Everything must be clean. Not a speck of dust, not a stain. I have with me a washcloth for cleaning the doorknob when I walk in. The hallway sparkles impeccably, I shine everything that can be touched, the kitchen is sterile, no sign of contact. Everything is perfect. Well, I'll have some work to do in the bathroom. I told you, maybe you'd like to take off your shoes. Not you, your shoes are clean. See, now, is it better to be dead and have shoes on, in this plastic bag? I'll have to find a place to get rid of you. Then I'll continue cleaning. There's always something to do.

(Translated by Ana Stănilă / 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 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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