With a round face as a shaman's drum and onyx eyes, Baigalmaa would always attract everyone's attention when she emerged from under the pink Bougainvillea cascades. She changed the taiga for a seaside fishing village, for her heart was caught as a fish in the net by some eyes deeper than even the Baikal. The hot nights that came seemed to destroy every dream she had about birch and snow leopards. Nevertheless, every day, beyond the dying embers, the longing was just screaming louder. After Baigalmaa l eft, the first snowfall fell over the sea.

(Translated by Beatrice-Ioana Huruială / 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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