I took that path where time flows backwards for me. An old man told me about it, he seemed wise. Let me tell you how he spoke to me. Are you listening? Ahem. Young man, life has two ends. Stop looking for happiness in others for you won't find it, it's hidden within yourself. Stop looking for the path with no obstacles, it'll lead you to your undoing. Whaaaat? And you kept listening? Of course, because he was the path. He is The Path. Without him we are just some stray, talking animals. Well bye, see you later, I hope you're taking your pills.

(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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