I was alone in the desert of suffering. The woman I called my mother was no longer. Then I met Him. He sat there with his aged gaze, admiring the wilderness in me. Seeing me, he said he'd like to walk by my side. I took the last slice of trust from my pocket and handed it to him, and he thanked me. At the end of our journey I asked him: old man, why is it that until I met you there were two sets of footprints in the sand, and now near the end of my life there is only one? When life was harshest to you I carried you in my arms.

(Translated by Cristina Fliter / 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 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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