Nate was a goner the instant he lifted Monsieur Frappé from the battered leather case and set him on his knee. It was like love at first sight.
He'd never held a ventriloquist's dummy before. It was lighter than he expected. The Monsieur's clothes were straight out of old French cinema, suited to black and white canal shots with lots of fog: the antique sailor-stripe knit shirt; the miniature wool beret. The red polkadot scarf knotted at the wooden throat brought the term neckerchief to mind. Though the carved wood features—hooked nose, bushy eyebrows, deep-etched lines around the mouth—were clearly those of an old man, Nate had expected the dummy to weigh the same as one of his nephews. Back when he'd lived in his sister's basement the nephews had been young enough to still want to clamber up onto Nate's knee. The oldest, only three, would climb into Nate's lap and stare at Nate's face with solemn eyes, sucking his thumb while Nate tried to make conversation as he would with someone his own age. So, what are you up to these days? Nate would ask. Seen any good movies lately? Nothing in this world, Nate eventually came to… Read more »