My stomach's in my throat. Every word the doctor says can be an understandable urge to quit. I leave myself there, curled up, waiting, and run to the office, everything a day-by-day schedule. I watch myself sit in the leather swivel chair, arranging every one and zero, and fly through the roof window, scaring the pigeons. I run barefoot across the sand, dive into the sea and flail my slender arms like a climbing crab on the waves. From another world, you laugh: hello, stranger, I poured two glasses of wine. I fall asleep and wake up in your arms. Me.

(Translated by Camelia Diaconu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by prof. Eliana Ionoaia / 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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