Here we don't have names, just numbers. We are easier to identify, especially since we don't look like our ID pictures. The first three numbers are the sickness code, then the catalogue position. 022 = leprosy, the 385th isolated in the lazarette from the beginning. With no right to visit, as if there's anyone who can come. Only the sun caresses my scraggy cheek and in what were once my ears the river flows slowly. With the thumb and pinky left, I say hi to colleague 386. He knows to do V from victory.

(Translated by Andreea Denisa Dinu / 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 every few days. 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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