He stepped into the office and locked the upholstered door with the key. After that, he shuttered the windows and threw himself down into his armchair. Specks of dust were whirling around in some beams of light. He paid no attention to them, leaned forward and untied one of his shoes. Took out his foot, removed the sock and felt a callus with his fingers. He then used a letter opener to prick it. A clear drop of water dripped and he was mesmerized by how clear it was. Flesh throbbed under his skin. He must have been the loneliest man - with a callus - on earth! Next, he put his shoe back on. They won't shot him without his both shoes on - he wouldn't allow it.

(Translated by Elena Florea / 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 June 2021, the group has 6.650 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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