They came out arranged in descending order. Pamfil was the first, so tall that his forehead was always streaking the sky. At the other end was Stelian, so short that his palms were touching the ground while he was walking. Once a week, the line of children would timidly scatter across the orphanage yard. As soon as they crossed the massive gate, they would break ranks in all directions. Ravenous, they would devour the park that smelled of freedom, kicking the now-deflating ball. Behind them, the walls would start guffawing, wardens of dreams and innocence.

(Translated by Tania Diniță / 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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