I am not what I am by Babette

He twirled the warm, half-full bottle around and around in his hands, picking at the label without peeling it off. It had been twenty-four hours since he had started drinking and he knew he had to stop. He took another swig of the bottle’s bitter contents. He didn’t even like beer. The old man had gotten him to drink vodka from the freezer, and he remembered his twelve-year old self being able to drink several glasses of the cold, almost tasteless alcohol before he eventually passed out, as he inevitable did.

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Avery Ann Graham
1 year ago

I love the ending

1 year ago

Dear Babette,

The title’s play of words on the famous Cartesian quote already suggests that we are going to meet someone at odds with themselves. Then when reading the story the irony of this statement appears – he thinks he isn’t a villain, but he is, and villains always feel that they have to justify their crimes.

A great read and a hard story – we feel like we are there with him in the filthy room while he muses about his life. I particularly liked “But there was no rubbing hard enough to erase the last four years” – what happened, what did he do to him? It leaves the reader uneasy. Then what is in the cellar?

Comment – at the end we are suddenly at the arrival of the daughter and the hint of the cellar whereas he was still taking care of details just before -the movement between scenes is a bit bumpy. I would suggest starting with “Later that afternoon…” to make the fast-forward more fluid.

Well done Babette and thank you for your contribution!

Kajal Kapur
1 year ago

Whoa! I liked how the story unfolded. Of course, in the first few lines, I could gather that something untoward is going to happen, yet the way the scenes unfolded made for an interesting read. However, I feel, that if the story had a few more words, then some of the details could have been creased out better. Like the history of the characters, their relationships with each other, etc. Nevertheless, this is a great attempt. Thank you.

Delrae Goodburn Lurie
11 months ago

Absolutely loved this. In my first submission ever I wrote about a similar character/situation – a streetchild turned prostitute who kills his abusive older “lover” – as part of a much bigger story, so this resonnated with me. I loved what you did with this story and envy some of your marvellous descriptions and depictions, which capture the rage and hopelessness uniquely. And I liked the ending and love the title. Intriguing and devastating. One typo: “inevitable” – “inevitably.” Look forward to reading your next story!