Sue, this is a brilliant story. I love the way you pad out your characters so that they are almost real. Any sympathy I had for Gerald (which you cleverly maintain until the very end) is lost in the last line, which made me feel physically sick.
Great story, Sue. My sister-in-law lived next door to a sex offender (isn't that what they call them nowadays). I think he was a paedophile. Anyway, she had great difficulty selling the house. She had to vet all offers so as not to sell to anyone with kids! Nice story, and congrats on winning the monthly prize.
Thanks you very much Charlie and AARYA. I'm glad you liked the story. mulder, thank you too. I was hoping I had made Gerald sympathetic but not actually likable! Hopefully a decent person would tell someone if a young woman was being ritually abused. But you never know! Thanks again, all. I hope to return the favour in due course.
I must say, you built up an immense amount of questions, some of them answered and the most important ones, left to the will of the reader. The way you treated a sensitive issue in a rather different and even more sensitive manner is really brave of you. I really liked it...a wonderful read in just 8 pages!!