A quarter of a century had already passed him, like a whirlpool that he had swum through breathing for everybody's sake, spending days, nights, Sundays, tensed moments of recreation truncated by alarmed calls. When the stab in the chest had become very insistent he decided that he reached a limit. There were still valuable things in life that were worth to hang on to. And, perhaps, to dare to dream of. He stopped by the personnel office to leave the plastic file and was given a cap, a t-shirt and a pin. The prison with one-way windows stayed behind, all grey.

(Translated by Mihaela Dumitrescu / 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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