The sky filled with red lights as if they were freckles. The two children looked at it and joined the dots hoping they could represent a map. Their hands were cold, but their minds were on fire with scenarios upon scenarios, as if in a race of many futures. Do you think he's there, too? asked the little girl with big, round, still innocent eyes. Of course he is, replied the boy, who had more years of life and stories than she had. He's not the only father who goes out to buy cigarettes and never comes back. There are all of them.

(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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