I'm on a train. It's almost evening. The lights are not on yet. I'm alone in the compartment. I'm reading a newspaper by the window. At some point I realize I shouldn't be alone. The little girl is missing. She's only five months old. She can't speak. She can't walk. If she's not here, it means she's been taken. I'm starting to look for her desperately. Wagon after wagon. She's nowhere to be found. I ask the train skipper. He's confused. He didn't see anything. But I know she's still on the train. I know someone took her. I know they want to hurt her. I know I don't have much time.  

(Translated by Andreea-Daniela Vasilache / 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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