People walked on top of the old wall around the town and pointed fingers at her. They were so strange with their colourful clothes, and she - small and black, the tiniest among her sisters. As much as she tried, she couldn't wash the black out of herself. She wasn't any good at flying, eyes, and when she would dive in the grey Danube she could merely tumble instead of catching fish. But today was different. There were no people around and her sisters weren't anywhere in sight. The whole world was hers. It was just her and the river, and the river had come undone.

(Translated by Carla Bețianu / 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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