Haappy birthday to you. You howl. I Sing. The mic is in my hand. It's the baby's birthday and I'm singing. My folks didn't come to visit and I sing. They don't need me and I sing. I'm the black sheep. The sick man that they only whisper about. A mistake of nature, no fault of the people, if the other three are well. I've been embraced by the wind, kissed by the rain, caressed by the grass. I talked to the walls. I cried with my head in the pillow. I prayed to be whole. Zara, why does it hurt to be a child? Because some grown men have forgotten to dream, little one.

(Translated by Andreea-Alexandra Șerbănescu / 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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