He received the whistle as a gift at a fair and started learning. He couldn't wait to come home from school to try the tunes again and again, until the notes no longer hurt his ears. He did this again when he was in the hospital. Even the doctors and the nurses had gotten used to him. It was as if the injections didn't hurt as much, as if the children didn't cry as loudly. When the whistle went quiet, there was a deep silence. Did I beat him? The whistle blew again, more gentle, more spirited than ever. It still plays today.

(Translated by Cristina Ioana Bontea / 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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