Why don't you cry the way other kids cry? Why do you sometimes move only your little right hand? Does it hurt where the tube comes out? Why do you have that mask on your face? Are we playing a new game? What is it called? Can you teach me? I only know a few games, and I've never heard of this one with the mask. Do you play it with the little girl beside you? Why do your parents cry when they come to see you? Why don't they take you in their arms? Why do I tell you that I love you and that everything is fine? Are you okay? Why don't you talk to me? It's me, the Teddy Bear.

(Translated by Iuliana Boruga Danciu / 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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