I wander through the maze of streets that I already know inside out. I don't even recognize my name in the mirror. I became a predatory, nocturnal animal. I am disgusted with myself, but paradoxically, only if I continue can I forget about my metamorphosis. The city is submerged in fog; only the striped wooden Palina posts stand out from the thick white above the sewage. What else is real? Not I. The gondolier holds out his white glove; she invites me to climb into her cabin. We don't know each other, ok? I didn't even dare to suggest otherwise.

(Translated by Andreea-Alexandra Șerbănescu / 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 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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