The child showed up later in life. He had already started playing hopscotch with graying hair. He kissed her on her wrinkled-thought ridden forehead. It is a gift. And he went on. Now he's carrying the baby in his arms and running through thorns that leave hieroglyphs on his skin. The Earth, starved for sacrifice, is fertilized by shed blood, birthing poppy fire. An ocean. An old man. He entered and stretched out his arms. Just do it. He submerged him underwater. Light. That will be it. Charge 300 joules. Heartbeat is back. They are both fine.

(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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