Imogene was the kind of beautiful that’s not beautiful on the outside. She wondered if she’d be alone forever. Hardly anyone in Bedford County even noticed her. Except for Linus. He’d follow Imogene everywhere she went, filming her, picking her trash outta the garbage and what not.

He wasn’t really right in the head, but Imogene didn’t have any other admirers, so she always gave him a smile when their eyes met. Plus, he wasn’t ugly, just a lil bit off. He’d been one of those kids who couldn’t have pets cause they’d always end up dead and opened up. A few neighbors who’d lost their cats suspected him of foul play, but nothing was ever proven. Imogene didn’t have any pets, so she wasn’t really worried about Linus.

Well, and so it was on most days, Imogene would walk through town nearly invisible with Linus trailing about ten steps behind her. She never knew why he followed her on some days and not on others – and the truth is, she was starting to care. So on the days he wasn’t watching her, she went looking for him. He was easy to find. He was most always smashing on rocks in his front yard with no shirt on. It was a good look for him, thought Imogene. He’d look up from smashing and smile at her and then go right back to smashing.

One day when Linus wasn’t following her, and he wasn’t in his front yard, Imogene went up to the house. Now, that took a lot of courage. Linus’s father was known for yelling and throwing beer cans, though no one had seen him for a while. “Linus,” called Imogene, “you in there?” There was no answer.

Imogene peeked through the window. She could see Linus’s dad sitting on an armchair with a beer in his hand. Looked like he was asleep. She called out again “Linus?” Still no answer. Imogene noticed the door was open, so she let herself in. She took a closer look at Linus’s dad and realized he wasn’t sitting in the chair, he was the chair. He’d been expertly stuffed and positioned. Imogene heard someone grunting behind her. She spun around to find Linus standing right there. “Linus, did you do this?” she asked. Linus nodded slowly. “It’s just beautiful. May I take a seat?” Again, Linus nodded, smiling shyly.

Imogene sat on Linus’s dad and leaned back. The chair rocked a little with her weight. A rocking chair! Imogene had always wanted a rocking chair. Linus took the beer can out of his daddy’s hand and replaced it with a nice cold fresh one for Imogene.

She looked at Linus and it was like she could see into the future. They’d be married. It’d be a simple life, but a nice one. He’d make all the furniture and she’d do the cooking and cleaning and of course she’d read to the kids. She wasn’t sure Linus could even talk, let alone read.

Still, she thought, he sure would make a fine husband.


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