Darkness. Zara was walking down the hall. With her shoes off. Her bare foot had stepped on a dream and cut into the sole. Bloody footprints were left behind. She stared into space. She'd forgotten to look out and closed the window. For 10 years, since the operation, she had become the mistress of late nights. She was afraid the light would get bored and leave her. She fainted. When she woke up, she was in the doctor's office. I've got you. Why did you catch me? Why did you catch me? Again. Zara, doctor, your surgery was my miracle. Otherwise, you're my black swan. Forever and ever.

(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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