Each hamlet had its own madman. Only one. As far as I know, there haven't been two at once/the same time. If there were two, one would go to another village. You could see him looking for some firewood for his tree house all day long. You could sometimes hear him singing some mourning song and see him dance to his sad music. On other days you could hear his whistling all around the village. When his time was near, he would retreat to the forest and you would no longer see him. I have had a fascination for the forest lately. I can hear it calling my name. I started gathering firewood and I feel like singing all of a sudden.

(Translated by Ioana Oacheșu / 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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