The handsaw ate away on the rust of the chain with relentless zest, as if to free from the cold grasp of the chains the man whose daughter had been found guilty of theft. The poor child had stolen a steaming bun from a baker's counter, and he, the father, had taken the blame. The dictator had sentenced him to tough years of ridicule and humiliation. The old man was dragging the skeleton of his words toward a muffled voice. Leave me. Run away now. I don't want them to capture you. Father, you're free. The tyrant is gone. Then, her kisses warmed him up.

(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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