We were getting ready for the children. We were always looking up at the stars while others were looking down at the Earth. So when we were 15, we promised each other we'd leave. There had to be something beyond the life here. When we saw the announcement about the mission, we were among the first to sign up. Yes, it was hard to accept that there was no way back, but it was the same situation here. We were still headed towards death. For us, the sky was just a boundary we dreamed of crossing. And we did cross it by leaving for the Red Planet. We parted from the Blue one.

(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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