Rumor has it he was brought by the last breath of spring, with a writing coal tucked into his ear. He settled near the gypsies, fixing up rusty cutlery in exchange for writing paper. The other, more believable version is that he's a love child. With his hair fluttering in the night, and gazes painted with warms rays of light, he was sharing smiles. The village rediscovered what had been lost for a century, enslaved by work and worries: the smile. He sketched them, and come morning, smiles rose from the corner of their lips, melting their loneliness.

(Translated by Bianca Ioana Prisecaru / 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 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 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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