Me, 13. Him, 16. He came from Italy to stay with his grandparents. Handsome, exotic, with long silky hair like I'd never seen before on a boy. My hand moved on it's own, fingers entwined in tempting chestnut strands. Three seconds of ecstasy, then shock. Heart rate 200. He turned, slightly puzzled. The dew in his eyebrows. Panic. It's my new hobby, I said. Hair, he asked smirking. Yes, I'm collecting it. I defiantly plucked a strand. All summer I kept up the hair collection with the people on the block, so that he wouldn't think I simply liked him.

(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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