1984. I sit on the curb stone and hear the pitter-patter of voices, whispering Room one-zero-one, then a black hood obscures my vision and some vengeful arms carry me, with the dull pain in my stomach from the three bumps of boots with iron plates that I received, to a re-education room where I am tortured, because the bruises are not visible, but their shadow hurts. I was brought here for the crime of not finding a rhyme for "fall," except "Lord." I've been stressing about it for days and there's no other rhyme.

(Translated by Alina-Mihaela Burciu / 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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