We left the house with our masks on, wanting to take a stroll. Bucharest was hot, we were stiffened after days on end in the apartment, and the TV was pouring a flow of end of the world information. On a house covered street, we felt a barbecue sniff and saw them: mask-less, barefoot little ones, undressed, toothless old ladies, long-haired teen girls, in a blast of colour and life as I hadn't felt since March. I didn't even hate the Adibas slippers worn by the guy who was grilling the meat and singing.

(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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