He only came out at night and footsteps could be heard on the lonely sidewalks. He was chanting endless lines, like a mantra meant to calm him down. He was clutching a blue silk scarf in his fists, which he smelled ecstatically, touched it to his face, neck or wrist. He tied himself to a pillar and his knees were bleeding from the sharp stones. He was waiting for sunrise. Then he was silent until midnight. The people crossed themselves and spat behind him. A madman. He had lost her forever at the first ray of sunshine. He sees her every sunrise.

(Translated by Ana-Maria Mușetescu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 March 2023, the group has 10,790 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, Luchian Abel, and Vlad Mușat. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficțiuni Reale.

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