Take your heart back. It's still so nicely wrapped in that package you gave me. Hidden under balloons and colourful ribbons. Take it. It's dead and stiff with pride. It doesn't beat. It's in a permanent test-drive. I don't want it. I want a passionate heart, one that boils and keeps me alive forever. To taste it and to feel how death is only a game for the weak. I want a generous heart, one that not only envelops us, but the world and the Earth and the thought and the moment. Do what you can with it. Pretend you can feel.

(Translated by Ioana Grigoruță / 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 March 2022, the group has 8,050 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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