During a frosty evening, jammed with snowdrifts, just like tonight, mum was reading to me under the light of the gas lamp. The village was miserable, but we were happy. My brother would take a potato and put it at his ear. Answer, princess, the phone. All of this seems too far away, hidden in the furry sack, which we tugged on until we wounded our hands. I will leave the village and be a proper grown-up, my brother would say. I used to wear the ripped tracksuit, to look boyish. Had he stayed a peasant, he wouldn't have died of a broken heart.

(Translated by Oana Oprea / 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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