I had heard it said that my writing wasn't emotional enough and that my readers weren't shedding enough tears. Drama sells, my editor kept telling me, and I would look at him, baffled. I was leading a quiet life and I couldn't understand why some wanted an agitated one. That was when I came up with an idea. I made a cut in the palm of my hand and let the red droplets fall in my inkwell. When blood started pouring on the paper, sadness slithered into the story, the picture darkened, and a heavy winter fell over it. Then I killed my characters. Without realizing, I had invented a war.

(Translated by Diana Mîndruță-Tănăsescu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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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