The teacher repeated the order in which the dash, the circle, and the tail of the small hand-written 'a' letter came together. A row of round a's looked at the class from the lined board. Ma'am, did I do well? What about me? She came by to check all of them in turn, guiding the hand of those who did not have the courage to write a single letter. Then she explains it again at the lined board. It was warm, the children were writing in a focused manner, hunched over the notebooks. Did you understand, children? Let me see how you're doing. Suddenly, from the middle row, a little girl stands up from the last desk: My mommy made meatballs.

(Translated by Claudia Alexandra Văcărescu / 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 April 2021, the group has 5.600 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, Răzvan Penescu, 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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