He drew with his stick in the dirt and the sun put gold on his head. See how beautiful she is?" the old woman whispered to me. It was in the autumn of '44, the trees were shedding their leaves when the Russians arrived in Giarmata. Aneta was 16 years old and her parents had built her a dungeon in the attic of the house to protect her from the lepers who mocked girls and women. For an hour she listened to the screams that had severed her mother's mind. Since then she's been walking like this, a poor child with a stick and singing. Shall I tell you who I am? A rainbow-faced bridge.

(Translated by Oana Irina Oprea / 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 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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