Brad, as it was written on the door, had been taken care of automatically ever since he was a child in a screened small room in a laboratory. From what he knew, he was the last earthling. Years ago, a jet of cosmic radiations had burnt the planet. The insects, the birds and the animals had died first. The virgin flora had been followed after. The artificially intelligent robots had developed from an AI, left on a Romanian server, powered by a mini-reactor. They didn't know much about humans. But on Christmas, they were pulling Brad out - decorating and putting it back. The turtle did not care.

Note: In Romanian, "brad" means "fir tree". 

(Translated by Anca Cristina Georgiana Mihai / 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 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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