At dinner Dad asked, and I answered. What grades did I get and how was I holding up with school. I ate and rushed to class. At night I thought about how I'd be leaving. I was counting the days and nights. I would never return this big world had something special reserved for me. When I grew up and everything came true, Dad started shrinking. He rarely talked. He no longer asked questions. I would find him increasingly smaller and more silent. Near the end he asked, how was school? It's all good, Dad, soon I'll be graduating high school. I'll go to university, then I'll be back. I will stay by your side.

(Translated by Ioana Ștefan / 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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