How's the exchange rate today, madam? I hope is good, for I am running low on hope. I was told me to check here. I am born on the 27th of October. 2+7+1+0=10. I'd like to exchange 10 years of abuse. How much can you give me for it? Just a second of happiness? Oh, was I supposed to add 1 and 0? What if I exchange it for joys? I don't qualify for it? Do you think hugs would be more convenient? Only three and they have to be from the same person? Miss, better give me the second of happiness. In milliseconds, please, not coined.

(Translated by Daniela-Andreea Gugescu / 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 July 2021, the group has 6.800 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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