He walked a lot. At night. He would wake up screaming. And then he would write. Not to go crazy. Not to die. On either side, there were statues. Eyeless. Yet he felt their gazes like colorless kisses on his skin, bronzed by the shame of nakedness. The monochrome-souled child took her hand. She became a shadow. The stars that die early shine the brightest. They explode. They become supernovae. A play of color and light, she said. Go. Where? Nowhere. But you're the only one who can reach the end. Who can turn and write every page.

(Translated by Lorina Xiaoyu Hou / 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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