I collect wrinkles. Of smokers: on the cheek, small and fine. Of lost love: deep commas, traced with the brush in the corner of the mouth. Of alcohol: purple wrinkles, like a knife wound. Of frowning: from distrust and petty frustrations. I gather them and set them on fire. With the ashes, I wash my face thoroughly. That's why I have baby skin. Some black flake gets away and wrinkles with thick roots grow quickly in the soul. But those don't count, everyone knows that. Do you have wrinkles? Come here, I'll get rid of them.

(Translated by Andreea Denisa Dinu / 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 August 2021, the group has 7.000 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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