A tree is growing inside of me, I feel ashy roots growing out of my skin that surround and try to strangle me. They tear my flesh and sternum, they burrow in my heart filled with blood and yearnings and shatter it to pieces. Twisting branches grind my skeleton, bone by bone. Long spikes pierce my skull through my eyes and bind my dreams and thoughts between thorns. It's normal after so many breakups, the therapist says. It's the fear of death. I discreetly nod in agreement and a ripe apple drops from my crown.

(Translated by Jin Cristian Yang / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 September 2021, the group has 7.150 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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