Three Fictions

Ravi Mangla

Lost Art

I had a friend who wanted to build a museum dedicated to lost works of art. Pieces incinerated in fires, pilfered by thieves, or simply displaced by time. I asked my friend, who seemed settled on the idea, what the visitors would look at. He appeared taken aback by the question, as if I had asked something untoward. The absence, he said.


It’s an overabundance of male trees that are making your allergies worse, I tell my wife. I’ve been looking forward to telling her this ever since I heard it on a science podcast during my morning commute. I expect her to be surprised by the knowledge. But she takes the information in stride.


I told him that I was once bitten by a neighbor’s miniature dog, a breed I couldn’t recall, and that I wondered how much of my life that came after that was colored by the incident, the sober recognition that I could be hurt by something so unassuming.

Ravi Mangla’s most recent novel is The Observant (Spuyten Duyvil, 2022). His writing has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Cincinnati Review, American Short Fiction, Salt Hill, and Wigleaf. He lives in Philadelphia.