She comes to the beach at dawn, bearing paint brushes and colours. She's carrying a big backpack and a folding chair under her arm. She's looking for some shadow and my son and I are looking for her. She settles and starts painting children's faces. When she's out of customers, she swings in her chair, bored, making it sink deeper and deeper into the sand. Indefatigably sways her hips back and forth until her butt touches the ground. She verifies the mobility of the chair when she takes it out. I can barely remember my son's face without paint on it.

(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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