If I were sitting with my eyes closed, I'd still know where they are: the smell of sunburnt bodies, the laughter of adults hoarse from their holiday, the squeals of children a little further away, from where I can hear the sloshing of the waves. I lie, my whole body on the sun lounger, only my head hanging over one edge and I see my hair blending with the sand, the same colour, the same stillness. I count the coloured stripes on the umbrella next to me and breathe. You come shaking out of the water and sing to me, smiling: you promised to swim, to swim with me.

(Translated by Cristina-Nicoleta Costache (Mircea) / 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 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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