The mind is a perverse and cynical tool if demons get hold of it. The mind built for me the cruellest prison in which I sacrificed my entire life. I struggled incessantly between the narrow, cold, sky-high walls. I looked fearfully through my small, crooked eye, wondering how no one noticed that I was missing. I fed myself with illusory hopes, daydreaming about escape. Out of nowhere, the DOOR was opened. I was hit by the sublime smell of freedom and nothingness. My steps wandered in the darkness, groping for the light. But fear took over and now I was blind.

(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 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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