They found them floating, hundreds of bruised flesh, clamped by a piece of wood. Those who had boarded the boats slept soundly, huddled together like matchsticks trying to burn from each other's flames. The smell of burns and muddy blood made a whimper. Under the skirts of a woman who was still alive, paralyzed by the cold, they found a baby wrapped in layers of dry clothes. Millvina, only two months old, entered her new victorious life, stepping on her own death.

(Translated by Elena Creţu / 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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