It was the waves who made me stop, obliged me to listen to myself, gathering in a shell all my emptiness. It sounded similar to a mermaid and you were still running and watching from distance how I pick up unfulfilled desires, intentions sinking off the pier, broken promises whose pieces were scattered in the beach as shells in the sun. I looked at them one at a time, breaking my mind, until I realized it was in vain. I don't recall when I got tired, when I gave up, how much time passed until you returned changed to see the new version of myself, looking as tough as a sand castle.

(Translated by Luciana-Maria Buruiană / 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 August 2021, the group has 7.000 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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