I knew he did drugs. I told him I knew how to read palms. Looking over the lines of his left hand, I thoughtfully told him that there was something bad for him, it might be neck cancer. He was 16. His eyes turned glassy and he began shivering. He opened his mouth and I saw an awful outgrowth at the base of the tongue. He told me nobody knew about it, I was the only one to have guessed. I tried to tell him I was joking around, but I was just as surprised by my own words. Ever since then, he would hide his hands deep into his pockets.

(Translated by Andra Daiana Păuna / 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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