Shackled, they hold their fear and helplessness to their chests. The warmer it is in that hold, the more the fear ferments, until it overflows. Ash fills the air covering their bodies. They can only be seen by touching. Hideous masks hidet heir paralyzed faces. Finally, the curtain falls. Idle bodies crawl towards the light that permeates the setting. By the next act, between despotism and dignity, the masks come to life. Free, they call out their right to love. Around the world, oligarchs spit in supposed philanthropy.

(Translated by Bianca Ioana Prisecaru / 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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