I was born for the second time. Costeau's world turned into real shapes. Nudibranchs radiated rainbows, I was blubbering, entranced by coral and jellyfish. Then my eyes grew accustomed to the darkness. Instead of jellyfish I saw plastic bags floating by hypnotically. I counted them, gathered them and dreamt of them at night. I woke up in a sick world that drowned the most toxic of its sins underwater. The day I found an angelfish that had choked on a Lidl bag, I gave up. Now I'm sinking in depression. Such misfortune, to be born when the world has already come to an end.

(Translated by Marta Fulga / 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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