She waswaiting for her turn backstage. Her nerves hadn't let her sleep a wink. She had talent, but she also had severe stage fright. She was about to recite a poem by Nichita. The lyrics were getting mixed up in her head, her mouth had run dry, her hands were cold. Andreea pushed her onto the stage: go on, it's your turn. The entire high school was watching her, the teachers, the parents. The one spotlight at the Cultural Centre was on her. She hungrily soaked in the warm light, but she couldn't calm down. For two seconds, she searched for something to lean on. She found it. Vlad. He was holding up a column on the left side of the stage.

(Translated by Diana Mîndruță-Tănăsescu / 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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