A handful of people were gathered around what had once been the dignified bust of Eminescu, now full of crass, illiterate scribbles. Elegant, sad people. Intellectuals, as some would call them. Others wouldn't. Two pass by them. Others. What on Earth is they doing here? To hell with them and their delusions of grandeur. They be reading all their life and they be dirt-poor. Oh boy, good thing they be less and less, else they spoil our children. What good is books? Money, cars, clothes. This is the life. Ptui to all the poor. The spit lands on the poet's cheek and trickles down, slowly. As if it were a tear.

(Translated by Diana Mîndruţă-Tănăsescu / 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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