She was reading a textbook. He sat in front of her, eyeing her. She shuffled a bit, as if something was bothering her, but didn't look up from her book. He was silently admiring her, as his skipping heart was battling a brain telling him nothing was real. She didn't lift her gaze from the book the whole way, while he held his breath, fearing he may never see her again. She raised her green eyes to ask for the time, then got up and speedily got off the bus. He watched her with a dejected look, not realizing she was wearing a watch.

(Translated by Ioana Diana Sandu / 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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