We both had it. But you were a professional. I was warned. You'd neutralize your target before you knew it. When I entered the room, our eyes met, greedy, short-circuiting the air between us. From that second, all time bore our imprint. It was the most shockingly beautiful time. I knew when I hit the wall. I could shoot. I could leave. I chose to stay there, glued to the stone. I let you pull the trigger. I looked at you, with my chest open. The bullet hits. It bounces off. Roses grow from the wall.

(Translated by Alin-Marian Mărgescu / 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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