Under the sky, the door to the underworld. Under the door, a rainbow. Under the rainbow, a mountain. Under the mountain, a lake. Under the lake, life. What's under the water, Mommy? What's in the water, oxygen? What are we doing here, Mommy, are you taking me with you and I pull back? Think. Come on, let's hurry to the office. I hate writing texts. Alone in the world, face to face with the enemy of homework, Matei took his head in his hands and let the tears flow freely. The ink smeared across the sheets and a cheerful dolphin tail greeted him with a giggle. A yellow-capped mollusk pulled him underwater. And he saw.

(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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