There is a black swan on my shelf. She floats through my dreams, mute as a maiden who is just learning to read horror stories and transform them into silent romances. At night, I can feel her running out into the world, on boiling hot lakes that give birth to fierce war and love calls. However, she reappears in the morning, elegant and suave, a maiden of boarding school sadness. Instead, today the shelf was empty. My swan had left but a single carefully written note, akin to a mourning song. I left to Vienna. I already fear for her.

(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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