Tell me, what day is today, asks the doctor, emphasizing each word. I think it's Sunday, says the old man. And which season, continued the doctor, in the same tone, closely observing him. I think it's winter. It's getting colder and colder, says the man, trembling like a yellow leaf touched by the cold moonshine. What do you see, asks the doctor, rising a mirror in front of the face on which time has thoroughly sharpen its claws. A map. Somebody lost it and now cannot find the way back.

(Translated by Daniela-Andreea Gugescu / 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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