I thought I was a brave exclamation mark. I love verticality. Then I stumbled upon a huge question mark and thought, this is what I am. I can hide my fears and demons in its semicircle. Then I intersected myself with the comma. I could be it. Its wave washes away my sins and there is always room, after, for one more. Full stop. I didn't find myself in it. I put it aside. My beginnings never end. I watch all the marks screaming in my mind, escalating and burying. At the end of the day, the white sheet of paper remains blank.

(Translated by Ioana Negrea / 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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