On the 9th platform there was a newspaper stall that was also selling scratch tickets.
Ion, Lidia and Victor, they had all met at the orphanage.
Each month they would gather at the railway station in the early morning and send the oldest one to buy five tickets. They've decided to keep two of them unscratched until it was almost the day before they expired. Then, in the last moment, they'd draw straws. Whoever had the shortest one stood no chance.
It was their fate game.
Fate won, of course, but, oh well, they kept hoping.

(Translated by Alma Teodora Miron / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 almost daily. 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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