Ann, that's amazing.
I love the ending, and so sadly, deeply true - the shifty elephant in the room is the monster.
I also love how, in my reading, this moves from hearth-fire to renaissance voyage to early (20 folk-myth to the fractured half-truths of (21 conversations.
if no-one else picks this up I will.
(any strange effects of my previous image are complete chance btw)