They followed me everywhere. Mario, the jokester, he used to make me laugh with stupid jokes, such as what happens to a hippopotamus when it freezes to death, but when I didn't know, he said: it goes into hypopothermia. Luigi was the muscle, he protected me from the mean kids at school and from monsters, and they were everywhere, so he accompanied me when I turned off the bathroom light and ran to my bedroom. When I became an adult, they told me to quit being a kid, so I stopped picturing them in my mind. Still, they appear from time to time, left and right, like two guardian angels.

(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 December 2022, the group has 9,880 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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