I live in a grey, dull apartment block. The windows look out onto an alley lined with trees that have long since lost their innocence. Stumps in the making. I breathe in. My chest fills with air. My eyes sniff. The street snakes in my pupils, narrowing along with the sound of heels. I take the sharpie and draw its length, elbowing my way through the branches. I see myself climbing. As the trees grow smaller and smaller, my silhouette lengthens towards the sun. It's warm. I love what I see. I open the window and run after the best version. Of myself.

(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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