I'm not crying. I'm not scared. Behave and be brave, Roa, the little girl told her rag doll. Better yet, let's swing. An elephant was swinging from a web. The song ran shakily through the wormhole. The echo hid shyly between the raised folds. The intergalactic antennae struggled to disentangle themselves, but eventually managed to pick up and decode the song into an S.O.S. The guard decided to teleport. Where are we, Roa? From under the bed, the little girl saw her mommy. Stop hiding. Come on, get out. It's time for your shot.

(Translated by Diana Pașcanu / 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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