I'm holding Vasile's hand. Beneath our backs the grass is soft and wet, we are lost in each other, and through the stars. Tonight there are many, and falling. How's the life in the city, Vasilica? Can you see the stars like we do? He's silent and I think of all the unknown things he experiences there away from me. There are crickets here, and from the stable you can hear Joița mooing. Mary, in the city there are many, good and bad strangers. I feel alienated there. Alienated? What does that mean? Are they aliens? No, Mary, they're not like us.

(Translated by Alina-Dorina Nicolae / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / Corrected 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 February 2023, the group has 10,500 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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