He blew the candle and sang Happy Birthday to himself. Then he patted himself all friendly on the back and wished himself health and everything else people could wish for in general. The first pat was firm, then softer and softer with each wish. What do I need health for? Why should I need a house and a teleportation machine and all that nonsense? He looked at the candle on the cake. He had put a 0 in front of the number that represented his age, 22385. So he wouldn't forget that's where he started. From the womb. Like all humans. Only he got sick. Of life.

(Translated by Lenuța Bejenaru / 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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