A summer morning, an old, tired train, the same well-known, monotonous landscape. The lengthy wagon with dusty benches was almost empty. Forward, diagonally, two faceless hands were holding a book. Manly, firm, protective. With dark skin, perfect fingers, neat nails. They emanated so much virility and force, so much calm and relaxation that I was short of breath. I stared at them the entire time, fascinated. My hand would have fit perfectly in those hands. I reluctantly looked away when I had to get off. They were tenderly caressing a book page.

(Translated by Diana Stănescu / 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 February 2022, the group has 7,950 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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