The prison's door squeaked in a sinister manner, and suddenly a metal plate stopped at Edmond's feet. Dantes was looking at the guardian through grizzled messy hair. Under his shabby shirt, his biceps were tense. Edmond would do even 1999 pushups a day. He also dug tunnels, but that was a bonus. There are fewer worms in the potatoes today, the guardian remarked. They are the last ones, tomorrow I won't be here anymore, Edmond replied. The guardian's sardonic laugh shook the walls. No one's going out from here, he said. Edmond smirked: So you really haven't read The Count of Monte Cristo?

(Translated by Mara-Sabina Rolea / 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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