At a distance, the red cross of the ambulance. She will be back home in a few days, says gradma. Time glides by on the retina, a red strand, and feeds every vertebra of the hours deep into the waiting's marrow. When the longing shaped its spine thus assuming a face, she tore apart her mother's favourite pearl necklace and gifted it with eyes made of green beads. Out of the second necklace she made it a mouth and a tongue. Out of the white amethyst, teeth. When the longing didn't fit in the house anymore, she put on her matching high-heels and left hand in hand with it, tonk! tonk!, to the hospital.

(Translated by Dragoş Frangulea / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 May 2021, the group has 6.400 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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