Gramps, I dreamed of a zebra. It was very sad and crying. It was as if I was at the Zoo. I handed it a candy. Grandpa did her hair for school and put the packed lunch in her schoolbag. Be careful which path you take to school. Don't take other streets. Gramps is feeling sick today. I'm waiting for you at lunch. But the grandfather stayed on the other side of the street, and of life, and the girl no longer found him at home. Only in the armchair where he used to sit, could she feel his presence now. Every time she sat there, she would fall asleep and dream of a cheerful zebra who kept giving her advice.

(Translated by Tania Diniță / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 May 2023, the group has 11,260 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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