My chest hurts and I can't breathe. I open my mouth to take in more air and I'm suddenly on the ground. I'm searching for my phone, rummaging through the dark, bu twhere have I left it? I find the water bottle and I manage to swallow a few drops, the rest soaking my neck and shirt. I'm recovering somewhat and I realise I cannot get up. I remember the phone is charging and I find the wire, taking a hold on it and pulling. The screen lights up like hope. I call 911. Someone knows where I live, I yell, but I can't hear my voice. I leave myself in dark's hands.

(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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