He had been told that people are saved when they hug each other tightly, like stones do in front of a stream of water. For that you need good hands to hold and you need sap. He had weak hands, like dry walnut branches. They crackled even when he heard kind emotional words. The only thing that saved him was the soft breeze of spring, when he would start to blossom softly, sometimes white to pink, and he'd extend a new tendril of hope. So they had him sweep up people falling from the floors in the fall.

(Translated by Bianca-Maria Marinescu / 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 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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