The colonel picked up the pawn and stood with his hand in the air. He wasn't sure about the next move. He could have sacrificed the queen, he could have mounted the most skilled archers in the towers, and he could have raised the winged green horses to the sky. The king would have been saved. The sure thing that troubled him was the position of the madman. And he was not afraid of his phantasmagorical reactions, but on the contrary, he knew that the madman would laugh in everyone's face and come up with the most inspired solution. So sacrifice the king and save all the pawns.

(Translated by Andreea-Alexandra Șerbănescu / 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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