She was roaming around looking through trash, endlessly muttering the same names. She laughed when she bumped into me. There were few teeth left in her mouth. But she was beautiful. Her laughter was contagious. I asked for her name. Ana Margareta Sanda Cristina Iulia Cosmina Smaranda Catinca. She looks at my figure. Then she looks me straight in the eyes. I wait, dazed. I don't know I'm waiting for, in fact. And we just stare like that, eye into the eye, shifting from confusion mark to question mark to ellipses to period to columns. Are you giving me your dress?

(Translated by Ioana Grigoruţă / 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 March 2021, the group has 4.500 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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