No, I shouldn't be the one to decide, his whole being cried. I am not God, I shouldn't be the one to decide. It's been hours since he started wandering like an empty shell through dark alleys, no escape in sight from the depths he's found himself submerged in. I am not God, he kept repeating before the punching bag, the sole receiving end of all of his anger, rage and weakness. Exhausted and all clammy, he curled up into a corner and fell asleep, just for a fraction of a second. Suddenly awakened by the lightning piercing his entire being, the doctor's question crept up his back obsessively: the mother or the baby?

(Translated by Adelina-Maria Mănăilescu / 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 July 2022, the group has 8,750 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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