealing things. He had insisted that, as long as he only used his thumb and index finger, it wasn’t all of him doing the stealing, and so he wasn’t really stealing at all. And Rick the Knife was a play on Mack the Knife; Rick didn’t even like knives.

So they figured the same was true of Paper Jack.

But Paper Jack knew that names had to mean something, and his name meant that he lived on a piece of paper.

If you looked at him straight on, you never would have noticed. He was careful to pose himself in such a way that he looked as solid as you or me. In a crowd, that was quite the challenge. But he had learned to be quite acrobatic. Just enough so that nobody would catch on to his secret.

And when he left, he never really left. He just turned himself so that everyone saw the edge of the paper, and he ceased to be visible.

Sure, maybe you could see the edge, but it wasn’t worth looking at. And things that aren’t worth looking at stop getting noticed.

And so Paper Jack lived his life, appearing when he wanted to, and folding himself into the pockets of perception when he didn’t.

Such was the life, such was the secret, of Paper Jack.

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