He hated the fact that he lived in the last house down the lane, in the cross-shaped village. Whenever he needed to get to the store in the center of town he had to face other people, to answer questions from women gossiping outside their gates. Before he went out the door he would put his hat on his head and a hypocrite's smile on his face. He was doing alright, that's what he told everyone. But nobody knew that, ever since his wife had passed away, he no longer kept jars of jam and preserves in his cupboard. Only corn puffs. Lots of corn puffs.

(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, setting their texts within the limit of 500 symbols (in Romanian language, so in English the limit might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise with an almost daily changed topic. 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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