One day, the Time Machine, the latest attraction, stops in our town. Many stare, but fewer dare. Even if the price is unreasonable, I still want to go on that ride. "Forward or backward?" the driver asks me, after I sit comfortably and put my safety belt. "Back, to the future", I say, trying to seem cool. "Take me somewhere only nice people are and taxes are low", I tell him. "And where the parking is free for 500 years". "To Cernobyl then", he says, while placing the coordinates on the GPS.

(Translated by Irina Bîlcan / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / Corrected by Silvia Petrescu, coordinator of the translations)

Real Fiction is a collective project started in 2013 by Florin Piersic Jr. The concept of Real Fiction continued to exist as a Facebook group, after a volume of stories was published at Humanitas Publishing House. (In January 2021, the group has 3.000 members.) The authors write ultra-short stories, setting their texts within the limit of 500 symbols (in Romanian language, so in English the limit might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise with an almost daily changed topic. The group's coordinators are Florin Piersic Jr., Gabriel Molnar, and Luchian Abel. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

*Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficţiuni Reale.

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