Men are like shoes. Some choke you with their straps. Some are too big, and slip from your feet with each step. Some you fall in love with, but you never find the chance to take them out. Some you gaze at with admiration, from behind the window or worn by other women. He was a pair of fancy red shoes. She tried him on, even though she knows she couldn't afford it and that she would have to put them back on the shelf. She took a mental picture, dreaming about dancing with them. She remained there staring, as a young woman left with them instead.

(Translated by Ruxandra Ioana Vasile / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 May 2021, the group has 6.400 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, 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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