She kept him in chains, and if he tried to escape, she would whip him. She had heard from the elders that the man must be domesticated, because otherwise the beast would come out of him. This is how she forced him to live with her in fantasy, in a world without day or night, without color or shape, in which she became everything. And water and sleep and reality. He would have liked to struggle, but he preferred to be seen fighting Sisyphus for a whim. One evening, as she lay numb with her own obsessions, he got up, broke the chains, and left. That's it, I got out.

(Translated by Mara-Sabina Rolea / 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 January 2022, the group has 7.830 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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