Ulysses kissed Penelope as tender as he possibly could after all those years of battles and sea wonder, took his fishing gear and left. Do not be late, my dear hero. Don't worry, the weather looks good.Ulysses glided with no time to waste and, when he reached the warm waters of the mermaids, he took apart the canvas and put on the diving suit. The mermaids were waiting for him. If they wouldn't have been underwater, the joy of seeing one another would've made them sound like the siren/alarm of a factory when the shift ends. Odysseus recounted to them the last Avatar. The mermaids were listening to him laughing and pulling at his white beard.

(Translated by Alexandra Cica / 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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