How could I have known? I've been having it nice, warm and easy since childhood. Well, when I grew up I met some people, I was restless, I needed a different kind of heat. I started chiming into conversations, eavesdropping and found out hat marathons were being held quite often. I'm pretty skinny, yet short. I signed up, many of us did, all whispering that this race is life or death. What can I say, I'm here. There's a starting signal. Dripping in sweat, I was the only one who made it to the finish line, the rest succumbed. The medal's double-sided. In case it's a girl or a boy.

(Translated by Raluca Ioana Crucerescu / 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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