The little boy was out of breath. He had been running and the salty sweat beans had formed in his scruffy hair. You look like a hedgehog, whispered his little sister, smiling cunningly. If mom and dad see you this way, with these muddy knees, they will scold you. No, I do not think so, and I do not care. I am genuinely happy. I found grandma's apron. There was a key in its pocket. It neither fit to any door, nor to any cupboard, then I knew I had to go to their grave to put it there, so they can open the Heaven's Gate.

(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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