Lia, get in the corner and say the prayer three times. That happened each time I broke the rules. I felt the walls were an altar that ought to have taken away all my negative thoughts. I sqeezed my little fists and swallowed my confusion amid sobs. Today, arrving only too late at my childhood home, I nostalgically look to the corner of my purification, where now a candle burns before a family photo. Choked up with tears, I inhale and the prayer instinctually becomes my guide towards the heavens.

(Translated by Bianca-Maria Ciucașu / 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 September 2022, the group has 9,250 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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