It's devious, I'm telling you. Ten years I've tried to escape it. It weighed on my soul, clung to me like a barnacle. In the end we reached an agreement. I knew when it was about to come, I waited for it, I tried not to let it disturb me too deeply and we'd reached a sort of understanding. I liked that it made me slimmer. One day it squeezed me in its grip to the point of hypoxia. Three days on end A&E was my refuge. I locked it up, encrypted behind treatment schemes. I had to survive it. I haven't seen it in a while, but I know it's there.

(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 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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