Why should I be brilliant when I can be normal? I didn't belong here and I wanted to go out in the streets and shout: Losers. But I'd already done that while tied to a pyre. Every thought, every prick of a needle, pierced my heart's shell which was already barely tied together with a thread. Mountain boulders were crumbling on my back, a knot was forming in my throat, there to clog up all that I foolishly wanted to say. And a different kind of being leavened and fermented in my stomach. Desire. I reached down my throat to get rid of it. I don't belong, I said, and I leapt skyward.

(Translated by Ana-Maria Batog / 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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