Thank you for this. It's gripping, beguiling. I reread it several times partly—but only partly—because of the present tense "she tells us." Is she alive? Or starved dead?
Regardless, I'm still thinking of her more-than lifesize image, staring out onto .. a dinner table? TV dinners?
Like Caroline, I, too, paused, read, reread and considered your verb tense choice, but that's only my intellectual response. I finished your piece and immediately drew a sharp breath - so sharp my husband asked if I were OK. If she only were. Really well-done, Ms. Buchanan, thank you.
Thank you for reading so thoughtfully, Caroline Mawer and Leah Ghiradella.