I found him curled up on the floor, trembling, with his knees up to his chest. I tried to touch him but he was struggling like an animal. I sat down next to him and without looking at him I asked him what had happened. I tried to leave the castle but I couldn't find the door. When I find it the earth itself will shudder. Only this way will I truly leave. If you want to leave, you'll have to change your shape, Ada replied, the little girl who'd been playing on the same piano for centuries. An allegretto settled over the high room, amusing as the time that had taken them hostage.

(Translated by Cristina Fliter / 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 October 2021, the group has 7.275 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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