If you don't sleep right now, the crocodile under your bed will eat you alive. And he slept. If you don't eat everything from your plate, mother is going to die. And he ate. If you don't learn the whole poem, you will become a dustman. And he learned. Today it was his birthday. A gigantic cake, lots of children, balloons, candles, and even a clown. The movie IT and it didn't scare him as much as the crocodile under his bed did. The moment when he was about to blow the candles and make a wish got nearer. He thought about one, blew and waited. What if he didn't make the right one? What if he ended up in jail for that?

(Translated by Mara-Sabina Rolea / 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 every few days. 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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