When I was little, I'd press buttons. Of any kind. It was a terrible temptation to have a button in reach and not take advantage of it. Now, I switch lights off and I open doors. You can't know what lies behind them. The dark, a monster, or a washing machine. All can be misleading. but do not be afraid. If it's the dark, get drunk on dreams. If it's a monster, smile at it. If it's a washing machine, renounce your filthy thoughts. There's always a solution. For anything. I walk out of the room and although it is dark, I switch off the light again. Just to be sure.

(Translated by Ana Stănilă / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 February 2022, the group has 7,950 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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