I felt so much like home, a home unbound from all the others I had lived in. Its weight would tickle me when it was in my breast or pants pocket. I would caress its heat in my palms, ready at any moment to unlock the door. In time, I would lose it through the holes in my pockets, so I started to wear it around my ankle, day to day. I would take it out into the light less and less, I would start to feel it around my neck more often, like in my childhood. Around my neck and inside my throat. I had a key, but the door became estranged. Now it rests in the drawer with all the little what-ifs.

(Translated by Constantin Istrate / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by prof. Daria Protopopescu / 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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