Chapter Five: Truth, Lies, and a Rusty Lock

Inside Phineas' wagon, Benjy was watching Phineas count the money.

"I eat the best, and I drink champagne. There are no strings on me." Phineas sang as he counted the yellow and green things he had been given by the people. "Bravo, Benjy."

"They liked me." Benjy said as he waited for Phineas to tell him he could go home for the night.

"Two hundred." Phineas said as he put a pile of the yellow things by another pile of yellow things. "You are sensational."

"You mean I'm good?" Benjy asked with a smile.

"Three hundred." Phineas said as he moved another pile of the yellow things with the others. "You are colossal!"

"Does that mean I'm an actor?" Benjy asked.

"Sure." Phineas said after he ate an onion he'd just cut with a knife. "I'll push you in the public's eye, and you'll be on everybody's tongue."

"Will it?" Benjy asked. That seemed a little extreme to be stepping on people's tongues.

"Of course- huh?" Phineas said as he pulled up a dull gray thing with a square hole in the middle. "What's this?"

He bit down and bet it.

"Why that-" Phineas said before he smirked and gave it to Benjy. "For you, Benjy."

"For me?" Benjy asked excitedly. "Gee, thanks! I'll go right home and give it to my parents!"

"Home?" Phineas asked, and he then started laughing. "Oh sure. You should go home to your parents. That's very comical kid!"

"You mean it's funny?" Benjy asked. He wasn't sure what was so funny about going home to Mom and Dad.

"Sure." Phineas said as he continued to laugh, and Benjy ended up joining in, though he wasn't sure why.

"I'll see you in the morning, sir." Benjy said before Phineas grabbed him.

"See me in the morning." Phineas laughed. "Going home."

Benjy laughed along with him until Phineas shoved him into a bird cage.

"There!" Phineas said. "That's your home, where I can always find you."

"No, no!" Benjy shouted.

"Yes, yes!" Phineas shouted back. "You belong to me now! It won't be so bad kid. We'll tour the world. Paris, London, Monte Carlo, Constantinople."

"No!" Benjy cried. He didn't wanna leave! He wanted to stay with his mom and dad and Gwen!

"YES!" Phineas shouted. "We're starting tonight. You're going to make me a whole lot of money. And when you grow too old, I'd wager you'd make good fire wood."

Phineas then tossed a nearby axe at a cut up and singed puppet in a box by the stove.

"Let me outta here!" Benjy cried. "You've gotta let me out! You can't-"

"Shut up before I knock you silly." Phineas said as he walked out to drive the wagon off to who knew where. "Good night my little wooden gold mine."

"No, no, wait!" Benjy shouted as the lights in the wagon turned off, and he shook the bars of his cage. "Let me out! I'll tell my mom and dad on you!"

The cage then shook as the wagon started.

"Gwen?!" Benjy shouted. He should have listened to Gwen and gone off to school. "Gwen where are you?!" He whistled again and again. "Gwen!"

A clap of thunder sounded, and Benjy huddled into a corner and cried. He was all alone.

()()()()()

Gwen had her hood up and watched Phineas Mason's wagon heading out.

"There he goes." Gwen said. "Off to fame and fortune. The lap of luxury. The world at his feet. Oh well. At least I can say I knew him when he was normal. I just wish I could've wished him luck." Then Gwen smiled. "Hey, why can't I now?"

She rushed off and managed to hold on to the wagon as she got in. Luckily, Mason left the door unlocked, so she could go right in.

"Benjy?" Gwen asked. "You in here? It's me, Gwen."

"Gwen!" Benjy said from a… A bird cage? "Am I glad to see you!"

"Benjy, what happened?!" Gwen asked as she stood on a chair to talk to him without spraining her neck. "What'd he do to you?"

"Oh, he was mean." Benjy said. "He said he was gonna shove my face into everybody's eyes and make me step on their tongues."

"That's gross!" Gwen exclaimed.

"Yeah, and just because I'm a gold mine, he's gonna chop me into fire wood when I grow up!" Benjy said.

"That big meanie!" Gwen said. "Don't worry, Benjy. I'll get you out."

She grabbed a hairpin she saw on the table and began to fiddle with the lock.

"Do you know what you're doing?" Benjy asked.

"Yeah, I read about someone doing this in a book once." Gwen said.

After several minutes, the pin stopped moving, and she couldn't pull it out or do anything with it.

"Oh, it's stuck!" Gwen said as she took off her cloak. "I just need some extra oomph and-"

The pin snapped out and hit Gwen in the head as she landed on the floor. It had made a small cut over her forehead.

"Ouch." Gwen groaned. "The stupid hair pin broke."

"You mean you can't open it?" Benjy asked sadly.

"It'll take a miracle to get us out of this mess." Gwen said, and who ever heard of a miracle happening to an orphaned, run-away girl and a wooden boy? She didn't say this out loud as she didn't wanna upset her friend.

