Don't close your eyes. Not even for a few moments. And if you close them, don't forget to breathe. And if you forget to breathe, don't stop listening. Listen. The background noise. The on and off buzz of the engine spinning more and more slowly. With more and more difficulty. Until it stops. But you can't stop. Not yet. The road carries you on its pitch-covered, dust-filled back. It takes you through the raw-green fields that suffocate every view and illusion of a horizon. Don't close your eyes. Not even for a few moments. You are still behind the wheel.

(Translated by Diana Mîndruță-Tănăsescu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 August 2022, the group has 9,000 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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