Usurped by time and chance, by the hatred of the queen and the indifference of the king, she takes up crocheting. Eleven shirts of nettles, she crocheted for her swan brothers. Eliza, the rose bushes were ringing. Eliza, the prayer book opened. Blackened with walnut juice, she had sewn ten complete shirts, only the eleventh without a sleeve. The little blisters turned into strands of green as she worked. The brothers begged her night after night, come on, come on. When they put her on the stake, they flew around her. She was still working. She was innocent.

(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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