It's the first time he's seeing me, behind the lampshade. He's studying me closely. I unbutton the first button and flip through Rilke's poems. I fold a page to a verse. He sighs gutturally and secures his tie. I bite the pencil to distract myself. He chews on a nail, looking absent. His shirt has no wrinkles. My skirt is gathered up. He tilts his head and examines me from another angle. He is leaning towards me. My pulse rate is growing in a Fibonacci rhythm. With two fingers, he pushes the glasses over my nose and straightens them. He sighs relieved.

(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 every few days. 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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