I ask each of them, as they pass by, one remembers drawing ants with his new pen, another one gives a fake laugh, gripping his shirt and throwing salt over his shoulder. He went for a football game with the boys. And he runs, his bangs bouncing to the rhythm of earliness. Then two of them stop and steal plums from my tree to the side of the road. Still, how was school? And they whisper among themselves fearfully, a little blonde girl used to live here before, but she set out to become a big person and vanished into thin air, now nobody sits on that bench anymore.

(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 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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