This is the title of the book I recently published. I am not attending its launch, in a bookshop in my town. People have queued up for a signature. I start giving autographs. After a while, a man shows up. He hands me a package and then vanishes. I open it up. A piece of fine china in the shape of a black bird. I recognize it. On a white night, I glued my eyes to it from the bed while tightly grasping the bed sheets. That is when I lost my virginity. Now, 30 years later, the swan is in my hands. And between the very covers that close the story of a flight.

(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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