Fear sits in a corner. Always hunting, always ready to catch me. Regrets sit in a different corner. They're not letting me be, either. I have no clue how the managed to get into this room, because I kept love here, a stack of dreams, a few memories and a heap of things I miss. Something I open the door and sneak it to declutter the things I miss. I leave the dreams where they are. They're already old. And have no purpose anymore. I tidy up the room a bit. I make sure fear doesn't slip out, or else it'd suffocate me. I put a smile on my face and shut the door. I go out to live.

(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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