I was about 7 years old when my parents noticed early on that I had ended up with scoliosis. On the first day of school, I cried every single break due to my back pain. My brother came up with the idea of me taking up swimming classes, so dad grabbed my hand and took me to the swimming pool. I had swum a few times with my duckling swim ring and truth is, I felt better in the water. Mihai threw it at me and dad pushed me forward. With tears in my eyes, I swam across the length of the pool and said to myself: You are going to be the best swimmer in the world.

(Translated by Oana Ionescu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 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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