Empty, skinless. Wrapped muscles and tendons, tied with knots at the end of bones. Soft, warm meat. Leaking profusely from the lips, from the earlobes, large drops of blood. Paradoxically, alive. Looking without eyelids, with shiny eyeballs, coming out of orbits, the unexpected image in the mirror. Unable to stop a rictus of amusement riding across my face. What arrogance. What a mess. Yes, in any story I rewrite myself. This time it's not a children's story. But, to be fair, I'm just missing a cloak.

(Translated by Marius-Alin Lazăr / 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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