I am the second born child of the family. The first born, a boy, drowned when he was 1 year and 7 months old. Father was relentless in expecting a boy, so after having me, another sister was born, and then a brother. During holidays, while memorials were being held, my mother, feeling inadequate, entered the room carrying a candle and cried bitter tears for her lost offspring. I eventually found out that if it hadn't been for his demise, then she would have never had other children. She asked us to forgive this thought of hers. We forgive you, mother. While hurting because of your first lost child, you failed to see the joy in us. We forgive you and we love you. We love you all the way to heaven and back.

(Translated by Marta Fulga / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by conf. dr. Daria Protopopescu / Edited 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 October 2022, the group has 9,400 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 every few days. 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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