I'm checking the water, 1, 2, 3. I'm pulling the blinds, 1, 2, 3. I'm pressing the buttons on the remote control, 1, 2, 3. I'm watching a movie and counting on my fingers the letters of the first three words that are flowing on the screen. My head hurts already, I'm tired. What if I have something neurological? I'm biting my tongue three times, obviously. God forbid another bad thought, I'll rip it with my teeth. I have the mystique of the number three. They gave me sertraline. Sertaline. Sertaline. Sertaline. It doesn't help much. I'm typing a word wrong. Fuck. Now I have to start again. I'm checking the water, 1, 2, 3.

(Translated by Ioana Negrea / 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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