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A perfect companion
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                bride's boquet

The expectation had been building in Henry heart and mind for a month.

“When will she get here,” he asked himself a hundred times a day. He had never seen her, but he knew all about her. He saw her photos, and they always set his heart racing.

She was exactly what he ordered. Sparkling blue eyes, five feet, five inches, probably about 100 pounds.

Henry had not had much human contact since he moved to this remote area of Montana. Some said he was a hermit. But he liked the seclusion after making more than his fair share of money when he sold his parents’ ranch. He was a mountain man and not a rancher. But mountain men are not really good marriage material he learned repeatedly.

So now he was hedging his bet by making sure he would not be rejected. And he was lucky enough to have been able to attract the right kind of companion.

He spent a week straightening up the small cabin. He made  sure he decorated a room for her in a style he hoped would reflect her beauty and in the manner women liked. He unpacked some china left to him by his mother and placed the places, saucers and cups in a cabinet where it would sparkle in the correct light.

He envisioned night after night siting around the dinner table telling her about his life and his hopes and dreams. He knew she would not be bored. He knew she would sit as long as he wanted and listen to his tales. And he knew the remoteness of his cabin would not be problem. She would be happy anywhere with him, he reasoned.

He was totally impressed by how easy it was to get exactly what he wanted. The lips, the perfect teeth, the delicate fingernails, the eyelashes, the skin tone and the rest of the package. He used the internet, and everything is available on the internet, even a bride. He insisted on red hair, His mother had red hair.

For 15 years Henry had been alone except for monthly trips to town and the occasional medical checkup. People thought he was a little off in the head, so there had been only a handful of visitors over that time. But there was regular mail delivery if he managed to hike the half mile to the main road and his rural mailbox. That was his lifeline. He usually did hike instead of taking his battered pickup because he liked to be part of nature. Only when the snow fell and he was not snowed in did he combine trips to town with a look at the mailbox. Usually the only mail was junk.

The loneliness is what finally convinced Henry that he needed a female companion. He was too old for children running around his cabin, so that was not a concern now. There really was not enough work for two people in the cabin, and meals were not elaborate.

Henry mostly occupied his time with outdoor activities, like cutting wood for the winter fires or hunting. He smiled as he thought of those long winter nights snuggled in front of the wood stove with his new companion.

And since he got a cell telephone, he would he would connect at least once a day to the internet. That was about his only concession to the 21st century.

And it was via this electronic marvel that he made contact with her. He preferred an American woman and not one of those exotic foreigners. But Henry had to proceed cautiously. “I may be a loner, but I’m not stupid,” he said. The potential for online fraud is great particularly when the product is a tad embarrassing. So Henry admitted to himself that he was better off spending a lot of money rather than getting ripped off.

He was ready to treat her like a princess. He had been reading on doing women’s hair, and he was sure he could excel in that department as well as nail care. He did not want to lose her for a minute to professionals in town. And he knew she would not complain about his protective nature.

Considering all the costs, he already had about $6,000 invested in his new woman. That’s a small price he thought to get just want I want.

His companion arrived a day ahead of time, and Henry was alerted by a delivery notice in his email and also by one mailed to his rural mailbox. His excitement consumed him. He arrived early at the hardware store that was the bus and freight agency.

“A giant box for you, Henry,” said Archie, the manager, as he led his customer to the garage that served as a storage facility. And there she was, but he was not about too let Archie know. He just needed help loading the coffin-sized box into back of the pickup.

“Logging machinery,” Archie asked. “Nah,” said Henry, “This is personal, more in the category of a time killer.”

As he headed home he congratulated himself for finally deciding to purchase a love doll. He would call her Audrey and buy whatever she needed online. She would have the best wardrobe. And then he would delicately dress and undress her, maybe even get another wig if he tired of the red hair. And maybe jewelry. And he knew she never would backtalk him or get bored or tire of his stories.

He could not wait to unpack her.

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If you like what you read, short stories on this site and others may also be found in digital books listed HERE!

All short stories and this website copyright 2018 and 2019 by James J. Brodell.