“Monstrous Beings Through Time,” by Kate Osana Simonian
Appeared in Ninth Letter, Summer 2017 issue; online here
At first I read the narrator as human, so I had to go back and reread the beginning. A truly weird story. I like the sense that the main character is just on the verge of recognizing their own desire and compassion and personhood, but can’t accept any of those things as belonging to themself.
A great paragraph: “I have always been in this cell. Here I rest, feed, and perform directives. Each day I am given three cleaning mattes. There is a green switch to effect my incineration, should I need it. Each day I use one whole matte to polish the switch.”
(Nitpick: Is it a switch or a button?)
I think the section breaks are important to keep the story from seeming like it’s located in linear time.