I'm 35 and I have 24 living children, the black woman says. I can read the pride and the grief in her eyes. At 13 I was sold to a man of 30, who beat me often. Every two years or so I would give birth to 2-3 children at once. The doctors tell me I have many ovules, if I don't give birth I will die. My husband leaves home for months or years, names the children through the phone. He has other children besides. Every day we need over 10 kilos of flour and cornmeal, 7 of beans and 4 of sugar. I do the laundry, I clean, I cook, I sew, I build, braid hair for brides. Any money is welcome, to keep the children in school.

(Translated by Cristina Fliter / 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 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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