He had passed through storms that raised huge waves, breaking and roaring on shore, overturning ships, and swallowing shores like hungry harpies the souls of the dead. He had crossed blue mountains with silver peaks and deserts of molten copper. He had coffers full of saffron, amber and cinnamon. On moonless or starless nights, only jade dragons with pearls between their claws kept him company, and silk pampered his heavy, tired merchant's body. Emptiness, he murmured, looking at them, his heart empty of the most precious gift.

(Translated by Ioana Oacheșu / 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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