The prey was close by us. It lurked and considered us. The prey was curious and wanted to devour the hunter. It encircled us with quiet steps, without a whimper. It breathed on loan, arresting time in its mind. It felt its heart in its throat, jerking free, yet petrified by each beat. It pictured itself a predator, and accepted itself as game, embracing both fates, discarding its original one with complete indifference. It'd been tracking down the miasma ever since the old thickets, and now it scented it on its own skin. The prey was close by us. The prey was us, with no hunter around.

(Translated by Ioana Ștefan / 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 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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