Among decorated chariots' processions, barrels of flowing wine, and naked maidens, he found himself walking with his eyes already looking down at his feet. The king, everyone shouted, glory to him. He fastened his chainmail up to the top for the first time, covering his chest, feeling beneath it a lone bird struggling to break free, ready to fly. I won't let this one go; it's all that's left of me. He tried to support his sternum with his crossed hands, to no avail. I've lost nowhere, I've battled within. The king is dead. Long live the king.

(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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