At 16 you left a note in my desk and a forget-me-not, as though we had any memories to forget about. At 18 I kissed you, there by the lake where everyone drowns their past. At 26 I said yes, and at 30 I woke up every day to your smile and to her hungry cries. But at 40 we stood stiffly in front of the camera, Tom and Kitty with red collars on, Hope and I in tulle dresses. 1, 2, 3, the photograph is taken. It will remain, on the wall, in a frame: family portrait, dog and cat and all. Only you are missing.

(Translated by Cristina Fliter / 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 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 Ficţiuni Reale.

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