by Donnie Dowen
(Corinth, New York)

There was once a small motel in South Carolina. There lived Manny. Manny Shayne was a talented ventriloquist, and his main puppet was Phineas. Phineas P. Shayne was his full name. He was a small pale wooden puppet with a black curled mustache painted on its upper-lip. One day Manny

was performing on stage.

"So Phin, How was your vacation?"
"Uh, It was horrible , When they said water makes wood swell they weren't kidding." He said as water fell from his sleeve.

Later after the show Manny was in his motel room.

"Yeah, Alright Mom. I love you. Yup. Bye."
Manny Said Hanging up the phone.

He saw a shadow, moving past the window.
Manny stood up and started towards the window.

A knocked echoed from the bathroom.

Manny turned with a start. He rushed towards the door of the bathroom. Another knock echoed from behind him. Phineas was leaning against the door.
Manny picked him up and leaned him against the wall by the bed. He climbed into bed and turned off the light. There was a thump.

The next morning the clerk was in the lobby.
"So how was your stay?"
"Very good , Do you have a phone?"
"Yes. By the way, I liked what you done with your mustache Mr. Shayne."
He twirled his mustache and smiled.
"Please, Call me Phineas"

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