There is a double ladder. They go up the first step laughing. Cranes, they sing, cranes at dawn. Go up the second step. Let's stop, she says. It's all I wanted. The country knows I am worthy, he smiles. One more step. Three children run in. They splash each other with coloured condoms filled like balloons, from which streams of water are running. Don't touch me, she hisses. My heroine, he says. One more step. The flag is projected over their faces. The anthem is heard. Children cut bread coupons. She raises her arm holding a sickle-like metal hanger dripping with blood.

(Translated by Andreea Laura Stanca / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 November 2022, the group has 9,580 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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