It was 3:50 pm when he called me. A client who asked me to stay for half an hour at the office because he's coming for some bills. I said no problem. And you know why? Because I'm from Vâlcea. When we say we arrive in half an hour, it means we arrive in 30-40 minutes or so. But when you're a churl from the countryside you don't know that in Bucharest positioning in time and space is made differently. So, 487 years later, my man arrived at 8 pm. At least he gave me 300 lei as a bribe.

(Translated by Alexandra Lica / 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 June 2021, the group has 6.650 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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