()()()()()

Ben and May were looking around the city as the rain came down in buckets.

"Benjy?!" Ben called out.

"Benjy?!" May screamed.

No answer. All that came was a wagon coming across the street, driven by a silver-haired man.

"Benjy!" They called out again, but no one answered.

May cried as her little boy was lost, alone, and probably miserable out there all alone, and Ben did his best to comfort her, but that's hard when the same thoughts flash through your mind.

()()()()()

Inside the wagon, Benjy and Gwen were both crying.

"Oh, I'm a fine conscience." Gwen said sarcastically as tears ran down her face.

"I should have listened to you, Gwen." Benjy said as his own tears fell.

"No, it was my fault. I shouldn't have run out on you when you did a good job in the show." Gwen said as she was beginning to cry outright.

"Guess I'll never see my parents again." Benjy said as he began to cry outright.

"Oh, no." Gwen said as she tried to stop crying. "Don't cry. Be cheerful. Like me."

They then both broke down crying.

"I want my mommy and daddy!" Benjy cried.

"Me too!" Gwen said as they both cried until Gwen swallowed her tears and gulped. "Oh, come on, Benjy. Things… Things aren't that bad. At least the rain's stopped, and look at that star right there."

Gwen then saw the star coming down.

"Uh-oh." Gwen said. "I think it's the lady! The angel! Wanda!"

"What do I say?!" Benjy asked. "What do I do?!"

"You could try telling her the truth." Gwen said before hiding in a corner.

Benjy then hid his face in his arms as Wanda appeared.

"Benjy, I can see you." Wanda said.

"Oh…" Benjy said nervously. "Um… Hi."

"I can see you too, Gwen." Wanda said.

"Oh nuts." Gwen said as she held her hands behind her back and walked up. She didn't like the idea of getting a spanking from this lady. "It's nice to see you again."

"You can put your hands down, Gwen." Wanda said. "That's not my style."

"Phew." Gwen said with a sigh.

"Now Benjy, why didn't you go to school today?" Wanda asked.

"Um… Well…" Benjy said with a gulp.

"Well, go ahead and tell her." Gwen said.

"I was on my way to school when I met someone." Benjy said.

"Met someone?" Wanda asked.

"Yeah, two big monsters with big green eyes!" Benjy said as Gwen saw Benjy's nose grow about three inches.

"Monsters?" Wanda asked like a mother hearing a make-believe story from their son. "Weren't you afraid?"

"Oh no." Benjy said. "But they did put me in a big sack."

His nose then grew another few inches as a flower bud appeared at the end as well as two leaves.

"You don't say?" Wanda said. "And where was Gwen?"

"Gwen?" Benjy asked.

"Hey leave me out of this." Gwen said.

"They put her in the sack too." Benjy said, and his nose grew again, and so did the leaves and the flower.

"No." Wanda said.

"Yes." Benjy said, and the flowers fully bloomed.

"How'd you escape?" Wanda said.

"I didn't." Benjy said with a smile. "They chopped me into firewood!"

Benjy's nose grew a foot, and a nest appeared with two baby blue jays in it.

"Look at my nose!" Benjy said, unable to hold it in any longer. "What's happened?"

"Maybe you haven't been telling the truth." Wanda said.

"'Maybe'?!" Gwen asked. That story could be made into a Grimm's Fairy Tale!

"Oh but I have." Benjy said. "Every word."

His nose then grew as the end with the nest dipped, and the blue jays flew off.

"Please help me!" Benjy begged. "I'm awful sorry."

"You see Benjy?" Wanda asked. "A lie can keep growing and growing until it's as plan as the nose on your face, and no offense kid, but that one was a doozy."

"She's right, Benjy." Gwen said. "You better come clean."

"I'll never lie again." Benjy said. "Honestly! Now please let us out!"

"Alright, but this is the last time I can help you." Wanda said as she touched Benjy's nose with her sword, and in a bright flash, she was gone, Benjy's nose was back to normal, and the door was wide open.

"Hey look, Gwen!" Benjy said. "My nose is back to normal!"

"And you're free!" Gwen said. "Now let's get outta here!"

They managed to jump out when they passed a grassy area outside of Smallville, and they hid behind a rock as the wagon went out of sight.

"See you later, Mason." Gwen said with a sigh.

"Good-bye Mr. Mason!" Benjy shouted before Gwen put her hand over his mouth. "Oops, sorry."

"No problem." Gwen said. "Now let's go home. Your mom and dad must be worried sick about you."

"And about you." Benjy said.

"Yeah, I bet they're more worried about you." Gwen said.

"What's a bet?" Benjy asked.

"Forget it." Gwen said. "Let's just go home.


Me: Hooray! Now you two are out of the woods, right?

Gwen: You'll see, and keep your voice down.

Penny (sleepily): Yay…