At night, she would be floating away. Now and then, after a gust of wind would come through, she would tidy the nest back up, and they would hatch one by one, one by one the chicks would come. They'd either fly or float down the water's lulling silence towards the sunrise, or under the stars. At bedtime she would nest up next to him, and the touch of his wing or his neck felt like home. She'd burrow her beak under his wing and close her eyes peacefully. She'd open them back up when the alarm would go off, and the to and for of everyday would start back up: the kids off to school, the office full of papers, big city traffic. Only her gracefulness, the dark outfits and the slight touch of a feather on her shoulder betrayed her wistful identity.

(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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