In the bathroom, perched on the bathtub's lip, with my temples between my knees, I'm quarrelling with the darkness of my thoughts. Although everything's white around me, I can't breathe. I could really use a breath ventilator. Powerlessness hurts. It gnaws at the eastern border of my soul, like a blind, famished hamster. I hope it'll feel stuffed soon, so I'll have enough for another Christmas wish. It won't be the same. I won't be the same. Knock, knock. I take out the bathtub plug and come back down. The little one needs the bathroom.

(Translated by Carla Bețianu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 November 2021, the group has 7.500 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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