I had a key. I would go down the narrow staircase four steps at a time, wearing enchanted sneakers, scribbled with a pen. I would push open the heavy iron door, jumping over the and landing on the magical cobblestones in front of the block. I knew every crack in the pavement, every pebble, every shard inside out. I had cones in my tube and my pockets full of Turbo gum. I had bruised knees, tousled hair and wore glasses. I had my invisible armour and a never ending story. I had the key fasted around my neck and had no idea how happy I was.

(Translated by Diana Pașcanu / 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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