On departure, mother put it in my palm. Father gripped my fist: do not forget, daddy's dearest. Today we are here, tomorrow is not certain. The years became a flock, they carried me here and there. One country, another one. One spring, I returned along with the sparrows. I ran straight to the hospital. His fist struggled, comforted by my hand, then he fell asleep. I flew with a broken wing somewhere far away. Southward, still heading south. The phone rang yesterday. My girl was dragging her first steps into the sand, and the key was flapping around her neck. A tear, and another one. What's the use of the key when you no longer have wings?

(Translated by Roberta Ana-Maria Gulerez / 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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