No one wants to be pitied. The two characters in this story have all that it takes to draw that demeaning sentiment from others. On the one hand, the story is realistic in the way the protagonist is portrayed with her grief and anger. Spoken dialogue and internal thought are masterly woven in the writing. An itinerant vendor of tea (this is England) bridges the real with the super real. He is magical in his physical deformity and spiritual profundity. There’s a delicious ambivalence of fairy tale that works here. Read it at On the Premises here.