She was an ugly duckling, poor thing, but she had a gift: a heavenly voice. She sang backstage while the long-legged goddess with the guilty mole on her left breast mimed. Till one day when the jester ran away with a propsman. The show must go on, they told her. They dressed her up like a peacock, wrapped her in an ostrich-feathered boa and threw her into the mouths of ravenous wolves. Boo, the foolish people shouted in chorus. She began to sing. And everyone around her fell silent. A star was born. And the Star of Light let her shine in the night.

(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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