I've been there. I've been at the end of the rainbow, at the edge of the world, I've been walking around in a daze looking for smiles. Someone had stolen the smiles. I liked smiles, too, but especially laughter. The loud ones. And I'd heard that at the end of the rainbow an old man sold fresh smiles. When I arrived, the stock of smiles had just run out, even the rainbow was about to fall, hanging upside down. I was too late. Luckily a crazy cloud gave me a lollipop in the colours of the rainbow. I smiled. My rainbow tasted like strawberries.

(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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