I think I think yes I think maybe possibly I think the story works now.
Daylight may indicate otherwise. I've reached that point where I can honestly make no call as to the story's quality, but it no longer sets off my THIS PIECE IS UNBALANCED DANGER DANGER DANGER alarms. That, quite frankly, is enough for me.
My efforts at avoidance took me to such depths that I googled my name, and so came, you know, nearly a month later, upon Joanne Anderton hooraying as a story she selected for ASIM #34 - Bitter Elsie Mae - featured on the 2008 Dark Fiction Recommended Reading List from Horrorscope. Elsie's in fine company there. And some seriously disturbing and fucked up company. I've read some of those. Ewwwwww.