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When I got my aquarium, I had determined I would buy small fish by the dozens. Small, pretty much indistinguishable from each other. Never big fish, nothing ever that will be missed straightaway.

I stuck to my guns to more than a year, and then gave in.

I just had to have some angels, and the day before I got two pairs of them, all silver and pearl and snow, swimming around like quaint little fairies. Since they’re usually picky eaters, I was not unduly worried when only one of them made for the multi-colred flakes when I fed them at night.

I had an excellent writing session while sitting across the room watching them play about yesterday.Today morning, I fished out two of them, lying still and white on their sides in the corner of the aquarium. No disease, no nothing. Just dead. Perhaps it was the stress of water change, wrong temperature, I’ll never know. A third seems to be gulping too much. I’m resigned–if it survives tonight, it’ll be a miracle.

So I’ll be left with one lone white angel (if that).

Maybe that is all I deserve. One angel per person sounds about right. Not.

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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  • indigobunting says:

    You know what I love about this? I didn’t know you had an aquarium. This image fills you out for me a bit more.

    • damyantig says:

      Kate…thanks for dropping by, and no I have not been writing about my aquarium.Maybe I’ll write about it today, and you’ll know why….

  • Fish are very delicate pets. You shouldn’t blame yourself.

    A terrible thing to happen anytime but harder when you are already hurting.

    And one angel is good.


    Thanks, Annie. The third one, unsurprisingly, went to fish skies. The last one is still swimming about, so there is hope.

  • DarcKnyt says:

    I’m sorry nothing’s been easy for you lately, Damyanti. You have my prayers, my thoughts and my friendship over the miles if you need them.

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