I'm scared. It's just a dream, you're safe here, go on. I'm at the playground. I hear the car, it's coming fast. The driver hits the brake. A muffled noise. I turn and see her. Anabela? Yes. How is she? She's sleeping on the sidewalk with her head on a red pillow. She's in her school clothes. Then she gets up and comes towards me. All I can see is her head and shoulders like in the 2nd grade portrait. She comes closer. A hand grabs my wrist. It's cold, pale, dead. She pulls me towards her. I don't want to. Let's play, she says. You promised.

(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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