It's dark. She feels her heart pounding in her ears. Fear, like a slithering snake, strangles her, constricts her movements and her breathing, and floods her face with cold sweat, creating a mystical feeling of hypnotizing helplessness. She struggles like an insect trapped in an invisible cobweb, unable to break free from the nightmarish vise of the stonewall within which she finds herself. With the last of her strength, she tries once more to escape. She crawls out through the wall, leaving behind pieces of her soul. Manole, if you want a monastery, build it with yourself bricked up in it.

(Translated by Ana-Maria Batog / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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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