What Edit

Orgami Expert / Fortune Teller

Books and Stories this Character Appears In Edit

  • Dreams Underfoot
    • "The Conjure Man" -11 (described at beginning)
    • "Our Lady of the Harbour" (1991) (mentioned at end)
    • "Paperjack" (1991) 

Defining Description or Bio Edit

Old black man who is an origami expert. He also tells fortunes w: folded paper Chinese fortune-telling devices.


He can be found mostly in Fitzhenry Park, busking

Personality and CharacterEdit

There was a magic about him, the magic that always hangs like an aura about someone who’s an artist. Around him, an overcast day didn’t seem as gloomy, and when the sun shone, it always seemed brighter. He exuded a glad feeling that you couldn’t help but pick up on. So in that sense, he was magic.

Physical DescriptionEdit

He had dark skin—an amazing ebony that seemed to swallow light. He was in his mid-sixties, short corkscrew hair all grey. His dark suit was threadbare, but always clean. Under his suit jacket he usually wore a white T-shirt that flashed so brightly in the sun it almost hurt your eyes—just like his teeth did when he gave you that lopsided grin of his.



Occupation Edit

Busking: origami and fortune-telling

Residence Location Edit


— According to Bossman:

  • Winter: Paperjack lives with a Mexican family down in the Barrio
  • Summer: camps up behind the Beaches

Other DetailsEdit

  • I am "A mirror into which no one will look. A fortune that remains forever unread. My time here is done.”

History / Background Edit

Connections (characters, places) Edit

Name What Connection About
Geordie Riddell fiddler Paperjack told his fotune starts him on search for Sam of he past
Jilly Coppercorn artist former street person, looks for him; afraid when he starts looking ill then he can't be found
Bossman Busker; blues harmonica player knows where Paperjack squats music held all the world magic;
Red homeless man squats near Paperjack pointed out Paperjack's spot to Geordie and jilly
Fitzhenry Park park does origami, fortunes  told Gordies Fortune, 
Beaches ritzy area has squat behind it

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add

Events in the Series (spoilery area) Edit

"Paperjack": Paperjack told Geordie Riddell's fortune—"Swallow the Past". That gave Geordie the bright idea to research Sam in the past. He went to the 


"If his skin swallowed light, I knew where it went: into his eyes. They were dark, so dark you could barely tell the difference between pupil and cornea, but inside their darkness was a kind of glow—a shine that resonated inside me like the deep hum that comes from my fiddle’s bass strings whenever I play one of those wild Shetland reels in A minor." ~ Geordie
"No one in this world views it the same,” the voice said. “I believe that is what amazes me the most about it. Each person has his or her own vision of the world, and whatever lies outside that worldview becomes invisible. The rich ignore the poor. The happy can’t see those who are hurting.” ~ Paperjack
“Who ... who are you?” I asked. “A mirror into which no one will look. A fortune that remains forever unread. My time here is done.” — Geordie and Paperjack
"The giving itself is the gift. The longer I remain here, the more I forget." ~ Paperjack — "Paperjack"

Notes / CommentsEdit

origami was only the most visible side of his gig. He also told fortunes. He had one of those little folded paper Chinese fortune-telling devices that we all played around with when we were kids. You know the kind: you fold the corners in to the center, turn it over, then fold them in again. When you’re done you can stick your index fingers and thumbs inside the little flaps of the folds and open it up so that it looks like a flower. You move your fingers back and forth, and it looks like the flower’s talking to you.

Paperjack’s fortune-teller was just like that. It had the names of four colors on the outside and eight different numbers inside. First you picked a color—say, red. The fortune-teller would seem to talk soundlessly as his fingers moved back and forth to spell the word, R-E-D, opening and closing until there’d be a choice from four of the numbers. Then you picked a number, and he counted it out until the fortune-teller was open with another or the same set of numbers revealed. Under the number you choose at that point was your fortune.

Paperjack didn’t read it out—he just showed it to the person, then stowed the fortune-teller back into the inside pocket of his jacket from which he’d taken it earlier.

See AlsoEdit

External LinksEdit

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