In my head, I heard voices of women, some strong, some weak, a few familiar, most unfamiliar, some distant, guttural screams, and the oldest just some stabs in the rib. I went back in time and heard my mother's voice, calmly saying: I didn't give you these keys for nothing, neither did my mother, nor her mother, and all the women before us that gave them, too. Stand up and go. Above me, the stars of the desert show me the path in the sky. I shake the reins of the camel and shout: I won't die here. Let's find the springs and open them. Home awaits us with water.

(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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