Breathe in, please breathe in, stay with me. Look into my eyes, and don't close yours, breathe in. Fuck, he lost consciousness. Bring cold water immediately. One slap, two, three, and goddamn it we're losing him. What the hell are we going to tell his mom? What are we to do with him? They had already thrown two buckets worth of water on him, alternating between countless slaps to the face. When all seemed lost, Mihai opened his eyes. So, are you done with my tattoo? Done my ass, you have planet Earth, as seen from a tremendous distance. You passed out like an idiot after the first tattooed dot.

(Translated by Ruxandra Ioana Vasile / 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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