Local people called him The Lonely Guy. He wasn't a fisherman, but he passionately loved the sea. He gave himself to it to ecstasy. Each morning, you would find him on the bow, avidly biting light streaks. He would breathe in deeply and keep the air in, forget to breathe. As the sea closed its horizon, worn out with fighting, you could see his figure at the stern, his arm outstretched to grasp the darkness. Until one day, when the sea betrayed him. He gave his soul over a chimera. Since then, at twilight, his ghost takes the shape of the wonder, kissing waves.

(Translated by Andra Daiana Păuna / 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 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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