Ready or not, here I come. How young and beautiful we were. How we used to get daubed with strawberries, mulberries, and cherries, with blood on our knees and motor oil on our clothes, to the despair of our parents. We hid our small bodies behind whatnot. And then it was over, life came round too soon. How old and ugly we are. How we daub ourselves with what we've gathered, with what we've eaten, with what we've put on, desperate because we no longer have parents, with blood to our heads. We hide our small souls behind a bunch of smartphones and posts. And life's over.

(Translated by Oana Dicilea / 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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