Listen to the time, shouted the old magician and took the huge red silk off of his gift for the town. It wasn't a scam. He had rebuilt the water clock-tower and moments, hours, seconds were falling in the waterfall. Something strange followed. His people were throwing out their smart watches. Those which counted their steps, but didn't show the right way, which knew their pulses, but not what their hearts felt. Which died in silence. The old water clock reminded them deafeningly that time was passing. Magic: this way, they did not forget to live. Soon, the land was filled with hours of life.

(Translated by Mălina Ioana Butaru / 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 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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