I am. The perfect patient. The number is on the ring received when I came in; not important. I only do what I'm told to do. No matter how painful it becomes, I keep my mouth shut. The same goes for when I desperately need an encouragement, I wipe away my tears and keep my mouth shut. I take the medications he gives me, acidic, bitter pills, some toxic enough to make me throw up. But I will recover. I know that one day I'll get out of here and I'll be able to breathe again. Perhaps this is the day. I am indeed strong. I won't keep my mouth shut. I'll throw away the ring and have my own way. I divorce.

(Translated by Luciana-Maria Buruiană / 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 December 2021, the group has 7.750 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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