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Writing about a solitary confinement survivor

I had seven golden tetras in my aquarium.

One jumped out one night, two succumbed to white-spot parasites, one just wasted away.

Last month, I had three left, swimming strong, flicking their tiny white tipped fins, the black spots on their tail a second eye.

Then suddenly after a weekend vacation, I returned to find only two.

Today while cleaning the aquarium filter, we rescued the third one. He’d been swimming around in a tiny whirling pool of perfect darkness, all by his lonesome self, for a month.

And now, as I type, he’s swimming around in all the light and green and water, just as if he had never been in solitary confinement.

Lesson in there somewhere.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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