19215. Yesterday there were 19214. I'm sure of it. But the difference doesn't let me breathe. Could I have made a mistake? Yesterday or today? Or did I grow a hair from yesterday to today? Which one is it? I bring the magnifying mirror close to my chin and a whole new world reveals itself to me. The hairs are thick and vigorous, sometimes they grow regularly, sometimes they weave chaotically, like a wild jungle. There's a grey hair. I smile, satisfied with my virility. It's not easy counting the hairs in your beard every day. God, being a man is so cool.

(Translated by Lenuţa Bejenaru / 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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