Jump, the firefighter from below, who was next to the air mattress, yelled at me. I feel the heat rising to the back of my head, through the cold drops of sweat. Noo, I shout, it's smoke without fire, I have no reason to jump. I breathed quite a lot of smoke. The mattress blooms and becomes a pool, on the edge of which a blonde girl dressed in slices of air reads a book by Kundera. In my head, on a sea of coasters, the glass fish floats along with the black and white TV. It recites some patriotic poems and then asks me about my dying wish. Guess what that kitsch.

(Translated by Claudia Alexandra Văcărescu / 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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