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The Hand of Paul.

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posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 03:23 PM
Because he's Paul.

That's what Jim had been told by Paul's representative. He never forgot it, either.

Paul was the leader of a ubiquitous and very powerful organization, similar to the Mafia. This organization had been founded many years ago - and although some believed Paul was dead, his organization made it clear that he was still very much alive. It wasn't uncommon for recipients of Paul's benevolence to receive an occasional hand-written note from the big boss himself. Of course, it didn't matter that the handwriting never matched -- what mattered was that Paul's name was signed at the bottom. That was enough for the note's addressee.

Though he was advertised as a philanthropist, a debt to Paul was something to be feared. One never got out of paying it back -- and if one tried to run, Paul would ensure s/he regretted his/her decision.

After an ugly divorce battle, Jim had approached Paul -- or more accurately, Paul's organization -- for financial assistance. He'd been promised much more, and he gratefully accepted.

"Paul knows everyone," a Customer Service Representative had explained. "Since we now have you in our database, all you need to do now is go looking for a job again. The right one will be arranged by Paul; just don't forget to thank Paul when you find it."

So Jim had gone looking, and he'd found a job. It wasn't much, but it allowed him to pay his bills, and that was more than enough. But through the years, Jim grew dissatisfied with his job. There was nothing he could do about it, though; if he expressed distaste for his job, Paul would certainly cause him to lose it -- and do worse.

"What's the pay-back plan?" Jim had asked the Representative. "I mean, if I'm getting my own job, I'm not really borrowing money from you guys-"
"From Paul," the Representative corrected, "And you are receiving a favor from Paul because Paul is allowing you to get a job."
Jim sighed. He knew well enough to avoid an argument with this representative, herself a "face" of Paul.
"Then how will I pay back?" he asked.
"Paul will collect his payment when he wants," the representative replied. "And that may be at any time. He's never too far away."
"Then, can I talk to him?" Jim asked.
"No one talks to Paul!" the representative gasped, obviously appalled. "Not even most of the managers at this office."
"Why not?" Jim asked.
"Because he's Paul," the representative replied, even more brusquely. "No one talks to Paul."
Jim hung his head.
"I'll take it," he sighed. He had no other choice; if Paul was willing to give him a job somewhere, it was better than nothing.

Many years had passed since Jim's conversation with the representative. He had kept his job, and diligently scoured the pamphlets that were routinely sent out by Paul's organization -- because Paul knew when you didn't read the pamphlets. For the last twelve years, they had reiterated the same thing; "Be grateful, and remember: Paul reserves the right to collect his payment at any time, and in any form." Occasionally, there were gory tales of what happened to people who didn't pay back their debt when "Paul came calling."

Jim sighed. Why did it have to be this way? How could this so-called 'philanthropist' get away with such horrible crimes against humanity?

Because he's Paul, he heard the representative's voice say.

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