the secret yellow pad society

The Secret Yellow Pad Society

 

He was almost out of money. He had to find a cheaper source for writing material, and so he Googled Yellow Pads.

There were a good number of special offers if he bought in bulk, and there was a cryptic “If it’s the very soul of you, call this number.” No email, no street address, just an 800 number. When he checked it out, it was Helsinki.

He wondered if he’d have to speak Finish, but a woman answered the phone and said in perfect English: “Is it the very soul of you?” and he said without hesitation — yes.

 

***

He got off the plane with one suitcase. “What are these?” asked the customs clerk when he opened the suitcase.

“Yellow pads,” he answered.

The customs clerk picked one up, its pages covered in scrawl, then dropped it back into the suitcase. “What is the purpose of your visit?” he said.

•••

 

Outside the terminal, standing next to a black limo, stood a dwarf holding a yellow pad to his chest. He walked up to the dwarf, and without speaking the dwarf opened the back door to the limo. He got in and sat holding his suitcase on his lap. The limo eased into traffic.

 

***

He’s been at it for three years now. Sometimes he misses his old life, but all-in-all he’s grown accustomed to what he does. He travels the world on assignment, and he travels light–a shaving kit, a change of clothes, a special credit card that allows him to access funds anywhere he goes, and a single pristine yellow pad.

He interviews prospective candidates, and if he finds that pouring their hearts out on yellow pads is the very soul of them, he brings them to Helsinki where they’re briefed and sent off to the colony, far out on the tundra.

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