The smell of freshly carved wood could be sensed long before you opened the workshop door. Inside, in front of the window overlooking the ocean which matched the colour of his eyes, the puppeteer was breathing life into the trunks of the linden trees in whose shade, who knows when and where, love butterflies were being made, kissing eyes from which tears fell to the ground like pearls. In the evening, when the waves beat the shore harder than chisels on wooden bodies, the old man fell exhausted in a corner, a rag doll, in which time was stabbing all its needles, grinning.

(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 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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