I'm going to be a penguin. That's what I confidently answered when the teacher asked me. She laughed and asked me why. Because that's what I want, I replied with disarming sincerity. Laughter swept through the room. I liked the feeling. It's nice to make people laugh. When people laugh, they can't be bad anymore. Make them laugh and you've won them over, I thought. Yeah, well, I don't know if I'll be able to turn myself into a penguin, but I know I can cheer up those around me. When I grow up, I simply won't be little.

(Translated by Andreea Theodora Drăgan / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by prof. dr. Nadina Vișan / 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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