I'm sold at the fish market, me and the other fish. Lined up along each other, with our heads pressed to the cold counter, we watch you with one glassy eye each, and our bellies yes unsliced open. The resignation on our face is somewhat sweet, though our cheeks are covered in salt. Our fate was decided in a transaction we knew nothing about. I am the first one laid down on the piece of wood. Sticky. Blood. On my left cheek. Sun and a heavy hand on my right one. The heavy knife glistens above. The light falls. Lower. Close. Night.

(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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