I was looking at his dark, pale face, with a stubble on, frozen by the snow and those tranquil eyes. I've bought a rocking chair for two, he said laughing. Look at it. Put it next to the fireplace, I'll sit there cuddled up under the rug, while you make the tea. I don't know if the basil will still sprout in the spring, he says, and moves the phone screen to a fragile, leafless stem. It will, I shout from my heat, suddenly feeling alone with the dead basil, waiting for a tea that will never be drunk. It will. It will sprout.

(Translated by Ana Spînu / 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 December 2021, the group has 7.750 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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