We were poor but we had each other. Two twigs in the stove, me twirling my thoughts like a Cyrano's moustache, you with dried lilac in your hair still smelling of spring and outside troughs of hope made icicles heralding the winter of a ravished Steinbeck. We'd taken our fir tree from the forest next door without a thought of globes, of pollen, of Christmas. Just the smell of wax and acorns. And shooting stars we'd caught in our hearts to light our way to redemption. We had moved to Vik not long ago. Aurora Borealis.

(Translated by Adrian-George Ilinca / 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 June 2022, the group has 8,500 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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