Although everyone knew about it, no one had come back from there to say what it was really like. Some said that you drown in darkness, others that you grow wings, a few mentioned a storm, I just stood on my tiptoes.But there was no way I could see past their overly large and grey shoulders. I grew so tall one day that I bumped my head on it. My hair got tangled with colours. I took the ends and braided them into a crown. Now I'm the queen of people with big, grey shoulders.

(Translated by Oana-Roxana Dicilea / 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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