They lived from day to day. An obsolete wagon pulled on a dead line was their proper home. Only the cold and hunger kept them out. Sometimes, when they managed to snatch a wallet from the train station, they would buy vodka, bread and canned pate. But the depot guard was giving them a very hard time. On a glassy February night, he discovered them and give them such serious of a beating that they lay there for about four days. Then he set their rent: two bottles of vodka a week, and the whole dining car was theirs.

(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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