I can still see it now. Tiny, bent over, a little thing. Born into a large family, she came to her master at 10. The nobleman took her in as his servant. She's never got education. She couldn't read or write, and she signed with her handprint, but you weren't cheating her out of money. How could she do the math in her head and you couldn't fool her? She knew every penny, and she was accountable for everything. She wasn't stingy, but she always gave you enough to go back and ask for more. I can hear her, Learn, sweetheart, don't be like me. It's hard seeing just pictures in the paper.

(Translated by Lorina Xiaoyu Hou / 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 Ficțiuni Reale.

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