The train stops in the middle of a field. The hour shifts. I get off to smoke. The match breaks but doesn't snap and I get to light my cigarette. I look around and see a black line on the horizon; above it there's a starless sky with only a red lunar eclipse. Having been half-devoured, the moon changes its mind, shakes itself off and becomes round again. The cigarette's ember retreats, the cigarette goes out, the match straightens and disappears back into the box. The train starts moving backwards, throwing me off the platform. Everything goes back an hour and I sink into darkness, lost somewhere in time.

(Translated by Lucia-Alexandra Brînaru-Mitrofan / 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 January 2023, the group has 10,220 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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