The linden trees are blooming. It's warm and their scent beckons me outside. And all my friends, who play Countries and, when they get bored, smash the ball against the walls of the apartment building, driving the old lady on the fourth floor crazy, threatening to throw boiling water on their heads. I stay in the house. I still have to do my last homework assignment of the year. I whimper until the stern girl guarding me, as she bakes eggplant on the stove to quench my craving for something good, lets me go. I'm off to play Countries. I choose China. I play well. I take up half the pavement. The stars don't escape either.

(Translated by Anca Maria Florea / 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 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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