Yesterday, Nică had barely just arrived from the other end of the country, from Nowhere, in the big city. In the '80s he was regarded as yet another Moldavian nonentity who took up space in the capital. In the army, serving a short term, he'd also toiled over formwork out there, near a location with no coordinates, with filth sonority. Afterwards, he learned well not to be dispatched anywhere besides the map's wood shaft. Today, 43 years later, he looks cheerfully at the limitless inwardness and asks himself in what interstellar abyss will he cast around for his old Nowhere.

(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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