And upstairs? The kid. Sleeping. I'm not sleeping, but pretending. Under the blanket I hold a vacuum cleaner bought with the money earned on beaded bags. It's quiet. Some sporadic voices and the wailing of the carriage lifted for the change of the axles can be heard. Do you have money? 10 rubles. Dad's voice feels hesitant. There are another 200 rubles in the pocket of the coat hanging on the hanger. Now the tax collector speaks Russian with the couple emigrating to Israel. He gets out. Comes back, goes to the coat and takes out the money. He takes them and leaves without saying anything. Vadu Siretului. 1984.

(Translated by Ecaterina Bucovanu / 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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