A Christmas Tree, a little bell, a heart, a star. Made of gingerbread. They all lay quiet on the baking paper, waiting to get colder. For the tenth time in a minute, a little pray bird, out on her first hunt, the little girl circles around them. Her tiny hands are kneading, stretching, changing their mind. The scent of vanilla and cinnamon wraps around her like a noose set by a skilled hunter. Captive, the bird spreads its wings, grips the star and dips a corner into the jam jar. Paradise is bittersweet. Like a ripe apricot.

(Translated by Ana Spînu / 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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