Today I trained a dragon. My little brother Ian can barely breathe on the phone. Really? Yeah, I say, ignoring the hair burnt off with a lighter. And a whale taught me to breathe underwater. Wow, I can hear Ian. I'm thinking of the monkey that held my face in the toilet. My seatmate's a cyclops. Because I defended myself, but I'm not saying that. A teacher made us read the stars with our heart. Can you see with your heart? Ian marvels. I'm silent. It's the only way to do it in the solitary. When I grow up, I want to be like you, says Ian. The correctional school guard takes my phone and drags me after him.

(Translated by Adrian-George Ilinca / 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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