The last time I saw him he wanted to go to the bottom of the lake to figure out what it would be like to walk on the moon. He had made himself a cosmonaut-diver suit and wrapped his phone in a clear bag to take pictures. We laughed a lot that afternoon, making explorer plans. He was my best friend. I went with my folks to the country for 3 days and when I came back his folks were in tears. The neighbours said Michael had jumped into the lake and they've been looking for him ever since. He was never found. He's walking on the Moon.

(Translated by Luciana-Maria Buruiană / 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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