He didn't remember the puppeteer anymore but he did know the puppet: it resembled his except it was taller. He rushed happily to the toy store where he had sold his puppet. You don't have the money to buy it back, you pauper, snapped the shop keeper. I just want to borrow it. The man was suspicious but he caved in. He came back in a heartbeat, sat down next to the puppeteer and began playing. The puppet looked at the borrowed twin and flinched. The puppeteer dropped the strings and fell to his knees. The boy tenderly wrapped his hands around the puppeteer's neck.

(Translated by Alin Sescu / 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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