Once upon a time an old and blind puppet maker lived in the woods, and it was a wonder to behold what marvelous creations his fingertips could produce. No one ever heard the strike of a hatchet, although the old man always kept plenty of good wood for crafting in his workshop. There was also no apprentice. But one day around sunset, raised voices rang out from the craftsman's house, then silence fell, the door opened, and an angry mob of dolls marched for the woods. In their wake, from the upper shelf, the old puppet maker, now petrified, stared at the world with an empty gaze.

(Translated by Ioana Diana Sandu / 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 July 2021, the group has 6.800 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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