Come on, he told himself, a hand's width, that's all you need, you old geezer. On Allah's beard, dammit, you don't fly like you used to. That's how Aladdin reassured himself, patching up what was left of his magic carpet, a rag tattered by Sahara's teeth and, once, even pricked by the tall spire of Scheherazade's bedchamber, on the night she had caressed his body with words, without touching him. He looked at the rag fondly: maybe we're at the end of our flight, my beloved marvel, but we share a story. And it's not a short one. It'll take us forever to tell it.

(Translated by Carla Beţianu / 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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