When they found her at the border, she was barely breathing. She was on an empty plow. They had kept the dogs on a leash so they wouldn't tear her apart. They barked like crazy, the woman smelled like wilderness. At the village's dispensary they took care of her, fed her and nursed her back to health. They called translators and that's how they found out her story. Many of them have fled the dark and hungry terror of their beloved leader; she got lost from the group in a forest; at night she fell asleep next to a boulder and woke up on the border plod. Her country was on the other side of the globe.

(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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