Its said that negative emotions result in the strongest memories. I was about three years old. I know for sure because my brother was still a baby. His cradle was next to the hob and a drop of polenta got on/jumped on/touched his naked belly. Purple clay, that's what cures the burn, yelled my grandma and sent Miliuța to the brook. She took me with her. The thin ice broke and the next thing I know is that I woke up underwater, dragged away by the current. I cannot forget the clouded sky I saw through the ice glass and the frightened face of the girl, as she was pulling me out of the water.

(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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