My soul left me two days ago when I arrived in my home town and I saw a child dragging his emaciated feet along the rotten cobblestone, while lifting a piece of dried polenta he'd found on the ground up to his unshapely mouth. There's many like him. How cruel it is, that feeling of disappointment when you find your childhood spaces devastated by the mold and grime of time spent in vain. My heart feels like a piece of rotting flesh, forgotten in the scorching sun that brings no light.

(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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