Her hands were almost skinless from the boiling water and disinfectant, but she was rubbing it tightly and rhythmically and the creaking sound that could be heard and grew louder and louder seemed to convince her that the stain would never disappear. She stopped for a moment and looked in the mirror. She could still see herself through the steam. Fuck this. Again. Then she started cleaning it with a dry cloth. Sweat was running down her cheeks and from under her fast moving hands, it appeared even more vividly than ever, bursting through her pores, the guilt of existing.

(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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