A bead of sweat trickles down the back of the neck of the man in front of me. It goes down his back, tickling him. He can't scratch himself, he's holding onto the bar. A fly lands on his bald head. It's hot on the bus, it smells awful. The man decides to open a window. What are you doing, mister, are you trying to kill me? You want to make me stay in the cold? The one who yelled closes the window. Open the damn window, we're dying here. If you know you're sensitive, take a cab. The driver slams on the brakes, we all fly forward. For the moment it's peace.

(Translated by Andreea Grinţescu / 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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