If only I hadn't had this gift, I would have been happy. Being a human ultrasound machine was a permanent source of pain and anxiety. I was kissing a girl and I could see a tumor growing behind her eyes. I could see how, through the coronary arteries of a loved one, the blood was flowing slowly, full of cholesterol. I knew that my girlfriend had a blood clot in her femoral vein that would reach her lungs. Every day, I was predicting thrombosis, heart attacks, and strokes. That's when I chose to go blind. I was tired of only seeing red in front of my eyes.

(Translated by Andreea-Simona Trufin / 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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