Alyosha couldn't fall asleep; at dawn he was leaving with his father for the market. He got out of bed, opened the door of the barn and went out barefoot into the garden. He listened to the rustle of the night, trying to guess whether the grass around him was hiding foxes or robbers. Suddenly, the sky was white as day and a great roar came down from above. The fireball streaked across the sky, melting the treetops in its tail. The fire laid the taiga on the ground. The hot breath took forests, people, houses and circled the planet five times. It was still summer in Tunguska.

(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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