It's Swan Lake, grandma reads to us before every act what will happen, so we don't talk during the show. At first, we argued over the binoculars, but I gave in because I was the older sister. Anais clutching her binoculars. She comes back to whisper something to me. I cannot hear. I make shh. She gets under the chair. I follow her. She tells me that a swan got lost, that she kept counting them and now one was missing. I tell her to count again. I have counted them for thirteen times, she tells me, but she can only count to ten. Shh.

(Translated by Emilia-Georgiana Călinescu / 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 April 2021, the group has 5.600 members.) The authors write ultra-short stories, with the texts limited to 500 characters (in Romanian, so the length of the English translation might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise on a topic that changes almost daily. The group's coordinators are Florin Piersic Jr., Gabriel Molnar, Răzvan Penescu, 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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