He was grinding his lower lip with his teeth, watching, as if hypnotised, the napkin she was squeezing in her hand, making it smaller and smaller, just like her heart. She should have told him a long time ago, but the fear of the empty walls' echo had kept her imprisoned. She rose her glance towards him and gently inhaled, the air remained stuck however, like a broker clock inside her chest. A puny, fragile spring had probably broken inside of it, enough render the present meaningless. Her tears were streaming like a quiet rain on a matte window. He stood and left.

(Translated by Ioana Grigoruță / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 October 2021, the group has 7.275 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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