They go to hell, my dear. In one's personal hell. You climb unabatedly up and down, in a circular motion, carrying the burden of the world on your shoulders. There isn't enough time to even blink. And where do these go? In the collective hell. There you meet your own tormentors, who tell you the things that hurt the most. Don't you have a stairway to the Paradise? You missed the entrance twenty years ago and you can't go back. But you can try. This stairway. You climb unabatedly up and down, carrying the burden of the world. After the first million steps, blinking will seem to be heavenly eternity.

(Translated by Dragoş Frangulea / 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, setting their texts within the limit of 500 symbols (in Romanian language, so in English the limit might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise with an almost daily changed topic. 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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