I was a kid, around '85. On the way home, we crossed Amzei Square to take the tram. It was evening and deserted. From behind the empty stalls there was a quack. My mother and grandmother looked at each other briefly. We returned with the duck. In the tram grandma held it in a blue bag, right at my height. I stroked it and she caught my finger with her beak. Then she slept one night in our bathtub. The next day I woke up late. There was a nice smell, like a roast with garlic, like a feast. Where's the swan? I asked. They didn't answer.

(Translated by Andreea Grințescu / 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 April 2023, the group has 11,000 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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