While I was washing the dishes, making bubbles, my 5 years-old niece - a young Englishwoman - came to me grinning and offered me a cigarette. I told her that I did appreciate the gesture, but I still had to scrub the dishes smeared by the English guests. The niece insisted. In my turn, I refused politely in Shakespeare's language - the only one she could understand. Then she defied me, rose on her tiptoes, and tried to stick the cigarette into my mouth, explaining with the typical coldness of her nation that if I smoked more, I would get to Heaven faster, sparing her the trouble of stealing my lover.

(Translated by Alexandr Cotar / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by Professor Nadina Vişan)

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 January 2021, the group has 3.000 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, and Luchian Abel. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

*Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficțiuni Reale.

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