We practiced for a long time, mother, father, you, me. The child repeated, showed what he learned. But alone he spoke nothing to his people. That evening, on the floor, the little boy was intently turning the pages of a book. He rose to his feet, babbling and flapping his hands like a turtledove from its wings. Then he approached and embraced the father's leg. Barbapapa, he told him, beaming, looking him in the eyes. He then rushed enthusiastically towards his mother's leg. Barbama, he heard, and his knees went weak. Then barbabapa and barbabama laughed with tears.

(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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