She passed out on the floor next to the barre she trained onto daily. Her knees and back hurt. When her eyes closed shut, another one of her seemed to emerge from her feet, someone who could execute a pas-de-deux flawlessly with the grace she once had. The walls that surrounded her for all of her childhood were asking for an encore, encore. But she was out of strength. She would've wanted to get up, but just couldn't anymore. Still, time doesn't stop whenever. For time and the spectators don't care about the fragility of the one who played both Odette and Odile.

(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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