He stared for a long time at the rotten crow right next to the boat. He looked at it with sickly interest, and dark thoughts ran through his mind. Now he was afraid to go at sea. He felt that it was a bad omen. He was not sure whether he should cross his fingers or just go in Godspeed. He had to bring some fish home by sunrise because his mother was starving. Her stomach was aching from all the meds. She's withering away, he thought with pain in his heart. He jumped in the boat, over the deadbeat and crossed himself. Good riddance and I shall return safely.

(Translated by Ioana Busuioc / 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 Ficțiuni Reale.

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