I was running, clutching the note I had found in the morning when I entered the room to make his bed. That's all he wrote: rope, soap. I didn't care until after noon, when he should have come home from school, and I panicked. Everything followed in an instant: the phone he wasn't answering, the money missing from the drawer, the voice telling me he had left for the abandoned mill, the desperate rush. I stopped in horror. In the meadow, under the eyes of a girl, my son was spinning a huge soap bubble on the string tied to a stick.

(Translated by Alexandra Gruia / 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 every few days. 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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