When the cardiologist said that pacients like me can't leave the hospital, he prescribed chess and I got out of my own accord. Then I played cautiously, only with pawns and rooks at low speeds, more wary of every move. The royal couple sat obediently, for fear of an assault outside the board. After 5 months, the white coats tried a check in the operating room. They stopped my heart twice with electrical shocks, hoping that it would start back up normally. It wasn't meant to be. Good thing the pretty bishops restarted it and the end was settled in bed.

(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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