Zebra is the binary code of the jungle, he said lazily, gazing into his coffee cup. His future lay spilled in coffee grounds and predictive uncertainty. The future of formal logic, scattered and bored between 0-1, true-false, black-and-white. That's why chess is played in pairs. That's why artificial intelligence bites into the humanity's DNA. That's why the Kabbalists have failed miserably in deciphering the mysteries brought down from the mountain. That's why the light guards the gate at the entrance to the darkness. Because, in the wild, only the gray is a highwayman.

(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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