I created it when mon grand amour moved in with another girl. I liked it, it looked like me - deformed, tormented and empty on the inside. I had hidden it inside a chest full of books. Each time loneliness suffocated me I opened the chest, I took in a whiff of memories and pulled out a book. I knew the doll could save me. Here, in the deafening silence of the asylum, I can barely hear my thoughts. I let the light surrounding me fill me. I sometimes forget I still exist. Who am I? I pinch my cloth-like skin. Am I alive? Have I ever been alive?

(Translated by Claudia Cioplea / 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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