I keep hearing my mother talk about misery. And about some sort of key that my father was supposed to find as a way to her heart. Since when do hearts have doors? One day, I asked my father why he was so scatter-brained that he lost such important things. He told me that his whole life he had been taking care of all sorts of keys, from houses, cars, mailbox keys, but that, in the meantime, he had lost the most important one. Yesterday, he packed his bags and left. I think he went looking for that key in the world. In the meantime, I'll look for it among my toys.

(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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